Valentine’s Pop-Up Wedding Chapel
Baker & your wedding . . . it’s a match made in the majestic mountains!
It’s been a challenging couple of years for everyone, including for those who had planned wedding or commitment ceremonies and had to cancel or change their plans. So to help bring a little extra love and happiness to the mountain and our awesome community, on Feb. 13 & 14 we will be providing free wedding, vow renewal and commitment ceremonies on the mountain!
WHERE: Depending on the weather, ceremonies will be performed either just below the top of Chair 8, on Otto-Bahn just beyond the top of Chair 7, or the Raven Hut lodge. Our Banked Slalom start shack has been pretty lonely these past two years, so to carry on the great vibes of that storied shack we will be putting it up at the ceremony location as shelter and a preparation area. These locations are only accessible by skiing/riding, and participants and friends/family must have a valid season pass or lift ticket for the day of the ceremony. For safety reasons, no uphill hiking to the location is allowed.
WHEN: Sunday Feb. 13 and Monday Feb. 14, from 10am – 3pm, with a lunch break. Check back Feb. 1 for advance sign-up. Pre-registration is required so that we can reserve a time-slot for you. Minimum age requirement: 18 for both participants in all types of ceremonies.
NOTE: ALL CEREMONY TIME SLOTS ARE FULL
You will have a 20-minute time slot to set up, enjoy the ceremony, and take photos. Our CEO, Gwyn Howat, is a licensed marriage officiant and will perform a non-religious 5-minute marriage ceremony, commitment ceremony or vow renewal. We will have several ceremony script options for you to choose from when you sign up for a time slot. You are also welcome to write your own vows, but if you do so we require you to submit them to us by Friday February 11th so they can be vetted for appropriate content.
– Bear in mind these will be very simple ceremonies. If you’re looking for music, marching down the aisle, or other traditions of a classic ceremony, this is most likely not the right fit for you. If you’re looking to celebrate your love in a simple way in the beauty of nature (with the possibility of some PNW weather), we’d love to help you celebrate!
– For the safety of the wildlife and to honor the natural setting, there will be no rice, flowers, seeds, birdseed or any other type of items “thrown” at the ceremony. Snowballs are ok, so long as they are tossed gently and pre-approved by the couple.
– Two Mt. Baker staff will be on hand as witnesses if the couple does not have anyone else attending.
– We welcome LGBTQ+ couples!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Professional photographer and long-time Baker snowboarder Ryan Duclos will be photographing the ceremonies, with his unique blend of experience in outdoor snow and portrait photography. He will create a password-protected online gallery for each couple where they will be able to select up to 5 photos to download for free for personal use. For more info on Ryan and his work, please visit his website.
To enter a legally-binding union, here are the steps you must take:
1. APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE
– License must be from a county within Washington State
– Whatcom County marriage license has $62 fee
– For complete list of applicant & age requirements, go to the Whatcom County Marriage License web page.
– There is a 3-day waiting period from the time you pay for a license to the date you can get married.
In order to be legally married you will need to pay for and submit your application for a license by the following timeline:
Thursday Feb. 10 to get married on Sunday Feb. 13
Friday Feb. 11 to get married on Monday Feb. 14
We suggest doing it sooner to avoid any technical, or other, issues.
2. HAVE A CEREMONY
That’s where we come in! Our CEO, Gwyn Howat, is a licensed marriage officiant and will perform a non-religious 5-minute marriage ceremony. See Ceremony details above. For those getting legally married, the couple will receive a small bouquet and, for those over the age of 21, two glasses of champagne.
3. COMPLETE AND RETURN THE CERTIFICATE
The officiant who performs your ceremony has 30 days from the date of the ceremony to return the Department of Health Certificate of Marriage to the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office. (Gwyn and the Mt. Baker crew will complete and return the certificate to the Auditor’s Office). The Recording Division will record the certificate and mail a certified copy to the address you provide during the application process.
A commitment ceremony is when two people commit their lives to one another. It is similar to a wedding and can include wedding traditions, but it does not result in a legally binding marriage. See Ceremony details above.
A marriage vow renewal ceremony, also known as a wedding vow reaffirmation ceremony, is a ceremony where a married couple renews or reaffirms their original marriage vows as a way to celebrate and display their commitment to one another. See Ceremony details above.