Coronavirus Couples' Choice Award Reverend's Notes Wedding Packages

Oops, We Did It Again!

Weddings with Reverend Jim Beidle Wins the 2021 Couples Choice Award!

2020 started gamely enough, with two weddings in January and a handful of couples booking for later in the year throughout the first two months. Of course, everyone knows what happened in March. When Coronavirus arrived in the Pacific Northwest, it was “common knowledge” that there could not possibly be weddings. So much for common knowledge! Every bit of praise goes to the brave couples whose uncommon wisdom ensures #LoveWins! And the Couples’ Choice for 2020 included choosing Weddings with Reverend Jim Beidle.

An Amazing Year

Weddings with Reverend Jim Beidle saw tremendous growth in 2020 as I worked with couples to find new, pandemic-safe, and legal ways to tie the knot. These fantastic people are ready to build their lives on the foundation of marriage. Therefore, they chose different ways to make their celebrations happen.

Many who originally booked a traditional wedding moved it to a future date, some as far out as two years from the original day. Other couples downsized their celebration to fit the requirements to minimize the possibility of spreading COVID-19. Several made couples made a choice to celebrate with an Elopement or Micro-Wedding in 2020 with an eye toward a traditional celebration when circumstances allow.

Speaking of Elopement

Last year was a banner year for planned Micro-Weddings and last-minute Elopements! Tiny weddings were a signature couples’ choice for last season. From windswept beaches to remote mountain tops; from smaller indoor venues to beautiful state and national parks, we met in groups of five and joined lives together.

Several elopements took place at Peace Arch State Park in Blaine, Washington. This beautiful 20-acre park memorializes the relationship of the U.S. and Canada as “Children of the Same Mother.” With its broad lawns and beautiful gardens, it is the only place along the northern border where Americans can meet with people of other nations.

More weddings took place near the water. Two were near Ocean Shores, Washington. Two were at other beaches, and several happened near lakes, including the Diablo Lake Overlook on Highway 20!

Since the couple kept it a secret, the Diablo Lake wedding was entertaining. Consequently, we blew the bride’s aunt’s mind when this itinerant clergyman offered to marry the couple at their “engagement party.” Surrounded by The bride and groom said their “I dos,” surrounded by the majesty of the North Cascades.

In all, nearly thirty couples spoke their vows with Weddings with Reverend Jim Beidle. Every couple gave me their kind reviews in private comments, and several made their commendation public on Wedding Wire and The Knot. A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who made Weddings with Reverend Jim Beidle their Couples’ Choice for 2020!

Coronavirus Rescheduling Wedding Packages

COVID-19 Update November 2020

The second surge of Coronavirus cases in Washington State has begun. In recent weeks hospitals have seen a dramatic increase in the infection rate and hospitalizations. The state government, led by Governor Inslee, has put into effect stricter protocols on group functions. Discover how we respond to COVID-19.

COVID-19 cases per day as of 11/15/20 showing a rapid increase.
COVID-19 cases per day reported November 15, 2929.

As the pandemic continues to impact our lives, we must learn to adapt to protect the lives of those we love. 

What Did COVID-19 Change?

So, what are the new restrictions going into place at weddings and receptions? They haven’t changed much from before. Weddings are limited to 30 people in total. As you plan your changes, bear in mind that the cap includes your vendors. If you were planning a wedding with a string quartet, you need to have them in the total number present.

Using one of my typical weddings as an example, let’s say that the people required to attend are the bride, the groom, three attendants each (6 total), the officiant, and the photographer. That ten-person wedding party leaves twenty seats in the room. So, it is possible to have many of your circle of loved-ones present and still meet the guidelines. Of course, you can reduce the number of attendants to increase the seats. I have worked with many couples to ensure a safe gathering. 

A potential pitfall is that the state has prohibited indoor receptions under the new guideline. Given our winter weather, gathering outdoors might be prohibitive, too. It may pay to plan a celebration for next summer when we hopefully put all this behind us.

Adapting Your Plans

So, all is not lost. These COVID-19 restrictions mean a little more planning and thoughtfulness about how we celebrate your wedding. Let’s talk about some options.

Smaller Wedding

By keeping your wedding party small, you can maximize the number of guests. I showed you that a traditional wedding party with one photographer is ten seats in the example above. If you each have one attendant, that frees an additional four seats for your guests. I grant that it isn’t a huge wedding, yet your friends and family can fill the room with their joy in a smaller venue.

Elope Now, Party Later

Many couples are choosing to elope during the pandemic and celebrate with a vows renewal later. For this, we need only you, two witnesses, a photographer, and me. We can pop up the elopement practically anywhere and film or live stream it for your friends and relations. Later, when we can safely gather in groups, we can reenact the ceremony as a renewal of your vows to one another.

Adding Video

I’ve mentioned shooting video a couple of times. Recording or streaming your wedding, whatever the size, is an excellent way to involve more than the thirty person cap. With a little planning, we can pre-record a message, especially for those attending via the Internet. You may engage a videographer to put together the concept or shoot live from a phone.

Virtual Weddings

The ultimate video experience is an entirely virtual wedding. Virtual in the sense that we can all be present in a Zoom room. The trick with a virtual wedding is coordinating the paperwork. If your witnesses are present with you, I can guide you through getting everyone’s signature, and you can mail the documents to me. I certify everything, sign off on the license registration, and send everything off to the county recorder. It’s a complicated but manageable challenge.

Challenge Accepted

The new COVID-19 restrictions, intended to give the medical community needed relief, raise challenges for couples planning to wed in the next few weeks. Those challenges are quickly addressed by remaining flexible and pivoting to adapt to the new scenario. Take a close look at your guest list. Who is in a vulnerable population? Who is most likely to bring joy to a live celebration while willingly following safe gathering protocols? How can we involve the people in your community of “framily” that can’t be there on your wedding day?

Give me a call at (360) 926-0010 or drop me a line at and let’s figure this out together.

Coronavirus Military Discount Rescheduling Wedding Packages

Don’t Give Up the Ship

The USS Chesapeake captured in the bloodiest frigate battle of the War of 1812. F. Muller / Public domain

June 1 is “Don’t Give Up the Ship Day” in the United States. It commemorates the lasting message uttered by Captain James Lawrence of the USS Chesapeake when the British Navy boarded his ship while he lay mortally wounded on June 1, 1813. Despite orders not to engage in battle, Lawrence fought the HMS Shannon in Massachusetts bay, near Boston. The resultant action was the bloodiest frigate fight of the War of 1812, and the crew lost the ship to the British in about fifteen minutes.

Under normal circumstances, Lawrence would have been held accountable for his defeat. Instead, he died a hero, and his words have lived on for more than 200 years. The phrase became the unofficial motto of the Navy, and two months after the Chesapeake’s loss, the Navy christened the USS Lawrence in his honor. The Captain of the Lawrence, Oliver Hazard Perry, commissioned a blue ensign emblazoned with the phrase. Perry, under that flag, led his squadron of nine ships to victory in the Battle of Lake Erie just three months after Lawrence’s devastating defeat.

Cool Story, but…

What does that have to do with weddings?

I’m here to say, “Don’t give up the ship!” The recent pandemic and our wretched national news aside, your wedding is a beacon of hope. And, I will help you make it happen!

Whatever your situation, we can make your marriage ceremony happen this year. I’m coming up with several new programs to make your wedding goals achievable and affordable. Keep checking the blog and the rest of the website for details, or get in touch and let’s figure it out together.

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New Military Discount!

It also makes a great story to inaugurate my Military Discount program. I am a military veteran, and, like anyone, I enjoy getting a deal. I hadn’t really thought about this, since the packages I’ve put together already embody a 20% discount over the a-la-carte prices.

Given the way things have gone for us in 2020, this is something that makes sense. Many military couples are on a financial tightrope, especially with the lay-offs in King and Snohomish county. So, this is my first step toward helping couples out.

15% Discount for Active and Veteran Military

With a valid proof of service for either party, I’ll give you a 15% discount on any wedding or elopement package. Proof of service is an Active Duty or Veteran ID card, or a scan of your DD-214 showing an Honorable or General discharge. There’s no expiration on this deal.

So, whether you are a new client or have already scheduled your wedding for 2020 or 2021, get in touch with me to take advantage of this offer. And, of course, you can only take on discount at a time.

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Thank you veterans in a dog tag
From one Veteran to another, thank you for your service.
Bronze Wedding Copper Wedding Elopement Micro-Wedding Wedding Packages

All About Tiny Weddings

As you know, I’ve made many updates to this site during the “Corona-Stay-cation.” Among the exciting changes, I am adding pages describing how each wedding package brings you value. I recently posted the first of these articles, titled “So You Want to Elope.” I talk about Micro-Weddings and Elopements and how I bring you my best service for your money.

These kinds of small weddings are perfect for our times. I recently officiated a lovely backyard elopement for a local couple. How will your May or June tiny wedding look?

Copper Wedding Elopement Micro-Wedding Wedding Packages

A Back-Forty Elopement

“With this ring…” Photo by AareneX

Friday, May 1st, was a beautiful day for an elopement in Cami and Scott’s back yard. It had rained all week in the tradition of April Showers and would rain heavily throughout the day on Saturday. Friday afternoon, though, was perfect.

When Cami first contacted me in April, Washington’s “Stay-at-home” order was entirely in effect, and with good reason. The virus behind COVID-19 had entrenched in Western Washington, with thousands ill, hundreds of deaths, and a recent update of 26 dead in one day. They canceled their planned wedding to keep family members safe. They already had the license, though, so they chose to elope in their back yard.

Planning a Micro-Wedding

There were two challenges for this micro-wedding. Firstly, as always, is creating a special day with a minimum of fuss. I designed the Copper Wedding package with those elopement and micro-wedding goals in mind. Secondly, we had to keep the environment safe for the couple, the witnesses, and me.

Cami and I concentrated on a short, meaningful ceremony that elegantly met the legal requirements. Meanwhile, Scott cleared a path into the woodlot near their pasture, creating a Sylvan byre worthy of an English woodcut. I asked Aarene and Monica to witness and get pictures for us to share. We carefully laid plans to minimize exposure and maximize the fun.

Cami and Scott’s Elopement Day

Reverend Jim Beidle explains the contents of the license packet.

Finally, Friday the First arrived, and Aarene, Monica, and I made the short trek to Cami and Scott’s place. We carefully kept our two meters of separation as we walked back into the woods. After the short, sweet ceremony, we repaired to the stable where the hood of a John Deere made a handy desk to complete the legal paperwork.

In all, their elopement took a few hours to plan and prepare. We spent perhaps a half-hour performing the service and completing the paperwork, plus a few minutes more admiring Cami’s horse, Kid, and his miniature donkey companion, Bambi.

After we left, Brit Solie arrived for their portrait session. They captured some beautiful images while maintaining a safe ecology in their home. What a fantastic way to make a marriage happen in these stressful times!

A Gallery of Photos

“Today I married my best friend! I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and exactly the way it’s supposed to. Now I can’t imagine getting married anywhere but right here at our home! Thank you, Jim, Aarene, and Monica for making it happen you saved us!
“Words can’t describe how lucky I am to have found my person. He’s one of the kindest, most honest and hard-working men I’ve ever known. In the first week we met, we had lined out our dreams, and now every day, we are working towards them as a team. Scott, I’m so honored to be your wife and spend the rest of my life living it to the fullest with you!”


We have just proved that we can make your elopement happen and still keep everyone safe and healthy. It will take a little planning, a bit of patience, and a serving of flexibility. Hit the “Get in Touch” button, and let’s make your dreams come true!

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The End of a Perfect Day! Photo by Solie Designs