King County officials are preparing for hundreds of same-sex couples to descend on their downtown Seattle administration building to get marriage licenses as soon as same-sex marriage becomes legal at 12:01 a.m.
The line will start forming outside the building, at 500 4th Ave., sometime before 10 p.m., when officials say they will start handing out numbered tickets to couples.
“We really expect it to be a festive atmosphere,” said Cameron Satterfield, a county spokesman. “This is marriage. It’s one of the few happy things that we get to do in government.”
More than 80 members of the media have requested credentials to cover the event, including national outlets like MSNBC.
County Executive Dow Constantine has pledged to sign the marriage licenses for the first couples, who were selected by the LGBT community. Then the rest will trickle in 10 at a time to do the roughly 10 minute licensing process.
The county Recorder’s Office will be opened for extended hours, from midnight until 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. It will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
Couples are asked to complete the form ahead of time and also bring a photo ID and $64 in cash or check.
Couples are required to wait three days after obtaining a license to actually get married. More than 140 of them have signed up to get married during a special event for same-sex couples Sunday at City Hall.
How are you celebrating the legalization of gay marriage? Share your wedding or engagement photographs and stories (from this weekend or whenever your ceremony occurred) to this special Seattle Times project.