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Special Occasions

Birthdays on Ferries

Washington State Ferries frequently become the gathering place for birthday celebrations, and we'll try to accommodate your request provided you arrange to travel during non-peak times. We'll need to know the route, date, time of travel and size of your group to be able to alert the crew. You need to know that while you can bring your own food, outside catering is not permitted, there are no kitchen privileges and open flames (even candles on a cake) are not allowed.

If you would like more information or would like to make arrangements for your special event, please contact Operations Programs Staff Aide Johanna Karlin at 206-264-3556.

Weddings on Ferries

Weddings should be planned for non-peak times and we will need to know the exact time and route so we can alert the crew. Ceremonies are not allowed in the non-public areas of our vessels. Our captains are not legally authorized to perform weddings so plan to arrange for a justice of the peace or pastor to conduct the service.

We recommend small weddings. Larger weddings require reserved space and we cannot guarantee that other, non-invited customers will not inadvertently become part of the wedding party.

Here are some other things to be aware of:

  • Outside catering services are not allowed.
  • There are no private rooms for clothes changing, etc.
  • We do not recommend driving onboard the ferry unless the wedding will be completed by the time the vessel reaches its destination. All vehicles that have boarded a ferry must be driven off once the vessel reaches its final destination.
  • If the wedding party has special requests such as using live musicians, electrical power on the ferry, etc., those requests must be made at the time initial arrangements are made with the ferry system.
  • Special wedding day photos of the bridal party may not be possible. Ferry crews cannot obstruct pathways for picture taking so bridal pictures may include a photo of a wandering ferry commuter who accidentally gets in your picture.

If you would like more information or would like to make arrangements for your special event, please contact Operations Programs Staff Aide Johanna Karlin at 206-264-3556.

Memorial Services on Ferries

We require advance notice and booking three to five business days prior to a planned date for memorial services held on vessels. For more information or to make arrangements for your funeral/memorial service, please contact Operations Programs Staff Aide Johanna Karlin at 206-264-3556.

Ashes must be contained in a certified biodegradable container that can be dropped intact from a ferry. Such containers are sometimes referred to as “journey urns” and are designed to dissolve quickly after contact with water.

Bookings are made only during limited and specific non-peak sailing times and are not offered during holidays or on all routes. If you make arrangements with WSF for a shipboard memorial, we will send written notice of your planned arrival to the vessel officers ahead of time. Even so, when you go on board and the ferry is under way, a member of your party should contact a crewmember who will speak with the Captain to determine whether the memorial is safe weather-wise and operationally permissible (no fire drills, quarterly inspections by the Coast Guard, etc.).
If the Captain approves, your group will be led down to the aft end of the auto deck. A crewmember will accompany one person from your group beyond the restricted area to ensure their safety while the biodegradable container is dropped into the water. At the Captain’s discretion, the ferry’s horn may be sounded as, or after, the container has been released.