Seattle Mayor Ed Murray married Zachary Baker and Samuel Busch, of St. Paul, Minnesota, in early September. The couple was the first chosen in Visit Seattle's Marry Me in Seattle program to receive a hosted wedding trip to the Emerald City.
The Marry Me in Seattle program was created to lure LGBTQ visitors to Seattle by showcasing the city's progressive and welcoming culture. Washington State's early adoption of marriage equality in 2012 presents a competitive advantage for tourism marketers.
According to a study by the Williams Institute in 2012, same-sex couples will travel from out of state to marry if they cannot marry in their home state. The Washington State Department of Health reported more than thre thousand same-sex marriages in the state during the year following passage of its marriage equality law—many of them nonresident.
More than twenty local businesses donated goods and services for the wedding, which was attended by visiting friends and family of the grooms, local media, and others.
Mayor Murray proclaimed September 3, 2014, "Zac and Sam Day in Seattle" to honor of the couple. Seattle City Hall, the Museum of History and Industry, the Seattle Great Wheel, Pacific Science Center, and downtown buildings displayed rainbow lights, while Safeco Field (home to the Seattle Mariners) and others hoisted rainbow flags to welcome the visiting couple.
Visit Seattle, the city's nonprofit tourism marketing organization, coordinated a wedding package for the couple that included air transportation from Alaska Airlines, a four-night stay at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel, a wedding ceremony at Canlis restaurant, flowers, wedding photography, DJ, ground transportation from Uber Seattle, champagne courtesy of Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, beer from Hilliard's Brewery & Taproom, and dessert from Trophy Cupcakes.
In addition to a link to enter the sweepstakes to win a free Seattle wedding package, the Marry Me in Seattle website features an essential Seattle LGBTQ marriage checklist, including a link to Washington State's marriage equality law (Referendum 74, which was passed by Washington voters in November 2012), information and links for marriage applications and licenses, and a list of LGBTQ officiants. The website also features a frequently updated wedding resource guide that includes more than thirty Seattle romance packages, transportation, wedding music and DJs, florists, photographers, venues, and catering companies.
Click here to access resources for planning a LGBTQ destination wedding in Seattle.
For information from Visit Seattle, click here.