OK, the first newlyweds are filtering into Bertha Knight Landes for piano music, punch, and mingling. There’s activity at the kids’ table but sadly the cupcakes are still untouched!
Cheers erupt on the Grand Lobby as a couple in white suits recite vows. There are too many media people for me to get close but I do hear “I vow to love and protect you” and it’s obvious that it was the right decision not to wear mascara today.
The fun really started in November, when Referendum 74 was approved and marked the first time in state history that same-sex couples could apply for and legally receive a marriage license in Washington state.
Since midnight December 6, King County has issued an unprecedented 623 marriage licenses.
142 weddings will take place today at City Hall. Each ceremony is expected to take about 15 minutes. Then couples are invited to Bertha Knight Landes to celebrate.
We’ve told couples to expect to wait outside for 15 minutes, inside for 15 minutes, and then start their ceremony. These are, of course, wild guesses. But we’ll try not to keep gorgeously (or otherwise) costumed souls out on the sidewalk on 5th Avenue for one moment longer than necessary.
Oooooh, I just heard it’s starting! So exciting!
City Hall is joyfully abuzz this Sunday morning, as volunteers bustle and media people wander around documenting the transformation of the Bertha Knight Landes room into a celebratory banquet hall. People from real media outlets aim enormous cameras at tiny little cupcakes, (thoughtfully provided by Cupcake Royale), “Married at City Hall” signs, and stripes of artistically cut white paper decorations prepared by local artists Jennifer Zeyl and Celeste Cooning and their team. They’re just warming up for the real stars, of course, who will show up in about 40 minutes — the 140 couples coming to be married in the Grand Lobby.
The feeling is nervous and happy — couples are gathering outside on the sidewalk and we want everything to be perfect for them.
One hundred and forty weddings are scheduled to take place this Sunday at City Hall. Come join the celebration at City Hall Plaza from 10 AM to 5 PM, on Fourth Avenue downtown between James and Cherry streets.
Congratulate and admire the newlyweds coming down the steps from City Hall and enjoy food trucks, coffee and festivities. Don’t miss this historic day in Seattle!
Please note: In order to be married at Seattle City Hall on December 9th, couples must get a marriage license on Dec. 6th and MUST have RSVPd on our website while registration was still open. Unfortunately we have had to close RSVPs. We are limited by space in City Hall, so we are only able to serve 140 couples. Our original plan would have accommodated only 80, but when we saw the demand, we were able to find room for more wedding locations in City Hall and increase to 140.
Share Your Photos
140 weddings taking place at the same time are sure to generate some great pictures. Please share your photos with each other and us. Pictures of brides and grooms getting ready, family, dresses, suits etc are all welcome, as well as your great images from city hall. There are two ways to send us your photos.
- by email to email@example.com
Email your images to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post them to our blog and flickr account. Please include your names and stories if you’re ok with us sharing them!
- by Flickr
We have also set up a Flickr group to capture wedding photos, at http://www.flickr.com/groups/marriedinseattle/
To share your photos, click “Join this Group” at the top of the page. Once you have joined, an “Add Photos” link will appear at the top of the page.
If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you can sign into flickr for free with an existing Yahoo, Google, or Facebook account. Watch Sunday’s Celebrations events online
You can follow the day’s progress by watching livestreams of City Hall lobby and of the procession of new married couples exiting City Hall towards the plaza.
We will collect stories and photos from the event and post them to our blog. Follow along to hear stories from happy couples and their family and friends.
Sunday’s event is expected to draw an unusually high level of media attention. We’re going to collect reactions from across the Internet–from folks here in Seattle to those watching the historic day from afar.
We have twitter feeds at the homepage of Married.Seattle.gov displaying tweets from the Seattle event and from elsewhere in the State. If you plan to tweet, be sure to use the hash tag “MEdayWA.”
City Hall Plaza
Join the celebration at City Hall Plaza, which is below the staircase on the Fourth Avenue side of City Hall. Newly married couples will be exiting the building into the plaza. Food truck vendors will be on hand and family, friends and supporters are encouraged to celebrate with us.
Seattle City Hall
10 AM – 5:30 PM, Sunday December 9
600 Fourth Ave 2nd Floor
Seattle, WA 98104
After the wedding celebrations, join us at the Paramount for a wedding reception for all from 6–10 pm. There will be live entertainment, deserts and toasts!
6 PM – 10 PM, Sunday December 9
901 Pine Street
Seattle, WA 98101
From the Office of Mayor Mike McGinn
News, Updates, and Information
Click here to receive The Reader via email.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2012
Weddings at City Hall on Sunday
We’re excited for the 140 couples joining us at City Hall Sunday, December 9th, the first day same-sex couples can be married.
To come inside City Hall, you’ll have to be an invited member of a wedding party. However, the community will be celebrating this historic day on City Hall Plaza, on 4th Avenue, where we encourage you to cheer and congratulate each couple as they exit the building. Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Please join us on 4th Avenue at any point during the ceremonies to help make this an extra special moment.
If you have questions, please visit our FAQ at seattle.gov/wedding.
Moving forward to replace Seattle’s seawall
This week, we updated the public and press on the city’s progress in replacing the aging Elliott Bay Seawall. In the past month, the city achieved 60 percent design on the project, released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, selected a general contractor to build it, and secured Seattle voters’ approval of $240 million to complete its funding package.
“I thank Seattle voters for their overwhelming support for this critical public safety infrastructure project,” said Mayor McGinn. “We have successfully completed several important milestones so far, including retaining a general contractor for this work. I am looking forward to continuing to work with our project partners as we move ahead on replacing our deteriorating seawall.”
This holiday season, let’s look out for each other and travel safely
This past weekend marked the start of the fourth annual Center City Holiday Pedestrian Safety Campaign. The campaign is a part of the City’s larger Road Safety Action Plan and Be Super Safe efforts, which have the long-term vision of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
During the winter holiday season, there are more people traveling downtown and fewer daylight hours, so making sure that we’re watching out for each other while driving or walking is especially important. We’ve seen remarkable reductions in pedestrian collisions since the start of the Center City Holiday Pedestrian Safety Campaign four years ago – down on average 34 percent – but even one collision is too many.
Dec. 9, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Weddings at City Hall (600 4th Ave)
Dec. 10, 6:00 p.m. – East District Council, Capitol Hill Library (425 Harvard Ave E)
Dec. 13, 4:00 p.m. – Broadway Streetcar Extension open house, Silver Cloud Hotel (1100 Broadway)
Video highlights (for more see http://seattle.gov/mayor/photos/videos.htm):
|Supporting public safety by switching to LED streetlights||Seawall update|
What we’re reading:
Seattle gains second-most construction jobs
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City Hall, 600 4th Ave.
December 9th 10 a.m to 5 p.m.
Join us to celebrate on City Hall Plaza
On December 6th, same-sex couples in Washington State will be able to apply for and legally receive a marriage license for the first time in state history. On Dec. 9th, after the required 3-day waiting period, couples who received their licenses on the 6th and RSVPd in advance will be able to have their wedding ceremonies. Seattle City Hall will be opened to welcome those who would like to get married in the grand lobby that day, along with their family and friends. Local judges have volunteered to officiate the weddings, and artists are working to create beautiful displays in front of which couples can take their vows. Community members will be celebrating on City Hall Plaza – please join us to help make this moment extra special for the couples who are getting married.
In order to be married at Seattle City Hall on December 9th, couples must get a marriage license on Dec. 6th and MUST have RSVPd on our website while registration was still open. Unfortunately we have had to close RSVPs. We are limited by space in City Hall, so we are only able to serve 140 couples. Our original plan would have accommodated only 80, but when we saw the demand, we were able to find room for more wedding locations in City Hall and increase to 140.