City’s First Openly Gay Mayor and Newlywed, Ed Murray, to Officiate Marriage Ceremony, City Hosts Wedding Travel Package and Buildings Display Rainbow Lights and Flags
SEATTLE,?Aug. 27, 2014?/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –?When Zac Baker and?Sam Busch, of?St. Paul, MN, got engaged last December, they didn’t expect their marriage ceremony to be hosted by a city they’d never visited, or that its openly gay mayor would officiate and its citizens would welcome them with rainbow lights, flags on buildings and decals in shop windows.
Zac and Sam will marry in?Seattle?one week from today on?Wednesday, September 3, 2014. They are the first couple chosen in theMarry Me in?Seattle?Sweepstakes to receive a?Seattle?wedding trip hosted and coordinated by Visit Seattle. Some 50 friends and family of the grooms will fly to?Seattle?for the wedding ceremony.
As part of the sweepstakes package, the couple will receive 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.
Seattle?Mayor?Ed Murray?eagerly offered to officiate the wedding ceremony. Previously a state senator, he fought for?Washington State’smarriage equality law, which was passed by voters in late 2012. He married his longtime partner, Michael, last year and becameSeattle’s?first openly gay mayor in?January 2014. He obtained his license to officiate marriage ceremonies online.
The?Marry Me in?Seattle?campaign and sweepstakes are intended to lure LGBTQ visitors to the city by showcasing its progressive and welcoming culture. Visit?Seattle, the city’s nonprofit tourism marketing organization, asked hundreds of local businesses to display rainbow lights or hoist rainbow flags to welcome the visiting couple. Safeco Field (home to the Seattle Mariners) Seattle Great Wheel, Pacific Science Center and many other organizations pledge to do so.
“I can’t think of a better way to begin my life journey with my special guy,” said?Sam Busch. “Seattle?has made this possible – what a godsend!”
Zac and Sam met 4.5 years ago and became engaged last December. “I’ll never forget that night,” said?Zac Baker. “We were dancing the foxtrot and watching the?Wizard of Oz?on cable TV. Right as Dorothy and her friends emerged from the forest and see the Emerald City, Sam slipped a ring out of his pocket and on to my finger. Now as our own Emerald City is in view, I couldn’t be happier to say ‘I do’ to my greatest ally and closest friend.”
Hundreds of couples have entered the sweepstakes since the campaign launched?July 1. Four wedding trips total are available, with ceremonies taking place the first Wednesday of the month, September through December. Any LGBTQ couple residing outside ofWashington State?is eligible to win.
“I’m so happy to welcome these two young men to?Seattle?and I’m honored to officiate their wedding ceremony,” said?Seattle?Mayor?Ed Murray. “Marriage equality is a particularly passionate topic for me, and I’m so proud of the way our city and state has come together to support this initiative and demonstrate what an open, welcoming destination we truly are.”
The Marry Me in?Seattle?campaign and wedding sweepstakes were developed in collaboration with Visit Seattle’s agency Copacino + Fujikado, in partnership with Here Media and funding by the Seattle Tourism Improvement Area, a dedicated marketing fund assessed from guests at 54 downtown?Seattle?hotels and administered by Visit Seattle.
The campaign web site,?www.2DaysInSeattle.com/marryme, features an essential Seattle LGBTQ marriage checklist that includes 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 web site also features a wedding resource guide that includes more than 30 Seattle romance packages, transportation, wedding music and DJs, florists, photographers, venues and catering companies. The site and resource list are permanent and continuously-updated.
Follow Zac and Sam’s story via social media with the hashtag?#MarryMeInSeattle.
About Visit Seattle:
Visit?Seattle, a private, nonprofit marketing organization, has served as?Seattle/King County’s?official destination marketing organization (DMO) for more than 50 years. The goal of these marketing efforts is to enhance the employment opportunities and economic prosperity of the region. For more information, visit?www.visitseattle.org.