Credit: Emerald Collective
By David Blandford
On November 6, Washington State voters approved Referendum 74 which legalized same-sex marriage.
Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples wed for the first time in Washington State on December 9, the first day that same-sex couples could legally exchange vows under the new “marriage equality” law. That day, Seattle City Hall hosted 138 weddings, among many others around the city, and a group wedding reception was held for some 2,000 at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre.
Photo: Emerald Collective
“Washington was always known as a progressive and welcoming state, but now is the top spot for same-sex couples thinking about marriage,” said Louise Chernin, President & CEO of the Greater Seattle Business Association, the largest LGBT chamber of commerce in the U.S. “Tourism is sure to get a boost from same sex couples who are coming to Washington to hold their weddings or out of town guests arriving to celebrate the weddings of their families and friends in same-sex relationships.”
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn at the Paramount Theatre wedding reception on December 9. Photo credit: Emerald Collective.
Seattle’s hospitality community continues the celebration with a growing array of same-sex newlywed hotel packages and special amenities. The following is a sampling of some initial hotel offers. Stay tuned for more.
The Alexis Hotel offers special rates for same-sex, LGBT and transgender newlywed couples as part of its “Suite On You” package. Throughout March 31, 2013, couples who show their marriage license are eligible for a suite, including a free bottle of bubbly, for $174 to celebrate their official union. For reservations, use the rate code R74 and visit www.alexishotel.com.
In honor of Referendum 74 being approved, Cedarbrook Lodge is offering a special room rate discount of 7.4 percent for all LGBT couples planning to wed by March 31, 2013. In addition, clients who choose the hotel as their wedding destination and stay overnight will receive complimentary amenities, such as a bottle of private label red wine, seasonal fruit and cheese plate, or champagne and chocolate strawberries. Couples must book by December 31, 2012 to claim these deals. For details on Cedarbrook Lodge’s special offers or wedding events, visit www.cedarbrooklodge.com or call (206) 214-4150.
The Edgewater Hotel
Beginning December 9, gay and lesbian couples can “Plunge with Pride” at The Edgewater Hotel, where they can choose from an array of luxury event rooms to host their wedding ceremonies and receptions. The special deal also includes overnight accommodations for the wedded couple, a professional photography package, a “Mr. & Mr., Mrs. & Mrs.” throw blanket, and a bottle of bubbly. For more information, call (866) 316-4449 or visit www.edgewaterhotel.com.
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel
All brides are invited to celebrate their special day at The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, which is now offering “Say Yes to the Dress.” When couples reserve their wedding at the Fairmont Olympic, the bride will receive her choice of a ready-to-wear or couture wedding dress by renowned Seattle dress designer Luly Yang. This offer also applies to custom dress suits, and the package is valid for all couples with new wedding contracts signed by December 31, 2013. For details and reservations, call (206) 287-4058 or visit www.fairmont.com/seattle.
Mayflower Park Hotel
LGBT brides and grooms are welcome to commemorate their legal marriage at the Mayflower Park Hotel, which will waive the ceremony fee for all same-sex couples who reserve their wedding and reception at the hotel before December 30, 2012. Visit www.mayflowerpark.com for more information on the Mayflower Park’s LGBT weddings package.
Renaissance Seattle Hotel
The “Marriage for All” package includes accommodations for two and a bottle of chilled sparkling wine. The package is subject to availability and must show a copy of marriage certificate upon check in to receive the special rate. Package rates start at $179 per night plus taxes.
The Starwood Hotels of Seattle, which includes the Westin Seattle, Sheraton Seattle, W Seattle and Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Seattle Center, are offering guests who get married at a Seattle or Bellevue Starwood property the opportunity to earn bonus Starpoints to use toward their honeymoon or romantic rendezvous at one of 1,050 Starwood hotels and resorts worldwide. Bonus Starpoints are awarded at the wedding contract signing as well. For details, visit www.starwoodhotels.com/outcityseattle.
Couples planning to get married can quickly elope to Woodinville Wine Country, where Willows Lodge is offering the “I Do For Two” package. Willows Lodge will provide an officiant and two witnesses for the ceremony, as well as overnight accommodations with a rose petal drawn bath, bottle of bubbly, breakfast in bed and a commemorative picture frame. More information is available at www.willowslodge.com or (425) 424-2589.
Additional LGBT travel resources:
Greater Seattle Business Association