Kirkland’s Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church is planning to roll out the carpet – replete with champagne, cake and music – and marry same-sex couples on the first day they can legally wed in Washington.
Washington voters on Nov. 6 approved Resolution 74 upholding the state Legislature’s approval of same-sex marriage by a vote of about 52 percent to 48 percent. King County plans to begin issuing marriage certificates to such couples at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 6, the day same-sex marriage becomes legal. However, because of the required three-day waiting period, Dec. 9 will be the actual first day gay couples can marry.
On Dec. 9, the church is offering ceremonies on the hour at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., in a package that includes a champagne toast, cake, a reception with a DJ and up to 20 guests per couple. The church is asking only for a registration fee of $25. Wedding photos will be available for an additional charge.
“It’s not a money-maker by any stretch of the imagination,” said Rev. Marian Stewart, who will officiate. “It’s just such a happy time, and we want to share it with the community.”
The church has made arrangements with downtown Kirkland’s nearby boutique hotel, The Heathman, which is offering a special for participating couples.
The church had set a deadline of noon Friday, Nov. 30, to make reservations for the wedding ceremonies, but has extended it. Several couples have expressed interest, but as of Thursday, none had signed up.
Stewart thinks that’s because the approval of R-74 might have come as a surprise to gay couples; previous efforts had been defeated. “This is a major life decision, too,” she added.
Those interested may RSVP by calling the church office at 425-822-0171 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Woodinville church is also offering to marry same sex couples, according to their website:
"Yes, Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church is thrilled to be a wedding for venue same sex couples!!! Many same sex couples have had their non-legal wedding ceremonies and celebrations at our church over the years. Now such ceremonies will have the added benefit of being legally recognized in the state of Washington.
Our minister, the Rev. Lois Van Leer, is happy to officiate at such ceremonies. She and her partner of 12 years were legally married in Victoria, British Columbia in February of 2012. She likes to meet with any couple, same sex or opposite sex to get a sense of their relationship and to customize a ceremony in accordance with the couple’s values and beliefs. The church also allows other clergy to officiate ceremonies in their building with prior approval from the Rev. Van Leer.
For further information, contact administrator Lori Varosh at 425-788-6044 or the Rev. Van Leer at email@example.com.