Photo: Jean-Marcus Strole

Zac & Sam Get Married

Sam and I have both lived pretty normal lives.

When we met at the Gay Christian Network Conference in Nashville, we were on Winter break from college. Sam flew down from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and I drove up from the University of South Carolina. The friendship that began there blossomed into a two year long distance relationship and later into an engagement this past December as we moved to Minnesota together.

See? Pretty normal, huh.

A little over three weeks ago, we got a call that we had been selected to receive a completely free wedding in Seattle! We couldn’t believe how lucky we were. I remember in June when I entered us into the sweepstakes on a whim, “What if we did win, though? How magical would that be?”

And the past few weeks have been just that… magical!

First impression of Seattle? Breathtaking.

First impression of Seattle? Breathtaking.

As we were arriving in Seattle, I looked out the window and saw Mount Rainier watching majestically over a sea of green. We zoomed in from the airport on the light rail and were greeted and treated as royalty at the Renaissance hotel. I remember telling Sam, “If I wake up and this is all just a dream, I’m going to be mad.”

The best part of the week (other than the wedding, of course) was all of the exploring we were able to do! We went on the Underground Tour of Seattle in historic Pioneer Square and learned all about some of the city’s fun, yet scandalous past. Down at the waterfront, we befriended some seagulls and fed them french fries, soared over Puget Sound on the Great Wheel, and pretended to be under the sea in the 360 degree globe enclosure at the Seattle Aquarium. Later in the week I locked Sam in the “Horror Film” dungeon at the Experience Music Project Museum, while I explored my inner princess in the “Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic” section.

The night before the wedding, we had dinner at the SkyCity restaurant atop the Space Needle at sunset. The watercolor clouds set the stage as we dined with our friends on some of the most exquisite fare Seattle has to offer.



Headed to Canlis. Gonna get married.

Headed to Canlis. Gonna get married.


The next day, I told our UBER driver, “We’re going to Canlis, and we’re gonna get married!” We were warmly welcomed by Mark and Brian Canlis to their family’s restaurant. But that’s when things started to blur for me. When so many wonderfully perfect things happen one after the other, it is difficult to remember it all. (And that’s why we have wedding photography! We are incredibly grateful to our photographer Jean-Marcus Strole for putting Sam and me at ease and to the folks at DropCam for streaming and recording our ceremony LIVE so we can go back at watch it.) Friends, chosen family, music, Trophy Cupcakes, Hilliard’s Beer, Chateau Ste. Michelle champagne, Marigold and Mint flowers… it all came together quite beautifully. Sam or I could not have asked for a better day.

From Mayor Murray’s words of encouragement when he proclaimed September 3rd “Zac and Sam Day,” to all of the small-but memorable-details that wedding planning team at Visit Seattle and Copacino+Fujikado helped coordinate, both Sam and I are eternally grateful. Some things you can only explain as magical. For my husband and I, the beautiful city of Seattle will forever be one of those things.


About the Author

Zac Baker

Zac Baker works as a Communications and Graphic Design Coordinator for ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation in Saint Paul, MN. Zac has a bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications from the University of South Carolina and enjoys naming colors, listening to public radio, and ballroom dance.

More Posts By Zac Baker


No comments yet.

Leave a Comment


Seattle’s best every month in your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Book Your Trip

Partner Advertisements