Did you know that Seattle is a top destination for elopements? I didn’t until just recently!
Khloe (whose Chinese name is Fung Ha) reached out to me in May last year by email. She and her fiance Vincent are from Hong Kong and were planning on having their ceremony at the Downtown Seattle Courthouse in September. It seemed odd at first, but after a few more weeks of emailing back and forth, I agreed. Khloe had to make a few changes to the location and date because of trouble getting the marriage certificate. Finally, the date was set for September 22nd and the ceremony would take place on the observation deck of the Smith Tower.
I met the couple for the first time in Occidental Park on that rainy September Sunday for their formal portraits. We were able to communicate quite well despite speaking different languages. It was a lot of me directing using my hands.
Once we were done with the cold, wet weather, we walked the few short blocks to the Smith Tower for a few more formal portraits in the lobby. The Tower still maintains a few “golden carriage” elevators that take patrons up the building. One of them was open just for tours and I asked the couple to sneak inside for a quick kiss.
We eventually reached the 35th floor where a table was reserved for them by the window. Originally called The Chinese Room, the Smith Tower’s Observatory Bar still has the Wishing Chair. It was a gift from the Last Empress of China and there is a legend that if a single woman sits in the chair, she will be married within the year. Khloe sat in the chair and was married within minutes!
When the officiant arrived, we stepped outside tucked in a small corner of the observation deck. Khloe and Vincent said their vows to each other overlooking downtown and Elliot Bay. The rain never let up and Khloe and Vincent never stopped smiling.
Vincent’s Chinese name is Ling Hon.