A boat wedding on Lake Washington in Seattle

Updated Apr 14 2020
Guest post by Tom Ellis
Photos by Tom Ellis Photography

This was one of my favorite weddings of the entire summer, but at the start of the day I had some serious concerns about just how things might happen.  The wedding ceremony and reception were to be held in an Argosy Cruises boat on Lake Washington near Seattle, and the forecast was NOT looking good.

When I was getting ready to go meet with Andrew and Keith for some pre-wedding photos at the Arboretum the weather was awful, with hard rain and winds of 15-20 MPH.  I was really worried that this would not only pretty much kill our pre-wedding session, but would also have a real impact on the cruise since if it was too rainy/windy it would not be possible to have the ceremony on the deck of the boat, and it would be very tight quarters if done inside the boat's cabin.

Photos at the Washington Park Arboretum

By the time I reached the Arboretum, it was like someone had flipped a switch; the rain had completely stopped and the wind was just a light breeze. I met up with Keith and Andrew as well as family members Mindy and Roberta and friend/best man Pedro at the Visitor Center and we headed out into the park.  We had several umbrellas with us just in case the weather decided to do another quick change.

The first thing that struck me as we began taking photos was how happy Andrew and Keith were. They were constantly smiling and laughing, and really getting into the whole photo process. I have to tell you that it is a LOT easier to take photos when everyone is so relaxed; often the couple is so nervous that it takes a while to get everyone loosened up for the photos.  Not the case with this group!

Wedding Ceremony on the Lady Mary

The captain moved the Lady Mary into the middle of Lake Union and oriented the boat to try to minimize the effect of the wind, and the wedding ceremony commenced.  When it came time to exchange rings things got interesting.  Keith placed Andrew's ring onto his finger without any difficulty, but when Andrew tried to get Keith's ring onto his ring finger it did not want to fit.  Andrew's solution was one that I have never seen before – he pulled Keith's hand to his mouth and licked Keith's ring finger!  LOL!  The extra lubrication worked, and soon Keith's ring was properly situated.

With the problem solved the ceremony proceeded and soon Andrew and Keith were declared to be a married couple.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the boat started through the ship canal to Lake Washington while the newlywed couple greeted all of their guests and accepted congratulations.

The Wedding Reception

As the boat made its way through the canal everyone moved to the lower cabin, and once everyone had a chance to grab a drink Keith and Andrew made speeches thanking everyone for coming.  Appetizers were served and everyone got down to the business of eating, drinking and partying.

At this time during a typical wedding reception I generally try to become as inconspicuous as possible, but because I know the ship canal very well I grabbed the newlyweds and brought them to the bow of the boat so we could get some photos as we passed under the Montlake Bridge and moved onto Lake Washington. With this accomplished I then tried to go into "observer mode" and worked on getting photos of as many of the guests as possible as they enjoyed the cruise.

I have been on many of these cruises and they generally follow the same route around the lake, so I had a good idea where we were going and where I would want to work on getting some posed photos of Andrew and Keith.

Dinner was served and everyone who had been anywhere other than the main cabin soon came inside to get some food. Fantastic dinner!

At the conclusion of dinner, most of the crowd moved back to the upper deck, where the DJ was getting ready to open the dance floor.  Guests were moving in and out of the cabin on the upper deck to enjoy the evening and the views as the boat continued around the lake.

The party continued all the way back through the ship canal, into Lake Union and finally back to the Argosy pier.  It was a wonderful wedding, and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

 

Venue: Argosy Cruises

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