Doug & Mike get married at the Georgetown Ballroom
On Sunday September 4, Mike Samples and Doug Lyons were married at the Georgetown Ballroom in Seattle. Doug and Mike are both huge sports fans, and also pretty decent athletes. They met while playing in the Gay Softball World Series (different teams), and what started as a friendship and competition on the field grew into love, culminating in their marriage on this special day. I had worked with Doug and Mike fairly recently on their engagement photos, and after spending some time taking photos of the two of them I was sure that this wedding was going to be something special. And I wasn’t disappointed!
The day began when I met up with Doug and Mike shortly after they arrived at the venue. They had already mostly gotten dressed, and were making sure that things were being set up as they wanted, while also greeting early arriving family and friends. Once they had made sure everything was being organized as they had planned, we grabbed the two best men (Doug’s Best Man – Daryl Kreun, Mike’s Best Man – Dave Denny) and headed out onto the street to take some photos. We had fun with some of the local scenery (see photos below) and then moved back into the venue to locate Doug and Mike’s family members for more photos. In addition to the two best men and flower girl Lauren Denny, the final members of the wedding party were Doug and Mike’s two “fur babies”, Rèmy and Sapphie, who of course needed to be prominent in a number of photos too!
The wedding ceremony
The ceremony was held outdoors, in an open space immediately behind the venue. Nice sunny day, and it was just late enough that the sun had dropped below the roofline on the next building so the guests were all in the shade. The ceremony began pretty much on schedule at 5:30, which is a bit unusual; weddings almost ALWAYS start late due to late arriving guests! I don’t know if it was just this particular group of people, or that it was a Labor Day weekend wedding, but pretty much everyone was in their seats and ready to go early.
The ceremony went pretty much flawlessly, except for a few necessary pauses as planes flew overhead either approaching or leaving nearby Boeing Field. One of the highlights of the ceremony (for me, at least) was their modified Wedding Box ceremony. Instead of the traditional bottle of wine in the box, Doug and Mike had substituted a bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon, something of which they are apparently both very fond! The two dogs behaved perfectly throughout the ceremony, after apparently deciding the whole thing was pretty boring and choosing to sleep through most of it. Officiant Jan Smillie did a fantastic job with the ceremony, and Mike and Doug only slowed the proceedings a couple of times when they couldn’t control their laughter. Everything went smoothly, and we soon had a newly married couple to celebrate!
Let’s get this party started!
Once the ceremony had concluded, no time was lost in starting the celebration. The bar was opened (and promptly swamped) and Ballroom staff members made the rounds with tasty appetizers. The venue was perfect for this crowd, and the nice weather meant that people could drift in and out of the building as they chose throughout the evening.
The dinner service was also wonderful, with several different food stations offering different meals, including waffles with chicken, a pasta bar and a “food truck” serving made to order street tacos. Definitely my kind of food, and clearly my opinion was shared by the guests as all of the food stations were very busy.
Once the dancing began, Mike and Doug put on quite a show with their first. They had clearly been practicing, and also are clearly pretty good dancers to begin with (especially Doug). Being good athletes certainly doesn’t hurt! The guests hit the floor right after Doug and Mike finished their first dance, and this may well have been the best dancing crowd that I have seen in the 1200+ weddings that I have photographed over the past 30+ years as a wedding photographer. I believe that Doug and Mike had put together a playlist for the evening, and if that is the case they did a great job. The dancing was non-stop until it was finally time for the party to end and for everyone to go home. All I can say is that it was one HELL of a party!