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City Hall transformed to wedding chapel

On Sunday, Dec. 9, 140 same-sex couples will wed in City Hall on the first day they are eligible to do so.

Seattle artist and designer Jennifer Zeyl is transforming City Hall for the event.

Award winning set designer Jennifer Zeyl stands in her temporary work space listening to Macklemore, preparing herself for the work ahead. Standing over the newly mixed silver pearl paint, Jennifer reminisces about the night she was asked to create the installation. It was for more than business reasons. Jennifer knows 25% of the couples getting married, many close friend and colleagues. For her, it’s personal.  All five podiums were fabricated within five days. Even the test stroke of silver paint glistens in the light, exemplifying joy. After mixing the paint twice more the finishing touches begin.

There are several components to the temporary art installment for Seattle City Hall, all designed by Jennifer. Hand-cut paper designs have been created by Celeste Cooning to hang over each podium. Platforms have been built at ACT theatre by Steve Coulter. Bouquet flowers standing three feet tall are scheduled for pick-up. This is no ordinary event. This is long awaited, hard fought for and symbolizes unity within a city long overdue.  Spectacle is limited and is replaced by dignity, unity and pure love. “They don’t need confetti canons; they have waited years, and some, decades for this. We’re going for beauty,” says Jennifer. 

Beauty is exactly what those 140 couples will see as they step into Seattle’s City Hall on Sunday, Dec. 9. Each altar has its own unique location, all of which exude a solemn and private beauty. “Making scenery delights others and delights me,” says Jennifer with a smile. This environment is created for them.

Please note that due to activities on Sunday, City Hall will only be accessible to those who are invited members of wedding parties. The community will be celebrating this historic day on City Hall Plaza, on 4th Avenue, where we encourage you to cheer and congratulate each couple as they exit the building. Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Please join us on 4th Avenue at any point during the ceremonies to help make this an extra special moment. Some of Jennifer’s creations will remain on view the week following Sunday’s events. We invite you to come down and see her creations.