By Kathy Schultz
Lifting the Veil
Kevin and Christina Hanson shared their first dance as husband and wife in the warm glow of the WAC’s Crystal Ballroom. As countless drops of light hovered overhead, Christina couldn’t help but smile as she and Kevin slow-danced to Ben Harper’s “Beloved One.”
“One of my first memories of the WAC was going to the father-daughter dance when I was young,” Christina recalled a few months following her wedding this past August. Twenty years later, she shared the same dance floor with her husband. And right after that, once again with her dad.
For Christina and Kevin, the WAC was the only suitable wedding venue. Increasingly, more brides and grooms are reaching the same conclusion. When it comes to tradition and elegance, few locations in Seattle can match the Club. When the amber glow of streetlights fills the ballroom windows and the Czechoslovakian crystals shine from above, you can’t help but fall in love all over again.
Many couples have discovered—or rediscovered—the urbane ambiance of the WAC, a historic jewel that provides a sense of romance and history. Hal Calbom, Christina’s father, is a 30-plus-year member of the Club. He couldn’t have been happier with his daughter and son-in-law’s choice of wedding venue.
“We’re all downtown Seattle people,” he says. “We work downtown and celebrate downtown. The sophistication of the Club—and the fact it’s in the heart of the city—made it the perfect place.”
For Hal, his daughter’s wedding also offered a completely new way to experience the WAC. “I’ve walked in and out of the lobby and up to the locker rooms for years,” he says. To stay at the Inn and celebrate a momentous family occasion was absolutely enjoyable, he says.
A huge draw of the Club is its all-in-one solution to venue, catering, lodging, photo opportunities and, well, you get the idea.
“The WAC is a dream logistically,” says Director of Catering Sales Ashley Reynolds.
Multiple facilities and spaces cater to every facet of a wedding weekend, from rehearsal dinner to post-wedding brunch. Recently renovated rooms and suites within the Inn at the WAC offer in-city style. The Top of the WAC delivers an intimate space and stunning views of the skyline and Puget Sound. Photo ops abound both inside and out.
“Having everything in one place made the entire day much less stressful,” says Inge Kaiser, who shared her nuptials with husband Trevor Kaiser at the Club. The night before the wedding, Inge entertained her bridal party in the lavish President’s Suite.
“Having the wedding at the WAC was fabulous, tremendous, wonderful—all the superlatives describe it,” says Inge’s father, Bill Krippaehne, another 30-plus-year member. “The challenges of moving 200 guests from ceremony to reception were instantly solved.”
Not only that, but the family also had many out-of-town guests stay at the Inn.
Couples typically exchange vows in the Noble Room, a space without airs, anchored by a large front alcove and traced by simple molding. The room offers each couple a chance to add their own touches to the place where they’ll promise each other forever.
Upstairs, the Crystal Ballroom and its three grand chandeliers illuminate an elegant atmosphere where post-vow parties last into the night. In the dimmed light of an evening affair, the ballroom evokes a sophisticated ambiance where brides and grooms flatter the crowd. Here, couples find contemporary class as well as ageless grace.
Patrick and Alexandra Sweeney married at the WAC this past November. Pictures from the day show striking hues of eggplant purple, sapphire blue and emerald green against a backdrop of the WAC and city skyline.
“The day went so fast, it was amazingly perfect. We want to do it all over again,” says Patrick, whose mother, Victoria Sweeney, has been a Club member since 1995. “It’s such a beautiful venue.”
“The WAC was phenomenal,” added Victoria. “They went above and beyond to make Patrick’s wedding exactly what we wanted. We’ve had several weddings in our family, and we could not have asked for better personal support and attention to detail than what the WAC provided. It was truly an unforgettable wedding.”
WAC Catering assists couples with their wedding plans, collaborating with coordinators and planners, florists, photographers, and others to ensure everything is perfect.
“The personal care was just fantastic,” says Bill Krippaehne. “I see most of these people every day, but it was a different dimension to share this special occasion in the same atmosphere.”
Kevin & Christina
August 27, 2011
Kevin and Christina Hanson began their wedding day on the balcony of the Elliott Bay Suite. From the west-facing terrace, they took in a vista of skyscrapers and Puget Sound.
“There was this sense of being in the midst of downtown Seattle with people everywhere, but it felt like [it was] just the two of us,” says Christina. “It was incredibly romantic.”
The balcony was also where Christina’s bridesmaids surprised her with lunch a few hours before the ceremony.
“Those few moments to laugh, cry and share memories were priceless,” she recalls.
Later that day, Christina and Kevin exchanged vows in the Noble Room, transformed into a candlelit paradise.
During the reception in the Crystal Ballroom, the dance floor filled. Everyone from Christina’s 10-year-old cousin to her 93-year-old grandfather showed off their moves. “It was magical,” Christina says.
Trevor & Inge
November 6, 2010
When Inge Kaiser, née Krippaehne, walked down the aisle in the Noble Room to meet her groom, it was “simple, elegant, candlelit, and full of warmth and love,” she recalls. Her sister, Anna-Lise, was the maid of honor, and brothers Erik and Hans were groomsmen.
Trevor’s sister, Chelsea Dunckley, sang, and Inge’s childhood music teacher played the harp.
The WAC was a natural choice for their wedding. “It’s always been a significant part of my life,” says Inge, who was born and raised in Seattle. “Getting married downtown was important to me.”
The couple incorporated meaningful elements of the bride’s Scandinavian heritage, including a traditional Norwegian wedding cake.
The spaces at the WAC captured the essence of a Seattle wedding and the emotion of the day beautifully. “I loved the decor of the WAC,” says Inge. “It made for the elegant evening I’ve always dreamed of.”