By Elora West
The bride and groom wore matching black sweatshirts in a unique wedding ceremony between two Sea Shepherd Conservation Society members at Brackett’s Landing in Edmonds Friday. Ben Carter and Lindsey Sweet traveled to Edmonds for an intimate wedding ceremony in the company of Sweet’s 94-year-old grandmother, Dorothy.
“We wanted to combine our passion (for the ocean) and conservation, with our passion for each other,” said the beaming groom.
Carter and Sweet, both Sea Shepherd Conservation Society supporters, had been watching “Whale Wars,” an Animal Planet TV show that documents the Sea Shepherd’s fight to end whaling in the Southern Ocean. They were captivated by the marriage that Society founder Paul Watson performed during the show for a couple on an iceberg near Antarctica.
The couple called the Sea Shepherd international office in Friday Harbor asking if one of their captains would be interested in marrying them. Unfortunately, no Sea Shepherd Captains were available, but it was noted that Edmonds resident Scott West, Sea Shepherd’s criminal investigator, is authorized in Washington state to perform weddings.
The couple created their own ceremony, with West officiating on the promenade at Brackett’s Landing. The 10-minute ceremony included an exchange of vows, rings and an offering of water made to the Sound — symbolizing their connections to the sea.
“…I am excited to begin this next journey of our lives together, and I just really want to thank you for always accepting who I am, without question… I love you,” Carter said.
“Ben, I love laughing with you and playing jokes with you… you are confident, intelligent, considerate… I just love you. I am honored you chose to spend your life with me,” Sweet said.
The couple offered water to each other, explaining that we are mostly made up of water. After both took a sip, they poured the remaining water into the sound, so it will always be there flowing from Edmonds to Canada.
Sweet was delighted that the ceremony could be performed in Edmonds since her grandmother, Dorothy, lives nearby in Shoreline. “I really wanted her to be a part of this… she is the only grandmother I have left,” Sweet said.
After the ceremony, the wedding party gathered for a lunch reception at Chanterelle Restaurant in downtown Edmonds, where the marriage license was signed and the newly married couple offered a $1,000 donation to Sea Shepherd. As their impromptu wedding cake, the couple shared a slice of cake after lunch, and the restaurant provided them with champagne.
“It was a very nice ceremony,” Dorothy declared while signing the witness line on Ben and Lindsey’s wedding license.
The couple will be traveling to Mexico this December, and then elsewhere to see family for the holidays. “This ceremony set the perfect tone for our relationship,” Sweet said.