Seattle has become a destination wedding hub, this plus the explosion of growth has created so many wonderful, eclectic choices in wedding venues. I’ve been lucky enough to work at many of them, both the well known and some gems off the beaten path, this list of ten best Seattle wedding venues really should be twenty, thirty, fifty as there are so many incredible venues, I’ll be doing a ten best post for outdoor, farm style venues coming soon.
1. SODO PARK
Have worked here probably more than any other venue over the years, the team at Herban Feast is the best anywhere, the food is consistently amazing. Originally a factory in the 1900’s, it’s high ceilings and windows galore create a warm energy perfect for events.
My personal favorite venue in all of the Puget Sound, Fireseed checks all the boxes if you’re itching to get out of Seattle, want to be close to nature yet have a full service wedding, Dave and Dawn are Michelin rated chefs from Chicago, visiting Whidbey Island on vacation, they were so taken by the Island’s beauty, easy culture, they decided to close their high end restaurant, move to Whidbey Island, find some land and trust it would all work, quintessential entrepreneur’s, risking everything to follow their hearts. Giant Douglass Fir, Hemlock, Maples greet you, the ample, yet intimate lawn area sports an expansive view of the valley and small lake below, raised wood paths have been built to explore the lakeshore below. An Eagle nesting tree is nearby the ceremony lawn, I’ve watched guests from out state stunned to experience Eagles so close, a true blessing from mother nature. Beautiful garden paths meander around the ceremony lawn, the explosion of wild flowers is truly breathtaking. If you grow your own food, you’ll really appreciate the large garden that supplies most of Fireseed’s culinary needs. Where Firessed really shines is how it’s run, Dawn does all of the coordination, saving you money from having to hire a full service planner, Dave oversee’s the busy kitchen, churning out the freshest, most amazing food I’ve ever had at any wedding venue or even stand alone restaurant, an incredible achievement to do on the scale they work with yet Dave and Dawn are so chill and relaxed! I wish I could work at Fireseed more often!
Fremont Foundry is the new kid on the block, I’ve never witnessed a wedding venue catch fire in popularity so quickly, it’s location, in the heart of the hugely popular, eclectic Fremont neighborhood a definite plus, location is everything. The multi-level facility touts a cavernous main room of cold concrete backing, ringed by a second story metal walkway, stair combination that really opens the room up, where the facility really separates it from other venues is the sprawling rooftop, with stunning views of Fremont, Lake Union, combined with an intimate, inviting courtyard to make the Fremont Foundry a versatile, mixed-use facility with a surprising amount of space although, with only one tight stairwell for three floors, it can get chaotic.
Speaking of views, The Admirals House is in a class alone, built for the Navy Admiral of the Northwest Pacific Fleet during WW2, it’s simple elegance, well cared for gardens, away from urban hustle and bustle make it a favorite for outdoor weddings, the view is a postcard of Seattle waterfront, downtown and Mt Rainer beckoning you. Be prepared for the blasts of Cruise ship horns as they depart the nearby terminal, which seem to happen always during the ceremony’s, as seen below, I love it!
The former beloved Elliot Bay Book Store, AXIS is better suited for weddings under 150 or so guests, it’s high ceilings, literary decor, paying homage to it’s past and exposed brick breath a warm, relaxed ambiance in stark contrast to the sometimes chaotic neighborhood. Pioneer Square becomes the backdrop for video/photo time, the eclectic edge of downtown always present, this tends to draw couples who are relaxed, comfortable with urban contrasts and revel in the rich history of Pioneer Square, the always present spirits of history wishing them well.
5. The Foundry
Run by the stellar folks of Herban Feast, The Foundry has its own distinct personality from its big brother SODO Park. Sleek, modern but without the industrial concrete asthetic of newer urban venues around Seattle, the Foundry has a warm inviting feel with generous helpings of wood beams and supports, a stunning yet quizical art piece of water dripping from the ceiling over rocks smack in the middle of a concrete floor give the facility a surprisingly close to nature feel that’s reassuring and soothing after ten hours indoors. The large, cocktail friendly outside patio, gives the space depth and options, tucked far enough away from crowded downtown life, the Foundry is a great option for weddings of all sizes.
6. Kiana Lodge
On the west end, awaits popular Kiana Lodge, run by Suquamish Tribe, the Lodge was built in the 1930’s, has a long colorful history, for hardcore Twin Peak fans, the iconic huge log permanently beached in front of the Lodge is known as ‘Laura’s Log’, many scenes from the original Twin Peaks pilot was shot at the Lodge, in the crowded Seattle area wedding venue market, Kiana Lodge is absolutely unique, there’s nothing else like it, the property itself is stunning, the buildings are nestled amongst old growth Dog Fir, meandering pathways, multiple totem pole carvings, a lush pond, a garden bursting with flowers, Eagles are always present in the tree’s above, seals, otters, a private deepwater dock, it’s really incredible how much variety there is, your deep connection to nature is always present, replete with the logs sourced nearby that the Lodge is built from. The mid-tier pricing makes Kiana Lodge the best bang for your buck anywhere, even if you factor in travel, lodging. Also, the nearby revamped Clearwater Casino is taylormade for bachelor(ette) parties and White Horse Golf Club, one of my favorite course’s in the PNW further cement Kiana Lodge as a fantastic destination wedding venue.
I wish I could work in the Corson building more, hint, hint! the minute you walk through the gate, into the lush gardens, you feel transported to any European country from a different era, I wouldn’t even call it a Georgetown venue as it’s so locked into its own time portal, maybe it’s the food too, amongst the very best anywhere, not just in Seattle, anywhere, combined with the greenery, casual sitting area’s, you want to just relax and truly appreciate, enjoy your family, friends who’ve come to celebrate your love. Did I mention it’s on the small side? Maybe 80 guests tops.
From small and intimate to the largest venue in the state, your wedding guest count should be over 200 or else you’ll get swallowed up by it cavernous ceilings, speaking of those ceilings, they’re beautiful, one the finest examples of 1900’s train station architecture on the west coast, thank Paul Allen for it’s restoration. If you have the money and modern venues with their cold concrete facades and straight lines don’t speak to you, the Great Hall is the king of old Seattle grandeur.
Much more than an art lover’s dream venue, The Olympic Sculpture Park has surprising depths and strengths, it’s a great choice for couples desiring an expansive outdoor wedding in downtown Seattle, your only other choices for downtown outdoors are patios attached to Hotels or some building rooftop, not only are you on solid ground but the tree’s planted years ago have matured, giving much needed privacy from the ample foot traffic on two sides. I honestly don’t enjoy taking couples for a walk around downtown anymore, it’s become just too dodgy, the exception is the Sculpture Park, in fact, the park has become a go to for photo/video shooting after first look for most downtown hotel weddings, it’s sheer variety of great locations with either sculpture backdrops, incredible views of the Puget Sound, hidden woods, shady lanes and a bona fide wild beach feels worlds away from the edginess of downtown. For reception’s, the tall glass design facing the park, Elliot Bay cements it’s unique character as my favorite downtown Seattle venue.
Built in the 1916, it was a fraternal men’s club for businessmen with Gold Rush or Alaska connections, those who became wealthy during the Klondike Gold Rush, which essentially built Seattle, what’s funny is the club in it’s redesign a few years ago, gives the impression this was a meeting place for dashing, risk taking world explorer’s, nice branding but no, the club was probably a competitor to the Rainer Club up the street, of Seattle wealthy elite who never spent a day freezing, starving, panning for gold in Alaska, hoping against hope to strike it rich, they were largely the merchants who made their wealth in supplies, picks, shovels, tent’s, jeans and yes, prostitution, I get the feeling they formed the club to counter the Rainer Club up, these men might have been more self made, from more humble families who took a risk, poured all their savings into opening stores to supply the gold rush where the Rainer Club was made up of men from elite east coast money, the Yesler’s, the railroad, timber barons who wanted only their own kind, born from privilage, allowed into the club, not these upstarts from lower classes, just a hunch