Seattle Wedding Venues?!!!
April 23, 2015 5:31 PM   Subscribe

My fiancee and I (very recently engaged!) are trying to plan a wedding in Seattle for this September (2015) - it's starting to feel a bit short notice, and while we've gotten some great tips and are exploring some fun looking venues, we don't live near Seattle. At the moment, we're really focused on finding a venue. I'd greatly appreciate any tips or thoughts people have! A few more details regarding what we're looking for are inside.

We anticipate having about 100-125 people at the wedding, and would like an interesting/fun venue that could handle both the ceremony and the reception and provide enough room for everyone to sit and eat (though we plan to do a buffet), and then for music and dancing as well.

The venue doesn't have to be in Seattle proper - my fiancee's family actually lives closer to Redmond - so anything in the vicinity of Seattle is likely fine.

I realize this may not be a lot to go on - and that many venues recommended may already be booked - but any advice would be greatly appreciated!

P.S. - Any other tips or advice or recommendations for Seattle weddings and wedding vendors would also be greatly appreciated. We're just focused on venues in particular at the moment and would love some tips.
posted by traveltheworld to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: And just one followup - we don't have a very good conception of what our budget is yet, but I think we'd like something on the nicer side but not at the top-end. Not sure what that should or does cost! Quirky is fine, and we can be flexible on almost everything except the number of guests. With that I'm done.
posted by traveltheworld at 5:36 PM on April 23, 2015

Washington Park Arboretum?
posted by halogen at 6:04 PM on April 23, 2015

When I was planning my wedding in Seattle a few years back, I picked up whatever the local Seattle wedding magazine was and in the back it had a long list of venues with occupancy, address, and website. I found it very very helpful for narrowing down venues instead of the endless googling. So maybe take a look next time you are at the grocery store. (We did it at Ray's Boathouse private dining room, which worked out perfectly, but the max was 75, I think ...)
posted by stowaway at 6:04 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

On preview, nail down your budget first. King County venues are expensive.
posted by stowaway at 6:06 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]

How close to Seattle do you need to be?

The North Cascades Institute, near Newhalem WA, in the heart of the North Cascades is a superb venue. NCI is a not for profit institution, and seeks to inspire closer relationships with nature through direct experiences in the natural world. Its mission is to conserve and restore Northwest environments through education. It operates in partnership with the City of Seattle and National Parks.

The buildings are beautiful, the centre is located on spectacular Diablo Lake and flanked by glaciers, and provides comfortable guest accommodations.

So depending on when in September you are thinking of getting married, it might be possible to hold your wedding at NCI. Here is their wedding page.
posted by seawallrunner at 6:23 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Center for Urban Horticulture did well for our 120-odd person wedding with a reception, music, and dancing. The staff was a pleasure to deal with, the gardens were lovely, the price was good, and the catering rules were eminently reasonable. I don't think we even had to rent chairs.

Note that the CUH is a University of Washington facility, so there are a few sponsorship hoops to jump through.
posted by sculpin at 6:40 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Last summer I went to weddings at two venues that were both very nice and were about the right size:

- Mt Baker Community Club

- Daybreak Star Cultural Center

Both couples used the venues for both the reception and the ceremony. The latter was especially nice because the center is in a huge beautiful park and the couple did an outdoor wedding on a bluff overlooking Elliot Bay and the Olympics. It's stunning.

I don't know how much either place costs but neither couple is wealthy.
posted by lunasol at 6:46 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

We got married at the Burke Museum (also a UW facility, but I don't think you have to be UW affiliated). The folks there were great, and pulled off a traditional reception with buffet, music, and dancing for 75 with lots of room to spare. It was some years ago but I recall the fee being extremely reasonable.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 6:47 PM on April 23, 2015

If a little north is OK, you might look at the Everett Country Club.
posted by sapere aude at 7:50 PM on April 23, 2015

I highly recommend Argosy Cruises.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:55 PM on April 23, 2015

We got married at The Century Ballroom in Capitol Hill, based, as I recall, on a recommendation from Metafilter.
posted by eruonna at 9:32 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

My sister and her wife had a truly lovely wedding last September with 100 guests, on the MV Skansonia, a vintage ferry docked on Lake Union. It was a beautiful venue.
posted by dacoit at 10:20 PM on April 23, 2015

I went to a great wedding (ceremony and reception) on the M/V Skansonia, a retired ferry moored on Lake Union (northlake, between Gasworks Park and the University Bridge) with a fantastic view of downtown across the lake. I went on July 4th, which also meant fireworks, but any clear night would be awesome. Not sure of their capacity, though, but based on the wedding I attended, it seems likely it could fit your guest list.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:21 PM on April 23, 2015

We are getting married next week (!!) and while our wedding is a bit smaller than yours (75), I can recommend a few places based on venues we checked out. We are actually doing our ceremony in a different location than our ceremony, but all three of these places could handle both ceremony and reception:

1) Our reception venue - Within Sodo. Location is in sort of a "grittier" part of town (down near the stadiums, just a few minutes driving from downtown) but it's a super cool space with multiple rooms arranged so you can rent them all or just a couple (with your numbers you'd probably want all three rooms as well as the rooftop lounge). You can use any catering company you want AND as a HUGE bonus, you can provide your own alcohol (a lot of the venues make you go through the caterer for beer/wine, too). You do need to pay the caterer or someone else to actually serve the liquor, but you'll still save some. Super easy to work with and definitely worth checking out.

2) In Fremont, check out The Foundry. They also had a really cool outdoor space and rooftop, but I think they were stricter about specifying which catering companies you could use.

3) Over in Greenlake, check out Urban Light Studios. The space has a ton of character built in with the decorations and style (rather than the more raw/maleable feel of the other two), but also very cool and full of quirky details. We liked this spot a lot and might have gone with them if not for other logistical challenges around getting our guests from our ceremony location during a high-traffic time.

I have also heard great things about the Argosy, but I can guarantee these three spots are cool and Within Sodo in particular has been just awesome to work with. Congratulations!
posted by DuckGirl at 12:05 AM on April 24, 2015

The Edmonds Plaza Room is on top of the Edmonds Library. There is indoor space and outdoor space. The outdoor space is very nice and you have awesome views of the water and the ferry (most photos online don't do it justice). The indoor space isn't super special but it is really useful to have it. It is pretty inexpensive, and as far as I know doesn't have any restrictions on vendors.
posted by pie_seven at 6:09 AM on April 24, 2015

The Georgetown Ballroom might be good. It's the right size, can accommodate a ceremony and reception, has a funky, cool vibe in an interesting part of town. We did our reception there, had a live band and dancing, and people still rave about it.
posted by bepe at 9:28 AM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you all so much for the suggestions and please keep them coming! Because of the timing, some of these are already booked - but we've had a lot of fun looking through everything regardless and some are real possibilities we're still exploring.
posted by traveltheworld at 10:00 AM on April 24, 2015

Court in the Square is an enclosed building alley in Pioneer Square, 401 2nd Ave S. It's wide as alleys go in general and bounded on either side by two nicely kept building exteriors. Very pleasant. I can't seem to find their website, though, but here's a Facebook page.

For this or any other event by the stadia or SoDo in general, know this: The Seahawks are home on Thursday the 3rd (preseason) and Sunday the 27th; the Sounders' only Home game in September is on Saturday the 5th. The Mariners are home from the 7th to the 16th nightly, and then again from the 28th to the 30th (and onward). If the timing works, an M's game might also be a good outing for the wedding party or the bride's and groom's respective pre-wedding parties-- package deals can be pretty affordable. Safeco with the roof open is a really beautiful place to watch a baseball game.

If the stadium is in use for your wedding day and you're nearby, you'll probably want to arrange parking, such as with a private lot, and advise guests to be ready for traffic. If not, it's entirely possible that stadium parking is an option; I don't know how that works.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:19 AM on April 24, 2015

You can also get married at the Woodland Park Zoo!
posted by DuckGirl at 12:08 PM on April 24, 2015

Links to Seattle wedding planning mags, since you are planning from out of town:

Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom

Seattle Bride

Congratulations and have fun!!! September is a beautiful month to get married in Seattle. Even though our wedding day was the rainiest September day in Seattle recorded history, it was still wonderful.
posted by Pearl928 at 12:56 PM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

I got married at Palace Ballroom, which is the Tom Douglas catering facility. The food was great, the location is right downtown next to Palace Kitchen, and the food comes via underground tunnel from there. Everyone we worked with was professional and helpful. They have a full bar with real liquor and great bartenders.
posted by jeffamaphone at 1:39 PM on April 24, 2015

I have never been there (only driven past), but the Lavender Farm in Woodinville (very convenient to Redmond) has a good reputation and can accommodate a wedding.
posted by jeffbarr at 1:41 PM on April 24, 2015

I went to a nondenominational winter holiday celebration event at the Mountaineers Program Lodge in Seattle. Beautiful new building, near the water, gorgeous rooms and facilities. And if your wedding preparations have you climbing the walls, well they have an outdoors rock wall as well.
posted by seawallrunner at 3:49 PM on April 24, 2015

Have you considered one of the many wineries in Woodinville that host weddings?
posted by crazycanuck at 7:12 PM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

I often see weddings in Saint Edward State Park. I haven't been to a wedding there myself, but it's a lovely place.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:07 AM on April 27, 2015

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