After seven years of photographing weddings in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, I’ve had the chance to capture celebrations in nearly any setting you can think of. From intimate backyard elopements to epic ballroom celebrations, I’ve seen it all, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
Many of my couples come to me with a venue already booked for their wedding day, but I’m guessing some of you lovely people who explore my blog have not – so I wanted to take a bit of time to share what I’ve learned about Seattle area wedding venues, the importance of setting, and how your venue affects your wedding photography.
I want to add a small disclaimer here that my perspective on wedding venues as a photographer is limited to what I experience on the wedding day and the feedback I hear while working with my clients. You’ll want to do your own research, and cover all your bases reading reviews, touring venues in person, asking questions about pricing, amenities, and other details with any of the venues I mention in this post.
Setting the Tone
One of my wedding mantras is “when the day is right, the photographs follow.” The lovely reality is that if you focus on planning a wedding day that looks and feels incredible to you, then your wedding photographs will follow. Setting the tone for all that ambiance is your venue. Choosing a venue that just feels right is one of the easiest foundational ways to plan a wedding you love.
My recommendation: begin note of the kinds of venues featured in photographs and weddings you love – the lighting, the colors of the space, the feeling of the surroundings. If you’re considering outdoor venues, the direction and intensity of sunlight plays a big role in the ambiance of the day (will the sun be in your eyes during the ceremony? Will there be harsh shadows?), and when considering indoor venues, the amount of light and often the color of the walls plays a large role in creating the look and feel of the day. While all skilled photographers can supplement with additional light sources – I don’t recommend choosing a venue where you feel like you have to “fight” the vibe set by the space. You are looking for a vibe your already love, and then you get to build on top of that base to create a wedding you adore.
If you’re drawn to my work – we likely love the same kinds of settings. I’m partial to lots of soft, sometimes glowing light, and warm natural colors. This generally leads me to outdoor wedding venues, which make up the bulk of my bookings. But there are some incredible indoor spaces in Seattle as well that have incredible, uplifting light. Below you can browse a curated list of my favorite venues in Seattle and the surrounding area – let’s dive in:
After eyeing this beautiful property near Tacoma for years, I was lucky enough to photograph two beautiful weddings here in 2019. If you’re looking for a slice of Europe, there’s really nothing like it in the area. Ten acres of carefully maintained grounds and gardens offer nearly endless backdrops for photography without leaving the venue. For a spring, summer, or fall Seattle wedding, Lakewold Gardens makes for a stunningly classic, old-world setting.
Lakewold Gardens on the Journal: Modern Classic – An Early Summer Wedding at Lakewold Gardens
The Admiral’s House
Tucked against the hillside of Magnolia – The Admiral’s House is a hidden gem with an iconic view of the Seattle skyline. A classic white manor-style building serves as the anchor for the venue, which is a perfect fit for refined, neutral color schemes. Every time I get to shoot here I enjoy it even more.
The Admiral’s House on the Journal: A Fresh Green and White Wedding at The Admiral’s House
The Rainier Club
There aren’t many indoor venues in Seattle that feel this fresh. Truly in the middle of the city, it’s easily accessible if your guests are traveling from out of town, and the classic ceremony space is full of natural light.
The Rainier Club on the Journal: An Elegant Summer Wedding at The Rainier Club
The Edgewater House
Located just north of Gig Harbor, The Edgewater House is a unique, secluded waterfront property. Surrounded by forest and soft grasses, it feels like you’ve snuck away with your friends and family for an intimate weekend retreat – even if your guest count is 200+. The after sunset light lingers well into the evening here, resulting in soft, incredibly romantic photos.
The Edgewater House on the Journal: A European-Inspired Wedding Editorial at The Edgewater House
Chateau Lil (formerly named Delille Cellars Chateau brings a little touch of Napa to the Pacific Northwest. One of my favorite things about the property is just how much variety you can find, both for the ceremony and reception sites and for portrait backdrops – there are so many spaces and angles, all so lovely.
Chateau Lil on the Journal: A Colorful Winery Wedding at Chateau Lil
SODO Park, aptly named for it’s SODO location is another lovely indoor option. It leans a little industrial but can easily be softened with white draping – and has lovely flatter natural light from frosted skylight windows surrounding the ceremony space.
SODO Park on the Journal: A Jewel-Toned Autumn Wedding in Seattle at SODO Park
The Corson Building
An intimate slice of Europe copy-pasted into the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle. It’s a cozy space, limited to 80 guests – but if your guest count is within that range, it has an atmosphere that truly can’t be found anywhere else.
A taste of The Corson Building: Behind the Scenes at a Romantic Corson Building Wedding shot for Botanique Floral
The Lodges on Vashon
Unique, modern, and set against the loveliest forest backdrop – The Lodges on Vashon are the perfect semi-destination destination for a wonderful weekend wedding. I love the juxtaposition of clean lines (that fireplace!) and soft lush green.
An effortless, intimate outdoor wedding venue in Woodinville – so simple, so lovely (the fragrance! the sunset!). Add a sailcloth tent and you have the perfect summer evening spot for an effortless alfresco wedding.
Olympic Rooftop Pavillion
Intimate, urban, minimal, and full of light (floor to ceiling glass!) – the Olympic Rooftop Pavillion at Hotel Ballard is another gem. The sunset here during a reception or cocktail here in unreal – glowing, warm light spilling through the space.
The Olympic Rooftop Pavillion on the Journal: A Modern, Art-Inspired Wedding at Hotel Ballard
Anna Peters is an award-winning SEATTLE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER, specializing in artful, honest imagery for life’s most important memories. Since 2014 she has been documenting weddings, portraits and lifestyle imagery – exploring the Pacific Northwest with her clients and traveling worldwide for destination + travel work. With an eye for simplicity and movement, Anna’s images are defined by a sense of natural ease, elegance, and poetry. For more information, and to inquire about working with Anna for your wedding day or portrait session, please get in touch HERE.