Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. – Herman Hasse
There’s something extra enchanting about a Washington wedding ceremony tucked away beneath tall pines. Forests feel charged with life, like there’s something sacred in the air – it’s a beautiful fit for wedding ceremonies. Over the years I’ve been lucky to photograph weddings in some of the most breathtaking natural venues in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest and wanted to share a few favorite elegant forest settings for a modern and romantic wedding. Whether you’re planning an intimate weekend retreat or an epic mountain soiree – the following venues tucked beneath the tall pines of Washington State are a wonderful place to start your forest wedding venue search.
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. I’ve curated the venues below with an eye for stunning wedding day imagery and the ambiance of the spaces. You’ll want to do your own research, however, and cover all your bases asking questions about rates, amenities, and other details.
Wellspring Spa and Retreat Center
Near Mt Rainier, WA | Website
Tucked away just before the entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park, this property holds one of my new favorite ceremony spaces, appropriately named “The Sanctuary.” The property is home-grown, with rustic log cabins and a clearing nestled between a greenhouse and the edge of the forest. It’s a laid-back space, but still magical. Perfect for long farm tables and a family-style reception, or a killer food truck, followed by dancing under the stars. I shot Nicole and Eli’s wedding here on a warm, late summer day and would go back in a heartbeat.
Bella Luna Farms
Snohomish | Website
Bella Luna Farms is tucked between towering evergreens and comes complete with a set of chicken and goats. It’s a property with a sense of built-in intimacy and natural elegance, perfect for a farm-to-table inspired wedding reception. My favorite way I’ve seen the farm is with a petite sailcloth tent, the perfect way to create a cozy outdoor reception space.
Whidbey Island | Website
Whidbey Island is a wonderful place to throw a “semi-destination” wedding. Guests can choose to stay the night on the island or hop on the ferry home after the party. It feels like an adventure but doesn’t require the complex logistics of planning a wedding in the San Juan Islands. I love Fireseed for the golden field of marsh-y grasses that seem set on fire at sunset and the old-growth forest it sits next to – but I love it most for the on-site garden and amazing food.
Kitsap Memorial State Park
Poulsbo, WA | Website
Kitsap State Park is a piece of absolutely beautiful forested land on the shoreline of Poulsbo. Know that as a piece of State Park land, it’s not a full-service wedding venue by any means and requires quite a bit of work and rentals to transform the space into an elegant wedding ceremony and reception. But if you have a trusted planner and vendor team on your side, the pay-off is spectacular: Jill and Forrest’s September wedding at Kitsap is the perfect example.
Whidbey Island | About 90 minutes from Seattle by Ferry | Up to 350 guests
Kiana Lodge perhaps feels a bit more like a lakeside venue, but it sits in the middle of a beautiful forest on Whidbey Island. It’s perfect for larger weddings with a lovely lodge that gets wonderful natural light – which can hold your reception and ceremony in case of rain, if necessary. The grounds are impeccably landscaped and create an exceptional guest experience. Audrey + Ben exchanged vows at Kiana Lodge and I’ll head back to this beautiful forest venue any time.