With marriage ceremonies dating into ancient history it's no wonder many people choose to have their wedding at a historic venue. Weddings are one of the few times where men and women dress up in formal attire these days.
Many brides and grooms want to tap into that past world where people spoke eloquently and dressed properly for special occasions. Weddings not only offer participants and guests an escape from today's world of reality television, long work hours, and dire news reports about global warming, they also provide us with the sense that we're not lost in this world and that the future looks bright.
For these reasons and more, deciding upon a historic venue for your wedding ceremony can be a great choice. In this article you will find 14 beautiful historic wedding venues in the Seattle area.
#1 - Thornewood Castle
Thornewood Castle was the home of Mr. Chester Thorne, one of the founders of the Port of Tacoma. The home was a gift for his bride, Anna. This history alone makes it a wonderful choice for a wedding venue in the Seattle area.
Included in the building of Thornewood was a 400-year-old Elizabethan manor from England. In 1907, the manor was purchased and dismantled brick by brick before being shipped to Tacoma. If you’re dreaming of an old-fashioned European-style wedding, Thornewood Castle is as close to an English wedding venue as one can get in Seattle.
On the estate sits a sunken English garden that was designed over 100 years ago by the Olmsted Brothers. The Olmstead brothers were famous landscape designers responsible for designing many wonderful parks and university campuses around the country.
Some of their most well-known designs are the Washington State Capitol campus, many Seattle parks, and campus designs for the University of Washington, Harvard Business School, Stanford, and Notre Dame. Their father gained fame for designing Central Park in New York City.
Address: 8601 N Thorne Ln SW, Lakewood, WA 98498
Phone: (253) 584-4393
Built: Circa 1910
Book Online: http://requests.bookingcenter.com/enquiry.phtml?site=WAYROB
#2 - Annie Wright School
Annie Wright Schools were founded by Reverend John Adams Paddock and Charles Barstow Wright. Paddock was appointed the first Missionary Bishop for the Episcopal Church in the Washington Territory in 1880 and moved to Tacoma in 1881.
Charles Wright first came to Tacoma in 1872 as part of the committee that determined the final destination for the Northern Pacific Railroad. Later on he became the spokesman for the city of Tacoma. In 1881, Wright and Paddock began discussing building a school for Tacoma and in 1884 the school was founded.
Notable alumni of Annie Wright Schools include Laverne & Shirley star Betty Garrett and Eloise Mumford, who starred in the 2015 film, 50 Shades of Grey.
#3 - The Great Hall at Union Station
The Great Hall at Union Station is a historic landmark located in Seattle's Pioneer Square. The hall was built in 1910 and includes an 11,000 square-foot ballroom. The Great Hall is absolutely gorgeous and is the perfect location for an elegant wedding.
The Union Station renovation was the winner of the 2000 National Historic Preservation Award. If you’re considering having your wedding at a historic venue in Seattle, The Great Hall at Union Station shouldn’t be overlooked.
Address: 401 South Jackson Street Seattle, WA 98107
Phone: (206) 524-4918
#4 - Robinswood House
The Robinswood House Estate is a beautiful historic wedding venue on the Eastside. The Main House was built in 1895 and has been renovated to retain its original look and feel. The original log cabin, built in 1884 also sits on the property and makes a great backdrop for wedding photos.
In addition to the estate’s formal English gardens and outdoor patios, the Robinswood House overlooks the 60-acre Robinswood Park. Bellevue doesn’t offer many options for historic venues compared to Seattle so the Robinswood House is a must see for those with their heart set on a Bellevue wedding.
Address: 2430 148th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98007
Phone: (425) 865-0795
#5 - The Odd Fellows Hall
If you've had enough of the city and an island wedding is more your thing, then The Odd Fellows Hall on Orcas Island is a sure bet for a casual wedding ceremony. Built in 1891 and located in the heart of Orcas Island, the Hall has a waterfront deck sure to provide beautiful views on your special day.
Dance into the night and wait for sunset to take some gorgeous wedding pictures. Orcas Island is a beautiful place to hold a less-formal wedding and honeymoon for those who can’t get time off work for a more distant honeymoon destination.
#6 - Arctic Club Seattle
A National Historic Registry landmark, the Arctic Club is arguably one of Seattle’s most fascinating buildings. Founded in the early 1900s, the Arctic Club was a sanctuary for those returning with newly-earned wealth from the Alaska Gold Rush.
Commissioned in 1906 the building’s floors are covered in Alaskan marble. The stunning leaded-glass ceiling and ornate chandeliers of the legendary Northern Lights Dome Room make this a truly unique historic Seattle wedding venue.
Address: 700 3rd Avenue Seattle, Washington 98104
Phone: (206) 631-8041
Contact Form: http://thearcticclubseattle.com/request-proposal/
#7 - Stimson-Green Mansion
The Stimson-Green Mansion was the home of Seattle-area lumber magnate, C.D. Stimson. Stimson’s family operated the Stimson Lumber Company, which is still in operation today. The home was commissioned in 1901 and the Stimson family lived in the home until 1914. The home was then purchased by Seattle businessman Joshua Green, the other namesake of the building.
Joshua Green was one of the founders of the LaConnor Trading and Transportation Company, which would eventually become the Washington State ferry system. Green also invested in what is now Safeco Insurance Company. He also founded the Joshua Green Corporation which continues to operate out of Seattle.
In 1986, the historic home was purchased and restored by the Stimsons’ granddaughter, Priscilla Collins. It was restored it as a venue for special events so that others could enjoy the beautiful home as her family had originally done. In 2001, the Stimson-Green Mansion was donated to the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
#8 - Smith Rooftop Tower & Chinese Room
Smith Tower is has the honor of being the oldest skyscraper in Seattle. The historic building was the tallest on the West Coast until the the Space Needle took the title in 1962.
Completed in 1914, it was funded by entrepreneur and industrialist, Lyman Smith, who unfortunately did not live to see the landmark building finished. An interesting side note, Smith Tower is one of the last skyscrapers on the West Coast to employ elevator operators.
The Chinese Room, which is available for weddings is located on the 35th floor and has a wraparound observation deck. The furniture and the hand-carved ceiling were gifts from the Empress of China, making for a truly royal wedding. Smith's own daughter had her wedding in the Chinese Room.
Included in the Chinese Room is the famous Wishing Chair. Legend says that a single woman who sits in the chair will marry within a year. The Wishing Chair is sure to be a hit among your bridesmaids.
Address: 506 Second Ave., Ste. #1021 Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 622-4004
#9 - Lakewold Gardens
The property first began in 1908 as a home site for Emma Alexander, who in 1918 transferred the property to her son Hubbard Alexander, president of the Admiral Lines, America’s largest luxury passenger steamship company.
Lakewold Gardens was named by its third owner, Major Everett Griggs, who along with his wife Grace purchased the property In 1925. In 1938 the property was sold to lumberman G. Corydon and Eulalie Wagner, who hired famed landscape architect Thomas Church.
The gardens are some of the most beautiful in Washington State and would make a lovely backdrop for an outdoor wedding.
#10 - The Rainier Club
In 1888, one year before Washington became a state, Seattle business pioneers Thomas Burke, William Peters and John Leary established The Rainier Club. While obtaining membership to the private club may prove difficult for most, it is available for weddings.
Noteworthy visitors to The Rainier Club include the great American author, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), famed Wild West performer, Buffalo Bill Cody, presidents William Howard Taft and Bill Clinton, General Douglas MacArthur, and Babe Ruth.
With its illustrious past and ties to much of Seattle’s history The Rainier Club is a truly unique, historic Seattle wedding venue.
Address: 820 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 296-6904
#11 - The Paramount Theatre
The Paramount Theatre was built by Paramount Pictures and opened to the public in 1928 for a sum of nearly $3 million (roughly $40.5 million in 2015 dollars). The theatre was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
While the theatre was designed by a Chicago-based architectural firm which frequently worked with Paramount, Seattle resident Benjamin Marcus Priteca, America’s most celebrated architect of movie palaces in the 1920s, designed the building’s adjacent apartments and office suites.
At the time of building there were over 50 theatres in Seattle and Paramount built a lavish and grand theatre that outdid the rest in style. All this extravagant style adds up to a gorgeous historic wedding venue.
Address: 911 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: (206) 682-1414
#12 - The Steamship Virginia V
The Steamship Virginia V has a long history in Washington state. In 1922, the steamship was constructed for the West Pass Transporation Company by Maplewood, Washington shipbuilders, Anderson & Company. The historic ship is built of local old-growth fir, 125 feet long, and weighs 150 tons.
Her daily route was from Seattle to Tacoma on which she carried both people and passengers. Another job the ship held from 1922 to 1970 was carrying Camp Fire Girls to Camp Sealth on Vashon Island every summer except during WWII. During WWII the Virginia V transported workers between Poulsbo, Washington and the Keyport Naval Torpedo Station in Keyport, Washington.
#13 - The Weyerhaeuser Estate
The Weyerhaeuser Mansion was commissioned in 1923 by famed timber baron, John Weyerhaeuser and his wife Anna. The same Olmsted Brothers who designed the gardens at Thornewood Castle also created the gardens on the Weyerhaeuser Estate.
With nearly six acres and panoramic views of Commencement Bay the estate is truly spectacular. The walls in the main building are panelled with white oak from Sherwood Forest, yes, the famous Sherwood Forest associated with Robin Hood and in turn, his love, Maid Marian.
A special feature that makes this historic wedding venue stand out is the on-site chapel. For brides who desire to marry in a church and have a gorgeous wedding reception area nearby, this venue may be everything you’ve been dreaming of.
Note: As of writing, this wedding venue is currently not taking reservations due to litigation by neighbors complaining of parking issues during events.
Address: 4301 North Stevens Street, Tacoma, WA 98407
Phone: (206) 328-2442
Contact Form: http://www.blueribboncooking.com/contact-us/
#14 - Monte Cristo Ballroom
Built in 1925, the Monte Cristo Ballroom was once part of the Hotel Monte Cristo. Now the former hotel has been converted into housing and is operated by Catholic Housing Services.
The ballroom is quite beautiful with a wraparound mezzanine overlooking the ballroom floor. The ballroom features a terrazzo floor, stained glass skylight. Monte Cristo Ballroom is a favorite historic wedding venue for residents of Snohomish County.
Address: 1507 Wall Street Everett, WA 98201
Phone: (425) 740-5046
Contact Form: http://www.montecristoballroom.com/Contact-.html
I hope this article opens up the possibility of having your wedding ceremony at a historic venue. If you know of any historic wedding venues in the Seattle Area that aren't mentioned in this article please share them in the comments below.