Urban Wedding Venues in South Seattle
A quirky array of new venues and wedding-day resources has made Seattle’s southerly district the new “it” destination for hip, urban celebrations—whatever the theme.
Once upon a time, downtown Seattle was considered the quintessential place to say “I do.” In recent years, however, the burgeoning district spanning SeaTac, Georgetown and SoDo has been sharing the spotlight as the new “it” place to get married.
Case in point: the chock-full appointment book at Herban Feast’s Sodo Park (which opened its doors in 2008). With an anticipated tally of more than 100 weddings in 2011, this is the coveted venue in a neighborhood that is equal parts industrial and chic. And while we swoon over rustic Sodo Park and the new Herban Design Studio—where couples can conceptualize DIY décor or get planning help— a number of new venues have recently amped up the wedding-day options in the area south of the stadiums. Coupled with the area’s funky rehearsal-ready restaurants and posh spas, these distinctly urban wedding venues make planning and executing your entire affair a breeze, no matter what the theme of your celebration.
Primp: Brides seeking picture-perfect skin for their engagement and wedding photos love the Exorcism package at Helle Skin Sanctuary & Salon in Georgetown. Enjoy six deep-cleansing facials over six weeks, and enjoy the seventh facial free (don’t forget to book it for two to three days before the wedding to allow any redness to dissipate)
Rehearsal: At the aptly named Blanc de Blanc Room at Urban Enoteca (a SoDo venue that celebrated its grand opening just last December), everything is a vision in white. From the sleek contemporary seating—which accommodates 25—to the romantic tabletop candle-lighting, you and your guests will wine and dine in style. In-house chef/caterer Chris Opsata keeps the small plates and eastern Washington pours coming, and owner Terry Thompson says brides are booking round the clock. ($250 and up.)
Sip: Enjoy a pre-wedding power breakfast at Georgetown fave Hangar Café, where you can order decadent sweet and savory crêpes and extra-fancy mimosas (served in a pint glass, and perfect for the entire bridal party).
Ceremony/reception: If you thought your dinner rehearsal at Urban Enoteca’s Blanc de Blanc Room was the epitome of contemporary elegance, you’ll be equally pleased with a ceremony here. Enoteca’s Riddling Room is a spacious and airy banquet hall accommodating 200 guests. With exposed beams, gorgeously rustic wood chandeliers and a warehouse-meets-wine-country aesthetic, the premier house of Washington vino is a grand site for exchanging vows. ($2,500 and up on weekdays; $5,000 on weekends.)
(left to right) Freshen your face at Helle; eclectic decor at The Stables.
BRING ON THE FUNK
Primp: Pop into retro-esque Radar Hair & Records in SoDo, where you can amp up your ’do for the big day (and shop for vintage LPs when you’re done if you’re still searching for a classic song to play at the wedding). The atmosphere is friendly, and the resident lapdogs don’t charge for puppy love.
Nibble: Need a pre-wedding snack? Send the dudes over to a Georgetown institution, the bright yellow Hallava Falafel street food truck (open Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.), to pick up veggie falafel, shawarma and a few orders of their tasty, crisp fries. Just be sure everyone downs the drippy, savory sammys before putting on those gowns and tuxes.
Ceremony/reception: If your idea of holy matrimony includes jukeboxes, coin-operated kiddie rides and dining booths, your search for wedding venues stops at The Stables. This 2,500-square-foot stable from the late 1800s opened its doors last December, making it the newest space in Georgetown where couples can tie the knot. The main room accommodates 99 people, and the décor here is “kooky vintage”—from the kitchen’s Pepsi-Cola cooler and McDonald’s tables and chairs to the vintage bicycles bordering the outdoor patio. ($800 and up.)
Smile: When your wedding guests have said adieu, cram into the photo booth at Stellar Pizza on Airport Way for one last memory (full wedding attire encouraged).
(left to right) The Corson Building offers Northwest fare in an Italian-style villa; wed among the pines at Cedarbrook Lodge.
Rehearsal: Step back into simpler times at The Corson Building—an old Georgetown residence built in 1910 by an Italian stonemason. Today, the Corson is an elegant feasting space that will accommodate 32 guests (40 outdoors). Here, the dining is communal, the allegiance is local (translation: The menu is always changing), and chef Matt Dillon—of Sitka & Spruce fame—creates evenings that are as sensual and enchanting as his farm-fresh entrées. ($275 and up.)
Pose: Before Rainier Brewery moved to the spot along I-5 now commandeered by a giant “T,” beer was brewed and bottled smack in the middle of Georgetown at the original Rainier Brewery Bottling Plant. Now filled with artists’ lofts and creative spaces, the building features arched doorways and a dilapidated brick exterior that draws photographers for the beautiful contrast of old-world charm and chic wedding garb. Strike a pose. (5624–5790 Airport Way S, near Airport Way S and S Carstens Place)
Ceremony/reception: Venture south to 18 acres of revitalized wetlands and an idyllic Northwest wedding backdrop at the elegant, rustic Cedarbrook Lodge. Favored ceremony spots at the recently revamped former WAMU corporate retreat center include the Evergreen Lawn (a meticulously landscaped haven for local flora and fauna) and the more intimate Copperleaf Terrace (which boasts a wood-burning fireplace and views of towering cedar trees). From plank-cooked wild king salmon to Theo white and dark chocolate cake, the three- and four-course seasonal menus, under the direction of chef Mark Bodinet, are a feast for the senses. You and your guests can also stay at the hotel, which houses 104 guest rooms. ($1,200 and up.)
HAVE A BALL
Soar: Forget personalized mugs. Give your wedding party the gift of flight at new Emerald City Trapeze, where you’ll bond over a thrilling group trapeze lesson or aerial silk ribbon class in a fun-filled, jovial setting. (Classes start at $20 per person, be sure to reserve in advance.)
Ceremony/reception: Don your dancing shoes for this venue that is equal parts elegant and retro. Housed in the historic silent (and then “talkies”) Mission Theatre movie house, built in 1924, Georgetown Ballroom has been one of the most hopping places to get hitched since opening in 2009. High ceilings, exposed brickwork, a colorful array of silk lanterns and a hodgepodge of recovered city artifacts create an aesthetic that’s Mad Hatter chic. The space holds up to 400 guests standing, and the private outdoor patio is perfect for balmy nights beneath the stars. ($4,300 on weekends.)
Indulge: Celebrate your first morning as Mr. and Mrs. with hot stone massages at Helmet Head, where the tattoo-sporting staff boast top-notch service and down-home attitude.