Decked Out: 5 Venues with Beautiful Outdoor Terraces

With sparkling water views and sunny appeal, these classic venues stack the deck for a beautiful celebration with their breathtaking outdoor terraces
From: Spring/Summer 2016 edition
The College Club‘s fun floating dock

Life in Seattle would be simply unimaginable without its surrounding bodies of water. And while the picturesque waterfront settings that have drawn brides and grooms for years are nothing new, a spacious outdoor deck takes the celebration up a notch. Luckily, our fair city has a variety of distinctive waterfront locations with gorgeous decks and patios perfect for wedding parties numbering from 30 to 500. And while many of the city’s venues share views of the sprawling cityscape and majestic mountain ranges, these particular favorites—all located just a stone’s throw from downtown Seattle—also reflect classic Pacific Northwest style.

LAKEFRONT APPEAL

If you love Madison Park and want a venue that reflects the history and elegance of the neighborhood, there’s really only one place to have your celebration: the Seattle Tennis Club. The expansive 8-acre property has been a lusted-after wedding spot for years. The 1,000-square-foot deck and patio boast panoramic views of Lake Washington and the Bellevue skyline, a view also obtained on the north lawn, the club’s most popular ceremony spot. Before the big event, share a special moment on one of the many private lakeside pathways or head to the wooden dock for pictures with breathtaking views of Mount Rainier serving as your backdrop. The interior spaces combined, all with full water and mountain views, can accommodate 320 for a seated event. Rent one, two or all three of the areas for a sprawling fete for as many as 500 guests, with catering on-site and fully customizable menus prepared by the in-house culinary team.

The details: Rental rates start at $500; packages include a selection of colorful table linens, elegant silver service, beautiful china, votive candles and pristine glassware; no membership required.

BY THE SEASHORE

Built around its reputation for Pacific Northwest regional cuisine, Ray’s Boathouse is a Seattle institution situated on Shilshole Bay. Ceremonies held at Ray’s, which has been locally owned for some 42 years, usually take place usually take place on the 1,000-square-foot open dock that can accommodate 120 for a sit-down dinner, or 160 guests for a stand-up, cocktail-style reception, which usually are held in the 800-square-foot covered patio. Additional tenting allows for a sit-down dinner of 180 guests, and a cocktail reception for 225. Executive chef Paul Duncan and his team handle the catering, tailoring their seafood-centric menus to each couple’s taste; the menu may include local oysters on the half shell with shallot mignonette or pan-seared wild Alaskan halibut with roasted red pepper beurre blanc, roasted fingerling potatoes and vegetables.

The details: Rental rates are based on the number of guests; ceremony fee is $600. Catering costs range from $90 to $130 per guest.

PARTY ON THE PIER

Offering unparalleled vistas of Elliott Bay and the Great Wheel, the Seattle Aquarium is a stellar spot for tying the knot and offers a great opportunity to snap some wedding shots in front of the newest Seattle landmark. Located at Pier 59, the 5,000-square-foot wooden pier is ideal for bigger nuptial ceremonies with as many as 250 guests. The outdoor space can be configured for a cocktail hour held at sunset or for a more formal sit-down dinner; afterward, take the party inside to explore the marine life exhibits. Get this: You can even arrange a sea otter feeding with a biologist for the evening in advance, the perfect way to impress out-of-towners visiting the Pacific Northwest. For $2,000–$2,500, the aquarium is yours for the evening depending on the day.

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The expansive pier at the Seattle Aquarium || Photography by: Bryce Mohan Photography

The details: Catering handled in-house; food and beverage prices start at $7,500. Cost includes all tables, chairs, linens, china/flatware/glassware, setup/breakdown and use of audio-visual system.

DOCKSIDE CHARM

Lake Union and the twinkling Seattle city skyline serve as the backdrop to the spacious 3,000-square-foot floating dock at The College Club Boathouse. The dock is ideal for small- to medium-size nuptials of as many as 75 people; afterward, head inside to the intimate Club Room, best-suited for cocktail-style receptions for as many as 150 guests. Mingle with loved ones in front of a cozy river rock fireplace and built-in bar. Catering is handled by Blue Ribbon Cooking, but outside caterers are permitted with an additional $300 preferred caterer buyout fee. For a special seafaring send-off, the dock can be accessed by seaplane, perfect for those looking to make a grand getaway after the reception.

The details: Rental rates range from $500 to $2,475 and include chairs, tables, couches, place settings and bridal suite; setup and breakdown available for an additional fee.

TERRACE VIEW

This upscale Kirkland-area boutique hotel is known for its unparalleled views of Lake Washington, the neighboring Carillon Point Marina and the Cascade Mountain Range. Ceremonies held at the Woodmark Hotel typically take place at the elegant Olympic Terrace, a spacious 1,800-square-foot outdoor lakeside tent set up on the venue’s patio, which can easily accommodate 75–180 guests. The spacious patio is perfectly situated for cocktail hour as the tent is being transformed for dinner. Treat your guests to a sit-down feast prepared by Bin on the Lake; dishes could include summer corn and mascarpone risotto, sugar peas and marinated grapes, or grilled prime filet of beef, balsamic demi-glace, and roasted corn and potato purée. After the ceremony, slip away with your sweetheart for a picture-perfect private moment on the Woodmark II, a completely restored 28-foot Chris-Craft sedan express, before heading inside to the ballroom to dance the night away.

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The stunning setting at the Woodmark Hotel || Photography by: Azzura Photography

The details: Room rental rates range from $1,500 to $2,500; food and beverage minimums range from $100 to $150 per person. Rental rates include chairs, dance floor, flatware, glassware, votive candles, cocktail tables and a dedicated service staff. 

Resources:

College Club Boathouse

Eastlake

11 E Allison St.

206.622.0624

 

Ray’s Boathouse

Ballard

6049 Seaview Ave. NW

206.789.3770


Seattle Aquarium

Downtown

1483 Alaskan Way

206.386.4300

 

Seattle Tennis Club

Madison Park

922 McGilvra Blvd. E

206.324.3200

 

Woodmark Hotel

Kirkland

1200 Carillon Point

425.822.3700