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Estate of Affairs: Five Beautiful Wedding Venues In Puget Sound For Your Fairytale Celebration

If the long-awaited Downton Abbey movie or other recent hits like The Crown or Victoria have you longing for the glamour of a bygone era, these aristocratic mansions turned wedding venues are for you
By: 
Allyson Reedy

You may have come to Downton Abbey for the romance, drama and the Dowager Countess’s zingy one-liners, but come on—you stayed for those weddings! Have your own Lady Mary moment at one of these Puget Sound–area mansions, which are all about sophisticated elegance.

Thornewood Castle
This Tudor Gothic private home was built with materials from a Welsh manor house, so yes, it’s fully legit. The oak grand staircase (more than 500 years old), impressive front doors and stained glass windows are pretty much museum-worthy in their own right. (And make for killer photos.)

The venue offers both indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception sites. Inside, the Great Hall—and its cozy fireplace backdrop—fits about 100 guests, while the beautifully maintained grounds can hold more. Choose from the front and back lawns, with castle or lake views, or the sunken English garden, with equally amazing floral and castle settings. Both can accommodate 200 guests.
If the incredible history, architecture and setting aren’t enough to sway you, the castle also houses its very own Hall of Mirrors, a magical spot for one-of-a-kind wedding portraits.

The details: Venue rental fees start at $2,950 and include six hours of venue use for up to 100 guests; includes parking for up to 100 vehicles inside the gate and 50 vehicles outside the gate. Couples may choose their own licensed caterer.


Jerome Tso Photography

Sanders Estate
Thirty-five acres of lush, idyllic acres? Check. Glittering private lake? Check. Walled gardens and storied oak trees? Check again. The Sanders Estate has everything you need, including a century-old Craftsman-style mansion, to host your own Old World–inspired wedding.

With all the incredible outdoor options, it’s hard to choose where to exchange vows. Those alfresco venues can accommodate up to 400 of your nearest and dearest. The good news is, you probably can’t go wrong. From the rose pond to the scenic terrace to the pergola overlooking the meadow, the natural beauty of this estate is sure to shine. Cozier (as in small) weddings can be held inside the mansion.

The details: Venue rental fees range from $3,000 to $5,000 if using Blue Ribbon Catering; $3,500–$5,000 plus $30/hour for venue manager with approved outside caterer.


Exterior of Lairmont Manor (Esther Frederick Photography)

Lairmont Manor
Have a Downton Abbey–style gala—minus the drama—at this Italian Renaissance–inspired estate in Bellingham. Located 90 miles north of Seattle, Lairmont Manor is accessible from the city, but while on its peaceful grounds, you’ll feel worlds (or centuries) away.

With three indoor rooms and an additional three outdoor spaces to choose from, you’ve got options. Inside, 125 people can “ooh” and “aah” over the original wood wall paneling, vaulted ceilings and Steinway baby grand piano perched on a stage in the Grand Hall. As many as 250 guests can wander the award-winning gardens and party outside on the lawn under the marquee tent during the summer months.

The details: Venue rental fees range from $2,500 to $5,500. Couples may choose their own licensed caterer. The venue has 90 on-site parking spaces and provides an on-site event coordinator.


A Lakewold Gardens ceremony (Julie Bulanov Photography)

Lakewold Gardens
Most people want to be surrounded by pretty things on their wedding day. (We know—shocker!) If you’re one of those people, you may just fall in love with the over-the-top grounds at Lakewold. They are, after all, among the most striking in the region. “Lakewold Gardens is really a hidden gem of a wedding venue,” says Lori Losee, owner and senior planner with Elegant Affairs, the exclusive planning team for the venue.
Ceremonies and receptions can take place inside the Georgian-style mansion
or held alfresco amid the 10 acres of lush gardens, which include a gazebo, a pool, ponds and a wisteria-covered terrace. The venue is perfect for celebrations of up to 130 fans (i.e., wedding guests) of all things pretty.

The details: A 50% deposit is required at contract signing. Elegant Affairs is the exclusive wedding planner for the venue.


Newlyweds at the Stimson-Green Mansion (Ciccarelli Photography)

The Stimson-Green Mansion
Built in 1901, the Stimson-Green Mansion is one of the Seattle’s best examples of English Tudor Revival–style architecture (with touches of Moorish, Romanesque, Neoclassical and Renaissance styles thrown in for good measure).
“Stimson-Green offers couples the chance to be a part of Seattle’s history,” says Rachael Browning, sales and marketing manager for Kaspars Catering & Events, the exclusive caterer for the property. “Your guests will be awed as soon as they step inside.”

The library is your best bet for hosting your ceremony; it can accommodate up to 70 people. For a seated dinner reception, add in the adjacent parlor. For a larger party, the mansion can hold up to 150 guests.

The details: Mansion rental fees range from $550 to $2,200. Adjacent parking is available for 45 vehicles, and there is a $150 parking-garage fee. Kaspars Catering & Events is the exclusive caterer, and food and beverage minimums vary depending on the event space rented and the event date. The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, the owner of the mansion, charges a 10% fee on all food and beverage sales.  

RESOURCES

Thornewood Castle 
Lakewood
8601 N Thorne Lane
253.584.4393
thornewoodcastle.com 
 
Sanders Estate 
Kent
5516 S 277th St.
206.328.2442
sandersestate.com 
 
Lairmont Manor 
Bellingham
405 Fieldston Road
360.647.1444
lairmontmanor.com 
 
Lakewold Gardens 
Lakewood
12317 Gravelly Lake Drive
253.584.4106
lakewoldgardens.org

The Stimson-Green Mansion 
Seattle
1204 Minor Ave.
206.624.0474
kasparsseattlecatering.com/stimson-green-mansion