Four Reasons Pierce County Should Be on Your Wedding Destination Short-list
Sponsored by Travel Tacoma + Pierce County
Far from the hustle, bustle, stress and high costs of other Pacific Northwest wedding destinations, Tacoma and Pierce County have the unique venues, convenience, hotels and services that will put you at ease and thrill your guests at the same time.
1. Unique Venues
If you want your wedding to be as unique as your relationship, you should visit some venues around Tacoma and Pierce County. In addition to the traditional choices, there are museums, historic forts, sprawling pavilions, rustic barns and even a real castle. You can literally shout your love from a mountaintop.
Tacoma is perhaps best known for its thriving Museum District: a collection of six world-class museums, all set in downtown Tacoma along the city’s picturesque waterfront. In addition to their cultural, historic and artistic value, these museums each make incredible, unique venues for your special day.
The Museum of Glass combines art, architecture, and urbanity all in one location. It’s a waterfront venue with a cityscape on one side, the Foss Waterway on the other, and all in the shadow of Mount Rainier. And how many other venues can offer a team of glassblowers creating works from molten glass to awe your friends and family?
Tacoma Art Museum has plenty of space for an elegant ceremony in a contemporary, architecturally stunning atrium with a perfectly situated staircase for a floating entrance. With the entirely new Benaroya Wing opening in January 2019, you’ll have even more inspirational and artistic options available among some of the most impressive artwork in the region.
Washington State History Museum doesn’t just contain history; the entire red-brick venue exudes it. Your guests will feel the air of permanence and gravity in this historic, versatile location with indoor and outdoor space. Make your ceremony one for the history books!
LeMay – America’s Car Museum is not just the largest car museum in North America (although it is that). It’s also one of the most sought-after wedding venues in the city, with convenient I-5 access, incredible views, completely flexible space and a backdrop featuring some of the classiest, most jaw-dropping automobiles ever produced. This venue will certainly kick your ceremony into high gear!
The Foss Waterway Seaport Museum is a newly renovated historical building that combines a soaring, modern glass façade with a gorgeous exposed-beam interior that lends itself to any décor. You’ll also have access to a 420-foot waterfront esplanade with views of Commencement Bay, Mount Rainier and the Foss Waterway. The Seaport’s guest moorage and dock means you and your guests can even make your entrance by boat!
Beyond Tacoma’s museums, Pierce County offers a variety of spaces that can work within every style and budget.
Point Defiance Park was recently named the best park in Washington State by MONEY magazine, and it’s easy to see why. Beyond the treasures it offers to regular visitors, weddings have the complete range of venue options, including a rose garden, a zoo, a historic fort, a towering pagoda and more.
(Point Defiance Park's Rose Garden delights the senses as a wedding venue.)
Greater Tacoma Convention Center is an ideal fit for bigger weddings and those that just want some extra space. Not only will you have access to huge amounts of flexible square footage, the central location and sweeping views of Mount Rainier and the waterfront to make your wedding spectacular.
Dacca Barn’s fully restored and upgraded barn building in Fife provides a modern rural ambiance that balances authentic charm with a contemporary cool factor. A historic decommissioned diesel-electric locomotive on site and an 18-acre park next door give shutterbugs – both the ones you invite and the ones you pay – plenty of material to shoot.
Thornewood Castle in Lakewood is perhaps best known as the setting for Stephen King’s film Red Rose, but this century-old, 27,000-square-foot manor on the banks of American Lake is also the very embodiment of elegance. It’s the only Gothic Tudor residence on the West Coast, so your wedding will be truly unique.
Pioneer Park Pavilion in Puyallup is the most versatile space in the area, putting the iconic Pioneer Park and the adjoining pavilion at your disposal. On a clear day, massive garage doors can open, blurring the line between indoor and outdoor and giving you and your guests the benefit of being in the park, while keeping your event private.
The Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup has been the site of many a first date, but it can also be your place to make a much more permanent commitment. From the Fair Farm to the fantastically fancy, the Washington State Fair Events Center has indoor and outdoor options and plenty of space to spread your imagination.
Crystal Mountain is as close to a destination wedding as you can have without getting on a plane. This summer wedding hotspot will have you saying “I do” atop the wildflower-festooned peak at 6,872 feet of elevation. Mount Rainier, Mount Baker and Mount St. Helens will likely make an appearance, even if you forget to send them invitations.
Whether you’re hoping to make the best impression money can buy or you’re keeping an eye on the budget, there’s a Pierce County hotel that’s ready to roll out the red carpet to you and your guests.
Hotel Murano is a glass-art-focused boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Tacoma. Each floor features a unique work of glass art by a world-famous artist.
(Hotel Murano is a boutique hotel that delights guests with a museum-quality art collection in addition to their service and amenities.)
Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome provides affordable accommodations conveniently located off I-5 and near the free-to-ride Tacoma Link light-rail line.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tacoma Downtown is a centrally located hotel just off I-5 known for their outstanding service and amenities.
Courtyard by Marriott Tacoma Downtown provides upscale accommodations directly between the Museum District and Theater District, and just steps from the Greater Tacoma Convention Center and downtown restaurants, attractions and other venues.
Best Western Premier Plaza Hotel & Conference Center (Puyallup) is the closest property to the Washington State Fairgrounds, and the only select service hotel in Puyallup with a restaurant on site.
Best Western Lakewood offers a relaxed colonial setting and a convenient location off I-5 that’s also just a few minutes’ drive from Thornwood Castle. Enjoy the hospitality and amenities of the Best Western, including a seasonal outdoor pool.
Coming soon to downtown Tacoma, McMenamins is opening their new Elks Temple property in April 2019, and a 300-room Marriott property attached to the Greater Tacoma Convention Center is anticipating an opening in 2020.
On planes, trains or automobiles, getting to and from Tacoma and Pierce County is a straight shot for both locals and your out-of-town guests.
Located just 30 minutes south of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on I-5, your out-of-town guests will have no problem getting where they need to go in Pierce County. For those who live locally, it’s a short drive, ride-share or Sounder commuter train trip away from Seattle. Amtrak offers a relaxed, scenic train ride from Portland, for those who are coming from the south.
Once everyone is in town, Tacoma’s condensed downtown core means car-free access between hotels, rehearsal dinner venues, gorgeous photo spots and other attractions. The free-to-ride Link light rail line takes the worry out of your special day by providing fast, safe, reliable access to museums, breweries, restaurants, shopping, attractions and hotels throughout downtown Tacoma. The line runs from the Tacoma Dome to the Theater District, ensuring that all the main points of interest are at your fingertips.
(The free-to-ride Tacoma Link light rail line runs through the center of downtown Tacoma, putting restaurants, hotels, attractions and wedding venues at your fingertips.)
Beyond Tacoma’s city limits, smaller communities offer additional venues for your big day, or a relaxing, scenic side trip before or after the main event. The cities of Puyallup and Sumner are pure Americana, with cozy shops along Main Street, bakeries with local specialties and centrally-located parks. Fife is the entertainment hub of the area, with entertainment venues such as the Emerald Queen Hotel and Casino. Gig Harbor is a relaxed waterfront village abounding with recreational boating opportunities. The gardens, nature trails and aquatic recreation of Lakewood and DuPont pair well with nearby University Place and its Chambers Bay Golf Course. Iconic Mount Rainier is only an hour’s drive away, and is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts of any level during any season – it’s as good for an easy hike through the wildflowers as it is for an adventurous afternoon of bouldering.
Tacoma and the South Puget Sound offer the convenience and welcoming atmosphere that take the stress out of your nuptials and set them against the backdrop of the South Puget Sound and all the wonder that comes with it.
Tacoma has the rental companies, photographers, DJs, caterers, audio-visual companies and other vendors to make your wedding as spectacular as you’ve always dreamed, but sorting through the dozens of companies competing for your business can be a daunting task. That’s where Travel Tacoma + Pierce County can help.
To help find the right vendors for you, Travel Tacoma offers a complimentary service that will:
- gather proposals from the region’s finest wedding venues
- find overnight accommodations for your wedding guests
- put you in touch with recommended local transportation services, audio-visual services, DJs and catering businesses
Visit www.traveltacoma.com/weddings to learn more about this free service and let them get started working on your behalf.
Travel Tacoma + Pierce County is the official destination marketing organization for Tacoma and Pierce County, Washington. For more information on visiting and holding an event or wedding in the South Puget Sound, visit www.traveltacoma.com.
(Pictured below: For larger weddings, the Greater Tacoma Convention Center offers ample, flexible space to meet every need.)