New in Town: 5 Urban Wedding Venues
(Above) The vision for the Halo bar within The Sanctuary at SLS Seattle
When it comes to choosing your wedding venue it’s easy to get swept away by Seattle’s most popular spots for saying “I do”. With everything from sky-high city skyscrapers to vineyard escapes, the Pacific Northwest is home to incredible locations that newly engaged couples flock to year after year. And in 2017, engaged couples have even more reason to rejoice: There’s a number of unique new venues that have their sights set on bringing yet more posh appeal to our already supercool wedding scene. Whatever your wedding style, be it modern or classic, these five new venues are poised to define the local wedding scene for years to come.
Talk about a happy match: The soon-to-open downtown SLS Seattle hotel has been built right next door to the historic First United Methodist Church building, offering couples the ultimate marriage of tradition and modernity for their nuptials. The fully restored century-old church building (now called The Sanctuary), with its large stained-glass windows and red-tiled dome roof, adjoins the hotel and its 189 new luxury rooms. And, SLS is rolling out the red carpet for couples: All catering services are in the trusted hands of former Fairmont Olympic Hotel chef Gavin Stephenson and available custom wedding experiences can include dinner for the bride and groom before the big day, on-demand glamour services and even wedding-day treats for the bridal party, courtesy of acclaimed LA cupcake bakery Sprinkles. The venue is expected to open in September 2017 and is available for weddings starting in October; ceremonies and receptions can take place in the 3,923-square-foot Albert Ballroom or the 7,340-square-foot Sanctuary ballroom, which is adjoined by the posh Halo bar. Couples looking to host a more intimate affair may opt for the 16th-floor hotel space and its sweeping views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains.
The details: A 50 percent deposit at time of contract signing is required. The Sanctuary is available for weddings on Friday or Saturday night with a $35,000 food minimum and a $2,500 room rental. All food and beverages must be supplied by the hotel; dinner pricing starts at $125 per person.
Former ice warehouse turned events space Block 41 in Belltown / Photo Courtesy of Block 41.
If you’re keen on a swanky industrial-chic wedding, look no further than Block 41, which opened in March 2017. Originally a 1920s ice warehouse, the Belltown spot was completely revamped by award-winning architecture firm Graham Baba and is decked out with old-growth timber, exposed brick walls and vintage car decking, all of which merge gracefully with modern blackened steel, leather column wraps and state-of-the-art systems.
Block 41 offers three discrete indoor event spaces to choose from: The bright and airy Bert & Tot Ballroom is well suited to larger weddings as it encompasses the building’s entire top floor and can accommodate as many as 500 standing guests. The Musings Gallery, with capacity for 80 standing and 40 seated guests, is more intimate and comes complete with hanging art and polished concrete floors, plus its own private entrance on Bell Street. Perhaps the venue’s most versatile space is the 190-person-capacty Ewing Theater, which is equipped with a roll-up glass door and an expandable DMX lighting control system for mood lighting. A wall between the Ewing Theater and the Musings Gallery can be removed to combine the two spaces. The venue also offers a sweet courtyard, where guests can mingle on the large ipe wood deck that’s accented by a living green wall.
The details: A full venue buyout is required on the weekends for $15,000; rental of individual rooms is available on weekdays. A 50 percent nonrefundable deposit and a signed agreement are required to book the space; venue rental period is 10 hours including load in/out. Couples must choose from a preferred list of caterers, which includes such notables as Kaspars Special Events and Catering, Cameron Catering and Lisa Dupar Catering.
The artistic interior of the new W Bellevue / Rendering Courtesy of the W
It’s easy to see why couples are drawn to holding their nuptials at W hotel properties, what with the W’s trend-setting style, luxurious accommodations and generally hip crowds. The 245-room W hotel that opened June 2017 in downtown Bellevue is no exception. Ceremonies take place in the 4,400-square-foot Great Room, which is suitable for 100–250 guests. Featuring modern decor, this polished space is infused with a stylish Woodinville winery-meets-lake house vibe that feels both cool and cozy. More intimate weddings, rehearsal dinners and bridal showers can be hosted in any one of the six Studio Rooms. A perk of holding your wedding here is access to the hotel’s full-service rentals, meaning all tables, chairs, linens, votive candles and table settings are included.
The details: A 20 percent deposit of the food and beverage minimum is required at contract signing; minimums range from $5,000 to $30,000.
A rendering of the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington at Seattle’s Southport / Rendering Courtesy of the Hyatt
Open since July 2017, the new Hyatt Regency Lake Washington at Seattle’s Southport is indeed one grand hotel, with 347 guest rooms and 60,000 square feet of event space all perched on the edge of glittering Lake Washington in Renton. The four bright and beautiful outdoor terraces make the venue even more appealing to couples, as the airy spaces all boast swoon-worthy picturesque views of the lake, Olympic Mountains and Seattle skyline. Even if the weather isn’t cooperating, couples can choose between the grandiose 14,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom—which features enormous windows that frame views of the lake’s southern shore and the adjacent Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park—or the smaller but still sizable 5,000-square-foot Lake Washington Ballroom.
The details: Wedding packages start at $90 per guest. Couples are required to put down a 25 percent deposit when signing a contract. Food and beverage minimums are set for each event space and are based on the day of week and time of year that the wedding will take place; the Hyatt is the exclusive caterer for all events.
Historic Washington Hall / Courtesy of Washington Hall
Built in 1908, the historic Washington Hall in the Central District underwent a yearlong renovation in 2016. What emerged was a newly polished Mission Revival–style venue that boasts a large ballroom with arched proscenium stage and balcony, the original spring-loaded dance floor and plenty of historic charm. Originally a community hub, this city landmark has hosted the likes of Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Jimi Hendrix, Ernestine Anderson, Elvis Costello and countless others. Now, couples make their own music here, reciting their vows in the spacious Main Hall ballroom, which can seat as many as 735 guests; the Lodge Room, with adjacent kitchen and capacity of 150–300 guests, is not to be overlooked for smaller, more intimate nuptials.
The details: Weddings and private event rentals start at $4,000. Couples may choose their own caterer. ✵