with 13+ years Experience behind the lens
tips & advice from a
Over my career as a Seattle elopement photographer, I've come to know quite a few of the best places to elope around the PNW. So, I wanted to take the time and create some free resources for you to check out.
So, even if you haven't chatted with me yet to be your elopement photographer, you could most certainly still be planning your Seattle elopement. Of course, any list of "Best Seattle wedding venues" is going to be 100% subjective to personal tastes. The below list are my personal favorite wedding venues in Seattle, and each image in the below grid will direct you to a blog post for that particular wedding venue.
Have a look, and as always, let me know if you have any questions about any of these Seattle wedding venues, or any questions about any other topic you might want to discuss. No matter the distance, no matter the time of year, no matter the size, I want to be your Seattle elopement photographer.
Decision We Made.
From our Couples
Timeless, Beautiful, and So Much Fun."
My Personal Favorite
Over my decade+ career as a Seattle wedding photographer, I've been to (and photographed) hundreds of weddings. And when it comes to choosing one of the best Seattle wedding venues, there's really only a handful of things to consider.
First, how stressful do you want your wedding day to be? Obviously, the answer for most people is that they want a stress-free day, a celebration with their closest friends and family, and to truly be immersed in the entire wedding day experience from start to finish. But with most Seattle wedding venues, you're spending additional money on a large space, with a large catering budget, large decor budget, and extra logistics getting around. (Which is why I recommend to all #LumaCouples to get married away from the city.
But if you've had your heart set on having a wedding in downtown Seattle and you're simply wanting to know what the best wedding venues in Seattle are, then simply click the link below. I'll share all the goodies with you.
A: There are quite a few of gorgeous wedding venues in downtown Seattle. So how would you go about choosing one? Well, I'd recommend to start with setting your budget. Downtown Seattle wedding venues can be notoriously more costly than outside-the-city venues, so - start with your finances. See what you can realistically afford without pushing your budget too far.
After all, your venue is only a portion of your overall wedding budget. You still need money left over for catering, photography, hair & makeup, decor, transportation, your honeymoon, and all the other awesome things. And once you've set your budget, start thinking about what fits the best with your personality, what's easiest for your guests to park at/near, and what's going to give you the wedding you've always dreamed about. Then after you've taken all of that into consideration, have a look at my personal favorite Seattle wedding venues that I've curated and listed below. I've already done the heavy lifting, and I have over a decade of experience behind my thoughts & opinions.
Bottom line, it really comes down to the aesthetic you want, the number of guests you truly want to have at your wedding, your budget, and the level of peace you want on your big day.
Of course, there are tons of variables when choosing the perfect venue in Seattle. And even though I'm not a wedding planner, I can certainly help you make the right decision. So, before you lock down a date, make sure you reach out to me for my honest and open opinion. I'm here for you as your resource. Let's do this thing. Together.
What are some of the best
Q: Seattle wedding venues can get so expensive. What do you recommend?
A: Yes, they definitely can. That said, there are ways to make things more financially possible. A big one being payment plans. But I must stress that you should not stretch your budget so far on a wedding venue that you can't afford the other things that mean a lot to you. If you really want a Seattle wedding photographer for $4000-8000, but your venue costs $15,000-20,000, choosing a venue that is a few thousand less now opens up that extra budget for the Seattle wedding photographer that you've always wanted.
And if you feel like Seattle wedding venues are stretching you so far, you should also consider getting married in areas like Snohomish, Whidbey Island, Orcas Island, San Juan Island, or Eastern Washington. There are many, many gorgeous wedding venues in Washington State. There's no shortage. And I can certainly help point you in the right direction if you are wanting some help finding the right wedding venue for you, your personality, and your budget. Just use the contact form on my website.
From our Couples
"We Are Blown Away. Every Single Photo is Absolutely
Where should we take our
A: It totally depends on your personality, but my personal and highest recommendations are to take your wedding party photographs in Pioneer Square at Occidental Square. The pier can have very bad lighting (at typical portrait times of the day) since it doesn't have any shade, Pike Place Market is absolutely swarming with tourists and traffic (stressful for most couples), and Gasworks is the same. Bad lighting, no clean backdrops (tourists in your background), and no shade. In addition to that, there are many events held at Gasworks park, both scheduled and unscheduled. So, it's not a place I typically recommend.
Then, there is Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill. I don't really recommend that park either because of the fact there are many people in your background and the park is quite boring in photographs, to be honest and in my professional opinion. Plus, you're getting married in Seattle, and Volunteer Park doesn't offer any city/urban vibes. Occidental Square is your best bet for all of this. Just keep in mind sports schedules since the stadiums are right next to it (think traffic, parking, transportation, etc logistics).
And this is a really important consideration when deciding whether or not to book a Seattle wedding venue. Because as a Seattle wedding photographer, there aren't that many Seattle wedding venues that offer great places for wedding party portraits without going totally off-site. And when you need to go off-site, there's the additional expense of hiring a limo or party bus to take you around. And in full honesty working many Seattle weddings over the years, it's an added stressor to the day just having this extra bit of logistics. That's why there are so many Luma couples that have gotten married in wineries, off in the mountains, on a beach, and away from the city. For peace. For simplicity.
Seattle doesn't honestly offer that many great photo ops even though it's such a large city. That said, if you are absolutely getting married in the city, Occidental Square, Olympic Sculpture Park, the top of the cruise terminal, and Pike Place Market are amongst the most popular areas to photograph portraits in downtown Seattle.
From our Couples
"The Pictures Are
And They Feel Like They Are Straight Out of A Magazine!"
A: This is one of the most important questions (there are many) wedding thinking about having a Seattle wedding. And since most venues in the Seattle area don't have phenomenal backdrops for wedding party photographs and couples portraits, 99% of the couples I've photographed in Seattle choose to head off-site. And when you head off-site, you don't want to be circling the block trying to find parking on your wedding day - especially since you also have your bridesmaids and groomsmen, photographer, videographer, etc to transport around as well. So, the answer to this is hiring a limo or party bus.
They pick you up at your hotel/getting ready location, they drive you to the portrait location(s), and they simply drop you off and pick you up at a predetermined time. Yes, this adds some additional cost, but it reduces the level of stress tenfold. So, it's well worth it. That said, if you're not wanting all these additional costs, a Seattle wedding might not be for you. And that's totally okay. There are lots of amazingly gorgeous wedding venues around Washington State that you won't need anything like this. Just let me know what you are searching for, and I can totally help you.
How should we
A: This totally depends on your wedding venue, but the biggest thing to take into consideration (as related to photography and video), is choosing a place that has a lot of natural light. Think big windows. So, do not get ready in a conference room or super dimly lit hotel room. Pop for the upgrade to a room with a view, and a room that has lots of extra space. That space will be quickly taken up by your hair & makeup team, your parents, your friends, and all the bags of clothing, shoes, makeup, and accessories that you're bringing with you.
And then you need enough space to hide all of those things so that your wedding photographer and videographer can have a clean, minimalistic backdrop to the photographs and film. These things don't happen on accident. There's usually a "trash corner" just outside of the gorgeous wedding photographs you see all through my website and blog. :) And if your venue doesn't offer great places to get ready in, I highly recommend checking out the Thompson Hotel near Pike Place Market.
A: This is a super personal question I get asked frequently, and it's really dependent on your personality, the style of photographs you want to look back on for years to come, your budget, and how well you can handle a stressful environment on what can be an overwhelming day filled with emotion. I say that not from a personal preference standpoint, but seeing countless weddings first hand from other Seattle weddings that I have photographed over the years. The logistics of having a Seattle wedding are traditionally far more complex than a wedding of the same size in Woodinville, Snohomish, Whidbey Island or the San Juan Islands - for example.
Also, parking is difficult in Seattle, traffic is a huge unknown due to tourism, construction, sports games, and other city events, and it can be difficult to find a resemblance of true peace for your portraits because all the most well-sought-after portrait locations are typically also filled with tourists ... and sometimes even other wedding parties doing their photos as well.
So, if you have your eyes set on a very specific wedding venue in Seattle - by all means book it. If it resonates with you, by all means please book it. But know that (typically speaking), Seattle wedding venues are also a bit more costly than suburban or rural wedding venues - so if you are wanting to save money, have an easier time for parking, logistics, and wedding photos, and have more peace and quiet for your wedding day -- I actually recommend against having a wedding in downtown.
Now one last question
A: I keep coming back to this, but your personality means everything. If you are wanting a totally stress-free, laid-back, chill wedding, then to be perfectly honest - having a downtown Seattle wedding might not be the perfect option for you. Many Seattle weddings have a higher number of logistics when planning everything out, more logistics for transportation, and typically a higher dollar number for your expected budget. Everything typically costs more in Seattle.
I'm not saying any of this to scare you away from having a wedding in Seattle, but to give you my honest, open, and truthful piece of advice based on many, many weddings I have personally photographed over the years. That said, if the urban vibe is all you've ever dreamed of, then it can all come to reality. Just ensure you have an incredible wedding planner on your side, an incredible Seattle wedding photographer who knows all the best tips to get the most out of your special day, and a great list of vendors who have your back.
After all, it's your day. And I want you to have the most amazing day of your entire life, completely stress free. But if having a stress free wedding is really what you want, I'd recommend to look into having your wedding away from the city - to find true peace.
Morgan & Jeff
Kyle is worth his weight in gold! In the day and age of countless apps and filters it’s hard to find a photographer in Washington who is truly talented and professional. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent sifting through different profiles and pictures trying to find someone who’s work caught my eye, until I came across Kyle. His work is timeless and beautiful and you can tell that this is his passion. This guy really knows what he’s doing with his 10+ years of experience. From our very first email until the last moments of our wedding he was nothing but kind and helpful. He answered every question every step of the way and was the calm in the chaos on the big day. Our pictures are absolutely STUNNING! He made it look like our wedding belongs in a magazine. His portrait work is amazing, but he was also able to capture the quiet little moments I may have otherwise forgotten about.
"hands down - the best thing we did for our wedding. Because of Kyle, we are able to relive the most special day of our lives."
Ava & Patryk
Very professional and prompt through the entire communication process. This was especially important since we planned a destination wedding in Tulum, Mexico at the Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa.
We felt so comfortable in front of the camera - Kyle did a great job in keeping our energy up and was able to capture our personalities and some truly romantic moments!
Dreams REsort & Spa
"Kyle did a great job in keeping our energy up and was able to capture our personalities."
Courtney & Dylan
The day was absolutely incredible, When we returned from our adventure with Kyle, we were not the same people as when we had left. Kyle does a wonderful job of making the camera disappear - you just live in the moment.
We are proud to call Kyle our photographer. For anyone looking to make a lasting moment of your special day, book Luma Weddings.
Anna Maria Island, FL
"Kyle does a wonderful job of making the camera disappear - you just live in the moment."
Dana & Jim
Kyle does such an excellent job capturing every moment!
He truly knows how to capture your personal style and event style in the photographs. I highly recommend him & Haley! They are such an amazing husband & wife team. We absolutely loved our wedding photos at the Vizcaya Museum in Miami!
"He truly knows how to capture your personal style and event style in the photographs."
Chen-Hsi & Joe
Kyle did such an amazing job with our engagement and wedding photos. We had a destination wedding in Cancun, Mexico at Moon Palace Nizuc, and Kyle knew exactly what to do with the harsh sunlight, hot weather, and extreme humidity, not to mention how to avoid all the tourists in the backgrounds.
If you're looking to book a destination wedding photographer, look no further, Kyle is your person, he's super easy to work with and he can give you lots of great suggestions!
Moon Palace Nizuc
"If you're looking to book a destination wedding photographer, look no further."
Emily & Justin
Kyle did an exceptional job photographing our engagement. We did the Epic package and it truly lived up to its name. He photographed us in an intimate and genuine way. His down to earth nature and warm personality made for a fun and comfortable day. Kyle's Seattle wedding photography perfectly encompassed our love and the awe-inspiring vista of the lake. Kyle personalized the experience for us, and made it a truly memorable experience. After the shoot, Kyle delivered authentic, perfectly color corrected images that were a true representation of our engagement. This was truly a magical and worthwhile investment that we will cherish forever. We highly recommend Kyle for being so prompt, professional, and just an awesome person. You will not be disappointed.
North Cascades, WA
"It's hard to pick just one photo when every single one is so gorgeous."
Aurelia & Alejandro
Kyle Goldie is an excellent photographer and very professional. He truly captured the best moments of the JM Cellars wedding we had in a magical way.
The pictures of our wedding day are unbelievable - and feel like they're straight out of a magazine!
"The pictures are unbelievable - and feel like they're straight out of a magazine!"
Emily & Ryan
We have nothing but great things to say about Luma Weddings. Besides the fact that our photos turned out AMAZING (and now grace nearly every wall in our house) our experience working with Kyle and Haley was fantastic.
The day of our wedding Kyle and Haley were a blast to have around. They made the entire wedding party feel so comfortable and they knew how to handle the rain like a pro. Haley even helped sew my dress when it broke during the reception - she was awesome! We have had multiple friends and future brides book through Luma Weddings after hearing about our experience and seeing how our photos turned out. They are on the rise though so I'd suggest booking ASAP!
"Their personable yet professional approach helped us feel comfortable & confident throughout the process."
Serena & David
We're so happy we chose Luma Weddings to photograph the most important day of our lives together. Kyle and Haley make a great team together and they instantly felt like new friends. So friendly and professional at the same time. He is an excellent wedding photographer, he captured every perfect moment at the right moment so that we can relive that day through his wonderful pictures. Turn around time was fast! Half the time that we were expecting!! We absolutely loved that he gave us several shots, even when they were the same pose, that we could pick out OUR favorites. We're grateful and impressed with the quality AND quantity! He provided 100% value along with his beautiful side-kick, they are a must have for your wedding. Thank you so much Kyle and Haley!!
"So friendly and professional at the same time. He is an excellent wedding photographer."
Megan & Ryan
Every guest commented after our wedding - “How did you come across such an amazing photographer? He really was a perfect combination.” Kyle was well researched, fast, efficient, and a direct but kind creative director. We really lucked out that he and his wife Haley were available to photograph and day-of direct our wedding. I couldn’t be happier with his leadership in keeping us on time, organized, and I’m extra grateful for his brilliant artistic insight. Both Kyle and Haley were professional and gracious. My guests all want to be friends with them now, as well. Our stunning pics arrived much faster than expected. I couldn’t be more thankful that Luma Weddings travelled all way to the mountains of Idaho to make our special day a perfect day. 10/10!
Priest Lake, Id
"He really was a perfect combination.... Kyle was well researched, fast, efficient, and a direct but kind creative director."
Julianna & Ian
Kyle shot our wedding in Cancun Mexico last weekend. He did an amazing job at making sure we were comfortable and adjusting to our late schedule. Beyond our awesome photographs, Kyle & Haley joined in on our celebration and we all just clicked!
Outside of our AMAZING wedding photos, they were just so great to be with! We would highly recommend Kyle & Haley Goldie at Luma Weddings for any special events! SO MUCH FUN!
Excellence Playa Mujeres
"Beyond our awesome photographs, Kyle & Haley joined in on our celebration and we all just clicked!"
Jasmine & Delas
I just received my wedding pictures and am SO EXCITED and extremely happy with the final product. They arrived much sooner than we expected. With so much wedding planning and anxiety, I can say that booking Kyle to be our photographer was one of our best decisions.
I got the pictures I've always dreamed of. Thank you, Kyle and Haley!!! You guys are the best Seattle wedding photographers.
"I got the pictures I've always dreamed of."
Emily & Luke
Kyle was absolutely amazing! He was kind and flexible throughout the day and was focused on the vision that we had for our photos.
During the time leading up to the wedding Kyle was so helpful, easy to work with and he always responded to my emails quickly. We couldn't be happier with our photos! When looking for Seattle wedding photography, book him.
Vancouver, British Columbia
"We couldn't be happier with our photos!"
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I want to hear your love story! Share how you met, how they proposed, where you are tying the knot, the date you've locked in, and all your questions! I am here to help with absolutely everything I can. Just use the form below to get in touch. WOOHOO!