- 1 Olympic Sculpture Park wedding along Downtown Seattle Waterfront
Olympic Sculpture Park wedding along Downtown Seattle Waterfront
Modern sculptures, beautiful views, epic sunsets falling into the Olympics across Elliott Bay, modern lines, and fantastic catering; you really can’t go wrong with a wedding at the Olympic Sculpture Park at the north end of Seattle’s downtown waterfront. This 9-acre garden that is nestled between Mertyl Edward’s park and Belltown is a sophisticated spot to celebrate your nuptials.
What does a wedding at the Olympic Sculpture Park?
Weddings start in the $3000 range for intimate weddings and are going to go up from $6000 for full wedding days.
About the venue
There is a lot of art. The most prominent pieces and the ones that are most commonly used as wedding backdrops are Wakes by Richard Serra and Eagle by Alexander Calder.
Wake is positioned behind the Bill and Melinda Gates Amphitheater (where most outdoor ceremonies are held). This is one of the most iconic pieces in the gallery and is the one most people are excited to make their photos around. It’s also in the area that is closed off during the ceremony, so you’ll have space to yourself to make images. (see more from Graff and Sarah’s rainy elopement)
Eagle is the tallest structure in the park. With that, it finds itself in the background of many photos. Especially at sunset, I love seeing this giant steel structure fly over the Puget Sound as it has since moving from Texas in the early 2000s.
Most outdoor ceremonies are held in the Bill and Melinda Gates Amphitheater (like these from Jeanie and James day). That’s the big stairs coming downhill from the main reception pavilion. The capacity is 160, which when filled, is an art surrounded modern space of beauty. I really like the long set of stairs that file down the right side of the amphitheater, making every entrance exceptionally elegant (and from a photographer’s perspective, giving me time to photograph both from behind and in front of folks walking down the aisle). I also really like the open space behind the ceremony spot. In a busy city, there are few areas that have a large, empty backdrop. It creates a unique sense of intimacy within large spaces leading back to the Wake.
The reception pavilion is a wonderful space. It’s open, beautiful, bright and fun. It’s a psace that you’ll comfortably be able to have your food, tables and dance floor all in the same room. Which really is nice because there is space for everyone. There is also an upstairs getting ready room for the bride and groom. It really is a great place to celebrate.
Also, this venue is right by the water. How awesome is that? With just a short walk, you can head down the ramps to the water’s edge. There is a small cove right where the sculpture park and the Mertyl Edwards trail meet. It’s very easy to get to and has lovely rocks to stand on and contemplate the universe as the cruise ships and ferryboats pass by.
Though it is pretty close, it still is about 10 minutes walking each way to the waterfront. Also, the beach rocks are the kind that can eat ankles. So, it’s a good idea to plan your footwear accordingly (or just go barefoot).
Things to consider
It is important to note that TASTE is the exclusive catering partner with the Olympic Sculpture Park. They are great and make really delicious, interesting and beautiful food. But this will be your only option for food at the wedding.
There is on-site parking, but not a ton of it. It’s under the pavilion and accessed from Western Avenue. That said, there is also street parking in the area too. It’s pretty inexpensive and because this park isn’t within easy walking distance of most other downtown Seattle tourist spots, there usually are spots to be found.
If you want to walk from the hotel to the venue (and home), there are really only 3 options. The closest and most iconic is The Edgewater. This is probably the most well-known hotel in Seattle because it’s on a pier out over the water. The Beatles once went fishing out the windows and it’s a great spot for a happy hour overlooking the bay. It’s about 4 blocks away along the waterfront.
Another walking option is the Ace Hotel on first. That modern spot is a perfect in-between if you’re looking for other Belltown options to go out either the night before or for an after-party. That’s about a 5 block walk.
The only other hotel in the area is the Homewood Suites which is about 6 blocks north.
But, if you’re going to drive or Lyft to the wedding, obviously just about anything is a good option for you.
It’s also nice because the venue includes a coat check, tables and chairs come with the rental, it includes security, there is a day-of coordinator and staff to do the clean up.
Other guests to the park
It is important to remember that the Olympic Sculpture Park is still open during daylight hours to other guests. Though they do close down the ceremony bowl, people will still be walking down the main Z shaped aisle and watching the sunset under the sculptures. Don’t worry though because I’ve never seen this be an issue. People might be a little nosy, but they’re going to give you space in the rented area. Also, the park closes to the public at sunset. So once the sun drops into the Olympics, you will have the whole park to yourself.