Since I hear wedding venues can book up one to two years in advance I figured we better get going on picking one. I came up with a list of local places that we want to consider and went to look at the first one yesterday before the rain hit.
Today we had our sites on the Mukilteo Lighthouse which is about a 30 minute drive north of Seattle. It’s a Mukilteo City Park with, as the name implies, a restored, historical 1906 lighthouse. It sits on the water right next to the Mukilteo ferry terminal and has great views of the beach, Whidbey Island and the Olympic Mountains on a clear day.
The lighthouse grounds themselves are surrounded by a white fence but the adjacent park area includes a stretch of beach will fire pits, three picnic shelters and plentiful restrooms. The lighthouse grounds are perfectly manicured and beautiful. Unfortunately, the space is small.
Weddings are common here so I expected to see a large grassy area. There wasn’t though. There was one grassy area to the north of the lighthouse and one odd-shaped strip to the south. Both areas looked like they might be pretty cramped for a wedding party of 100. It did look doable though with some creativity.
The lighthouse can be rented for a ceremony for about $600. For that you get private use of the lighthouse grounds and access to the lighthouse for guests of your wedding party for about 3 hours. Rental times are limited though.
According to the Mukilteo website, events may be held between 10:00 am and 8:30 pm any day of the year except those dates when the Lighthouse is open to the public. When the Lighthouse is open to the public, the rental hours are limited to 10:00 am –11:30 am and 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm. The Lighthouse is open to the public on weekends and holidays from April 1 through September 30. Reservations may be made up to a year in advance.
No food or drink is allowed on the lighthouse grounds. The wedding reception must be held somewhere else. Fortunately, there are two options very close to the lighthouse.
If you want an outdoor, informal picnic or potluck-style reception you can rent one of the adjacent picnic shelters. You can claim one of the fire pits on the beach if you wish. However, alcohol is not allowed at the picnic shelters and there is no electricity. There is a kids play area though if you have a lot of smaller guests attending your wedding party. The biggest picnic shelter has four picnic tables, seating approximately 24 people.
For a more formal reception with alcohol, head up the street a quarter mile to the Rosehill Community Center. You can have beer and wine here but no hard alcohol. Wedding parties can rent the Point Elliott Room which is a large multi-purpose room with floor to ceiling windows providing great views of the waterfront. When we were there it was closed for a private wedding party so we didn’t get to take in the whole view but you can get the idea from the photos. I think you can even see the lighthouse from here which is kind of cool. I know you can see the community center from the lighthouse grounds.
The room boasts 3,500 square feet of floor space with an additional 1,500 square feet on the stage and is equipped with a state of the art sound and lighting system. The room can accommodate 450 people theater-style or 200 at tables. The rental of the Point Elliott Room includes use of the Stage, Kitchen, Blue Room, Green Room and outside decks. It can also be split in half for smaller parties for a lesser cost.
I have to do more research but I seemed to calculate the rental cost for the half of the room that includes the balcony but not the stage for about $700 for three hours. Since I didn’t account for set-up and tear-down time, I would expect to pay closer to $1,000 just for the room. Click here for rental times and policies
Other things of note are:
- There is a large, free parking lot adjacent to the lighthouse grounds and parks. This is a very popular park during the summer though so there is chance the lot will be too full to accommodate guests for a 100-person wedding party. I assume you could pretty easily find parking on surrounding street less than ½ mile away. You could potentially even use the lot at the Rosehill Community Center if you have it rented (which wasn’t very big either but there appears to be an overflow lot down the street).
- For guest coming from out of town there are a few hotel options. Like I said, Seattle is only about 30-minutes away so there are a multitude of choices south on the freeway. For more inexpensive options you could look to Lynnwood about 30 minutes to the North. There is also a hotel sitting right next to the lighthouse grounds. From the outside it didn’t look to classy though.
- If any of your guests have to travel by ferry to get there from the Kitsap and Clallam county areas, tell them to take the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry. It’s only about 25 minutes from the lighthouse and is MUCH less convoluted than trying to coordinate the two ferries between Port Townsend and Mukilteo.