Timeless Romance: The Pros and Cons of a Historic Wedding Venue


Sponsored by The Rainier Club

You’ve done it. You’ve found your one and only. You can’t stop staring at your ring as your mind fills with visions of calla lilies, empire waist, strapless dresses and single-breasted tuxedoes. You want your wedding to be more than a dream. You want it to be perfect. Now you get to pick the perfect wedding venue.

Indoor? Outdoor? Church? Hotel? The restaurant where you first met? A historic mansion? How do you decide? To help you narrow it down, we’ve come up with some pros and cons of historic venues.

The Pros:

Timeless: Historic venues are historic for a reason. They endure the crazy fads and “we thought that was a good idea” architectural mishaps that could someday make your wedding photos look and feel dated. Plus, you can count on these buildings to withstand the test of time. That means they’ll be around for you to revisit on anniversaries and for vow renewals.

Options: Historic venues have so much character. With multiple rooms and outdoor areas, you won’t have to wander all over the city to get a variety of perfect photo ops. The assortment of rooms allows you to have your ceremony and reception in different areas without having to change locations. Did we mention the private nooks and crannies you and your beloved can escape to for a few moments during the celebration?


photography by Matthew Land Studios

Uniqueness: Well-maintained architectural elements that you won’t see anywhere else can be found in historic buildings.

History: Your wedding isn’t just another day. It’s one of the most historic days of your life. Getting married in a place rich with history only adds to your story. You’ll get to dance on mahogany floors where couples who married decades before you once danced. You can say your vows in a room where government officials have signed laws and proclamations.

Décor: Stunning architecture means you don’t need to go overboard with decorations. Most of the work is already done for you so you can focus on the things that really matter. Plus, your art-loving guests will love the added thrill of viewing stunning photographs, statues and paintings already on display.


photography by J. Garner Studios

The Cons:

Unexpected Noise: Historic buildings have some creaks — who wouldn’t after standing for more than 100 years? Elegant hardwood may not seem so elegant when your guests are walking in stiletto heels.

Climate control: Many historic venues can be difficult to heat in the winter and hard to cool in the summer. Heating and cooling systems have come a long way in the last several decades. Some areas within a building may not be updated so be sure to ask if weather conditions need to be a consideration.

Accessibility: Narrow hallways and winding staircases will add to the elegance of your day, but if any of your guests are mobility-impaired they may have a difficult time navigating.

Technology Issues: Electrical outlets and cable wiring weren’t as important hundreds of years ago as they are today. Fewer outlets and smaller circuit loads can be potentially challenging if you have extensive audio-visual needs.


photography by J. Garner Studios

The Bottom Line:

Historic venues all have pluses and minuses. But if you are looking for a place with unsurpassed service and timeless elegance, the pros far out-weigh the cons. No one wants his or her wedding venue or wedding photos to feel dated. At a historic venue you’ll never have that problem. Just take a look at the photos and you’ll understand what we’re talking about.

The Rainier Club is a premier private business and social club in the heart of downtown Seattle. Its beautiful mansion has hosted weddings and private events for more than 10 decades.