Seattle-Area Reception Sites for 300 w/Free Parking

Finding a reception site can be daunting, but finding one that can accommodate 300 or more guests can be even tougher, especially on a budget.

After doing a lot of research online, in magazines and in local guide books, we ended up viewing 3 locations that fit our needs.  Here’s a little info on the 2 runner-ups (you’ll see the winner in a post later) that were able to fit 300 banquet/standing reception-style, had free parking for guests and didn’t cost an arm and a leg to book:

The Spirit of Washington Event Center


Spirit of Washington Event Center - Ceremony

Spirit of Washington Event Center - Ceremony

- Renton, WA

Accommodates:  450+
Parking: limited free parking available across the street, street parking is free for 2 hours before 6 p.m. or unlimited hours after 6 p.m. and Sundays.  Parking garage available just a few feet away for a fee.
Catering: The Spirit of Washington Catering – the staff was professional and responded quickly to my emails.  Pricing for both the venue and catering were very reasonable.

Spirit of Washington Evenet Center - Reception

Spirit of Washington Event Center - Reception

Site Notes:
This location is pretty easy to find from I-5 – a short 10 or 15 minute drive from downtown Seattle.  Although it’s surrounded by one-way streets – if you miss it, you have to go all the way around the block.  The event center itself looks fairly new and has a courtyard in front of it with a small fountain and a couple of benches.  One thing that was a bit unappealing from the outside was that the event center is flanked on the North and East side of the building by the Renton Transit Center, though you wouldn’t really be able to see the bus riders waiting out there from inside the venue because the huge floor to ceiling windows face South and West (the East windows are or can be covered up) .  Inside, you can tell that way more than 300 people can fit for a reception – there’s enough room for both a ceremony and reception!  And with all that space and high ceilings, it could give you a lot of room to be creative.

University of Washington Horticulture Center


UW Horticulture Center Courtyard

UW Horticulture Center Courtyard

- Seattle, WA

Accommodates: 200 (I know, way below 300, but this place can work if you’re doing a standing reception)
Parking: plenty of free parking available in their lot
Catering: provide your own – kitchen is available

UW Horticulture Center - NHS Hall

UW Horticulture Center - NHS Hall

Site Notes: Only UW Alumni are able to book this venue.  The difficulty in finding this place may vary, and depending on if there’s some kind of game, event or problems with the 520 bridge, there may be a lot of traffic you’ll have to fight through.  Otherwise, the venue itself is cute.  There is a courtyard with small trees and shrubbery, a glass room you can rent in addition to the hall to use as a bar or lounge area.  I know two couples that had their reception here, one of them also had their ceremony here too – and as a guest of their weddings during the hot July and August months, the courtyard was a blessing for the guests!

These two sites were our high on our list of possible reception sites both because the venues had what we needed (accomodation of 300 people and free parking), and were spaces that we could be pretty creative with.  With the exception of the catering being attached to the first venue, both places would be great for a do-it-yourself (DIY) or budget wedding, which were two more things that we were initially aiming for.

[images from Spirit of Washington Event Center and UW websites]

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avatar About Marivic

Soon-to-be-Wed Blogger since June 2009. Administrative Specialist. I was born and raised in Washington State, and will be marrying the love of my life in beautiful Seattle, Washington.

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