Rustic and Barn Wedding Venues in Minnesota
My job is just bonkers in that I’ve have the amazing privilege of photographing in so many awesome places. Weddings from California to Florida… Exclusive clubs, resorts, and quaint countrysides. After having seen everything from lavish multi-million dollar weddings, to incredibly personal exchanging of vows at home, I can honestly say that nothing quite compares to the unique experience you get at one of the many wedding venues right here at home. So many beautiful old barns have been converted into such seriously amazing wedding venues! With that in mind, I wanted to lay out -what I think are- the top rustic and barn wedding venues in Minnesota.
Why People Love Barn and Rustic Wedding Venues
I get asked all the time by couples about how they can make their day more personal and fun… It’s a good question! My number one piece of advice is to drop in little bits of their personality wherever possible. This is YOUR day! Infuse and include details that bring you joy, so that years from now, when you look back at your day, you remember the insanely wonderful experience you had.
In my opinion, the ultimate way of doing this is starting with your venue. Choosing the right venue is like finding an anchor for your wedding day. It’s your foundation to begin creating with. Most couples I work with express that their relationships mean everything to them and they want to share their wedding day with all those close to them, but finding a venue that will accommodate such a large group and still suit your personality can be tough! Booking a reception at a fancy hotel downtown can be super rad for sure, but might not be what you’re drawn to, and not everyone feels the vibe of a country club.
I think that’s where barns and rustic wedding venues shine… If you feel more alive outdoors, crave a bit of adventure, and want to lean into the natural beauty the North brings, I’d strongly consider one of these venues. Not only will they provide a gorgeous, inspiring setting that lights you up, but they can also logistically accommodate all your family and friends you want to share your day with.
So What Makes These Barn and Rustic Wedding Venues So Unique?
- The number one benefit is, and this is a big one, is that you’re surrounded the the beauty of Minnesota. If you are crazy about the outdoors and truly want to embrace that wild love for nature, venues like these would make for a strong contender (and there are a number of really awesome ones to choose from)!
- There’s usually ample room for getting ready spaces. More and more, couples are doing First Looks and having separate spaces for the two parties to get ready in (without being near or seeing each other) is a huge benefit.
- Multiple ceremony sites to choose from. As opposed to a hotel or a church, often these country venues have at least a couple, and many times several, locations for your ceremony right on site. A wedding I photographed recently lets couples choose whether they’d like their ceremony in a field (so awesome), next to a river, under a gigantic weeping willow (what?!), or in the warmth of their huge old historic barn. See that venue by clicking here!
A Note on Vendors:
- You’ll likely have your choice of officiant, if your ceremony is not at a church… If you have an officiant, pastor, priest, etc that you’d like to lead the ceremony, awesome! If you don’t, one way to shake things up is to have a friend or family member champion the exchanging of nuptials! Obtaining a license is as easy as a few clicks online and not a lot of time invested.
- Many times, you may find you have more of a choice in vendors (catering, bartending, etc). While many traditional venues have a select list of catering and bar service providers, many of the venues listed will allow you to choose whoever tickles your fancy. Again, another awesome way to let your personality shine! Rest assured, if you’d like help with vendor recommendations, your venue (or myself) is always happy to offer suggestions!
What Should I Consider about barn wedding venues in Minnesota?
Keep in mind that ditching the city for the countryside can be a real treat for your guests! Many of us, myself included, spend almost all our time in the city and getting an invite outside of the city limits can be an awesome change of pace! In my experience, guests are more willing and happy to unplug and be present… It’s a gift both for you and for them!
Be mindful of the distance your guests will be from where they’ll be staying. Usually venues have suggestions for transportation (shuttles/uber/etc) to and from major hubs, but worth keeping in mind, as guests usually like to know those details.
Lastly, take note of the weather. My suggestion is to embrace the weather that your given and plan accordingly. That might mean picking up some extra umbrellas or finding some rad wedding boots! You might get a little rain, wind, snow, but those are all things that make your photos and experience special, memorable, and beautiful! I feel like a good photographer will know how to navigate and take advantage of the many different situations mother nature might throw our way. The awesome thing about barn wedding venues in Minnesota is that they always provide a huge unique space inside to gather, even if your initial plan was to have an outdoor ceremony. Your day will be a win regardless of the weather.
Top 10 Barns and Rustic Wedding Venues in Minnesota
Okay let’s get to it! Here’s a list of my top 10 barns and rustic wedding venues in Minnesota. They’re in no particular order, but they are all amazing venues that are loaded with heaps of personality and the owners and coordinators care greatly for the couples they work with.
1. Abella Weddings and Events
Location: Chisago City, MN
Dear me this place is beautiful! Owner Teri Meads began this creation a few years ago, starting with a vision of what a beautiful country-chic wedding venue could be… What resulted was this beautiful French country inspired site, now known as Abella.
From the clean lines in the reception great room to the wild sunsets that flood the surrounding landscape… This place is magic and without a doubt among the best barn wedding venues in Minnesota.
Click here to see Michaela & Nathan’s stunning Abella wedding.
2. Creekside Farm
Location: Rush City, MN
When I mentioned above how some venues have the option to choose from multiple ceremony sites and areas for guests within itself, Creekside is definitely the place that stands out to me. It’s like an Easter egg hunt… There’s new surprises and beauty around every corner.
Rolling hills with waving tall grasses (which is absolute gold at sunset), quiet trails through the woods, a babbling creek flowing through the property, and of course a stunning old barn with giant beams and hand-made iron details and railings. As far as barn wedding venues in Minnesota, it’s one of those places you have to experience!
Look here for a glimpse of one recent wedding at Creekside.
3. Mayowood Stone Barn
Location: Rochester, MN
The design of the historic Mayowood Barn property was originally expanded in the early 1900’s and was inspired by European equestrian style barns. Besides being used by the Mayo family, the grounds were also used for carnivals, dances, and yes, weddings!
Today the Mayowood Stone Barn has been tastefully kept with the times while being careful to honor the history and legacy of the beloved property. The barn boasts numerous areas within itself, available to wedding couples and guests, including the Carriage Way, the Loft, the Den, Bridal Room, Blacksmith Shop, Stables, and the ever-stunning 305 year old oak tree.
Click the link here to see what a wedding at Mayowood Stone Barn looks like!
4. Legacy Hill Farm
Location: Welch, MN
Long before opening up to the public, Legacy Hill was home to owner Joan Hoffbeck and her family. Well aware of the special piece of beauty she had, Joan decided to open up her piece of the world and share it with couples and their guests.
What I absolutely love about Legacy Hill, is it is filled with intentionality! Even it’s design is so well thought… Whether photographing or as a guest, it is so much fun going from bridal suite, to ceremony site, to bar, patio and pavilion. Inspired by french-industrial design… Each crafted uniquely and beautifully! If you love intentionality and appreciate beautiful, intentional design, look at Legacy Hill Farm!
See Jamie & Rich’s wedding blog post here for an idea of how crazy-beautiful Legacy Hill is!
5. Hidden Meadow
Location: Pepin, WI
Don’t get mad… I know this is a Wisconsin venue, but I would never forgive myself if I didn’t share this glorious place… Besides, it’s right on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin!
I think I can say that everything here is beautiful. The charming getting ready cottages, the super stylish barn-pavilion with massive chandelier, the ceremony site that’s engulfed by surrounding tall beautiful grasses, and gigantic 12 foot stained glass windows that surround the ceremony space. The entire property is like a brilliant art piece in itself! Not to mention the actual valley that the entire property sits within is something out of this world divine. I really hope you find yourself here at some point!
Head over to this blog post for more photographic goodness at Hidden Meadow. Thank me later!
6. Rolling Ridge
Location: St. Joseph, MN
Rolling Ridge really is the perfect mix of privacy and sophistication. It’s just secluded enough with its protected patio and huge mature trees. I’ll admit, my first time here I got lost. With separate areas/suites for getting ready, of course the dreamy historic barn, speakeasy, stunning patio and bar, and the rolling hills beyond, I don’t feel so embarrassed about getting turned around!
My advice- If you get the chance, sneak back onto the hillside with the scattered trees about 30 minutes before sunset. The way the sun throws it’s golden light between the tall trees as the sun is dipping down is just made for photos!
7. Historic Furber Farm
Location: Cottage Grove, MN
Located only 10 miles south of St. Paul, the Furber Farm is really a unique blend. Both far enough from the city where you definitely know you’re in the county, but still being really conveniently close to the state’s capital!
One of my favorite things about Furber Farm is its capacity and ability to bring a lot of people together. It has seating capacity for 500 guests! The second thing that I absolutely love is the jaw-dropping sunsets from the hilltop! Wedding couples should definitely make time for a sunset stroll under the huge old oak trees and take in the beautiful views into the valley from the sidehills above.
Want to see more of John P Furber Farm? Click this link!
8. The Woods Chapel
Location: Long Lake, MN
If you’re drawn to the idea of a small chapel with exposed beams, a rustic yet chic cottage for getting ready, and a hands-down completely unique outdoor wooded ceremony site under a thick canopy of massive trees, you need to look into The Woods. Nestled among the northern bays of lake Minnetonka, the property dates back to over 130 years ago, beginning as a meeting space, likely among the first church congregations in the area.
If you are looking to provide yourself and your guests with a totally unique wedding experience, you’ve found it! Take a walk across the stone bridges, enjoy the massive fountain that anchors the ceremony amphitheater, and get drawn into this enchanted place.
Check out Mary & Jay’s day at The Woods Chapel for more!
9. Grand View Lodge
Location: Brainerd, MN
Prepare yourself for the most relaxing wedding your guests will ever attend… My favorite thing about Grand View Lodge is when you exit the back of the lodge and descend those huge steps, overlooking the lake! To be hones, the entire property has such cool vibe! Think different cottages and boutique hotel for guests to choose from, different shops, bars/restaurants… Each with their own unique atmosphere… And a team that is crushing it with their passion for providing couples a relaxing and memorable wedding day. The place is something to see!
10. Hidden Greens
Location: Hastings, MN
Located in Hastings, Minnesota, just 20 minutes from St. Paul, Hidden Greens is a newer venue, but I wanted to include it here because of its gorgeous views and commitment to making its beautiful environment such a priority. Step out onto the massive patio and be surrounded by a gorgeous wooded golf course… Or for the more adventurous, walk down the wooded path, lit by twinkle lights to find the most enchanting outdoor chapel. It really is amazing!
There you have it! Those are my top 10 rustic and barn wedding venues in Minnesota. Each brilliant in uniqueness and each very worthy of consideration. I get so excited every time I’m photographing a wedding, whether that’s downtown in a bustling city or somewhere off the path, but one thing I’m certain of is there’s nothing quite like some of the rustic venues right here in Minnesota.
If you have any questions at all, definitely reach out to the links provided here or drop me an email! If you’re looking for a photographer, you’ve also come to the right place! I’m your guy. I’m a dang fool for weddings and I’d love to hear about what you have envisioned!
Contact me here, or feel free to email me directly at email@example.com
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