My Top 5 Favorite Wedding Venues in Iowa

Congratulations on your engagement! Now, let’s start wedding planning. Choosing your wedding venue is one of the biggest items on your to-do list. Once you choose your venue, your wedding day details will fall into place. I know, choosing a venue can be overwhelming. There are so many factors to consider! But remember, no matter what venue you choose, your big day is all about celebrating with the people you love, so you really can’t go wrong. To help make your decision a little easier, here is a list of my top 5 favorite wedding venues in Iowa: 

1868 Farmhouse 

The 1886 Farmhouse is located about 3 miles north of Boone, Iowa. It’s the oldest farmhouse in Iowa, but it’s been completely and beautifully renovated. If you’re looking for a white and bright space to host up to 300 of your friends and family, this is the perfect venue for you. Seriously, this place has it all! When you book the 1868 Farmhouse for your wedding day, you get exclusive access to the venue Friday-Sunday, which is a huge plus if you’re planning a rehearsal dinner. Along with multiple locations for your ceremony, 1868 Farmhouse features 2 bridal party suites, a 6,000 sq foot reception hall, and an outdoor patio area complete with bistro lights and rolling countryside views. I can’t say enough about this venue and it's owners. I promise you won’t regret choosing the 1868 Farmhouse as your Iowa wedding venue. 

The Tea Room

The Tea Room is located in the heart of downtown Des Moines, IA. The Tea Room’s historic elegance and 14 large windows provide up to 300 guests with stunning views of downtown Des Moines. The original architecture has been completely restored with a few added modern touches. This iconic space has tons of gorgeous natural light as well & will leave you with timeless wedding photos. No matter where you are within the venue, the background is pure perfection, which includes the large balcony with views of the city. The Tea Room also provides its guests with exceptional service. If you’re looking for a classic venue with a downtown feel, I’d highly suggest considering the Tea Room. 

The Hive at Busy Bee 

The Hive is a brand-new Iowa wedding venue, as they officially opened in April 2021. I love this place, and it’s in a super convenient location for guests. If you have guests coming in from out of town, The Hive is located mere minutes from the airport and accommodations. The Hive is situated between Indianola and Des Moines, and the property is surrounded by rolling hills, and immaculate landscaping which provides the perfect background for your wedding photos. The venue offers 8,000 square feet of indoor entertaining space, acres of outdoor space, and two bridal party suites. I’m expecting this elegant yet laid-back venue to quickly become an Iowa wedding venue favorite, and I can’t wait for more opportunities to photograph here!

Emerald Hills

Emerald Hills is located in Promise City, Iowa. I’ve been lucky enough to shoot at this location frequently, and the owner, Abby is extremely kind, fun and accommodating. This wedding venue is crazy beautiful and full of so much natural lighting, perfect for photos. Are you looking for a modern farmhouse feel with dreamy outdoor backdrops? Emerald Hills has you covered. There are plenty of outdoor spaces to hold your ceremony, but their spacious loft is also available for colder or unpredictable weather. Outside, the venue overlooks 35 acres of the emerald countryside complete with lush trees and a serene lake. Inside the modern white barn, you and up to 500 guests can dance the night away. Emerald Hills also offers 2 gorgeous and spacious suites for your wedding party to get ready, and a patio bar with bonfire pits. The photos I’ve taken at this venue are always absolutely stunning. 

Salisbury House 

Last but certainly not least, Salisbury House. Salisbury House is rich with history, and it’s located in a quiet neighborhood in downtown Des Moines. The mansion features historic (and extremely photogenic) architecture, including Tudor arches, flagstone terraces, and meticulously manicured gardens. If you're drawn to history and charm like I am, this unique and elegant estate is the perfect Iowa wedding venue for you. Salisbury house offers 7 different event spaces and can host up to 300 guests. For outdoor space, they offer a seriously beautiful flagstone patio. If you’re looking for a unique fairytale-like wedding experience, Salisbury House is the way to go. 

Again, choosing a wedding venue is important, but no matter which location you choose, your big day is all about you and your loved ones! I know wedding planning can be stressful, so I hope this list helped to make your decision just a little bit easier. Still looking for a photographer for your big day? Let’s chat! I love connecting with new clients and I would love the opportunity to capture your wedding day.