Looking for the top 10 elopement venues in Iowa (plus, a bonus one!) and my personal elopement vendor recommendations?
The midwest is always known as the flyover states…
Iowa and Ohio? I’m not sure why that always gets confused, but here we are, wanting to elope or have a small, intimate wedding in Iowa!
My name is Jamie, I was born and cornfed so I know that traditional large weddings rule this state BUT I am here to scream it loud to the humans who want different.
Eloping in the midwest means you might get a “shotgun wedding” comment here or there, but who cares, you are doing exactly what you want to do, in the state you call home.
Whether you want to elope with under 20 humans or plan a small intimate wedding with ~50 guests there are amazing places here in Iowa, and amazing vendors that can bring your dream to life.
Here is my list, in no order, of amazing venues/places you can elope at in Iowa!
The BEST Elopement + Small Wedding Venues in Iowa
1: Sister Hill Inn, Manchester, Iowa // Sister Hill website + more info here
I absolutely adore this renovated victorian house. The ceremony held on the front lawn, cocktails on the patio, full main bedroom + bathroom for bright getting-ready photos. AH! This place is amazing whether you are eloping or hosting a small wedding. Did I mention there’s a tree swing?
2: Cedar Ridge Winery, Swisher, Iowa // Cedar Ridge website + more info here
I can never say enough good things about this place, from their event coordination to the space itself it’s perfect for small weddings. The ability to roam the vines, and the barns, and also sip wine all day is a wine-o’s dream. I love capturing the sunset in the summer greens between the barrel barns too! PLUS – some of the best food I have had at a wedding is from here, and a hotel + airport is nearby for guests.
MIX OF URBAN + NATURE
3: Rose Garden, Des Moines, Iowa // Rose Garden Website + more info here
This little spot is perfect for small outdoor ceremonies. My favorite is when you bring in rental furniture, do it pop-up style, and then take in all the spots for photos. Plus we can easily go roam around Des Moines and mix in that urban vibe!
4: Botanical Gardens, Des Moines, Iowa // Botanical Garden Website + more info here
Iowa has more than 4 seasons, we have at least 20 in between seasons and sometimes you want a tropical spot in the middle of -20 degree windchill. This is the PLACE. It is indoors but with all the outdoor vibes because it is a botanical garden full of plants + water + upper level to look down on one of the options for a ceremony spot. We can easily plan a Des Moines City elopement, get ready at a hip hotel, roam the city, and then warm up here in the middle of winter (or really any time of year).
5: Cedar Rapids Library Roof Top // CR Library Website + More info here
This is a super city vibe in small-town Iowa. You legit get married on the roof of the Cedar Rapid’s library (which is already a cool + HUGE spot!) Anyone feeling a Sex + City moment?! You can fit 150 people on this rooftop and are more than welcome to bring your own furniture or use the rentals they provide. And the views are epic!!
This is that speakeasy jazz club vibe! Exposed brick and downtown Des Moines! What more can you ask for?? When the club isn’t busy entertaining people with its mesmerizing jazz bands, it doubles as an Iowa elopement venue. The renovated warehouse has a super historic feel to it, but with a modern, urban-industrial vibe. And! It’s less than half an hour from the Des Moines International airport, so there are tons of nearby hotels for out-of-town family and friends.
You can push your guest list a little further here, but how romantic is that Juliet balcony? Located in the heart of downtown Des Moines, this venue has options for both elopements and bigger weddings. Did I mention that the onsite Lounge is one of the most stylish lounges I’ve ever seen?? You bet your ass we’ll be taking tons of photos here.
Grab a brew and hang out with your family + friends! If you want a more casual wedding affair, why not get hitched at one of the best breweries in Des Moines?? They have 99 taps featuring all Iowa craft beers… I’m getting excited just thinking about it. They have 3 different event spaces: the Marquette Room, the Joliet Room, and a not-so-secret speakeasy that you can rent out. What more do you need?
Locally owned by a fellow Iowa photographer and gives that “secret garden wedding” vibe! You’ll seriously feel so secluded at this elopement venue in Iowa. It’s a cute little intimate, Victorian-style conservatory that’s tucked away in a freakin’ cedar tree forest. I’m sure you’ve never heard of something more magical-sounding.
Photos of Iris Aisle:
This is screaming to have a Great Gatsby-themed wedding! The 1920s-inspired indoor/outdoor venue is one of the most unique spaces in Central Iowa. It was founded by a real couple who wanted something totally different than most other wedding venues in the area had to offer. Their intention was to create a space that felt like somewhere you were running off to… without having to actually run off somewhere far away. I’d say mission accomplished! Be sure to check out the epic photos on their website to know exactly what I’m talking about
Waverly’s Butterfly Garden at the Library // Waverly Garden website + more info here
First, I will admit I am totally biased because THIS is where Mark + I eloped! Second, it’s just a beautiful little butterfly garden in Waverly, Iowa, and looks SO good in the summer.
Highly recommend these Iowa elopement Vendors!
So, you might think that only big cities have the best of the best? Think again!
Iowa is home to some of the most creative, kind, hard-working vendors the wedding world has to offer. When it comes to my clients I want you to have the dream day with no stress, so let me shout out a few of my absolute favorite vendors in this state.
(In no order, I will update with more!)
Hair + Makeup
Planner / Coordination
Bespoke Socials (Okay she JUST moved, but still midwest!)
Dress / Attire
Flutter Bridal Co (Okay technically Minnesota, but being an INCLUSIVE VENDOR is everything to me!)
Skin + Pampering
Contact Jamie for your ELOPEMENT!
Need more help planning your elopement or small, intimate wedding day? I got your back, reach out to me right now!
Because you deserve to have a photographer who is FULLY committed to your dream wedding!
Contact Me Here!