Iowa Wedding Venues + Vendors We LOVE | Jamie Tobin Photography

Hello Human!!

I know, I have all the tea for your wedding + elopement needs and I am about to spill it all over myself because my cats will not get off my lap AH!

Want to know our favorite Venues + Vendors in Iowa? You have come to the right place… These are in no order either, just probably how I found the images on our back up hard drives! 😉

Venues:

1: Cedar Ridge Winery

Personally, this is one of our top favorite wineries for local Iowa wine + whiskey, and the event space is modern romantic. Reasons to have this place is because it is all inclusive (Ceremony, reception, food, and drink) but you will have to get ready most likely at a hotel down the road because they are open to the public until 5 pm on wedding days and don’t have a bridal suite.

As a photographer, this doesn’t bother us because most people will be “oo-ing” over you both and just as excited for you. It’s like bonus guests to pump you up and then the event coordinator (Ashton) kicks them out so you don’t have to pay to feed them.

Bonus points – the vines are right out the window so you’re able to take photos in them, and have them as the backdrop for your outdoor ceremony.

2: Rapid Creek Cidery

Romance + Privacy + Outdoor spaces + bridal suites + amazing food

If you wanted the cliff notes for this place. I love how long the side walk is to get to the ceremony spot, it’s like YAS DRAMATIC ENTRANCE. The public is upstairs, while the event space is down, yes they are open to the public but kick everyone out before your wedding begins, so it doesn’t bother us.

The vines are not close to the ceremony spot, but you’re still able to get to them. I love all the beams, and warmth of the wood for dancing photos at Rapid Creek. Plus tons of natural light with all the windows.

3: Ashton Hill Farm (Cedar Rapids)

Ashton Hill Farm is for all my modern farmhouse brides. The white shiplap, the black iron details, plus two getting ready suites. The bridal suites is huge, with a bathroom attached, multiple mirrors, and I love the neutral walls to help keep photos modern + minimal.

There is also an upstairs loft, perfect for hiding out after the ceremony and dual staircase for being annouced in.

Plus — outdoor ceremony space + covered patio!

They are opening up their new location in Galena, IL in 2020, I can’t wait to go their with some of our couples but for now I’m just mentioning their Cedar Rapids, IA location.

Inside Ashton Hill Farm (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Outdoor Ceremony Space at Ashton Hill Farm, Cedar Rapids, IA

4: Des Moines Botanical Gardens

This place is like stepping into the better scenes of Jurassic Park.. like no one will be crushed by a t-rex but its so warm and inviting. I do only mention this for small, intimate weddings because it is only so big.

There is lush greenery, but the getting ready area is more like a conference room without windows so we can help keep it clean if you want to get ready there!

Day or Night your ceremony will look amazing, and there is the loft area for guests to watch from above.

First look at the Botanical Gardens in Des Moines, IA
Ceremony spot inside the Botanical Gardens in Des Moines, IA
Reanna + Cameron by Jamie Tobin Photography

5: The Iowa Taproom (Des Moines, IA)

We have only been here for receptions, but it is a top option for reception sites. They always have their twinkle lights, which make for amazing photos, and you can easily configure tables depending on if you want to max out the space with guests or keep it small.

Plus they are super easy to work with, and so nice… and did I mention Molly’s Cupcakes is attached and I need one of their cupcakes right meow…

Then we can easily sneak away and grab some photos around the buildings for urban sunset photos!!

The outside of the Iowa Taproom in Des Moines, IA
Patio space to the side of Iowa Taproom in Des Moines, IA
Event Space of the Iowa Taproom in Des Moines, IA
Father-Daughter dance at the Iowa Taproom in Des Moines, IA

6: The Rose Garden (Des Moines, IA)

Again, we are nature freaks and I love being surrounded by plants + greenery. This space is beautiful for intimate weddings that want a secret garden feel.

We photographed this wedding with the styling help of Macy of Borrow My Vintage which really brought the ceremony area to life.

Bridesmaids inside the Rose Garden in Des Moines, IA
The Rose Garden in Des Moines, IA
Ceremony inside the Rose Garden in Des Moines, IA

7: Backyard Weddings

This can be your backyard, or possibly your parents.. but either way, we like how personal an in-home wedding is.

That way you know what to expect from your own home.

Iowa Backyard wedding photography by Jamie Tobin Photography

8: WAVP (Waverly, IA)

The WAVP (Waverly Area Veterans Post) has the backyard space for a ceremony overlooking the river, a back deck for cocktail hour, and an upstairs space to hold all your guests and keep in tons of natural light with their huge windows.

9: Millwork District in Dubuque, IA

If you want that urban – historic city feel, WE MUST GO HERE. Rain or shine this location works outdoors because of all the little places we can sneak under.

There are so many options for photos and it is all walkable!

Millwork District Dubuque, IA

10: Backbone State Park in Dundee, IA

You’re surrounded by nature, and I love bench seating with the ability to go in and out all day!

Also one of the most cost effective locations!

Inside the lodge at Backbone State Park in Dundee, IA

Venues not pictured that we like going to:

The Old Fifty Six Barn in Grundy Center, IA
The Hotel Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids, IA
The Library in Cedar Rapids, IA
Maytag Event Complex in Newton, IA
Eastbank Lounge in Cedar Rapids, IA
The Graduate Hotel in Iowa City, IA

Vendors:

*Disclaimer these are all vendors we have worked with personally, and know how hard they work — we haven’t met everyone in Iowa (yet) but these are some of our trusted favorites! Also, not in any order.. just as I can remember names I listed

1: Borrow My Vintage
2: The Whimsical Wine Trailer
3: Ben with Graphic Formation Films
4: Molly’s Cupcakes
5: The Mixing Bowl in Waverly, IA
6: Stang Films
7: Painting for Cheese
8: Unique Events Iowa
9: Domino’s Pizza in Waverly, IA
10: HyVee Floral + Bakery
11: Pure Bridal
12: Mara Bridal
13: Eden Salon Spa
14: Jiva Salon Spa
15: Dolled Up Studios
16: Hope’s Bridal
17: The Finery
18: Ultimate Entertainment
19: Take the Cake
20: Ecker’s Greenhouse
21: Courtney Cue (Hair)
22: Michaela Kiefer MUA
23: Tom’s Traveling Film CO
24: Sara with Pretty Petunia Floral Studio
25: Root (Makeup)
26: Roth Jewelers

I know there is more… just trying to recall everyone oops.

Need help planning? Reach out to see if we still have your wedding date open!!

Love, Jamie + Mark

  1. Phyliss says:

    Good for everyday use and wear. Durable and goes with just about everything.

  2. Weston says:

    beautiful, but due to the strap being silver it slides and doesn’t stay in place.

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