Choosing a ceremony location can be an incredibly multi-faceted experience. I grew-up attending a private Catholic school in Nebraska. Nate and his family spent his younger years attending a Lutheran church. Over the years, like many young couples, we just kind of quit habitually attending service. We both knew for our wedding we wanted to have a ceremony that was very special to us and aligned with our religious beliefs as a couple.
When setting out on the adventure of choosing a ceremony location, I thought I was up against an impossible task. If we were hosting a summer wedding, a beautiful outdoor venue would be perfect. The winter months have a much more limited selection. My other fabulous 'Bride Blogger,' Elisa, chose one of my dream locations for a ceremony. The Loring Pasta Bar is one of the most unique, unusual, and outrageously cool venues in town. If you have never been, it's an absolute must. The food is decent, but the ambiance is out of this world. With our reception already booked in Chaska, it seemed to be too much of a hike for our guests to make. So began our western suburb adventure . . .
After many a Google search, we set up an appointment with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska. We drove up their long winding driveway in the late March, and were blown away by what we saw. In the spring months it is a massive and sprawling park filled with gorgeous flowers, big blooming trees, and a sparkling blue lake in the background. Everyone there was incredibly helpful, including our wonderful day of wedding planner Lindsay. She gave us a tour of the building, which actually has tons of great options for not only ceremony's but full-on receptions as well. Who knew!?
Nate and I are expecting around 170 guests for our big day. We wanted a space that would accommodate everyone comfortably for our ceremony, but still feel small and intimate. The Synder auditorium was a major home run. It looks almost like this small European chapel located in the Swiss Alps. It's all heavy wood, rustic iron chandeliers, and a big domed ceiling. I love that we can dim the lights and easily be able to have the entire event candle-lit. It truly was exactly what I had envisioned! We were beyond thrilled to find such an ideal space, after all it is only located four minutes away from our reception and was our picture perfect spot.
Since we have so many guests coming from out-of-town, we really wanted to be able to make sure that a trip up to Minnesota in the winter was not only wedding festive, but also like a mini vacation. The day of, our wedding guests are able to arrive early at the Arboretum and explore the exhibits as they please, free of charge. Additionally, February happens to be orchid month, and their display is sure to not disappoint! Since Nate proposed snowshoeing, Lindsay is helping us track down a great pair of snow shoes for some outdoor pictures. (Not to mention all the great pictures we will get with the flower displays!)
For those brides out there still trying to uncover a ceremony or even reception site, I truly found the Arboretum to be a hidden jewel. Their pricing is insanely reasonable, and the venue itself is beyond gorgeous!! I can't wait to see it decked-out in all its winter wonderland finery!!