The Best Des Moines and Iowa Wedding Venues

September 11, 2023

As a Des Moines wedding photographer, there are a few Des Moines and Iowa wedding venues that tick all the boxes for me. I believe the atmosphere and logistics of the location can really affect the flow of the wedding day. Many of these venues have ample room for your guests to get comfortable both indoors and outdoors. The best part of many of these Iowa wedding venues is their options for photos on-site. Nothing messes with the flow of a wedding day more than having to leave your perfectly selected venue to find another location for photos. I haven’t had the pleasure of shooting at all of these locations just yet, but the ones I have, I can verify just how good they are! If you love the images below and would like to see if I’m available for your date, be sure to contact me or check out more of my work!

Best Iowa Wedding Venues

Reiman Gardens

Reiman Gardens is located near Iowa State University in Ames. It’s the perfect space for a quiet wedding surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Reiman Gardens, Iowa wedding venue located in Ames

Emerald Hills Events

Emerald Hills is located south of Des Moines and is the perfect spot for a central Iowa wedding. The main building has so much space for all of your guests, plus has an easy flow into the outdoor patio area. The grounds offer so many spaces to spread out!

Emerald Hills Des Moines Wedding Venue

Happy Apple Celebrations

I’m partial to Happy Apple because it’s where Joey and I got married in 2014! I fell in love with the outdoor space in the orchard. The indoor space is large and can hold over 500 guests. Located in Norwalk, Happy Apple is a great location for a wedding just outside of Des Moines.

Carper Winery

Also located in Norwalk, Carper Winery offers a beautiful countryside view. You get the best of Iowa with this wedding venue — field, pond, vineyard — Carper Winery has it all. On a beautiful night, you’re guests won’t be able to resist relaxing outside watching the sun set.

Carper Vineyard Des Moines wedding venue

Walker Homestead

What I love about Walker Homestead as an Iowa wedding venue is the variety of the location. The main building is beautiful, but it’s not the only space. There is also a pavilion with open sides to keep some of your day al fresco. Your guests can roam outside near the vineyard and easily gravitate back inside through large open doors.

Walker Homestead Iowa Wedding Venue

Barnes Place

Barnes Place was one of the very first venues I ever photographed when I started following my mentor photographer as a second shooter. While it’s been a few years since I’ve photographed this venue, it always stood out to me for its seclusion and expansive area. Most of the grounds feel like a hideaway in the woods!

Little Lights on the Lane

Little Lights makes for a venue that feels like home. Located in West Branch (near Iowa City), it makes for a cozy spot to settle in with all of your favorite people. I love all of the light that comes in to the getting ready spaces! On a hot day, it’s easy to pop back inside and continue taking photos because it is all beautiful!

Little Lights on the Lane Iowa City Wedding Venue

Best Des Moines Wedding Venues

Salisbury House & Gardens

I haven not yet had the pleasure of photographing a wedding at Salisbury House, but I think it makes for a wonderful location for a very classic, timeless wedding. There is nothing trendy about old elegance and I love that.

Rollins Mansion

Another timeless venue with old charm. I’m convinced a venue like this will never go out of style!

Surety Hotel

Located in downtown Des Moines, Surety Hotel makes for a beautiful spot for your guests to stay.

Willow on Grand

A modern Des Moines wedding venue with a clean slate of white walls.

Hotel Fort Des Moines

I recently had the pleasure of photographing a wedding at Hotel Fort Des Moines and I love the charm. The hotel makes for an excellent location for your guests to stay. It has elegant charm and feels so timeless. It’s the perfect space for a high-end, intimate gathering.

Glen Oaks Country Club

A beautiful space to plan either an indoor or outdoor reception!

Temple for Performing Arts

I’m preparing for my first wedding at the Temple for Performing Arts in 2024! I’ll be sure to circle back to this post to update with my experience.


Located in Ankeny, but not far from Des Moines, Toast is the perfect mix of modern with a little charm for your Des Moines wedding.

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As your photographer, I’m intentional about letting go of perfection so your day can unfold organically, precisely as it was meant to. I’ll lean into my intuition to stand back and photograph you with my signature documentary approach: