Minneapolis wedding officiant Rev Coleman, for a chapel with a Minnesota wedding

Venues - Farms

My recommendations for wedding sites in the Minneapolis/St Paul area:
Chapels      Parks      Gardens      Mansions      Museums      Hotels      Farms      Historic     Amphitheatres      Restaurants     Comparison Matrix
In the heart of Minneapolis lie three special farms, each with its own special style, each hosting wedding ceremonies and receptions.

Minneapolis has become a sophisticated and glamorous destination, but its down-home roots are still found in special pockets: the complete farms still found in town.  Brides in-the-know are snapping up available Saturdays at these special rustic spots, sites that come with all the full-service amenities one would expect from the fanciest of wedding sites.   Whether you are looking for down-home charm of a pioneer farm, the elegance of a Victorian mansion of a famous dairy farmer, or the sprawling spread of Belgian horse farm, Minneapolis has the wedding setting for you.

Gibbs Farm - for rustic, outdoor weddings on a farm

Very rustic setting, right in the heart of Minneapolis/St PaulFrom the porch of Gibbs Farm, visitors can see the skyscrapers of both downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul.  Nestled in Saint Paul’s little-known U of M campus, this 19th century pioneer farmhouse delights visitors as a museum on most days, but hosts wedding ceremonies and receptions on select summer weekends.  

Children can run around, playing with each other in the grass, while the adults drink champagne in the tents.  The band is playing in the old-fashioned traditional red barn, guests are dancing, and there’s a spirit of old-fashioned fun as well as down-home values.  Some couples choose to extend the pioneer farm theme by hiring a bluegrass band, while others like the contrast of hip dance tunes coming out of a DJ’s sound system while their guests are surrounded by farm architecture that hasn’t changed in over a hundred years.
A tent can be set up right outside the barn at the Gibbs Farm in Minnesota
At the Gibb’s farmhouse, the main porch is a favorite choice for many wedding couple’s wedding ceremonies, with the bride, groom, andBarn at the Gibbs Farm is used for wedding receptions minister up on the porch, and their attendants fanning out on the steps below them.  The wedding guests are then arrayed in rows facing the beautiful hand-built two-story house, a background that  radiates country family values and reinforces the family nature of the bride and groom’s commitment.  Other couples prefer setting up their wedding ceremony under the front yard’s ancient oak trees, and seated guests are shaded from the sun by the canopy of leaves.  The wedding ceremony then has a sense of nature, where the soft rustling of foliage in the breeze complements the words of the couple’s vows.

To rent the Gibbs Farm for your Minnesota wedding Wedding at Gibbs Farm in Minneapolis, MNceremony and reception, call (612) 646-8629. Seating capacity for the barn is only about 80 guests, so most couples rent a tent, to bring the total capacity up to 200. Note, however, that the parking lot only holds 60 cars.  As with the Reidel Farm (below), you'll have to rent your own chairs and tent. I recommend Apres Rental, because they are really good about setting everything up for you. The rental fee for a wedding ceremony and reception at Gibbs Farm is $700, and you can use the licenced caterer of your choice.  

Reidel Farm - for indoor or oudoor weddings with a laid-back picnic feel

Riedell farm has this beautiful farmhouse for wedding receptionsOn the more elegant end of the spectrum, the Reidel Farm Estate on the north edge of Minneapolis boasts a grand and stylish mansion, and its large size makes it perfect for cold-weather weddings, as well as summer celebrations.  This 1880s manor evokes the sophistication of Victorian times, with some amazing advantages which come from being set in a huge 140-acre park.  Down the hill from the estate, the Mississippi River meanders past, and guests can spend other parts of  the weekend hiking and picnicking. While the mansion was originally very expensive, it's now run by the Park Board, so it doesn't have the super-high-end feel of Summit Avenue or Park Avenue mansions, but rather, has more of a party-like, picnic-style feel to it.

Wedding ceremonies at the stylish Reidel Estate are often held in the gazebo just a few feet away, The back porch of the Reidell Farm overlooks the Minnesota Riverwith a formal sit-down dinner held inside for the reception.  Because the estate is surrounded by an immense park, hawks are often seen The Gazebo at the Reidell Farm is sometimes used for wedding ceremoniesflying overhead, and guests can easily forget that they’re actually in the city.   The farmland itself has been allowed to revert back to nature and has become a wilderness of maple and elm trees, all the way down to the beaches on the river.   Photographic opportunities especially abound in autumn, with scenic paths cutting through colorful fall foliage.

To rent the Reidel Farm for a Minnesota wedding ceremony and reception, call (763) 757-3920. The seating capacity inside the farmhouse is 100 guests.  The rental fee for the Riedel Farm is $600, and you can use the licenced caterer of your choice.  

Earl Browne Heritage Center

The Earle Browne Heritage Center has some gorgeous options for outdoor wedding ceremoniesIn the northwest area of Minneapolis lies a complete horse ranch, which has been converted into a unique reception hall, the Earle Browne Heritage Center.  Where Belgian horses used to be raised, now elegant tuxedoed groomsmen play catch with a football while the bride and her attendants are being photographed. The Center is composed of several historic buildings, which are now connected by modern construction so that wedding guests are always protected by the elements, in case of rain or cold weather.  The buildings enclose a courtyard with a fountain, where wedding ceremonies are usually held, and from this position there is no way to tell that one is actually in the middle of a big city.

Interior of the Earle Browne Heritage CenterReceptions at the Earle Browne Heritage Center are held in the historic horse barn, now converted with chandeliers, carpeting, and air conditioning, but still showing the antique oaken beams. Ceremonies are sometimes held in this barn in the cold weather, with the reception in an adjoining room. If a wedding coordinator is doing the decorating for an indoor ceremony here, they will often choose to bring potted trees into the site, decorating the space with a fall or winter motif, draping the trees in either autumn colors or bright white.

The Earle Brown Heritage Center, on the west side of Minneapolis in the first-ring suburb of Brooklyn Center, MN, has a hotel attached to the complex, which is especially handy for out-of-town guests. Once they get to their hotel, they can spend the whole weekend with their friends and relatives, and then walk to both the wedding ceremony and reception.

To rent the Earle Brown Heritage Center, call (763) 569-6300.  They don't have a rental fee, per se - you have to call them up and then submit a formal written "Request for Proposal".  Then they get back to you with a price for the complete package, with food, beverage, rental fee, service charge, and everything else.  Usually I don't review wedding reception sites that don't list a rental fee (so couples can compare prices between various sites), but I've made an exception for the Earle Browne Heritage Center, because it's such a beautiful site.

My recommendations for wedding sites in the Minneapolis/St Paul area:
Chapels      Parks      Gardens      Mansions      Museums      Hotels      Farms      Historic     Amphitheatres      Restaurants     Comparison Matrix

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Photos courtesy of Gibbs Farm, Reidel Farm, and Earle Browne Heritage Center.
 Please do not distribute.