Endless opportunities for outdoor weddings

Jolie Monroe

For those willing to take the risk of planning an outside wedding, there are endless opportunities for a gorgeous event full of sunshine, warmth and nature’s wonders. While wedding location can be an intimidating decision, Des Moines is a good place to start.

The city offers a central location with many choices for an unforgettable outside wedding.

The Jester Park Lodge, located next to Saylorville Lake, is an option for couples looking for a lakeside view. The Lodge offers a lakeside venue along with indoor accommodations; perfect for a rain location or reception area, according to jesterparklodge.com. Special perks are included with the park’s venue, such as an optional bride and groom horse-drawn carriage ride around Jester Park.

A couple looking for an exotic wedding can look to the packages offered by the Blank Park Zoo. Ceremony and reception areas are offered, or the entire zoo can be rented, according to blankparkzoo.com. The scenery is unique, and so will be the pictures.

Pleasant Hill is the location of Copper Creek Golf Club, where weddings and receptions are held regularly in their indoor and outdoor space. A patio connected to the clubhouse serves as an outdoor location, while still providing a nearby reception area or rain location in the clubhouse itself, according to golfcoppercreek.com.

Couples looking to celebrate their wedding in the heart of Des Moines should look no further than the Simon Estes Amphitheater. The stage with the well-known arch over it is a popular site summertime concerts and weddings. The amphitheater located along the Des Moines River.

Jen Tellis, 2010 ISU alumna, has chosen this venue for her wedding June 26. “We not only chose Simon Estes for the fact that it is Simon Estes, but also for the areas around it as well. We wanted our pictures to be different and unique and there are a lot of places within a small area around Simon Estes that we can walk to,” she said.

Other perks included an easy reservation process, little decorating needed and a well-known location in Des Moines. Tellis’ second choice of venue was the Rose Garden, located in Greenwood Park, behind the Des Moines Art Center, and is a popular setting for summer weddings.

While the Des Moines Botanical Center is typically known for its dome full of plants and flowers, there is also a small outdoor portion. The Herb Garden is an outdoor area complete with a gazebo, it is perfect for intimate weddings and has a lovely view, according to botanicalcenter.com.

Whether a couple is looking for an intimate venue or a big, spacious area, there is something for everyone among Des Moines’ outdoor locations.