1 . Grand View Lodge

Nisswa, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 758 - 4381

WEBSITE

We’ve heard of newlyweds being referred to as “love birds” but at the #1 spot, the couples reminded us more of “love loons!" Grand View Lodge arranges your northern destination wedding in true Minnesotan style from the ceremony to the lodging and activities.

Tie the knot beneath the boughs of emerald green trees next to stone walls and vibrant gardens. Take the Northwoods beauty beneath a white tent and archway laden with flowers. Walk down the aisle carpeted with flower petals and the lingering scent of fresh pine. For a moment of blissful seclusion with your spouse, escape to the Grand View gardens with a lantern-lined, paved pathway. Stay in a sleek, historic Main Lodge room. If you can tear yourself away from this charming room and its convenient location close to Glacial Waters Spa, you’ll find Grand View Lodge bustling with entertainment. Swim in the indoor pool with a 110-ft. water slide and three fountains. Or, lounge in one of the two hot tubs before heading to the beach. And even though you’ve just reeled in the best catch of your life (your new spouse), try to catch another keeper (like walleye, trout or bass) from Minnesota’s Gull Lake.

Related activities

For more walking paths and hiking trails, try the Paul Bunyan Trail, which has up to 100 miles of trails from Brainerd to Bemidji, or the trails in Pillsbury State Forest.

Getting there

From Minneapolis/St. Paul, take I-94 West to the Clearwater/Annandale exit (#178). Turn right through Clearwater and Clear Lake. In Clear Lake, take Hwy. 10 West past St. Cloud and Little Falls to Hwy. 371 Brainerd. Stay on Hwy. 371 to Baxter. Continue about12 miles north on Hwy. 371 to the second intersection of County Rd. 77. Follow County Rd. 77 for one mile to Grand View Lodge on the left.

Related Onsite Offerings

Not only does Grand View Lodge have several challenging golf courses, in the winter, The Pines course becomes more than 18 kilometers of skiing trails.

2 . Lutsen Resort

Lutsen, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 265 - 8544

WEBSITE

Contrary to rumors, Northern Minnesota does not entirely shut down in the winter. In fact, many well-insulated weddings occur during this enchanting season. Through this and more, Lutsen Resort has proven itself worthy of our No. 2 spot for a classic Minnesota wedding – with or without the snow.

In spirit of the bordering woodlands, a wooden, woven archway presides over your ceremony and Lake Superior stretches out endlessly into the horizon. Take wedding pictures with this striking beach background in sunshine or snowfall. Brides stand amidst bright purple, blue and hot pink flowers or in white fur-lined coats with hand mufflers, smiling through snowflakes with a rosy-cheeked wedding party. One enticing reason for a winter wedding is Lutsen Resort’s easy access to Lutsen Mountains Ski Area. But if you hold your wedding in the spring, indulge in a waterfall tour! The surrounding steep rock canyons turn into rushing rivers and a cascading waterfall when the snow melts and the spring rain begins. And if you just have to get out and enjoy those cool summer nights, take a guided night hike! With all this and more, Lutsen Resort is your refined yet rustic Minnesota wedding destination.

Related activities

Lutsen’s lodge lobby is host to live acoustic concerts during the summer, winter and fall. You can also find more live music in the winter at Poplar River Pub.

Getting there

Lutsen Resort is situated 90 minutes northeast of Duluth on Lake Superior’s north shore on Hwy. 61. From the Twin Cities area, take I-35 West north out of Minneapolis, through Duluth and to Hwy. 61. Then, follow Hwy. 61 for about 90 miles north to Lutsen Resort.

Related Onsite Offerings

Lutsen Resort also caters to newlyweds looking for a romantic honeymoon destination. Stay in a log home with a deck overlooking Lake Superior or in a Poplar River condo with a Jacuzzi in your room!

3 . Cragun's Resort

Brainerd, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 835 - 0564

WEBSITE

Many resorts claim to make your very special day hassle-free, but what we love about the No. 3 spot is that they really have thought of everything! No matter the season, Cragun’s Resort will help you plan every detail and then require that all you do is sit back and enjoy the festivities.

For the bachelorette party, spend a day being pampered at the spa with the girls. Meanwhile, the men will fully enjoy the bachelor party – a tournament on one of Cragun’s three premier golf courses. When your day comes, walk down the aisle of the Cragun’s Legacy Clubhouse patio, surrounded by beautifully manicured golf grounds, or opt for the peaceful backdrop of Gull Lake and stand between two willow trees, swaying gently in the lake breeze. If the grounds are as white as your dress with sparkling snow, light up the sky with fireworks, light your reception with ice candles or enjoy minty hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows at a bonfire. After the big day, Cragun’s can arrange a gift opening brunch. They will securely store your gifts and arrange them the next morning so that you can celebrate one more time before the honeymoon!

Highlights

You can never visit Cragun’s Gull Lake Spa too many times! The morning of your special day, schedule a fully body massage with hot stone, salt glow and moisturizing foot and leg treatments. You'll feel relaxed and invigorated from head to toe.

Related activities

More events that Cragun’s will host and help arrange include bridal showers and rehearsal dinners. Have a themed rehearsal dinner, like Western Beach BBQ with horse-drawn trolley rides!

Related Onsite Offerings

Arrive or leave your wedding like a fairy-tale princess in a horse-drawn white carriage with velvety, plush red seats.

4 . Madden's on Gull Lake

Brainerd, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 788 - 2154

WEBSITE

Fly on the wings of love – or land on one of Madden’s airstrips? Take a swing at love – or on The Classic, Minnesota’s only five-star golf course? Propose on the beach beneath a pearl white moon – or exchange vows beside the tranquil Gull Lake? At Madden’s on Gull Lake, you can do all of the above.

Not only will you hold the hand of your bride- or groom-to-be at Madden’s, you will also be guided by the expert hands of the professional team of wedding coordinators. Begin your lifetime together on Madden’s lush green grass beside the lapping lake waves as the orange sun melts into the coast’s tree line. Dance your first number as a married couple on the floor of Town Hall Governors Ballroom and enjoy delectable food options, such as tilapia dusted in Cajun spices, mushroom ragout or a fresh pastry from Madden’s talented chefs. A wedding party can never have too much fun - it is called a “party” - and Madden’s knows how to party. Visit the Tennis and Croquet Club, go trapshooting, play a game of badminton, shuffleboard or horseshoes, take a water-skiing lesson or simply relax at Madden’s Panache Spa.

Related activities

Madden’s Romance Package has it all for just the two of you: two nights lodging, a bottle of wine with chocolates, breakfast and golf on Pine Beach East, Pine Beach West and the Social 9.

Getting there

From Minneapolis/St. Paul, follow I-94 West to Clearwater. Then take the Hwy. 24 exit. Follow to Hwy. 19 and then turn left to follow Hwy. 10 West to Little Falls. Follow Hwy. 371 to Baxter and the intersection of Hwys. 371 and 210, the Brainerd Bypass. Continue straight on Hwy. 371 for four miles to County Rd. 77. Turn left and drive for 7.5 miles to Madden’s.

Fun facts

The founders of Madden’s, T.H. Harrison, his son and Chester Start, built a golf course first and then a hotel on the site that is now Madden’s on Gull Lake.

5 . Eagle Ridge at Lutsen Mountains

Lutsen, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 708 - 9560

WEBSITE

Combining "I Do" with a spectacular mountain view, it's hard to beat a romantic and unforgettable wedding at Eagle Ridge Resort's Summit Chalet!

Take Eagle Ridge's Mountain Tram to the summit of Moose Mountain and the lofty Summit Chalet, and welcome yourself to the indoor/outdoor wedding of your dreams. You and up to 160 of your closest friends and family will be blown away at the unbelievable 100-mile views of Lake Superior and the Superior National Forest during the outdoor ceremony. Then, enjoy an elegant cocktail hour and a deliciously-catered dinner inside the Chalet before enjoying a night of dancing and spirits, an after-party at Papa Charlie's Restaurant & Tavern, and a romantic walk back to your Executive Condo room at Eagle Ridge Resort!

Address

445 Ski Hill Road Lutsen, MN 55612

Related activities

Papa Charlie's Restaurant & Tavern isn't just for after parties; it's also the perfect place for a family get together or a romantic dinner for two. Dine on the deck for a view of Moose Mountain, or have a blast in the arcade!

Fun facts

When you ride the Mountain Tram up to the ceremony, you'll be riding the Midwest's only gondola!

6 . Five Lakes Resort

Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 785 - 4056

WEBSITE

Indoors and out, Five Lakes Resort will bring the beauty of the woods and lakes to the beginning of your life together.

Imagine a ceremony under a canopy of trees and blue sky on the shore of a sparkling Minnesota lake. Five Lakes Resort offers all that and more. This resort sits in a beautiful natural setting that would make the ideal backdrop for an outdoor wedding. If you'd prefer a church wedding, there are a wide variety of local churches to choose from. Their banquet hall will bring the stunning beauty of the setting indoors for your reception. It might be called "The Barn," but you won't find any horses there. Instead, you'll find a beautiful vaulted wooden space that you can string with lights and turn into the perfect setting for your event.

Address

Five Lakes Resort 34677 Camp Cherith Rd, Frazee, MN 56544

Highlights

Out of town guests? No problem. They will find all the comforts of home in the comfortable and private cabins at Five Lakes Resort.

Related activities

If you're seeking a relaxed moment with your family during your down time, you can hike through the woods and spot different species of birds.

7 . Bluefin Bay Resort

Tofte, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 552 - 1914

WEBSITE

You are about to embark on the most exhilarating path you’ve ever encountered and there’s no better way to start the journey than by holding your wedding ceremony at our No. 7 pick, Bluefin Bay Resort on Lake Superior - voted Minnesota’s Favorite Resort by Minnesota Monthly magazine!

As the sun sinks into the sky-blue waters and leaves specks of gold on the rising rocks around you, your family and friends witness the most beautiful sight: you and your significant other joining hands in marriage. Bluefin’s private Tofte Cove is the romantic backdrop to commemorate your already romantic occasion. Exchange vows and your first kiss as husband and wife on this secluded cobblestone beach. The fun doesn’t just happen at the wedding and reception either! Take a wedding party sea kayaking lesson on Lake Superior in double or single kayaks or hike to Oberg Mountain and breathe in the refreshing scent of spruce and cedar trees. Maybe you’ll even see the beaver pond! Or, perhaps you prefer to snuggle up to your new hubby or wifey in your suite with a private fireplace, whirlpool tub and lake views.

Related activities

Don’t go to bed with the sun. Stay up with the moon at one of two fire pits at Bluefin Bay Resort, one next to Bluefin Grille and the other at the base of the historic Boat Ramp in Tofte Cove.

Fun facts

The Norwegian family that founded Bluefin Bay Resort in the early 1900s first moved to the shores of Lake Superior because a boat captain had promised he would “buy all the fish [they] could catch” and the land around the big lake reminded them of their home in Norway.

Related Onsite Offerings

Make the reception less stressful - and very delicious - by catering from the Bluefin Grille and Coho Café and Bakery.

8 . BlueWater Lodge

Walker, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 775 - 0983

WEBSITE

For a charming Northern Minnesota wedding look no further than BlueWater Lodge for your big day!

Whether you are looking for a large extravagant, 400 guest celebration or a smaller, intimate wedding BlueWater Lodge has the place for you! Romantic chandeliers dazzle the ceiling, cater's create perfect meals for you and your guests and the DJ or band blasts the room using the fully integrated sound system all while over looking a dashing Leech Lake. Let all your wedding dreams come true today!

9 . Superior Shores Resort & Conference Center

Two Harbors, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 939 - 2504

WEBSITE

Say your vows on the shore of Lake Superior, with a vast expanse of water and sky for your chapel.

Hold your ceremony on the pebble beach or at the ceremony site just adjacent to the lodge at Superior Shores Resort & Conference Center. Whatever you choose, you'll have a stunning backdrop for your ceremony. And, with a bridge spanning the brook in front of the lodge and a cobblestone trail to the shore, all you need for a memorable entrance is ready and waiting. During your reception, savor your choice of a plated dinner or lavish buffet featuring options like fresh fish or slow roasted prime rib furnished by Kamloops Restaurant. And the setting will be as beautiful as the food is delicious. The spacious banquet hall offers a blank slate that you can decorate to make the reception a celebration you and your guests will always remember.

Highlights

Looking for a casual and comfortable rehearsal dinner? Try a barbecue on the beach and enjoy delicious food, a crackling fire, and a spectacular sunset over the lake.

Related activities

The stunning natural beauty of the lake isn't the end of the sights you can see near Superior Shores Resort. You will be just minutes away from Minnesota State Parks, Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse.

Related Onsite Offerings

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of your big day by having a bonfire on the beach. It's a great way to spend a moment with your family.

10 . Zippel Bay Resort

Baudette, Minnesota

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 452 - 9617

WEBSITE

Finally – no frills, no flounces, no flourishes. Just pure, authentic woodlands scents and sounds and the rugged MN terrain for a playground. No, this is not the setting for a Boy Scout camping trip. It’s the scene for newlywed nature aficionados at Zippel Bay Resort!

Zippel Bay Resort is an ideal location for those couples that bond through outdoor adventure. Situated in breathtaking Lake of the Woods County, Zippel Bay Resort provides a true outdoor thrill – being married on the shore of Zippel Bay! After, trade the dress and tuxedo for lake gear. Instead of waltzing or dancing, hop on a boat for some downrigging, jigging or traditional hook and line fishing. If the idea of “roughing it” in the Minnesota cold entices you, instead of returning to your honeymoon cabin, drive out to a heated ice fishing house. If sea life is not what interests you, Zippel Bay can still outfit your expedition. Stay at the Out Post Cabin – a secluded cabin next to the Beltrami State Forest, on prime hunting land and with premier privacy. We know you’ll be proud to show off your new spouse upon your return, as well as your new trophies: the award-winning sized walleye or a prized goose.

Total area

Zippel Bay is part of Lake of the Woods Lake, a body of water with 65,000 miles of shoreline and 14,000 islands.

Getting there

Zippel Bay in Lake of the Woods County is located in the Walleye Capital of the World – which means you have a greater chance at catching that story-making fish!

Related Onsite Offerings

Zippel Bay has all your fishing necessities: Crestliner boats, a concrete ramp, fish cleaning and freezing service, tackle, bait, gas and licenses.

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