In the city of Des Moines, IA, abundant peonies and warm weekends announce to everyone that the wedding season has begun. Choosing a wedding venue is one of the most crucial decisions in the wedding planning process, and fortunately, couples have a wide variety of wedding venues to choose from in Des Moines and the surrounding area. From historic beautiful mansions to rustic and chic barns to elegant ballrooms, there is an event venue for almost any taste, interests, or theme. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Bash Events & Catering
© Bash Events & Catering
Bash Events and Catering is the city of Des Moines’ premier modern-luxe venue for events, located in the heart of the downtown area. Situated across the street from the city’s John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, a wedding at the venue combines an invigorating and eclectic feel with the inviting and historic charm of the Western Gateway Park, providing an urban luxe, contemporary, and classic wedding venue for couples in Des Moines, Iowa. Bash Events and Catering is able to accommodate up to 350 guests for a seated reception and up to 450 guests for cocktail-style receptions.
1312 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309
2.Brenton Skating Plaza
The Canopy at Brenton Skating Plaza offers a unique venue for outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions in Des Moines, Iowa from May until the middle of October. Offering spectacular panoramic views of downtown Des Moines, The Canopy offers plenty of protection from both the sun and rain at approximately 160 feet in height. The open-air event space includes wireless internet, fully operational restrooms, and is handicap accessible. The Canopy at Brenton Skating Plaza is also ideal for couples looking for a unique dance floor for them and their guests to dance the night away during the wedding reception.
520 Robert D. Ray Dr, Des Moines, IA 50309, Phone: 515-284-1000
© Volodymyr Shcerbak/stock.adobe.com
Cafe Baratta's is situated in the heart of the city’s trendy neighborhood known as East Village and is known for its lunch offerings from 11:00am until 2:00pm Monday to Saturday. As for events, the cafe offers a terrace boasting beautiful views of downtown Des Moines and the State Capitol Building. The terrace is can seat up to fifty people for lunch, or can be reserved during after hours for a variety of events, including wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions. Cafe Baratta’s is able to accommodate up to 150 people for after hours events on the outdoor patio.
600 E. Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50319, Phone: 515-281-3294
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4.Copper Creek Golf Club & Events Center
© Copper Creek Golf Club & Events Center
The Copper Creek Golf Club and Events Center was established in 1997 and is located just outside of Des Moines in Pleasant Hill. The unique atmosphere of the country club and the eighteen-hole golf course provides a picturesque setting for outdoor weddings. The covered patio overlooks the eighteenth hole and is a beautiful spot for wedding ceremonies. The patio is able to easily seat guests for the ceremony and can double as the reception space with the ability to accommodate up to 150 guests. There is also a banquet room with an open floor plan available for indoor receptions.
4825 Copper Creek Dr, Pleasant Hill, IA 50327, Phone: 515-263-1600
Curate has become of downtown Des Moines, Iowa’s premier venues for the events. Located in the city’s historic East Village, the facility provides more than six thousand square feet of event space at the corner of East 4th Street and Court Avenue. The clean art gallery look of Curate allows couples the most in flexibility when it comes to decor for their wedding. The spacious mezzanine looks down on the event floor and the beautiful landscaped patio is a great spot for guests to enjoy cocktails and conversations. Event planning, bar service, and catering are provided by Taste! To Go Catering and Events.
322 E Court Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309, Phone: 515-523-0147
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6.Decades Event Center
The Decades Event Center is located in West Des Moines and hosts a wide variety of events, from wedding ceremonies and receptions to corporate events and birthday parties. With the intimate lighting and rustic decor, the Decades Event Center boasts plenty of room for weddings with all of the necessities provided. The large ballroom with a built-in bar offers an ideal space for a memorable wedding day for up to 275 guests for a seated reception or up to 500 guests standing. Decades also provides an event director and other on-site services, as well as plenty of parking.
1208 Grand Ave, West Des Moines, IA 50265, Phone: 515-224-5732
7.Des Moines Marriott Downtown
© Des Moines Marriott Downtown
The Des Moines Marriott Downtown provides couples looking for a wedding venue in Des Moines, Iowa with approximately twenty-five thousand square feet of versatiles event space. Up to six hundred friends and family members can be accommodated for a grand seated wedding reception in the Iowa Ballroom. The Des Moines Marriott Downtown also has a certified wedding planner is available to help couples with coordinating all of the little details of the wedding day, with the thoughtful services and experienced staff striving to make the day flow smoothly. On-site catering is also provided to create a customized menu for receptions.
700 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309, Phone: 515-245-5500
8.Events Center West
The Events Center West is considered to be one of the best venues in Des Moines, Iowa for weddings, receptions, meetings, and other parties. Conveniently located near I-235, the property is easy to find and offers a comfortable, modern, and beautiful space for up to 350 guests seated. The Events Center West consists of a four-level tiered floors, making it easy for everyone to see what’s going on. There is also a high-definition projector and thirty-foot movie screen. The events center is also boasts that it doesn’t charge extra for many wedding necessities, such as multimedia equipment, chairs, and tables.
1701 25th St, West Des Moines, IA 50266, Phone: 515-240-6860
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9.Forte Banquet & Conference Center
The Forte Banquet and Conference Center is situated in the downtown area of Des Moines and is able to host events of all sizes, ranging from events with as little as twenty guests to grand affairs with 750 people. Professional event coordinators are available to help couples with every little detail, providing plenty of personal attention. Along with providing a beautiful space for wedding ceremonies and receptions the Forte Banquet and Conference Center offers delicious food for receptions that is catered by the well-known Baratta’s. Rental of the event space includes chairs, tables, a dance floor, full beverage service, and customized menus.
615 3rd St, Des Moines, IA 50309, Phone: 515-333-5057
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10.Iowa Events Center
Conveniently located minutes from several local attractions and downtown Des Moines, the Iowa Events Center is an ideal event space for all of the wedding events, including rehearsal dinners, wedding ceremonies, and wedding receptions. The events center is made up of multiple event spaces that provide perfect setting for couples and their guests for a memorable and fun wedding day. The Meeting Room Level rooms and the Grand Ballroom allow for customization for hosting anything from an intimate reception to an extravagant and grand wedding celebration, with first-class service and updated amenities in a modern events venue.
730 3rd St, Des Moines, IA 50309, Phone: 515-564-8000
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11.Izaak Walton League
The Izaak Walton League was founded back in the year 1922 and is one of the most respected and oldest conservation organizations in the United States. With a significant network of over 250 local chapters throughout the country, the Izaak Walton League uses an approach based on common sense towards improving opportunities for outdoor recreation and protecting America’s natural heritage. The Des Moines chapter of the league also offers a full-service event venue for weddings, banquets, and many other events. The spacious event hall can accommodate around 250 guests and features cathedral-style ceilings and a grand stone fireplace.
4343 George Flagg Parkway, Des Moines, IA, Phone: 515-244-3773
12.NOAH'S Event Venue
NOAH’s Event Venue is one of the leading event centers in the city of Des Moines. Located less than thirty minutes from the airport, the event center serves as a great wedding venue for rehearsal dinners, wedding ceremonies, and receptions, featuring top event packages, amazing options for accent lighting, and dazzling ceiling design. One of the highlights of NOAH’s is its open-vendor policy, letting couples bring in their own decorators, caterers, and more to create their perfect wedding day in a unique and more affordable way. The event venue in West Des Moines also offers many amenities for the special day.
1805 90th St, West Des Moines, IA 50266, Phone: 515-421-5159
Principal Park is more than just the home field of the Iowa Cubs, it’s also one of the city of Des Moines venues for a variety of events, including weddings, with a variety of options for event spaces. Small wedding ceremonies can take place on-field, offering amazing views of downtown Des Moines and the Capitol Building, as well as an unforgettable wedding location. The open Veranda patio area offers spectacular views of Sec Taylor Field and the downtown area, with similar views found from the fountain, along with rivers views, tiered water displays, and gorgeous flowers, depending on the time of year.
1 Line Dr, Des Moines IA 50309, Phone: 515-243-6111
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14.Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel
The Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel is a rejuvenated historic hotel in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. With its great location near many of the city’s popular attractions, connection to the Skywalk system, and numerous rooms for guest accommodations, the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel serves as a perfect wedding venue for couples looking for more convenience for their guests. All of the event spaces were remodeled in 2018 and provide excellent settings for wedding ceremonies and receptions for anywhere from 20 to 320 friends and family members. The hotel also offers innovative catering with customized wedding menus.
401 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309, Phone: 515-244-2151
© Rollins Mansion
The Rollins Mansion is an elaborate home constructed by Ralph Rollins, a Des Moines businessman who studied Tudor and English home architecture, from the year 1925 through 1927. The grand house is now available for several different kinds of corporate and private events, including rehearsal dinners, wedding ceremonies, and wedding receptions. While the property is beautiful, there are some limitations when it comes to weddings. Couples are allowed to bring their own decorations, however, there are restrictions as to what can be done or used since the Rollins Mansion is a historic building. There is also limited parking.
2801 Fleur Dr, Des Moines, IA 50321, Phone: 515-657-7288
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Sticks, Inc. is a unique and popular wedding venue in Des Moines, Iowa due to its natural lighting being a dream for decorators, video, and photography. The north wall is defined by a glass window wall, offering an event space with no issues from direct sunlight. Chalkboard walls, drink and food bars, extremely tall ceiling, and ceiling floors help to complete the tasteful minimalist design. There is also a gorgeous lawn outside of the reception room that features towering oak trees, providing a great spot for outdoor weddings. Sticks, Inc. is great for couples wanting an outdoor wedding with a rain plan.
3631 SW 61st St, Des Moines, IA 50321, Phone: 515-246-8361
The Temple Theater is found in the Temple for Performing Arts, on the second floor, and is one of the city’s most intimate venues for performances. This theater, along with a handful of other spaces in the Des Moines performing arts center, can be rented for a variety of private events, such as wedding ceremonies and receptions. Brides and their bridesmaids can get ready and relax in the Bridal Suite with sofa chairs and couch, cable television, clothing racks, fridge, full-length mirrors, and more. The Groom’s Room includes a long table, soda fridge, clothing rack, sofa chairs, and mirrors.
1011 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309, Phone: 515-246-2300
© The Conservatory
Conveniently situated within the heart of the East Village of Des Moines, The Conservatory is located just a few blocks away from some of the city’s best entertainment, shops, and restaurants, making it a great wedding venue for guests wanting to experience the city. This event center consists of a grand ballroom of five thousand square feet that can accommodate more than 275 people for a seated wedding reception or over 400 for a cocktail reception. The Conservatory includes an in-house bar, decor and lighting options, several catering options, and a professional staff to assist with wedding planning.
315 E. 5th St, Des Moines, IA 50309, Phone: 515-599-7787
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19.The Des Moines Embassy Club & Embassy Club West
© The Des Moines Embassy Club & Embassy Club West
The vision couples have for their wedding day comes to life at The Des Moines Embassy Club and the Embassy Club West, whether the vision serene or urban, contemporary or refined. The clubhouse of the Des Moines Embassy Club is located in the Ruan Center in downtown Des Moines, while the Embassy Club West is located near West Glen in West Des Moines, hence the name. The downtown location boasts elegance and spectacular views with the State Capitol, Des Moines River, and beyond as the backdrop for weddings. The Embassy Club West provides more a contemporary atmosphere with the feeling of an urban loft.
666 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309, Phone: 515-244-2582
20.The Loft DSM
© Sarbinaz Mustafina/stock.adobe.com
The Loft DSM in Des Moines, Iowa boasts that it is a unique, timeless, and affordable creative that is one of the premier setting within central Iowa for events, such as wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions. The unique urban loft event space encompasses approximately five thousand square feet with almost floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, original wood floors, and high ceilings. The LOFT DSM offers ideal lighting during any part of the day that brightens up events taking place during the daytime. The structural beams widely space throughout the studio provide an urban feel to events.
100 Indiana Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314, Phone: 301-268-1309
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21.The Tea Room
© The Tea Room
The Tea Room is one of the most iconic and historic event venues in the state of Iowa. Located within the core of the downtown area of Des Moines, the historic building has had its elegance restored, offering a captivating wedding venue for couples in the Des Moines area. The Tea Room’s grand space is great for large receptions, featuring Juliet balconies, a dance floor, a stage, both restored and original ornate plasterwork, and floor-to-ceiling windows. For more intimate, smaller weddings, the Jubilee Room and the Garden Room serve as the perfect wedding venue for between 100 and 150 guests.
713 Walnut St, Des Moines, IA 50309, Phone: 515-336-1317
The Thoreau Center in Des Moines is a unique and charming community event space, offering a space of approximately 1,950 square feet for events. Up to 130 guests can be accommodated in the venue with cocktail receptions, or up to 75 guests for a seated dinner reception. The Thoreau Center consists of a main gallery, a dining room, a spacious entry hall, a kitchen, and a solarium, as well as two additional rooms. There are six tables that can be used in the library and the solarium, and eight-foot and six-foot banquet tables available for events in the center’s main gallery.
3500 Kingman Blvd, Des Moines, IA 50311, Phone: 515-279-7312
23.West End Architectural Salvage
West End Architectural Salvage is a shop that aims to ensure that the residents of Des Moines, Iowa are able to successfully find “salvaged” items from large cities throughout the United States, as well as other countries. Along with being a store, West End also acts as a one-of-a-kind event venue, hosting a variety of events, such as parties, photo shoots, and wedding receptions. Events in the evening take place after normal store hours, while daytime event rentals include a designated area of West End Architectural Salvage for the event, like the cozy second floor nook or the back bar area.
22 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50309, Phone: 515-243-4405
24.Willow Creek Golf Course
© Willow Creek Golf Course
The Willow Creek Golf Course aims to make wedding events as worry-free as possible for couples with its professional staff available to assist with all of the small or large details, with a variety of partners and services. Willow Creek features dramatic views and a beautiful banquet facility able to accommodate events both small and large. The full-service catering team offers dining ranging from semi-formal dining to formal to be enjoyed with the dramatic sunset over the golf course as the backdrop for memorable wedding receptions. The Willow Creek Golf Course wedding venue also includes a hardwood dance floor.
140 SE Willow Creek Dr, W. Des Moines, IA 50265, Phone: 515-285-7770
25.World Food Prize Hall of Laureates
© World Food Prize Hall of Laureates
The World Food Prize Hall of Laureates is one of the leading event venues in the state of Iowa, offering an amazing setting for special event, such as wedding ceremonies and receptions. The historic building is located in the heart of the city, radiating a rich history and nearly any modern amenity needed for events. Couples can choose between saying their vows outdoors, in the beautiful Rotunda, or in one of the World Food Prize Hall’s ballrooms. Reserving the venue gives couples and their guests exclusive use of the property, with only security and staff personnel present behind-the-scenes.
100 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309, Phone: 515-245-3735
25 Wedding Venues in Des Moines, Iowa
- Bash Events & Catering, Photo: Bash Events & Catering
- Brenton Skating Plaza, Photo: Halfpoint/stock.adobe.com
- Cafe Baratta's, Photo: Volodymyr Shcerbak/stock.adobe.com
- Copper Creek Golf Club & Events Center, Photo: Copper Creek Golf Club & Events Center
- Curate, Photo: Curate
- Decades Event Center, Photo: Kateryna/stock.adobe.com
- Des Moines Marriott Downtown, Photo: Des Moines Marriott Downtown
- Events Center West, Photo: mikola249/stock.adobe.com
- Forte Banquet & Conference Center, Photo: IVASHstudio/stock.adobe.com
- Iowa Events Center, Photo: Rawf8/stock.adobe.com
- Izaak Walton League, Photo: pirotehnik/stock.adobe.com
- NOAH'S Event Venue, Photo: nataliakabliuk/stock.adobe.com
- Principal Park, Photo: shevtsovy/stock.adobe.com
- Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, Photo: sonyachny/stock.adobe.com
- Rollins Mansion, Photo: Rollins Mansion
- Sticks, Inc., Photo: stock.adobe.com
- Temple Theater, Photo: monoliza/stock.adobe.com
- The Conservatory, Photo: The Conservatory
- The Des Moines Embassy Club & Embassy Club West, Photo: The Des Moines Embassy Club & Embassy Club West
- The Loft DSM, Photo: Sarbinaz Mustafina/stock.adobe.com
- The Tea Room, Photo: The Tea Room
- Thoreau Center, Photo: vikstrel/stock.adobe.com
- West End Architectural Salvage, Photo: kovalnadiya/stock.adobe.com
- Willow Creek Golf Course, Photo: Willow Creek Golf Course
- World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, Photo: World Food Prize Hall of Laureates
- Cover Photo: Dave Newman/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Des Moines Art Center
The Des Moines Art Center in Des Moines, Iowa is a unique experience. Part museum, part sculpture garden, part art school, the facility is an environment for art education and appreciation. The Museum at the Center receives more than 20,000 visitors each year, with attendance at art classes topping 22,000.
As a not-for-profit institution, the mission of the Center is to engage diverse audiences with today’s art through the museum and school. The Center accomplishes this mission through a variety of events, classes, workshops, tours, talks and outreach programs each year.
The origins of the Des Moines Art Center date back to the turn of the twentieth century, when the Des Moines Fine Art Association operated out of the city’s Library Building. From 1916, the organization worked to champion the arts in the Des Moines area. After a sizeable donation from the trust of James D. Edmundson, the Center was able to begin drawing plans for its own building in 1943. Thus began the construction of the first of the museum’s architectural collection.
In addition to the permanent art collections retained within the Center, the buildings themselves are works of art. Three different architects worked on the designs for the museum. All three are renowned as some of the greatest names in twentieth century architecture. The original 1943 stone structure was designed by Eliel Saarinen. Adding on to this work, the 1968 addition was designed by I.M. Pei. Finally, in 1985, the final building was added to create an architectural trifecta, designed by architect Richard Meier. Together, they create a twentieth century masterpiece of architecture spanning several decades, materials and styles.
The Center’s Permanent Collection, with just over 5,000 works of art, is primarily comprised of works from the 19th and 20th century modern and contemporary styles. The collection also includes noteworthy pieces from other periods, including outstanding examples from the Impressionist and post-Impressionist periods, as well as Japanese woodblock prints dating from the 1700 and 1800s.
Particular highlights of the collection include works from Georgia O’Keefe, Jeff Koons, Marc Chagall, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse and many more. Not only does the museum feature an abundance of work inside the architecturally significant walls, but also presents a robust collection outside, as well. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park showcases dozens of pieces for enjoyment and contemplation in the open air. Ranging from the massive and brightly colored to the simple and monochromatic, the collection is a walk through a graphical wonderland. With pieces from such artists as Yoshitomo Nara and Jaume Plensa, the Center’s sculpture garden is a visual adventure.
Exhibitions at the Center last from several weeks to several months, keeping the museum’s offerings fresh, new, and on the cutting edge of art. Such past exhibitions includes Arts & Letters, Graaaficaaa Itaaalianaaa, Halson & Warhol: Silver & Suede, Matisse: Jazz, and many, many more. Special tours and talks highlighting the changing exhibitions enable visitors to take full advantage of the temporary collections and create a more memorable and educational visit.
Education is a major focus of the Center, and classes, tours, and outreach are abundantly available to make the most of each visit. Art classes take place practically daily, throughout the day, accommodating different schedules, ages, and interests. Such classes for adults range from beginning drawing, to abstract painting, to digital images, just to scratch the surface. Children’s classes include the basic drawing and painting, to the whimsical Under the Sea to the comical, Everybody Wants to Make a Cat. Classes are grouped by age, with children’s classes spanning ages four to twelve.
In addition to classes, the Center offers other kinds of education, for those wanting a little less hands on art experience. In the guided tours of the Museum and Sculpture Park, docents guide visitors through the collections, as well as special exhibitions, providing expert insight and commentary on the works. Self-guided tours are also available, with audio commentary from the Center’s directors. In the sculpture garden, technology is the guide, with special features to allow guests to learn and explore right from their cell phones.
Art education is not confined within the boundaries of the grounds; however, with outreach programs bringing art into the community. The Des Moines Art Center partners with many local groups and after school programs to deliver art education to underserved areas. The goal of these outreach efforts is to inspire artistic expression in youth, as well as empowering them to recognize their unique abilities, qualities and attributes to build their self-worth. The Center also offers scholarships to assist those with financial need to access the classes provided on site, enabling more than 200 deserving students to participate each year.
A day at the Des Moines Art Center includes art, culture, creation, and exploration. Visitors can take a bit of this experience home with them by visiting the Museum shop, which is open during the museum hours. The Center is also planning to open a restaurant onsite in the near future to complete the experience. Located just a few miles from the heart of downtown Des Moines, the Center is easily accessible from freeways.
As hours vary between the Museum, the Sculpture Park and the Art School, visitors are recommended to check the Center’s website prior to making their visit. While there, the Center’s calendar will provide information on upcoming classes, workshops, and events to provide a more enriching experience at the center. The website also includes visitor policies, including information on rules of photography and allowable art materials on the premises. The Des Moines Art Center provides an enriching, enjoyable, educational, and entertaining artistic experience for all.
The Center has a full calendar of events and activities designed to bring art alive for its visitors. Gallery Talks feature docent led conversations about specific pieces in the collection. These talks are often combined with other engaging activities, such as the regularly-held Yoga + Gallery Talk, Artist Gallery Talk + Performance, or Baby + Me at the Park, just to identify a few. Guests can also head to the Center to catch a movie, with a variety of film events featuring titles such as Princess Bride, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Roman Holiday, or 2001: A space Odyssey. The Center’s Lecture Series covers a wide range of topics led by experts in their fields, from academics, to curators to the artists themselves. Not only does the Center offer a vast variety of ongoing events, but it also offers special events and performances to punctuate its regular line up. From musical performances, to the Center’s annual Gala, there is always something interesting to see and do at the Des Moines Art Center.
Back to: Best Things to Do in Des Moines, Iowa
4700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312, Phone: 515-277-4405
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