South Dakota is the perfect place to host a wedding. Our diverse landscape, friendly people and culture make us unique, and planning your wedding around that will make sure your big day is perfect.
To help you get started on planning, here’s some tips from The Canton Barn on how to host a perfect wedding in South Dakota.
1. Find and Embrace the Right Location
When searching for a location, take into account all of the surrounding area so you know what you’ll have as a backdrop on your big day.
South Dakota is a large state with a lot of varying landscapes. Most of what you will find is rolling prairie and farm land, especially in the eastern half of the state, with features like rivers and groves of trees sprinkled throughout.
Once you visit a location, try to imagine your wedding there, and look up pictures of decor and what other weddings have looked like there. This will give you a better idea of what the location could look like, and will inspire you to embrace the defining features and characteristics of the venue.
The best part about South Dakota wedding locations is that there will be a lot of variety at, and around, the wedding venue you pick.
For example, our barn is located just outside of Canton on a small acreage. You’ll find tree groves, open fields, flower patches and country scenery all right on our property.
Plus, you are only a short drive away from rivers, lakes, small towns and city skylines. Having this knowledge of the scenery surrounding your venue will give you plenty of variety for pictures.
2. Make Everyone Feel at Home
Once you have found the right location in the land of infinite variety, it’s time to plan on how you’re going to make guests feel at home.
People know South Dakota for its “Midwest nice,” homestyle spirit. What better way to show it than with your wedding decorations?
A common way to add a Midwestern flair to your event is by placing farm items, like corn cobs and glass jars, into old containers like wicker baskets and wooden crates.
Having flair pieces will not only be inviting to those from out of town, but remind your family and friends from the area of their way of life.
The key to adding old objects to your wedding decor is to be creative with what you find. Even something like a burlap flour sack can be turned into a table runner!
3. Plan for All Types of Weather
South Dakota wedding venues offer a lot of opportunities for gorgeous vistas, but if you are planning an outdoor wedding, you need to be ready for all scenarios.
Your event planner and venue host should be able to give you pointers and help when it comes to weather. And if the location is new to you, they’ll be able to let you know what the weather is usually like.
Weather is very unpredictable in the Midwest, especially in the fall and spring. It’s fun to envision a perfect, crisp day for a wedding, but snow, rain and harsh winds are always a looming possibility in those seasons.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that an outdoor wedding in cold weather can’t be beautiful, but it’s always better to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Make sure you know where the ceremony and pictures could end up in the event it becomes impossible to host it outside.
4. Use Seasonal Decor
With every changing season comes changing colors and ambiance. While there’s no need to accommodate this change, it can help you elevate your theme and style.
Flowers are a great way to emphasize this. Monochromatic white and green bouquets play well with the winter, while pastels highlight the fresh colors of spring.
You may even want to use a common South Dakota symbol to highlight these seasons, like pheasant feathers or a pasque flower.
5. Be Aware of Local Event Conflicts
While there’s always national holidays and events to be aware of, make sure you research what is going on in local areas as well.
Checking your wedding location’s city’s website is a good way to make sure you’re not planning for a date that involves a town celebration or gathering, as doing so can make booking local vendors a challenge.
It also helps you plan for your guests’ vacations and obligations, especially if someone always attends a fair or festival. And if your wedding day does have a conflict with a local event, don’t worry – your wedding venue will help you plan accordingly.
6. Figure out the Small Details in Advance
This tip is all about making sure you have your loose ends figured out before you tie the knot!
Ask yourself questions about what you and your guests may need or want on the wedding day, and then plan accordingly.
Does the venue allow pets? Do you need a shuttle service? Checking your locale’s frequently asked questions, like the FAQ for The Canton Barn, helps you make the arrangements you need so your guests are happy and taken care of.
Additionally, some cities and municipalities have rules and permits you will need to take heed of before your big day. This could include an event permit, parking permit and a wedding liquor license, so it’s important to act early so you don’t have to rush the week before your wedding.
Luckily, your venue will know what you need, if anything, and will help you along.
7. Make it Local!
Lastly, if you are using a local venue in South Dakota, why not use some local vendors?
Including catering, treats, art and party decorations from local creators can be the perfect bow on top of your whole event. Plus, you will be helping out a community that provided you with the perfect location for your big day.