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Welcome to the blog! Here is where I feature the beautiful couples I work with and industry news, tips, and tricks. 


Outdoor MN Venue – The Gardens of Castle Rock


Do you want to have an outdoor wedding without the backyard vibes? Then The Gardens of Castle Rock might be the perfect fit! With four outdoor ceremony locations, open catering, and a blank slate reception tent, you are truly able to make your wedding unique to you. In order to give you an inside look into the space, we interviewed Kris Ziegler, their Lead Venue Coordinator. Keep reading for all the details!

Photo by: Rachel Lahlum Photography

How old is your building, what is its history and when did you start doing events?

The Gardens of Castle Rock is more than one building. It is a collection of gardens, landscape structures and buildings creating an outdoor wedding venue where authentic craftsmanship and the natural environment are at the very center. Glenn Switzer, the venue owner, is the third generation to help people incorporate the natural environment into their lives. 

Close to a century ago, Glenn’s grandfather owned a nursery business on the property. Glenn’s father later joined the business as a landscape architect adding landscape design services. At a young age, Glenn joined the nursery and landscape business leading him into a 30+ year career of designing and creating beautiful outdoor environments through landscape design and construction.

In 2012, a friend of Glenn’s was looking for a place to hold an outdoor wedding. Half-jokingly, Glenn offered his friend the opportunity to get married at the nursery. The rest is history!

For more about how The Gardens became The Gardens, visit the About Page on The Gardens website.

Photo by: Sarah Ascanio Photography

What do you think the best feature of your venue is?

The ability for couples to create a wedding day that is uniquely theirs! With four ceremony sites, open catering, ability to bring your own alcohol, numerous table and chair options and having the entire venue for the entire day just to themselves, no two weddings have ever been the same at The Gardens.

What do you think is the biggest challenge of working in your space, and what are some best practices for it?

For anyone considering an outdoor wedding, the possibility of rain during the ceremony is a main concern.

The Gardens has the following best practices when it comes to rain:

1. The Gardens Set-Up Lead continuously communicates with the Day of Coordinator to ensure all of the couple’s wishes for the day are implemented, including if the ceremony is to remain outside or be moved into the tent.

2. If the couple would like to embrace the rain and have their wedding outside at the ceremony site, The Gardens staff will ensure all the seating is dried off immediately before the start of the ceremony.

3. If the couple would like to move their ceremony to the Wedding Reception Tent, The Gardens staff can set-up an arbor in the Wedding Reception Tent, adjust tables to create an aisle and set-up a front row of chairs for immediate family near the arbor.

The Wedding Reception Tent stays up all season long. With removable tent sides, we can strategically enclose certain sections of the tent to protect guests from rain. There are also several outdoor covered areas and 15,000 square feet of pavers throughout The Gardens.

Interested in learning more at The Gardens and rain? Visit the following blogs:

Photo by: Rachel Lahlum Photography

What do you think is the perfect number of guests for your venue, assuming everyone will be sitting at a table at one time? What is the benefit of having this number of guests?

The Gardens can accommodate a maximum of 300 seated guests. A perfect guest number is between 175-225. This guest range not only allows plenty of space for seating, but doesn’t require tables to be set on the dance floor where they must be broken down after dinner.

Photo by: GENEOH

What is the most interesting thing someone has done at a wedding at your venue?

Since no two weddings are ever alike at The Gardens, it’s hard to come up with just one example of one interesting thing that has been done. However, one of our recent favorites is a bride who was an aerialist who had members from her troupe set-up an aerial rig and perform for their guests after dinner. We love seeing couples share about themselves and what they love with their guests on their wedding day!

Photo by: GENEOH

Do you require a professional planner or day of coordinator at your venue? Why or why not? If you don’t have one, or have one that doesn’t do a good job, how does it affect you as a venue and the wedding as a whole?

Yes, The Gardens requires couples hire a professional Day-of Coordinator for their event. While couples may assume everything on their wedding day will just go off without a hitch, it rarely does. We’ve attended a lot of weddings and we can tell you for certain that the weddings where the couple have the most memorable time, along with their family and friends raving about the party, has been when there is a professional Day-of Coordinator behind the scenes ensuring everything is being taken care of. We want our couples to have the most amazing wedding day. That is why we require professional Day-of Coordinators, like Keyed Up Events!

Photo by: Rachel Lahlum Photography

Big thank you to Kris for taking the time to do this interview and provide an inside look into The Gardens of Castle Rock. If you are still in need of a coordinator for your wedding at The Gardens, be sure to send us a message. We can’t wait to bring your day to life!

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