The Top 12 Small Wedding Venues in South Dakota

These little spaces can still pull off a big celebration.
lauren nowack headshot
Lauren Nowack
lauren nowack headshot
Lauren Nowack
The Knot Contributor
  • Lauren is a freelance writer for The Knot Worldwide.
  • While Lauren has been writing her whole life, she began her career by travel writing and reviewing outdoor gear.
  • Lauren is passionate about encouraging people planning a wedding to make it exactly what they want and need it to be.
Updated May 17, 2024

Finding small wedding venues in South Dakota is no simple task, especially when so many event spaces are enormous barns and large event halls set on seemingly limitless amounts of land. But, we've done the legwork for you to track down our favorite intimate venues in the state for your day, whether it is a truly cozy room in a restaurant or a smaller space within a larger venue. Either way, when planning a small wedding in South Dakota, you'll want to prioritize a spot that takes advantage of the incredible food grown and raised in the state and decide if you want to include some of the fun activities and sightseeing available at so many vacation destinations here, especially if you have a lot of out-of-town guests. These are just two things to look out for when getting married in South Dakota.

Hay Camp Brewing Company in Rapid City, South Dakota

What happens when you mix hand-crafted, small-batch ales with a venue space full of natural light and friendly staff? Well, you have the setting for a romantic soiree at Hay Camp Brewing Company. Its Mothership Commons room holds 40 people for receptions and can fit with nearly any budget. For larger bashes, book the event space, which seats 130 for weddings and includes black linens, tables, chairs and covers as well as a barkeep and sound system. As you're looking back fondly on your event here, don't forget to change your last name in South Dakota if that's something you want to do.

  • Guest Capacity: 40 in Mothership Commons, 130 in the event space

Lazy J Grand Lodge in Ideal, South Dakota

While many people flock to the Lazy J Grand Lodge for its renowned pheasant hunting, couples seeking a small wedding venue in South Dakota with prairie views, sophisticated accommodations and superb food head here. Most to-be-weds exchange vows outside amidst the natural beauty and before heading to the dining room for a meal for up to 100 people. With two self-service bars and poker tables inside, you can opt for a fun cocktail hour or after-party for all. The lodge can also hold 42 people in its 22 rooms to help keep the party going as long as you like. Lastly, there is a kennel here so your pup is welcome to come along.

  • Guest Capacity: 100 in the dining room, 42 in overnight lodge accommodations

Palmer Gulch in Hill City, South Dakota

For a rustic retreat with accommodations and a view of Mount Rushmore, get married at Palmer Gulch. A KOA Campground with an attached resort, there is more than enough room for all your guests, whether they want to tent camp, bring their RV or rent a small cabin and multi-room lodge. Celebrate in the Reunion Hall, a wood cabin venue that holds 70 guests, complete with a stone fireplace and antler chandelier. An outdoor pavilion with canvas sides can hold up to 125 people if you'd rather celebrate outdoors, while a classic white tent holds groups of up to 250. With playgrounds, bike trails, a pond, golf cart rentals and more, there is plenty to keep friends and family entertained all weekend while enjoying the beautiful nature South Dakota has to offer.

  • Guest Capacity: 70 in the Reunion Hall, 125 in the pavilion, 250 in the tent

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Buffalo Ridge Resort & Spa in Gary, South Dakota

Once an educational facility for children with visual impairments, the Buffalo Ridge Resort & Spa is now a timeless small wedding venue in South Dakota that mixes its historic charm with modern amenities. If you're hoping to get married outside, use the Intimate Rustic Field, which holds up to 150 guests, for your vows before heading to the Courtyard, which seats around 100 people comfortably at tables. If you'd rather be inside, the Gold Room showcases the building's original wood floors and brick walls for up to 63 guests, while the Sundance Ballroom can hold 160 people. The on-site Rock Room Bar and Grill makes catering and bar service simple while the spa and lodging ensures you're looking your best before the party and can relax afterward. Two luxury inns on the grounds give you and your guests plenty of rest after all the fun.

  • Guest Capacity: 63 in the Gold Room, 100 in the Courtyard, 150 in the Intimate Rustic Field, 160 in Sundance Ballroom, 300 on the South Lawn

Prairie Lakes Landing at The Goss Opera House in Watertown, South Dakota

While South Dakota has no shortage of ranches, barns and farms, you'll be hard pressed to find a venue as visually stunning and ornate as The Goss Opera House in Watertown. Small weddings can reserve Prairie Lakes Landing, the top floor space in the Bank Building for 50 people. The exposed brick, tin ceiling, large windows with downtown views and geometric chandeliers provide a modern Gatsby vibe to your celebration. The attached Studio provides extra room for a ceremony, reception or getting-ready space too.

  • Guest Capacity: 30 in The Studio, 50 in Prairie Lakes Landing, 250 in Opera Hall

Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Nestled among 155 acres on the east side of Sioux Falls, the Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum has lots of spots for indoor and outdoor events. These include a waterfall, a bridge over a creek, a rose garden and an expansive formal garden that holds intimate events or large ceremonies for up to 500 people. The Educational Center has an event space on its lower level that includes an outdoor garden and patio, which is enough space for parties of 100 to have a ceremony, reception and cocktail hour. Smaller parties can reserve the upstairs event space which fits 40. Either way, make sure to use the landscaped grounds, unique flowers and natural beauty for incredible photos at this small wedding venue in Sioux Falls, SD.

  • Guest Capacity: 40 in the upstairs event space, 100 in the lower level space with patio, 500 in the formal gardens

Joy Ranch in Florence, South Dakota

Looking for some Western charm without compromising on unique activities and gorgeous views? If so, book Joy Ranch for your wedding. To-be-weds can pick from multiple locations to host their ceremony, including the wedding chapel, old west Main Street, the barn, by the lake or on the hill next to rocks and a cross. The meeting rooms, which have lots of rustic decor, hold up to 100 or can be broken up into smaller spaces, and the main dining room holds 250 people under its wagon wheel chandeliers. The themed hotel rooms keep the Western vibes alive and make a fantastic spot for getting ready for your day. Depending on the time of year you book this small wedding venue in South Dakota, you can also arrive at your ceremony by horse and carriage or sleigh ride.

  • Guest Capacity: 100 in the meeting room, 250 in the main dining room, 72 in overnight accommodations

Holiday Inn Rapid City Downtown in Rapid City, South Dakota

As you enter the Holiday Inn in Rapid City, you'll be met by a 60-foot waterfall in the atrium. Venues here include the Black Hills Ballroom, which holds up to 180 guests or fewer if you include a dance floor, bar and other activities. The Dakota Ballroom can hold 350 or split up to hold an intimate wedding of 70. With multiple other meeting rooms and a full-service restaurant, hosting a morning-after brunch or rehearsal dinner here is a breeze. Guests staying at the small wedding venue in South Dakota can take advantage of the airport shuttle, pool, sundeck, sauna and downtown location, making this a go-to wedding venue for those with lots of out-of-town guests.

  • Guest Capacity: 50 in the private dining room, 70 in ¼ of the Dakota Ballroom, 180 in the Black Hills Ballroom. 350 in the Dakota Ballroom

Beaver Creek Chapel at Country Orchards in Harrisburg, South Dakota

The Beaver Creek Wedding Chapel is set in a picturesque 55-acre apple orchard, making it one of the prettiest boutique outdoor wedding venues near Sioux Falls. Run by the owners of the larger Meadow Barn at Country Orchards and Veranda venues, this spot includes a piano, dressing suite, wood pews and bright, natural lighting to make your day come to life. The chapel's clean lines, wood floors and white walls are the perfect backdrop for portraits, and the iron and wood bridge outside is a go-to spot for outdoor photos. This is a ceremony-only site, so you'll want to find a small restaurant venue nearby to host your reception.

  • Guest Capacity: 100

Blue Rock Bar & Grill in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Run by The Sanford Barn team, the Blue Rock Bar & Grill in Sioux Falls is a spectacular spot for a small banquet or mid-sized party. While you can find heavy sports bar vibes in the main area for up to 150 guests, the lodge and courtyard give a taste of a more warm, cozy vibe with antler chandeliers, rock walls and hardwood floors for 70. A more hip ambiance can be found in the Tailgate space that holds 80 people and has four roll-up garage doors and an attached courtyard. With options for a chef-carved prime rib station and the signature Blue Rock salad, you'll be well fed here. All in all, this should be a top pick for anyone in search of small wedding venues in southeast South Dakota.

  • Guest Capacity: 50 in the indoor bar, 45 on the upper deck patio

Alpine Inn in Hill City, South Dakota

Able to host up to 50 for dinner, the Alpine Inn in Hill City brings a bit of European fine dining to the Black Hills region. Serving up steaks as their specialty, this well-reviewed spot is known for its food, fun Western atmosphere and funky, historic lodge rooms upstairs. Named by 605 Magazine as the "Best Must-Go Restaurant" in the area, there are plenty of people hoping to get a taste of this spot's old-world charm.

  • Guest Capacity: 50

Oakwood Lakes State Park in Bruce, South Dakota

Set on eight connected glacial lakes in Eastern South Dakota, Oakwood Lakes State Park is a budget-friendly venue with unbeatable views as well as camping and cabin rentals. With outdoorsy activities like kayaking, disc golf, hiking trails and a swim beach, there's plenty to keep your guests entertained if they'd like to stay before or after the wedding day. Choose from lakeside locations or more secluded spots along the hiking trails for a casual ceremony, then head to a pavilion or rent a tent for your small reception.

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