The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
Situated near the south bank bend of the Minnesota River, Mid-America Festivals offers lovely outdoor weddings in Shakopee, Minnesota. The site is about 30 minutes southwest of Minneapolis. The company, which is known for hosting the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, has magnificent landscaping and appealing architecture with fine details. Weddings are held on the grounds from the middle of May through the early weeks of October each year.
The bride and groom, wedding party and guests may feel like they've been transported back in time with the scenery and backdrops that are offered by Mid-America Festivals. The couple may choose to have their first-look photograph taken in dozens of possible locales, such as the outdoor stage area at the Kings Arbor.
The grounds of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival and Mid-America Festivals are extremely versatile and dynamic and are able to hold a wide range of guests and types of weddings.
Chapel Garden. This space is simple but scenic. It can host up to 50 guests from May through October.
Secret Garden. The Secret Garden is a quaint facility that can handle up to 12 guests. It’s available between May and October and couples who get married here will find themselves in the midst of a picturesque forest for their ceremony. You may opt to get married anywhere along the natural pathway that’s designated for the Secret Garden, including in front of a majestic waterfall.
King's Arbor. If you are looking for a regal feel and look to your wedding, the King's Arbor is the ideal solution. Guests are often amazed by the intricate stone stage and it’s easy to understand why this is the most popular wedding ceremony venue of Mid-America Festivals. It's available from May through October and accommodates up to 250 guests.
Crown Stage. Couples who desire a large and extremely grand wedding will love with the Crown Stage. Its two-story backdrop is ideal for lots of photo opportunities and it can handle around 300 guests comfortably. Although this venue is not available when the festival is going on, it’s otherwise available from May to early August.
Front Gate. This space has lush, green scenery as its backdrop, making it an appealing spot for weddings. It can accommodate up to 300 guests and is available from May through October.
Bad Manor. This indoor banquet hall holds up to 150 seated guests and is open for weddings from May to early October. Tents can be rented if you have a larger guest list.
What You Should Know
Mid-America Festivals offers a vast variety of wedding options for non-festival weddings as well as ceremonies and receptions held during the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. The bride and groom can have a Renaissance-style wedding, a traditional one or whatever theme they desire in any one of the many unique venues in natural and decorated locations. For example, whimsical gardens can add just the right touch to an outdoor wedding, but additional decor like banners and thrones allow couples to easily pull off a royalty-themed wedding.
Keep in mind that you need to finish night-time weddings and be off the grounds by midnight unless prior arrangements are made with the venue. You are not allowed to bring in outside food or liquor, but the fees include setup, cleanup and servers. The venue has an on-site wedding consultant who helps couples plan their weddings.
All of the wedding packages offered by Mid-America Festivals can be customized to suit the precise needs of the bride and groom. Wedding guests find many things to do at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival before and after the wedding if it’s held during the festival’s run. Either way, guests may also take advantage of nearby attractions:
- Living history at the Landing, a historic village on the Minnesota River
- Gaming and more at the Mystic Lake Casino
- Boutiques and eateries in historic downtown Shakopee
- Rides and games at Valleyfair, a family amusement park
From the Vendor
Unique Twin Cities Outdoor Ceremony & Receptions
Mid-America Festivals has been creating timeless weddings for over 35 years on the grounds of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Create the wedding of your dreams in a classic setting. Variety of outdoor ceremony and reception locations available. Grounds available to rent May-October.
Amenities + Details
Outdoor - Covered
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$ – Inexpensive
Ballroom, Historic Venue, Park, Tented
Food + Catering, Planning
Had the most magnificent time enjoying our wedding at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival! We had a traditional wedding ceremony, during a nonfest day. People could not stop talking about how beautiful it was. I also want to mention the food! Being unable to taste the food prior to the wedding day was a little nerve wracking but most wedding food isn't that great anyway (sorry it's not). We went with the grilled chicken and vegetable lasagna and people were talking about it all night. Literally as I was walking out to our car with my aunt, she was raving about it! I had to ask the wait staff to tell the cooks! The chicken was so moist and delicious! The portions were excellent! I was beyond thrilled. I had turned to my husband and said, "If we were on four weddings, we would've won this." Thank you so much to the staff there, you all were wonderful! They let you set up days prior to the event and are extremely helpful. It's an overlooked wedding venue, and I definitely got looks when I said that's where my wedding was. But people were ranting and raving about it! We had our ceremony at King Arbors Stage and reception in Bad Manor. Can't wait to get pictures.
Fairy tail weddingReviewed on 10/09/2015 Joy P
Everything was perfect. Set up to plates to bartenders. Food was fab and the staff was patient and lively! :-)
Fairy tail weddingReviewed on 10/09/2015 Joy P
Marit was wonderful. The staff was wonderful. They are willing to help or find the resources to make it happen. My wedding was in may. We had the grounds to ourselves. Beautiful pictures. Everything was perfect and we had Turkey legs. We had a renaissance themed wedding and some of the staff even dressed up on short notice. I will be going to the renaissance every year because it was so special. Thank u all and thank u for your understanding when your employee accidentally got their car decorated instead of ours. Loved it!!! Thank u
Very Satisfied!Reviewed on 10/26/2014 Skye G
I've attended the Renaissance Festival growing up and had always wanted to be married there someday since it has been something I've always loved going to. Once the time came to plan our wedding, I was so excited that I could make this wish come true! I was worried that living out-of-state and roughly seven hours from the venue would make the planning process difficult. Thankfully this was not the case. I was very impressed with the communication between us and our coordinator Katie Kline. She answered our questions quickly and accurately which really made the whole process less stressful! Our wedding was at the Kings Arbor which is an outdoor stage area that made an excellent backdrop for the ceremony and wedding pictures. We lucked out with nice weather, and even though it was sunny,the surrounding trees helped provide us and our guests with some shade during the ceremony. The wedding package at this venue also included a reception area in a large tent after the ceremony. We decided to go with a buffet-style meal and we hired one of the entertainment groups from the festival for music during the meal. The food and music were excellent and we received many compliments on both! Our guests and us had a great time and if I'd have to do it over again I wouldn't change anything! This venue has a great atmosphere and excellent staff so if you are a fan of the Renaissance Festival and you'd like to have a memorable, unique wedding, I'd highly suggest this venue!
Fun Ren Fest WeddingReviewed on 8/20/2014
I wanted a wedding that was something completely different from the ordinary. Nothing too traditional. I wanted my guests (and myself) to just have a really good time. The event coordinator through the MN Ren Fest was EXTREMELY helpful. I managed to plan the wedding within 3 months with very little trouble. The coordinator answered all questions I had, was super helpful, and kept me on track. My guests had a ton of fun. There was plenty of other things for them to do at the festival, and most people even came dressed up for the Ren Fest. Everyone commented on how fun and different it was. My husband and I are very silly and nerdy people, so it was almost a no-brainer to go with a Ren Fest wedding. Our officiant was even dressed as a troll! Seriously, it was above and beyond my expectations, and even AS A BRIDE I had a lot of fun on my wedding day.
Beautiful, fun weddingReviewed on 10/21/2013 Deb W
Our wedding was on September 14th, the wine and chocolate weekend. It was spectacular! Katie was with us throughout the day directing us where were were supposed to be for the toast by the king and queen, and the parade. Our whole wedding party dressed in Renaissance era clothing, it really made it more interesting! We ran out of turkey legs at the reception and Katie was right there to get more for us, and helped get the bakery staff into the gate faster when they were late. The pictures all look amazing with the background we had and all the people there! My only problem was I had too much stuff to haul around during the day and so we had to go back to the car to get our guestbook, wedding cake topper, different dress and shoes, flowers, etc. They need some place to put those things before the wedding, but that was minor compared to the experience! We even have the entire wedding party wanting to go back next year for our anniversary because they would like to see more of the festival! Huzzah! Highly recommend!!
My WeddingReviewed on 10/21/2013
We had the perfect wedding, it was fun! I couldn't have asked for anything better. Katie was helpful and very pleasant to work with. We now get to spend each anniversary at the Ren Fest! thank you!
Excellent experienceReviewed on 11/12/2012 Terri S
With the wonderful assistance of Katie Kline with the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, we were able to put together a beautiful wedding in just 3 months. Katie was always available for questions. The location was great and the staff was all very helpful and pleasant. I would highly recommend a wedding at the Renaissance Festival!
100% amazingReviewed on 11/10/2012 Tracy R
The Minnesota Renaissance Festival was absolutely amazing to work with in planning our wedding. The venue was close to 4 hours from home, so most of our planning was done via email, and everything went off without a hitch. The cost for the venue was incredibly affordable. We chose not to use the grounds for a reception, but only because of timing -- we wanted our guests to have fun at the festival, since they did have to pay (reduced) admission. However, we were told it was the most unique, memorable, and fun weddings our guests had been to. All in all - it was an amazing day!
Best wedding ever!Reviewed on 7/08/2012 Tana S
My wedding was June 16 so it was preseason and amazing! Beautiful location for an outdoor wedding and the pictures...SUPERB! Katie Kline was my contact and very helpful I could not have asked for a better venue. If you are looking for a beautiful outdoor venue this is the place for you : )
Renaissance WeddingReviewed on 6/18/2012 Sarah B
I had my wedding at the MN Renaissance Festival fair grounds during the OFF season (June 1st) and it was wonderful. The planners were there every step of the way to help out. They were also my catering company (because you had to use them) but they would make whatever you wanted within reason. I had a gorgeous day and everyone was so helpful. The place is basically decorated already which meant I didn't have to spend a whole lot on decorations at all. We got the whole place for the entire day for only $700! What a great deal! One drawback is that I really wanted more of a fall wedding, but they only operate during late spring/summer through to the festival and then close after that. Which makes sense because it's an outdoor place, but I was quite happy with how my day turned out. You can also get married during the festival, but you only got passes for 12 people to go to the festival -- though you also get a lot more things added in. The worst part (even though it wasn't that bad) is the grass had a lot of prickly plants in it, so when we were playing outdoor games, a lot of people got pricks on their hands. I HIGHLY recommend any bride to use this for their wedding even if they are not into the whole RenFaire scene.
Fun and beautiful weddingReviewed on 12/23/2010 Angela S
Our wedding planning was a breeze our planner Casie was so sweet and helpful. She was always willing to answer any questions we had no matter how big or small. She always got back to me in good time and even if she didn't have the answer yet she would call to let me know that she was working on it. The packet that they send out has just about everything you could want in it for vendors to a ckeck list. This was the second time that I went through the wedding planning ordeal and can tell you that with the help of Casie (and no one else) I actually enjoyed planning this wedding. I was not as stressed this time around and I am so thankful to Casie for that. Our wedding turned out just the way we had planned. We had the full package we did the parade(great fun if you dont mind everyone looking at you) and the toasting with the King and Queen( Were we recieved our free gobblets, and had a nice chat with the King and Queen). We did the ceremony at just the right time with the Danger show right behind us not starting untill we were done.We watched a wedding earlier and could not hear anything their Rev. said because the show is very loud. We then went to the respection tent were we enjoy our meal and cake. You have to order your food from them . The food was not bad the charddonay chicken was a bit plain but everyone seemed to really enjoy the stuffed chicken. If you have their champane or the cider you must drink it there youcan not take it with you. You must also keep in mind that this is the renaissance and the floor is dirt there is dirt everywhere . So keep this in mind when you pick out your dress and cake. We had such a great time and really had no issues and we would do this again and not change a thing. If you chose to do this have fun with it you want to remember haveing fun not stressing out.
Review for The Minnesota Renaissance FestivalReviewed on 5/10/2010 Nicole W
We loved the beautiful architecture and landscaping at the MN Renaissance Festival. It made us feel like we had traveled back in time. The variety of landscapes & scenery provided many unique photo opportunities. The food was also fantastic, especially for the price we paid. You have the choice of buffet or entree style dining. The rental fee for the site was phenomenal! It was the best deal in town! Even after you add in all the incidental charges for security, bar tender, etc. The site was completely decorated, so we did not need to bring any additional decoration, except for any table centerpieces. You can rent additional decor from the site for a fee. We love that we can go back to our venue every year to celebrate our anniversary.;There are no bathrooms at this venue. You & your guests will be forced to use Privies (i.e. Port-a-Potties / Biffy's etc.) which are NOT illuminated. There is an outdoor wash area, but it is very rustic. Also, there is limited electricity on the grounds. So there is no heat or air conditioning in the manor and outdoor illumination is practically nonexistant after dark. (However, the Manor interior is well lit.) You will need to rent additional heat, air and/or lighting as needed. In addition, the various hanging plants and decor are not available outside of the Festival season. Some additional decor (banners, thromes, etc.) are available for rent. During the Festival season (mid Aug - Sept)you can only rent the site outside festival hours (i.e. Mon-Fri or after 7PM on Sat-Sun). Otherwise, the site is avaialble from June - mid August 7 days per week. However, it's not fully decorated outside the festival season. You can marry during festival hours, but you are very limited to location & time. The hall only seats up to 150 people. You can have more if you choose to have your dinner outside the manor (i.e. under a tent, etc). You need to be off the grounds by midnight. If you want to have a reherasal, there is a nominal hourly site rental fee. No outside caterers or liquor allowed. They have a limited selection of wines & beer to choose from. Also, prepare to pay extra for table service & flatware. Otherwise, your guests will be eating with plasticware & paper pl