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A Rustic Barn Meets Whimsy Forest Wedding in Minnesota


A hunting lodge tucked away in the Wisconsin countryside was the perfect venue for Amanda and Kody’s wedding.

In fact, it was during a hunting trip that Amanda realized Kody was the man she wanted to spend her life with.

“I spent a day with him in the woods hunting,” says Amanda. “We woke up before the sun, walked into the woods, and sat all day—if I’m getting up before the sun, it’s really for something special. The conversation was endless and even the quiet moments felt comfortable. Although we had known each other before, we had never really spent time getting to know each other in this way.”

Their wedding venue, Monarch Valley Weddings and Events, “made for a beautiful ceremony space and endless photo backdrops afterward,” says photographer Meghan Lee Harris, who captured the event. “Amanda and Kody described their vision for their day as a blend between a rustic barn and whimsy forest wedding.”

Bridesmaids’ dresses in dusty blue helped set the tone, while the groomsmen wore boutonnieres made from shotgun shells Kody had fired himself.

Natural elements were incorporated throughout the decor, such as the centerpieces made from deer antler sheds found on the property and adorned with eucalyptus leaves. The tables also included wood chargers that couple made themselves—with some help from friends.

Says Amanda: “The memory of being with friends up in the woods in the middle of a snowstorm as we cut and milled trees down into the perfect placemats is one we will cherish.”

One of the many moments the couple treasures from the big day itself came during the ceremony’s ring exchange.

“Kody chose to wear the ring that was handed down to him by his grandfather that had passed away,” says Amanda. “He wanted to be able to include those who were no longer with us.”

But most of all, it’s quiet moments spent together that stand out for the couple.

“Our favorite time spent was when we snuck away with our photographers and videographers while everyone was finishing dinner,” says Amanda. “We didn’t want the day to go by without taking the time to really enjoy each other and have the feeling of being husband and wife sink in. We got to escape everything, see a beautiful sunset in a beautiful place and simply enjoy time with the two of us.”

Vendor Credits

Venue: Monarch Valley Weddings and Events
Photography: Meghan Lee Harris
Videography: Black Frame Motion
Florals: Bittersweet Flower Market
Catering: BP Smokehouse
Cake and Desserts: Simma’s Bakery
DJ: Music in Motion Disc Jockeys
Invitations: Vistaprint
Bridal Boutique: Bliss Bridal
Wedding and Bridesmaids Dresses: Hayley Paige
Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden
Hair and Makeup: Chelsea Salon G
Jeweler: Helzberg Diamonds
Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Men’s Wearhouse

Find more Minnesota rustic wedding venues and vendors like these with Rustic Bride’s venue and vendor guide. Getting married somewhere else? Find the best rustic wedding venues and vendors in your state here