Before meeting Greg, I had already dreamed about a wedding near Lake View, Iowa, where my parents have their cabin. I have long been excited about introducing my non-Iowan friends to the charms of Iowa, which include bucolic scenery, cheap drinks at the bar, and friendly people; and I thought that a wedding weekend that included boating, swimming, and water skiing seemed pretty fun to me. (Thankfully, Greg was also excited about this plan.) But I had never quite figured out where to host the ceremony and reception.
An option that is no longer open was the Lakewood Ballroom. A place with a long history, many kin and friends remember partying and dancing, back in the day, at one of the Lakewood Ballroom’s (it burned down several times). Sadly, the current building had fallen into disrepair and was not the most attractive of options.
Lake View has charming stone piers, where a family friend had previously been married, but the space is not big enough for a large wedding and still wouldn’t solve the problem of where to host a reception.
photo source: Lake View & Black Hawk Lake Facebook Page
We had also considered the Chautauqua Building in Sac City, Iowa. I have to admit that I had never heard about the Chautauqua movement until I came across this building. Built in 1908, this auditorium once held lectures, concerts, and preachers. The building has an interesting history and an elegant rustic beauty both of which intrigued me.
photo source: http://www.waymarking.com
At the end of the day, we found our location because of Greg. We were biking around the lake with my parents just weeks after getting engaged. Greg had wanted to stop at the hotel to find out about reserving a block of rooms. I, in an attempt to avoid the inevitable wedding planning, resisted. However, my parents wanted to stop and look at a cabin under construction across from the hotel and just then I needed to use the restroom. So there we were at the hotel talking with the staff about reserving a block of rooms and how we didn’t yet have a venue, when the staff person suggested Prairie Pedlar. My mom, who had been there ages ago, said ‘that’s it!’ and off we went to go have a look.
Prairie Pedlar really is picture perfect with 7 acres of beautiful gardens, a renovated Sears-Roebuck barn (yes, back in the day you could purchase a barn kit from Sears), a one room schoolhouse, and a chicken coop. The couple who owns it bought the farm in the 80s in a bit of disrepair and have turned it into a beautiful garden where they sell flowers and plants, host events, and host weddings. We feel lucky to have found such a lovely, enchanting venue. Now here’s to hoping that the weather cooperates!
photo source: http://www.prairiepedlar.com