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Love is in the air at new wedding venue

Andrew and Alex Dittman were scheduled to be the first couple married at the new venue. Rain changed that, but mother-of-the-bride, Suzanne Wynveen, was able to take a few pictures of them in the new venue before storms came. Submitted photo by Suzanne Wynveen.

As flowers bloom, so does wedding season. Guests at Kilkarney Hills Golf Course will be able to enjoy the summer blossoms, because they have opened a larger outdoor wedding venue.

The 24,000 square foot venue can hold just more than 400 people. It’s complete with a gazebo, fairy gardens, a fountain and a bridal shelter.

This shelter is a place for them to “hang out before they walk down the aisle,” said Erica Randgaard, Kilkarney Banquet Facility marketing and events coordinator. “The top half of (the inside) is all white marker board, so you can go in and write notes to the bride and the groom.”

Following the outdoor wedding ceremony, guests can choose between an indoor reception at the banquet center or an outdoor reception at the venue.

“It can be very casual and it can be very elegant -- it just depends on what you’re looking for,” Randgaard said. “It’s something that nobody else has in town.”

For future bride Kelsey Klug, the large outdoor wedding venue and indoor reception site was why she and fiancé Nick Most chose the site.

“We knew we were going to have a lot of family and friends,” she said. “We really wanted to get married in River Falls, too.”

She said when looking for other outdoor River Falls venues, they could not find another place to host her 350 guests.

“When we first drove up the driveway, we both knew that it was it,” Klug said.

In the future, Kilkarney plans to construct a permanent shelter area for outdoor receptions, but for now guests are encouraged to rent tents. The venue has outdoor lighting and electrical availability for DJs and other lighting.

“We want to make sure it’s as accommodating as possible, and we do whatever we can for our guests,” Randgaard said.

She said the idea for the large outdoor venue came when she was talking with brides about venue options. Before it was constructed, Kilkarney could only offer a venue fitting 200 people.

“I think this is definitely a need,” she said, especially with current wedding trends. “You see brides going to the rustic receptions and the outdoor feeling.”

As the pieces came together, Randgaard said everyone offered their input to make it what it is.

For instance, Kilkarney gardener Pam O’Riley gave input on what good trees, flowers and garden styles to use.

“She is so meticulous with everything that goes out there,” Randgaard said. “There is so much color. It just looks so nice out there.”

Suzanne Wynveen, Baldwin photographer, said when her daughter got married, the florist in the family went “crazy” with flowers.

“It wasn’t necessary, because it was just pretty on its own,” she said. “How they landscaped it was perfect.”

If rain falls on the bridal parade, the indoor banquet hall is kept as a fall back.

The first Kilkarney outdoor wedding scheduled at the new venue transitioned inside because of a “downpour,” Randgaard said.

“It’s a beautiful spot and my daughter was so disappointed she couldn’t get married there,” Wynveen said, “(but) it actually turned out better.”

Because of the rain, the wedding ceremony had to quickly move inside the banquet hall where the reception was scheduled.

“We knew there was a chance, and we knew what we had to do,” Randgaard said. “We changed the room over in five minutes.”

“They just did it so quickly and the guests weren’t complaining about it,” said Wynveen. “They were good with the guests. It was perfect. I don’t have one complaint about Kilkarney. They were awesome.”

For more information, contact Randgaard at 715-425-8501.