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Iowa has a rich history, beautiful, rolling landscape, and a friendly, Midwestern attitude. The Hawkeye State is the only state bordered by two rivers-the Missouri and the Mississippi-but the center of the state is filled with plenty of beautiful land, ideal for an Iowa wedding.
While Iowa may be known for its farmland, its cities also have a lot to offer for your Iowa wedding. Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, rests right in the center of the state and offers anything your heart could desire. There are theatres and art galleries, as well as family friendly neighborhoods and shops, all in an easily navigable city. Explore the 4.4-acre John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park with 28 works of contemporary art nestled into lovely green landscape, all primed for a chic wedding. Or, check out some of the over 600 miles of trails in the area. Many trails end at wedding-friendly parks just right for your big day. In Sioux City, Trinity Heights is a popular destination for weddings. With sixteen acres of gardens, water features, and shrines, it's easy to see why these beautiful, tranquil grounds bring so many visitors each year. The restored Orpheum Theatre is also a popular Iowa wedding venue here, and its 1927 opulence lends itself to an elegant atmosphere. Cedar Rapids, Iowa's second largest city, offers historical spaces and modern venues side-by-side. The Paramount Theatre is a stunning 1920s hall, which hosts anything from Orchestra Iowa to Broadway series and, possibly, your wedding! The incredibly modern Cedar Rapids Public Library is also a popular wedding venue, and its interactive rooftop garden is especially breathtaking.
You can enjoy all four seasons in Iowa, making the options for wedding planning plentiful and exciting. The winters are cold with manageable snowfall, while the summers are warm and humid. Spring and summer can be quite wet and flooding does occur here, so keep an eye on rainfall and melting snow so you're prepared. Once you've chosen the season for your wedding, you can begin to choose your décor. An outdoor summer wedding in Iowa lends itself to bright garden colors in pinks, corals, and yellows. Use the state flower-Wild Prairie Rose-for a bohemian-chic wedding with a down-to-earth feel. If you've chosen a winter wedding, celebrate the season with rich burgundies and emerald greens. Incorporate white-glazed branches to echo the snow-covered trees and allow candles to bring a warm, inviting glow to your Iowa winter wedding.
Food in Iowa is distinctly Midwestern and down-home delicious. Celebrate the famed Iowa State Fair by incorporating food on a stick-a fair favorite-into your wedding menu. Delight guests with salads, sandwiches, and pork chops, all served on a stick, and finish the night with sweet fair treats like peanut butter krispie squares or deep-fried Twinkies. Whether you choose to go with quirky fair food, or traditional, elegant fare, Iowa State Caterers can provide the menu for you. Once you and your guests have enjoyed a bite or two, it's time to get out on the dance floor. Iowa has an up-and-coming music scene and whether you'd like to discover new talent or celebrate old favorites, these Iowa DJs can help you create the mood you're looking for.
The cost of a wedding in Iowa is significantly lower than the national average, meaning you should be able to plan the wedding of your dreams. As always, weddings in more metropolitan areas will run slightly higher than those in smaller towns or even further out, so keep that in mind as build your budget. However, even if you plan your wedding in the middle of nowhere, you'll likely be able to travel there easily on well-maintained roads. Iowa has more miles of paved road than the majority of other states because its towns are so evenly spread throughout the state. One can also travel by the Missouri or Mississippi Rivers or via one of the two centrally located airports.
A marriage license in Iowa requires a picture ID and Social Security information. You'll also need to bring cash to pay the $30 fee, and make sure you apply ahead of time as there's a three business day waiting period once your license is issued. You don't need to be an Iowa resident to get your marriage license here, but you will need one witness with you when you apply. Your license will remain valid for six months from the date of issue.