Beautiful outdoor wedding locations & specialty venues in the Black Hills
So many gorgeous possibilities!
Rapid City and the surrounding Black Hills are rich with beautiful landscapes, perfect for wedding ceremonies. After leading ceremonies for more than 15 years, many of the wedding venue owners are friends of mine. It’s a pleasure to share them with you.
Pro tip: Call early. Popular venues book up quickly. If possible, be flexible about your date. Off peak days are sometimes less expensive.
Think outside the “venue”
You don’t have to “book a venue.” Depending on how many guests will be attending and how important it is to have chairs for everyone, weddings can be held in many public spaces.
Choose a place that has meaning for you, that matches your vision and works for the people you wish to invite. Pretty little pull-offs, hiking trails, city parks, your own backyard, pasture, or living room are all possibilities.
Please note: Some public places require permission and charge fees, so do your research.
And a caveat about outdoor weddings
South Dakota is famous for its sunshine and its storms. It can be summer in November or winter in May. If you decide on an outdoor wedding, make a back-up plan. Will we wait out a storm? Where? Can we reorganize the reception area and move inside? What about wind? (South Dakota is famous for that, too.)
Take a look around
Do your own legwork, of course, but you can start by skimming this page. Then get in touch with me to talk about your vision for your special day.
—♡ Specialty Locations ♡—
Copper Canyon Lodge
The ceremony meadow at Copper Canyon Lodge has a soaring rock wall with a stream meandering along the bottom as its backdrop. Gorgeous! Even better are Ruthann and Wally, the delightful and dedicated owners.
Copper Canyon Lodge | (605) 342-5528
The Homestead at Prairie Berry Winery, Hill City
The Homestead at Prairie Berry is a lovely, unique venue with indoor and outdoor space for you and your guests to enjoy. The events team works hard to take the stress out of your big day. Excellent food, award-winning wines and craft beers add to the pleasures.
The Homestead at Prairie Berry | (605) 574-3898
Black Hills Receptions, Hisega
Choose between several beautiful ceremony sites, from outdoors at Swan Point to the shelter of the grand gazebo. The reception tent nearby is fully enclosed. Staff wedding planners orchestrate all the logistics, from party flow and guest comfort to setup and takedown.
Black Hills Receptions | (605) 342-8888
Spearfish canyon Lodge, Lead
Nestled in an extraordinary canyon, Spearfish Canyon Lodge is a pretty venue in any season. Whether you are outdoors alongside Spearfish Creek or indoors beside the soaring rock fireplace, your guests will appreciate being able to stay on site to dance the night away.
Spearfish Canyon Lodge | (605) 584-3435
Hotel Alex Johnson, Rapid City
In the heart of Rapid City, the historic Hotel Alex Johnson offers beautiful spaces for ceremonies and receptions, both large and small, including a rooftop patio with a 360° view.
Hotel Alex Johnson | (605) 342-1210
K Bar S, Keystone
The K Bar S is a secluded lodge (that takes care of guest accommodations!) set in a gorgeous meadow, just minutes from Mt. Rushmore. If we can’t be in the meadow, huge windows bring the outdoors into lovely indoor settings.
K Bar S | (605) 666-4545
Besler’s Cadillac Ranch, Belle Fourche
Across a river and under the wide sky, Cadillac Ranch’s ceremony meadow is stunning. Rustic and charming, the whole property lives up to its name.
Besler’s Cadillac Ranch | (605) 391-6791
—♡ Outdoor Wedding Locations ♡—
Canyon Lake Park, Rapid City
This park offers several possible outdoor wedding locations, including covered picnic shelters (nice if it rains) and a small gazebo on an island in the middle of the lake.
Canyon Lake Park | (605) 394-4168
Wilson Park, Rapid City
Just off Mt. Rushmore Road and surrounded by little homes from the early 1900s, this park has a large gazebo offering shade or shelter in inclement weather and a formal garden set well away from the busy road. The garden overflows with flowers in summer.
Wilson Park | (605) 394-4168
Custer State Park Lodges
Custer State Park is a jewel in the Black Hills, and out-of-town guests will definitely want to make a visit. While there are many possible locations for a small, informal wedding ceremony – alongside the lakes, in the picnic grounds, at the overlooks and even the fire tower at Mt. Coolidge – most weddings are held at one of the lodges within the park.
Each lodge has lovely indoor and outdoor spaces for the ceremony, room for the reception, plus all of the amenities most couples desire.
Bluebell Lodge has an outdoor chapel nestled among the pine trees and granite rocks, and a separate reception room.
Lover’s Leap Pavilion, Game Lodge
Next to the Game Lodge is a gorgeous pavilion with open sides, a high ceiling and a rock fireplace wall, perfect for a reception.
Lover’s Leap Deck, Game Lodge
A deck, adjacent to the pavilion (above), is sheltered by trees. If it rains (and rain on your wedding day is said to be good luck), you can move the ceremony into the pavilion.
rock patio, Sylvan Lake Lodge
A large rock patio attached to the Sylvan Lake Lodge can be rented for weddings.
Deck, Sylvan Lake Lodge
A small deck overlooks the lake and is perfect for more intimate groups.
Lakeside, Sylvan Lake Lodge
Most popular is holding the ceremony lakeside because the backdrop is unbeatable, often including ducks and an occasional canoe or paddleboat.
Auditorium, Sylvan Lake Lodge
The auditorium, built by the WPA in the 1930s and beautifully remodeled, makes an outstanding reception site (and a back-up ceremony site, when the weather is damp or cold).
How to get more information
about Custer State Park wedding venues
Custer State Park Resort Company manages all the amenities (except the campgrounds) in Custer State Park.
Contact them for more information about any of the lodges featured in this section.
Custer State Park Resort Company | (800) 658-3530
Highway 14 meanders through Spearfish Canyon, and it is one of the prettiest drives in the Black Hills.
Roughlock Falls, Spearfish Canyon
Roughlock Falls belongs to the State Game, Fish and Parks and there are several viewing decks where small ceremonies can be held.
Spearfish Falls, Spearfish Canyon
Spearfish Falls is just a mile from Roughlock Falls. A short walk down a dirt trail takes you to a deck at the base of the falls, perfect for small ceremonies.
Indian Springs, Spearfish Park
Indian Springs is just across the street from Spearfish Park. Surrounded by big trees, this small park has a gazebo perched in front of a pond and waterfall.|
Indian Springs | (605) 722-1430
Ruby’s Garden, Spearfish
Ruby’s Garden, on the grounds of the DC Booth Fish Hatchery, is a nostalgic, romantic spot for an outdoor ceremony, featuring an oval lawn bordered by landscaped flower beds.
Ruby’s Garden | (605) 642-7730
Need more ideas about wedding venues in the Black Hills?
Call me. (605) 484-8464
These are the photographers who took the beautiful photos you see of the locations listed above. If you are still looking for a photographer, take a peek at their websites.
Ben Peterson Photography
K Bar S
Cadey Reisner Weddings
The Homestead at Prairie Berry Winery
Spearfish Canyon Lodge, indoors
Hotel Alex Johnson, rooftop
Carla Brucklacher Photography
Black Hills Receptions
Jessica Simons Photography
Lover’s Leap, deck
Johnny Sundby Photography
Kevin Eilbeck Photography
Sylvan Lake Lodge, patio
Legacy Photo and Design
Sylvan Lake, deck
Sylvan Lake, lakeside
Sylvan Lake, auditorium
Natural Escapes Photography
Spearfish Canyon Lodge, outdoors
R Becker Creative
Besler’s Cadillac Ranch
Riley Winter Photography
Hotel Alex Johnson, indoors
Copper Canyon Lodge
Blue Bell Lodge, outdoor chapel
Lover’s Leap, pavilion
Spearfish Canyon, Roughlock Falls
Banner photo by Amy Oyler at Legacy Photo and Design