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Your Guide to Downtown Des Moines Wedding Planning

Downtown DSM Wedding Venues

Planning a wedding soon? Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is the perfect place for your special day, with the best selection of wedding venues, ample hotel rooms for guests, tons of catering options, creative cake and dessert selections and all the suppliers you need to say, “I do!” without further ado.

Pictured above: A Downtown DSM wedding held at the Tea Room. Photo by Rush Street Photography.


Picking the perfect venue is all in the details! Consider the needed space, the ambiance you’re looking to achieve and the type of photos you want to capture of your big day. Here are a few Downtown DSM venues for wedding ceremonies and receptions to consider:

  • Bash Events & CateringBash’s exposed brick walls, beautiful tin ceiling and windows overlooking the John & Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park make for a breathtaking wedding.
  • The ConservatoryWith space for 275 seated guests, this venue in the Historic East Village provides a stunning backdrop for your ceremony and reception, too.
  • Des Moines Heritage CenterHistoric charm meets modern clean lines, where two venues have combined to create old-and-new flair.
  • Mainframe StudiosWith tons of natural light and an industrial feel, the building itself is a piece of art and is full of more than 200 local artists that could make your day extra unique, as well.

Mainframe Studios 

Pictured: Photography by @laurawillsphotography; styling/planning by @burtsarahburt, catering by @tangerinefoodco and venue is Mainframe Studios (@mainframearts).

  • The River CenterThe rustic, industrial feel of this venue paired with natural lighting makes for a lovely and picture-perfect setting for your special event.
  • Scottish Rite Consistory – The historic auditorium and newly renovated ballroom provide an elegant pairing for your ceremony and after party, too.
  • The Tea RoomThis historic and iconic venue has the wow-factor you’re searching for! The classic, upscale vibe captivates guests and creates jaw-dropping photos.
  • The Temple for Performing ArtsPerfect for couples looking for a classic-themed wedding, featuring lavish two-story columns and sculpted architectural details with space for up to 500 guests.
  • West End Architectural SalvageThis unique venue is a treasure! With interesting or quirky architectural finds to set the scene for your ceremony or reception, guests will enjoy exploring the four floors of vintage and salvaged finds during cocktail hour.
  • World Food Prize Hall of LaureatesWith beautiful spaces both indoors and outdoors including flower garden and riverfront views, the World Food Prize’s gilded ambiance is sure to create a memorable event.

River Center 

Pictured: A Downtown DSM wedding at the River Center. Photo provided by ZTS Photo.

Additionally, many Downtown DSM attractions, museums and performing arts venues also double as wedding venues. For smaller receptions or your rehearsal dinner, consider using private dining spaces at a downtown restaurant or eatery. And don’t forget to explore Catch Des Moines’ facility search tool for more great wedding venue ideas in Downtown DSM.


Whether you’re needing a room block for your bridal party and wedding guests, or considering one of Downtown DSM’s historic or upscale hotels as your wedding venue of choice — we’ve got you covered! Explore this list of Downtown DSM hotels for convenient places to stay.

Hilton Hotel in Downtown DSM 

Pictured: Hilton Des Moines Downtown Hotel.


Once you have your venue nailed down, browse the list of preferred caterers and consider further leveraging the flavor of Downtown DSM within your food selections! In addition to Downtown restaurants, these are just a few of the caterers located here:

  • Gateway Market & CaféPartnering with 30 venues around DSM, Gateway provides catering with the culinary finesse of a George Formaro restaurant.
  • St. Kilda CateringBringing the quality ingredients and presentation you love from their restaurant, St. Kilda Catering is suitable for large-scale events!
  • The Tangerine Food CompanyIn addition to its flagship venue in Mainframe Studios, this catering company has relationships with nearly 20 venues around Downtown DSM and throughout the region.
  • Trellis CateringHighlighting fresh and locally sourced ingredients, crafted to meet your vision. (You may recognize the name, as the in-house café at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden!)

Mainframe Studios in Downtown DSM 

Pictured: Photography by @laurawillsphotography; styling/planning by @burtsarahburt, catering by @tangerinefoodco and venue is Mainframe Studios (@mainframearts).

Cake + Dessert

Why not get creative with your dessert selection? Serve your wedding guests with their choice of yummy, frosted goodness from ChuChu Donuts, a selection of cupcakes from Molly’s or a cookie dough bar from Dough Crazy. Or Doré Bakery can make your sweet treat dreams come true, customized to your needs! Check out even more ideas for desserts and treats you’ll find in Downtown DSM.

Doré Bakery 

Pictured: Wedding desserts by Doré Bakery.

Photo Locations

So, you need a few places to take iconic photos of the best day of your life? We’ve got a list for that! Check out these ideas for photoshoot spots in Downtown DSM:

Downtown DSM Skyline 

Pictured: A couple photographed by ZTS Photo overlooking the Downtown DSM skyline from the Iowa State Capitol grounds.

Clothing + Jewelry

  • AmourShop for your wedding day undergarments and soft lounge clothing to feel cozy while getting prepped for the big day, too! A great shop for gift shopping for bridesmaids, also.
  • Bridal BoutiqueFind your wedding dress here, plus bridesmaids' dresses, men’s tuxedos and accessories.
  • Josephs JewelersShop engagement rings, wedding bands, high-end gifts and more at this premiere high-end jeweler located in Downtown DSM since 1871.
  • Leona RubyThis jewelry shop includes both national brands and jewelry from local artists.

The Tea Room 

Pictured: A Downtown DSM wedding held at the Tea Room. Photo Laura Wills Photography.


Invitations and stationery

  • EphemeraShop here for custom-designed wedding invitations and other personalized stationery that would make any paper lover swoon.
  • DomesticaBuy local for your “Thank You” cards or special stationary for writing notes to your wedding party, parents or soon-to-be-spouse on your special day!
  • Red Door PressFind love-themed cards perfect for writing a heart-felt thank you surrounding your wedding day.
  • MogleaExplore their Wedding Collection including beautiful, hand-dipped cards to make asking your Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids extra special!

Scott Avenue Bridge 

Pictured: A couple photographed by ZTS Photo on the Scott Avenue Bridge in Downtown DSM.


  • Petals + MossUnique plant varieties for potted centerpieces and both small- and large-scale custom floral available by request.
  • Gateway Market & CaféFind fresh floral arrangements, potted plants and succulents, too! Work with their floral designers to bring your vision to life.


  • Dapper DSMThis barbershop specializes in short hair, and it’s inclusive for all!
  • East Village SpaGet pampered before your big day. Explore the Spa’s menu of nail services, facials and massages.
  • Elevencherry SalonThis artful space for independent stylists is a pure vibe.
  • Oliver+james SalonHaircuts, color, blowouts, barbering and bridal ‘dos.
  • Paramount Barbering Co.Located in the Historic East Village, services are by-appointment only! Browse their website and Instagram for ideas.
  • Salon Spa WProviding a full suite of services for bridal needs, ranging from bride and bridal party hair and makeup to rehearsal dinner blowouts, too!

Bride in Downtown DSM 

Pictured: A bride puts on the finishing touches at the Tea Room in Downtown DSM. Photo by BettyAnn Photography.

Favors + Gifts

Shopping for something special to thank those you love for participating in your special day can feel a little daunting. Look no further for gifting for groomsmen, bridesmaids, parents, grandparents — even a parting gift for wedding guests, too! Check out these Downtown DSM stores and local shops for ideas to make your loved ones feel extra special for being part of your big day.

Make your wedding stress-free for guests with these tips for parking and navigation in Downtown Des Moines (DSM), and discover additional restaurants and nightlife options, too! Follow @downtownDSMUSA on Instagram for more epic, things-you-just-can’t-miss happening around Downtown DSM.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

DSM USA is the regional identifier for Greater Des Moines (DSM). DSM USA is a bold statement to the world: This is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant community with affordable and accessible amenities for residents and businesses. This regional identifier is the result of significant quantitative and qualitative research. The Partnership will champion the DSM USA message, and encourages its Investors, its more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and DSM USA Ambassadors to help share the region's story with One Voice.