When I first started making this list, I have to admit, I struggled a bit. I’ve photographed more than a few weddings in North Idaho, but many of them have been at private residences – homes that belong to the bride or groom, a family member, or something found through a vacation rental site. Here are my favorite North Idaho venues that I’ve shot at, and a list at the bottom of a few places I haven’t shot at, but would be great places to consider!
For everything from a lakeside elopement to a backyard bash for 100 guests, private residences in North Idaho – including Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint – are easy to find and great places to get married. It gives you the cozy feeling of an at home wedding without the stress of maintaining your own gardens. While finding a place may be difficult – and you’ll want to clear hosting a party with the owners before you book – it can be the perfect venue for a smaller wedding. Plus, you get all the joy of having a lake cabin for a few days! I do usually recommend hiring a planner for a backyard wedding, especially if you’re having more than a handful of guests! There are a lot of moving parts involved, and you don’t want to be the one they call when the toilet backs up. I might be gushing a bit, but private residence weddings are some of my favorite. I’m biased, because we had our own wedding at a private residence!
Hayden Lake Country Club
Up until we did our winter inspired styled shoot there last fall, I didn’t know much about the Hayden Lake Country Club. I’d seen a few photos of it, but I hadn’t heard much about them. About 3 seconds after I arrived, I was completely in love. Not only is view of Hayden Lake stunning, the grounds and the club are beautiful too. Have a small intimate wedding on the deck and use the indoor space with the fireplace for a shoulder season or winter wedding. Seriously, the fireplace is so dang dreamy, imagine a winter wedding with a ceremony in front of it! Or maybe you’d prefer a large, outdoor wedding with a tent on the lawn? They do that too. The views of Hayden Lake are beautiful, and the staff are wonderful. They were so kind and helpful with our shoot — even having us stop to feed us a fantastic lunch.
Red Lion: Templins Post Falls
I’d like to think that the Red Lion in Post Falls is one of the best kept lake and riverside secrets in weddings. They’ve got a beach right on the Spokane River, a lovely hotel, and affordable prices. The don’t do many weddings, but if you’re on a tighter budget and dreaming of a lakeside or beach wedding, this would be the perfect venue! There is a beautiful, shaded, space next to the beach where you can have a wonderful reception, and if you want – rent a few stand up paddle boards and paddle off into the sunset. Not only that, you’re getting all the benefits of having a wedding at a hotel – catering in house, and places to sleep on site – with the bonus of having a gorgeous lake (errr, riverfront) wedding just steps away. Worried about other guests and boaters showing up? Don’t! They close the beach for private events.
It’s been a few years since I’ve been out to Rider Ranch, but it’s a great little-known wedding venue just east of Coeur d’Alene. It’s one of the most stunning venues I’ve been to in North Idaho, and even though it’s not on a lake – shocking, given how many we have in North Idaho – it’s a beautiful space. You’ll get this great, blank slate of a venue, with the most beautiful scenery, and you’re only a few minutes from downtown Coeur d’Alene! As much as I love all of our lakes and rivers, I personally am just as much in love with the mountains. This beautiful working ranch is the place to go if you want a little bit of a country feel without having a big, red, barn.
As I’ve said a dozen times before, I haven’t shot at every venue around. Here are a few other great venues in North Idaho. If you’re considering one of these locations, and looking for a photographer, I’d love to hear from you!
— The Blackwell Hotel
— Coeur d’Alene Casino & Resort
— Elkins Resort
— Schweitzer Mountain Resort
— Talus Rock
— The White House