How Everything Started… (Our Story- Part 1)

The story of how and why we left our big city corporate jobs to start a wedding venue in small town Minnesota is a wild one! As is any new venture, there was A LOT we needed to learn and plenty of bumps along the way! We can’t believe it has been three years already since we started Crooked Willow. We can’t wait for what is ahead! We thought it would be fun to share a little bit more about our story. Here is part one…

Several years ago, I (Derek) was on a local township planning commission near the cities (where we used to live). One of the proposals that came up was for a wedding venue. I got to meet the future owner of this wedding venue and work alongside him as we helped integrate his business into the community. Little did we know, said owner would end up being a mentor for us when we eventually started our own wedding venue some odd years later. In the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but be attracted to the idea of owning and running a wedding venue.

So how did we stumble upon the future Crooked Willow property if we were living near the cities? We had a lake cabin in the Alexandria area that we would drive to every summer with our kids. It just so happened that the Crooked Willow property was on the road we would drive on! For years, we drove past that property. We always thought it was so beautiful, but we never thought it would be ours one day, let alone that we would start a wedding venue business! That all changed one day, when I drove past the property and noticed a “for sale” sign in the front yard…

Stay tuned for the next chapter of our story!

wedding venue