We know that planning a wedding can be stressful and complicated. Our all-inclusive Osakis, MN wedding venue has prepared the following answers to questions you may have. If you have further concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Osakis, MN Wedding Venue FAQ
What is the rental fee for Crooked Willow and what does it include?
Please see the details found for complete pricing and included items on our Wedding Packages page.
What dates are available?
Please contact us to inquire about available dates.
Is there a deposit? When are the additional payments due? Do you offer a payment plan?
When the contract is signed, we require a $2,000 deposit to hold the date at our wedding reception venue. The remaining fee will be due 30 days prior to the event. You are welcome to send smaller, partial payments of any amount prior to the specified due date, in effect creating your own payment plan on your own schedule.
How do I reserve a date?
To reserve a date at our beautiful wedding venue, email us at email@example.com. Let us know which date you are ready to book, and we will let you know if it is still available.
Do I need to schedule a tour or can I just stop by?
Will there be another wedding the same day?
At Crooked Willow we only host one wedding each day to ensure that each couple’s event is special and receives our full attention.
Are there overnight accommodations nearby?
Yes. We have a number of accommodations nearby and others within 10-15 minutes of Crooked Willow. Check out our lodging section for a list. Don’t forget to book your guest transportation with Mobile Shenanigans!
Do you have a large parking lot for our guests?
Yes, we have an acre of gravel parking to accommodate our larger weddings.
Do you offer banquet tables instead of round?
We have a limited number of 6 and 8 foot banquet tables that can be used for your gift table, head table, memorial, snack, catering, etc. Guests will be seated at 60″ round tables.
Do you provide table linens, cups, silverware, etc.?
Linens can be rented through us, but are NOT included in the rental fee. You are also welcome to bring your own linens or have them provided through your decorator or caterer. Cups, silverware, etc. provided by caterer, decorator, or client. Disposable items must follow Crooked Willow’s organic and recycling practices – see next question for more information on the recycling policy.
Is Crooked Willow an environmentally friendly venue?
Yes! We’ve partnered with Pope Douglas Solid Waste Management for better recycling practices, organic waste, and less garbage going to the landfill. We have bins in all of our buildings with signage. If disposable plates, bowls, containers, or utensils are used, they will need to be BPI certified compostable and can be thrown in our organic containers. We do not allow Styrofoam/Plastic, cups and utensils. If any of these items are brought in, you may be subject to disposal fees. More information available on popedouglasrecycle.com. Let’s all work together to do our part!
What happens in case of rain?
Unlike many venues, Crooked Willow has an indoor backup space for your ceremony without limiting your guest count. This means when the weather doesn’t cooperate, your day will still go on as planned.
We plan to have our ceremony offsite, or only plan to have our reception at Crooked Willow. Does your fee change?
Because our wedding venue only hosts one event per day, our fee structure remains the same whether you hold your ceremony, reception, or both onsite.
Do you allow dogs onsite to play a part in our wedding day?
Dogs are allowed (only with pre-approval by Crooked Willow) before the ceremony for pictures and should be removed prior to the ceremony (dogs can be unpredictable around large crowds). Animals, other than service animals, are NOT allowed indoors at any time. Dogs must be on a leash and someone must be responsible for them other than the bride and groom – this includes bringing doggy bags for clean up please!
What form of payment does Crooked Willow accept?
To pay for your wedding at Crooked Willow, we accept cash, checks, and credit cards (subject to a 3.9% processing fee).
My preferred dates are unavailable. Do you have a cancellation waiting list?
We do not keep a cancellation waiting list because cancellations are unpredictable. Please fill out our contact form to request available dates.
What time will I have access to the venue to decorate?
You will have access to the venue at the time listed on your contract, typically 10am, not earlier. We do allow early access into the bridal suite for hair and makeup beginning at 8am. Please plan accordingly!
Do you require a wedding coordinator?
We do recommend you appoint at least one person to be the main point of contact for the day (other than your parents!) so we know who to reach with any questions or needs. We are here throughout the duration of your big day. We are here to help you however we can. We do see that the use of a “day of” or “wedding coordinator” ensures every detail is as planned. Our goal is to do everything possible to help your day go smoothly and ensure your day is as stress-free as possible!
Are there food and beverage, or guest count minimums?
If you’re searching for “barn weddings near me” look no further than Crooked Willow! We would be happy to host your wedding of any size. We have no minimums for food, beverages, or guests.
Do we have to utilize your preferred caterers and in-house bar service?
Our exclusive in-house bar service must be used because we carry the liquor license, liability insurance, and own the bar equipment in our wedding venue Event Center. On the catering side, while we highly recommend the food caterers on our preferred catering list, we do allow outside catering for a $750 site fee for non-wedding events and wedding receptions and/or a $250 site fee for rehearsal dinners (applicable to Friday weddings only). Outside catering (those not listed on our preferred catering list) will have to provide a copy of their current Minnesota catering license and insurance to Crooked Willow prior to the event. Outside caterers will also be required to follow Crooked Willow’s organic and recycling program (see popedouglasrecycle.com for more information). Quality food and a great experience is of utmost importance to our couples and their guests (and of course to us!). With non-preferred catering, we’ve seen some that are amazing, and some that fall short. If you find a non-preferred caterer, you may be sacrificing services such as appropriate amount of staff, water carafes on each guest table, linens, included dishware, table setting, and most of all, feeding your guests in a timely manner. We selected the caterers on our list because of their proven track record of great food, full service catering, amazing staff, and fitting into our couples budget!
What are our catering options at Crooked Willow?
After having a variety of caterers onsite at our venue, we have selected our favorite six to work with exclusively. We feel this list will provide you options without overwhelming you. These caterers include The Great Blue Heron, Lakes Area Catering, Cutting Edge Catering, Raapers, and Pioneer Grill. Please see the catering page for more information.
Does Crooked Willow handle the catering orders for these caterers, or do I work with the caterer directly?
In our experience, it’s most efficient and most cost effective for couples to work directly with the caterer. Simply book your big day with Crooked Willow and reach out to the caterers of your choosing to schedule a tasting and get the ball rolling! Contact info is listed for each preferred caterer.
Can guests bring their own alcohol?
Outside alcohol is prohibited on Crooked Willow property for guests. This includes outside alcohol in the parking lot or anywhere on the property.
Will we have full access to both wedding suites and the barn the entire day?
Early access to the bridal suite will be allowed for hair and makeup beginning at 8am and no earlier so please plan accordingly! You will have access to both suites until ceremony time. Once the ceremony begins, both suites will be locked and cleaned so it is imperative that all personal items are removed at least 30 minutes prior to ceremony time. You will have access to the barn until you make your “grand entrance” into the Event Center at the start of the reception and dinner. All items must be removed from the barn before your “grand entrance” as the barn will be locked upon your exit to the event center. The private wedding party social hour is a fun time to celebrate but please make sure you have people appointed to remove the personal items before you exit for the event center. This building is locked and cleaned during this time. The last thing we want to do is bother your family or day-of contact to remove the personal items during the start of dinner – they don’t want to miss the fun either!
If we choose the Friday package option, will we be able to access the location the Thursday night prior to rehearse our ceremony and decorate?
If you choose a Friday, you have access to the property from 5:00 – 9:00 pm for your Thursday rehearsal, rehearsal dinner in the barn, and any decorating in the Event Center you would like to handle. Preferred caterers need to be utilized for dinner (or will be subject to a $250 site fee) and Crooked Willow provides the bar and bartenders for the rehearsal dinner, there is no offsite alcohol allowed anywhere on the property.
Can we have fireworks on the property?
Fireworks are not permitted. This includes sparklers. Our insurance doesn’t allow this and we want to keep the fire department happy!
Can vehicles be left overnight?
The safety of our guests is our number one priority. Any guests that drive to our location and decide to carpool home or take the Mobile Shenanigans bus back to their hotel may leave their vehicle overnight. However, since we are hosting events every day, please make sure all vehicles are removed by 10am the following morning. Please advise your guests of this policy.
What time does the music need to end?
This really depends on the team you have in place to tear down at the end of the night. All vendors, guests and items must be out by 12:30am. Last call for the bar will be 11:15pm with bar close at 11:30pm. We are fine with music going until Midnight just as long as that gives you enough time to teardown and be offsite by 12:30am.
We are using a rental company. Can they drop items off or pick them up outside of the rental period?
All deliveries must happen during the standard rental period. Please advise your vendors of this policy or have them call us directly with any questions.
Are candles allowed?
Yes, candles are allowed but limited to floating candles and votives. Open flame, tapered, and any type of hanging candles will not be allowed for safety reasons. No candles allowed in barn or suites. Battery operated pillar candles are allowed.
How far in advance do you need our final headcount?
14 days – this number should be included on your final Wedding Day Checklist which is due 14 days prior to your wedding date. Again, this captures all the details of your day so anything you want us to know should be on the final Checklist you send us.
Setup and Day-of Event Questions
What is the event clean-up process?
Client is responsible for table clean-up in the event center. Caterers will bus out tables after dinner. Throughout the reception, drinks, snacks, and desserts will accumulate on tables. Crooked Willow will provide rolling bins for client to bus out these tables. These are usually provided an hour prior to the end time or earlier upon request. Everything brought in must be taken out that night. Anything non-recyclable, non-organic, or cardboard boxes shall be disposed offsite by client. We suggest having a team assigned to end of night duties.
What does my decorating team need to know for day of wedding set up?
We will handle the set up of chairs at the ceremony site and tables in the Event Center (based on number of tables you need per your final Wedding Day Checklist). In the Event Center, chairs will be in stacks of 8 at each guest table when you arrive, it is easier for you to place your linens and decorate prior to placing chairs around tables; your decorating team is responsible for placing linens and setting chairs around each guest table.
Are outside food, snacks and drinks permitted in suites and barn?
Outside food and drink is permitted for family and wedding party only prior to the ceremony. It is not allowed after the wedding party social hour in the barn. All outside food, snacks, and drinks are not allowed in the event center and should be locked up upon exiting the barn.
Can we hang decorations on the walls in the event center?
Anything being affixed to walls should utilize 3M command strips and shall be removed by client at end of the night. Nails, screws, hooks, or other devices are not allowed. A ladder can be brought in but limited to 6 feet in height. Crooked Willow will not have ladders available. No attaching to lights, chandeliers, or ceilings. Ceiling draping of any kind needs to be rented through Crooked Willow as this is lift work. Greenery or items for the wall awnings should also be arranged with Crooked Willow staff in advance as we would rather not have family members on ladders for set up or removal.
Resources for Booked Couples
Event Insurance Policy
Special event liability insurance protects you against losses stemming from personal injuries and property damage at your wedding. Medical payments, lawsuits, and property damages are a few of the most common costs which could be incurred during your wedding. The special event insurance policy is due 14 days prior to your wedding date and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can use the insurance carrier of your choice. EventSured.com is the lowest in cost with a $0 deductible. To make it as simple as possible, we have a partnership page set up with them to easily purchase your policy.
We’ve partnered with Pope Douglas Solid Waste Management for better recycling practices, organic waste, and less garbage going to the landfill. We have bins in all of our buildings with signage. If disposable plates, bowls, containers, or utensils are used, they will need to be BPI certified compostable and can be thrown in our organic containers. We do not allow Styrofoam/plastic cups, plates, bowls, or utensils. This is especially important if you are using a non-preferred caterer, have a food or ice cream truck, or desire late night snacks to be brought in as absolutely no Styrofoam or plastic containers/utensils are allowed. Organic cups can be purchased through Crooked Willow if needed. Most compostable glasses/cups, plates, utensils can be purchased on Amazon. If any of these items are brought in, you may be subject to disposal fees. More information is available on popedouglasrecycle.com. Let’s all work together to do our part!
Wedding Day Reminders
Be sure to download our Wedding Day Reminders. After years of experience, these are things that will help ensure your day goes as smoothly as possible! We highly recommend you share this document with your Day of Coordinator, Wedding Coordinator, clean up crew, or anyone that is helping with details on your big day!
What to Expect When Attending a Wedding at Our Barn Wedding Venue in Alexandria, MN
- Most of our weddings will feature an outdoor ceremony and social hour. Keep this in mind when planning footwear and consider layers in the event of cooler weather.
- As a licensed manufacturer of alcohol, no other alcohol is allowed on our grounds unless it is sold through our on-sale liquor license. Guests are not allowed to consume outside beverages and there is no outside alcohol or drinking allowed in the parking lot or anywhere on the grounds.
- We provide overnight parking for you and your guests if you find other transportation back to your hotel. Vehicles must be removed by 10am the following morning as we are doing daily events.
- We have an ATM on site located in our main Event Center.
- There is no smoking other than in designated outside areas – this includes all tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and vapes.
- All children must be attended by an adult at all times.
- We do not allow any overnights in our parking lot – no RVs or campers are allowed.