Skip to content

An Amazing Wedding at the Mayowood Stone Barn

Should you get married at the Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester Mn?

It’s far from Minneapolis and its Como Conservatory, in Rochester, MN, that take place Nadia and Jeffrey’s ceremony under a century old oak tree.
She is a nurse with an enormous smile, and he is a handsome-looking military guy who could work as Jeremy Lee Renner’s stunt.
If first captured the engagement picture at the Oxbow Park, where they include their children.

They had a family wedding full of genuine emotion exactly as I like them. It features two kids (from the groom’s side). Nadia, the bride, love them like their own and, as you will see, they love her too.
Those kids are just cute and attaching, and really turned what could have been an ordinary wedding, into a superior moment, which make you understand the importance of gathering your family.

I will take advantage of their wedding to introduce to you the Mayowood Stone Barn is a real gem among the Minnesota South-west venues, renowned from the resident, but often unknown from people of the city.

Bride and Bridesmaids preparation

As often when I don’t know the location, I try to come earlier to scout the location. That’s what I did. I was every exciting when I discover the exterior of the venue.
The barn is actually composed of many buildings located in different locations. Some are dedicated to the weddings, and some are private houses (but could, of course, be used for pictures).
Surrounded by a white fence, the property is closer to the manor, than a farm! The courtyard decoration, made with gray stone, gives the place a sensation of Villa.

Dark Makeup Suite

When I enter the bridal suite, my excitation went down. There is almost no natural light. Indeed, the only two small windows of the rooms are oriented toward the west, and are facing a big tree and lawn. As a result the very few amount of natural light coming from outside is green.
In consequence, it’s the yellow electric bulbs that light the room. What’s more, most of the room furniture is dark, which is not the best in photography. Indeed, we preferred white room with big windows!

What’s more makeup should always be accomplished under the same kind of light where it will be exposed.

Such an absence of natural light is pretty common in old building such as barns, farm, due to the conception. Indeed, at that time, the architected priority was to isolate the building from the cold temperatures!

A great alternative to this dark bridal suite is to get ready in the hotel suite. For Instance, the Rochester Doubletree offers great rooms with a lot of light.
You can also pick a family house if you have relatives in town.

Anyways I tried to catch pictures of the bride surrounded by her friends and relatives. She was pretty excited.

Special Florals Decorations

While the bride had her hair done, I took advantage of this time to take details pictures. After taking the shoes, the rings, the earrings I ended in the main barn room. It’s where the mother and the aunt of the bride were taking care of the decoration themselves, designing flowers for the table.
I like to take candid shot of the family working together!

Groom preparation

Guys were, as always late! And when they arrive, they were a tornado. They were getting ready into the “groom’s room” (yes, very original names). For the exterior, it looks like a small white chapel.

From the interior, you can enjoy the wood walls and wood floor.
Again, there was almost no natural light. That’s why I let the main door open most of the time.

The guys started to play the tennis table game and other games. They didn’t do any rehearsal dinner the day before, so they were very excited to see each other.

I took advantage of this time to meet with the groom’s best men, a personality!

Father and Son complicity

Despite is awesome looking, he is pretty calm and reserve. He remains to me a cowboy (or superhero) calm before the storm, who can handle any situation without even sweating.

But when it comes to its kids, he faces suddenly light up, with a smile in the eyes. At this point you can see the kid behind the man, and the complicity and the bonds he has with its kids are nothing but very emotional!

Groom + Groomsmen and Bride + Bridesmaid Pictures

The bride and the groom wanted to discover each other in the aisle. That’s why we made everything possible to gain time and avoid them to see each other before.

As you can see the guys had a lot of fun!

Letter exchange

If you are looking for a teasing moment, this one is great. The bride and the groom use a wall, or a door, to hide from each other and exchange a letter, and a few words.

Vibrant Outdoor Ceremony

Jeff and his mother were fallowed by his son and his daughter. They walked down the aisle first. Jeff, Jr., who was dressed all in black, had ease and security luggage. He was so proud of carrying the wedding rings and to be part of this moment. His sister, who was the flower girl, was pretty impressed!

Nadia and Jeff, didn’t see each other since the rehearsal dinner the day before.  They just cried when they discover each other is the aisle.

It was also an emotional moment for Nadia who walked down with her father.

A special officiant to units them by the bonds of marriage

Being a wedding photographer, I have done hundreds of weddings. The worst one is usually the religious ones, impersonal, when the priest doesn’t know the bride and the groom.
The best weddings are when the bride and the groom know their officiant.

On this wedding, it was Nadia’s Uncle who was taking care of the ritual.

A dreamed One-century-old Oak tree

It’s under the majestic one-century-old oak tree that they get married. It’s the tree that you see only in Pixar movies and which are just perfect for photography.
If the morning was cloudy and rainy, the afternoon was sunny.

Before exchanging the rings, the bride, the groom, and their kids did a symbolic ritual with the sand.
Not only was the emotional moment, but it was also beautiful with a tremendous backdrop.

Fun Group pics

After they kissed and walked down the aisle, it was the group picture time.

After some formal pictures with the immediate relative, the bridal party was pretty excited and had a lot of fun.

Husband and wife pictures

Then, it was time to take advantage of the venue assets and take the newly married couple pictures, now husband and wife.
We used not only the oak tree, but also the white fence, and the inner backyard.

Nadia was gorgeous is her dress and so happy. Jeff finally relaxed and really enjoy the moment.

Given they really wanted to enjoy their guests, so we made it as fast as possible.

Diner and Party

After the outdoor cocktail hour, it was time to gather the guests for a group picture before entering the main dinner room.

The best and the worst best man ever

Then came the best traditional men speak. Nadia’s sister start first.
Then follows Jeff best friend, who is a chaplain. His pitch was 100% original, fun, and embarrassing for Jeff. But at the same time it was packed with friendship and the love that can share two brothers.
That’s been an excellent speech. It made (almost) everyone laugh and cry.

After the dinner the DJ managed to keep the people on the dancefloor despite the heat.

I was happy to capture candid shot of the bride and the groom dancing.

Creative pictures

During the diner staged a couple of artistic pictures. I take advantage of the sunset and their vintage convertible American car.
We had fun with the swing.
I also played taking silhouette pictures with the sunset sky.

Finally, one of the precious requests from the bride was to have pictures with sparklers.

The Mayowood barn

Located on the Mayowood SW street, in the South-West of the Medcity, it’s a part of the local history.
It used to belong to the Mayo Family for more than one century, part of the Mayowood Mansion. It was the first part of the farm, and then become a place for events, such as weddings.
The story ends in 2007 when it’s sold to a private company.

The Mayowood Stone Barn is a real treasure for great photography.

What you need to know if you are planning to get married at the Mayowood Barn.

If you decide to go with this venue, there is a few things to know.

Several photos spot

First of all, this venue, given its large space, its buildings, and its locations offer a lot of photography spots that can be used for the bride and the groom pictures.

  • The exterior of stone barns
  • The interior of the stone barn
  • The first floor of the Stone Barn (the loft, and its windows).
  • The wood barns
  • The rustic stone walls
    (several walls to use such as the Blacksmith Shop Walls)
  • Big sliding doors
    probably 4 big white doors 15×15 foot, oriented in different directions
  • A covered Porch with stone on the floor
  • Wood fences
    (the propriety is bored by fences)
  • An old grain silo
    (it might sound weird by the material is pretty photogenic)
  • Lots of trees and flowers
  • The stunning oak tree
  • A swing
  • An adjacent corn field
  • The nearby South Fork Zumbro River
  • The nearby Mayo Lake
  • The forest backdrop
    (on the south side of the Mayowood Road SW)

A coordinator service

As most of high standing venue, the Mayowood Barn supervises the good coordination of your wedding. Most of the time it’s Melissa Walker who takes care of that. If Mellissa is not available, then someone else would take care of the event.

A rental service

mayowood stone barn

The Mayowood barn offers a rental service for decorations.
That could be a great option to add a coach to your bridal party pictures, for instance.


This venue can handle up to 300 people seated for the ceremony and the dinner.
The rentals include 250 seats. So you might have to pay extra to go to 300 chairs.

Last Dance

mayowood stone barn

Like 99% of the wedding venue in the 10,000 lakes states, you won’t be allowed to dance until sunrise. Your guests must leave at 11:30.

Dog friendly (outside)

Good to know for people with pets, you can have some pictures taken with your best friends!
It won’t be allowed inside.

7 min from Downtown

Despite the venue doesn’t offer room for the bride and the groom nor your relatives, you might be happy to learn that Rochester, MN, downtown is located only 7 minutes by car.
Thus, if you want to allow your friends and family to have fun without the need of driving, you could use and transportation service.
There are several hotels downtown to welcome all your guests: the Doubletree, the Khaler, the Hilton, the Aspen, just to name a few.

Parking Security guard

The venue offers a large parking which can handle 300 guests. A security guard service is already included in all packages.

An imposed catering service: Powers Ventures (also known as Canadian Honker)

lake harriet
Canadian Honker

Some venue decides to work only with one caterer, in order to ensure optimum quality throughout an extended wedding season.

That’s especially true with old venue, which doesn’t always feature brand new and spacious kitchens.
Thus, having only one company knowing exactly the specificity, the flexibility (and the limit) of the venue. That guarantees that the staff would offer a great service for your reception.

The Mayowood stone barn decides to work only with Powers Ventures. I have no idea of the consequences on the final price, but what I can tell you is that the food was good.


If the Mayowood recommends some professionals they know (decoration florals, DJ, photographers), you have the liberty to select the one you want for your marriage celebration.


mayowood stone barn
Become Husband and Wife in front of this majestic oak

If you are looking for a historical venue can concede the distance from Minneapolis, MN, and the choice of your caterer, then this venue should clearly be considered as a first-class option on your list. It’s not only a charming Historical Barn that is part of the local history, but it’s also a venue that offers a lot of spaces for big events.
The main barn (Called Carriage Way) made with limestone and its arch is nothing but welcoming and beautiful. The first floor (call the Loft) is the perfect back-up option in case of rain. The Old century Oak tree is the icing on the cake!

Last words:
First, I would like to thank the bride and the groom for trusting me.
Second, if you plan to get married the Mayowood Stone Barn, call me and send me a message!

Black and White Portrait of Alexandre Mayeur, photographer at French-Touch-Photography

Born and raised in Paris, I am now a proud Wedding Photographer in Rochester, MN, serving MPLS.

I don’t only capture emotions in candid pictures, I also create timeless images and artful photographs.
Recognized as one of the best photographers in the Twin Cities.

I serve Duluth and also far beyond the 10,000 Lakes State (Wisconsin, Iowa, and destination). I am more than happy to discover beautiful landscapes and new horizons.

Have a look at my previous publications to learn more. As an experienced professional photographer, I don’t limit my field to lifestyle, family, or event photography! I invite you to visit my portfolio and discover my photography and work out of the studio.