Who should I speak to and when can I reach them?
I am happy to help!
Kaila Vetsch, Director of Wedding Sales & Catering
Office Hours: Tues - Saturday 8:00am - 4:30pm
Email Kaila Now
Where can I get ready on the wedding day?
While the Pavilion has a Bridal Changing Room, the other facilities do not, so we advise you to use your rented resort cabin or lodge room and get ready there. The Reservations staff can help you find one that best suits your needs when you call 888-875-0001 to reserve that room. Also, we suggest renting it for the night before the wedding and the night of, so you have it for the time that you need. Check-in is 3 p.m.; check-out is 10 a.m.
What time should I have my ceremony?
That is up to you! But most of the time, we see a ceremony start time of around 4 or 5 p.m., depending on whether or not you have a cocktail hour.
Should I have a cocktail hour?
The primary reason for having a cocktail hour is to give your guests some mingling time before going straight to dinner. For a wedding, this purpose is two-fold. Often times, you will have a few final photos with your photographer immediately following your ceremony, and having a bar (if you chose to have alcohol available) and hors d'oeuvres out for your guests, along with some light entertainment, will often help to keep them entertained while you and the family are detained for a bit finishing up those last photos.
How long should I have my cocktail hour?
We suggest a cocktail hour be no more than that—one hour at most. Forty-five minutes seems to be a sweet spot. If you let it go for longer, you risk guests getting hungry (and potentially cranky...no one wants cranky guests!) To help keep your guests happy and keep the cocktail hour brief, we strongly encourage that you plan to take at least the majority of your photos prior to the ceremony. This also helps you to be more relaxed during that time, which makes for better photos.
Can I have a cocktail hour with just a bar, but no hors d'oeuvres?
Sure, that is totally up to you. We will always recommend adding hors d'oeuvres. Guests are often running around the day of the wedding, so having food available right away is always well-received, but it is ultimately your decision.
How many hors d'oeuvres should I order?
For a light, pre-dinner cocktail hour of 30–60 minutes, we recommend offering a total of 4–6 pieces per person, with a selection of maybe 3–4 items. For example: A nice selection for 100 guests would be: Buffalo Meatballs (200 pieces), Bruschetta Crostini (150 pieces), Pheasant Tartlets (150 pieces). This gives you a conservative but adequate 5 pieces per person, and allows for 1.5–2 pieces per person of each item (because who goes through a line and picks up just one?). Add a Cheese and Cracker Platter to that selection, and you're sure to be the 'hostess with the most-ess'—nearly everyone loves cheese!
How long should I plan for photos?
That is a great question for your photographer. We see all ranges...some will just plan on taking photos a couple hours prior to the ceremony and just find some great photo spots on-site; others will want to explore other lodges or scenic spots throughout the Park, and will be out with their photographer all morning. Either way, we strongly advise doing at least the majority of your photos prior to the ceremony, so you aren't holding up your guests at dinner while getting that perfect shot.
I want my guests to stay on-site. How do room blocks work?
Wonderful! We'd love for your guests to stay with us in our resort cabins and lodge rooms for the full destination experience. Because Custer State Park Resort is a high-demand destination location, we will set you up a small courtesy hold at the time of booking. Rooms are held for a maximum of 90 days. This way, you can get the word out to your guests in your save-the-dates right away, giving them the best chance to call in and get a unit and unit type that they prefer. This method also makes it so you don't have to be held accountable for any rooms that don't book; at the end of the hold period, any rooms that aren't used will simply get released and will be placed back in available inventory.
What is included when I book my wedding with Custer State Park Resort?
Lots! Check out our Wedding Specials.
Do you have some good photos of your spaces?
Check out our Photo Gallery.
Are you open year-round?
We ARE! While three of our four properties are seasonal, The State Game Lodge offers a fantastic venue for a winter wedding. Check out our Winter Weddings Page.
How far in advance do I need to book?
It's always worth a call to check. If you are flexible on your date, we can often times find something that works for you even with not much notice.
I'm not quite sure about a wedding on a Friday or a Sunday...do you suggest it?
Absolutely!! We see tons of Friday/Sunday weddings in the Park because of it being a destination location. A Sunday, while it is generally the least-popular day for a wedding, can be the most fun. It can help your guests to make a mini-family vacation out of their visit, which helps them kill two birds with one stone in their travel costs (always nice!) We see lots of encouragement to "Come, enjoy the Hills on your own that weekend before our wedding finale on Sunday," and then guests travel home on Monday. (Most who travel any distance will have to take at least one weekday off, anyway, just to come for the wedding. This way, they are taking a day, but also getting a day or two to themselves). Or, the more casual Bride and Groom might chose to have a Sunday brunch reception (mimosas, anyone?) so that guests can travel back home that evening. The same concept can apply to Fridays, as well.
What are the Quiet Hours?
As we are in a State Park, mandatory quiet hours are set as follows:
State Game Lodge Pavilion: 11 p.m.
Sylvan Lake Lodge Auditorium: Midnight
Sylvan Lake Lodge Veranda: 10 p.m.
Blue Bell Lodge White Buffalo Room: 11 p.m.
Do you have any diagrams of what the setup will look like?
YES! Each wedding is unique; however, there are certain basics that make or break any meal function from a service point of view. The uniqueness comes from your personal touches thereafter! See the Reception Sites page for diagrams.