Arboretum RentalsWeddings

Serene and bubbling with nature, the Arboretum is the ideal location for large or small weddings and/or receptions. Located on the edge of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN and just a 15 minute drive from Mankato, the Arboretum gives your wedding all the advantages of being located near the big city coupled with the private feel of a quiet natural setting.

Melva Lind Interpretive Center

All wedding rentals include the use of the Interpretive Center and arboretum grounds. The Interpretive Center is air-conditioned, equipped with two single-use restrooms and provides a comfortable gathering and preparation space for the wedding party. It comfortably seats up to 60 guests for intimate receptions and dinners. Two sets of double doors lead out to the patio and shelter. There is a small kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, and sink. Gustavus Dining Services catering staff will typically use this area as their set-up if they are chosen to provide catering for your event.

Interpretive Center Photos >

Arboretum Grounds

The Arboretum grounds are beautiful year-round. Choose your own unique backdrop for your special day - whether it is beautifully-manicured lawns and gardens, bright spring blooms, or colorful fall foliage. Your guests will love the diverse features of the Arboretum – ponds, prairies, woodlands, 1800's cabin, labyrinth, formal gardens, orchard and more, all accessible by 3+ miles of walking trails. 

Arboretum Grounds Photos >

Wedding Rental Fees

Event Type (Includes indoor and outdoor rental) Duration Times Fee Deposit
Ceremony Only Part Day 8am - 12pm
12pm - 4pm
4pm - 9pm
$650 $300
  Full Day 8am - 9pm $950 $300
Ceremony and Reception Full Day 8am - 9pm $1,300 $300

Additional Information

Event Insurance: 
The renter must provide a Certificate of Insurance and agree to not hold the College responsible for any claims, liabilities, losses, damages, costs or expenses relating to any death, injury or damage occurring in connection with the event. Gustavus Adolphus College must be named as an “Additional insured” on the policy, and there must be at least $1 million in homeowner’s liability coverage. The Certificate is issued against your homeowner’s insurance. Renter is encouraged to contact their insurance provider for more information.

The college's insurer offers coverage for events. Please visit their website for more details. 

Indoor amenities:
Pull-down screen, LCD projector with sound and video/DVD player hook-up. Guests have access to the campus wireless internet. The space is equipped with tables and chairs that can be arranged to suit your needs. The ordinary arrangement is nine tables with six chairs each. The room accommodates up to 75 people in a theatre-style seating arrangement. There are single-person mens and womens restrooms as well as a small kitchenette with sink and refrigerator.

Outdoor events:
The Arboretum does not provide chairs, tables, tents, etc. for outdoor events. Please contact a rental company for availability. A small grounds fee will apply for tents.

Food and Catering:
Catering is allowed at the discretion of Gustavus Dining Service. Dining Service can provide an array of catering services ranging from snacks, to bag lunches to elegantly served dinners or receptions. The Interpretive Center is equipped with a small kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, and sink. Any alcohol must be provided by Dining Services, which includes options for wine and beer. For more information, contact Margi Willmert with Gustavus Catering at (507) 933-6245 or

Parking for the Melva Lind Interpretive Center is conveniently located near the main entrance in lots M and N. An easy walk to the building, the sidewalk passes under a wooden arbor to a plaza adjacent to the Johnson Waterfall and outdoor shelter. The Center has no steps, making it accessible to everyone.

Arboretum Photography Policy 

Because the Arboretum is a beautiful local outdoor space and is open free of charge to the public, we have many groups and individuals who love to come take photos. However, we ask commercial photographers to register for an Arboretum Photography Permit. Please see our Commercial Photography Policy page for more information and to register. 

Reminders for ALL photograpers:

  • Priority to rental groups -- All photographers and wedding parties must remember that other parties who have booked and paid for private rental events may have exclusive rights to their reserved area, including the Interpretive Center.
  • Interpretive Center by reservation only -- The Interpretive Center building is not available to photographers (or their clients) who have not reserved it. Information about reserving the Interpretive Center can be found here.
  • No implied endorsement -- The Arboretum does not endorse products or services. Photographs that imply endorsement are prohibited.
  • Stay near paths, but keep the pathways free -- All persons and equipment must stay near established pathways and mowed lawn areas. Avoid walking or gathering in planted gardens or habitat areas. Equipment should be kept to the side of trails to allow safe and easy passage for all visitors.
  • If you move benches or picnic tables, please return them to their original locations.
  • Do not disturb plants -- No plants shall be picked, altered, tied up or modified in any manner with pins, tape, twine, etc. Do not move or change the position of potted plants, or remove signs/labels from planted areas.
  • No drones -- The use of drone aircraft (for any reason) is prohibited in accordance with College rules.

Wedding photos courtesy of Aminda Villa Photography