Welcome in Decorah

A wedding resource for ALL couples.

Liz Rog

Liz Rog, Officiant

With gratitude and humility I offer to play a role at this beautiful moment in your lives. With deepest respect for your path, I will listen and then see what I have to offer. If you choose, I will be honored to officiate at your ceremony.

I was raised in a progressive, peace-and-justice-oriented Midwestern Lutheran Church in the Twin Cities, and since 1979 have taken those roots along to new places that are less easy to define but would be familiar to all spiritual seekers. I celebrate the diversity of spiritual traditions that exist in our world and our country. I am part of a small women’s group that gathers regularly for earth-based rituals that honor the seasons and our inherent connection to the cycles of the earth; I am a member of the Unitarian Universalist Society here in Decorah; and I collaborate with friends who work in other religious communities.

I love ceremony and ritual, and believe that we are all capable of playing the roles of homegrown priest or priestess in our own communities. To co-create a meaningful ceremony, we need to listen well to others and to the earth; to be humble in the service of the vision; and to dare to trust the spirit that guides us. Add some artistry, history, poems, songs, time and intention, and all will be well.

The weddings I’ve had the honor of officiating have largely taken place here in our valley, a beautiful and relaxing place in the woods. There are many other fine places in and near Decorah where your wedding can take place, too: parks, shelters, and lovely indoor spaces.

If you would like music as part of your ceremony, I can help you. I am a singer and love to lead groups, large or small, in singing simple and powerful songs together. If you are looking for another kind of music, I have many friends who make music with a variety of instruments, from folk to classical.
If you’d like, I can help you to avoid the need to purchase the things you’d rather not. We make and reuse many things here at Fern Hollow; most of what we have is rich with patina, connecting us all through time and space.

I have lived in Iowa for 30 years, but it wasn’t until 2009 when the Iowa Supreme Court made its monumental decision regarding Marriage Equality that I became aware of Iowa’s proud history upholding the civil rights and liberties for all people.  Having sworn a personal oath in 1978 to work in opposition to Anita Bryant’s destructive actions toward my GLBT sisters and brothers and others, I am elated to have the opportunity to serve to anyone who seeks the birthright of a legal marriage.

Range of Possibilities

The longest wedding celebration I’ve planned, in 1988, lasted a whole weekend and included two ceremonies (one Lutheran, and the other non-religious); a potluck and campout, a tree-planting, and a barn dance.

The shortest was just last summer, for Sara and Paula: they biked here at 7am and we walked into the woods for a breakfast picnic. They chose to have no specific ceremony or ritual; we simply sat with their witnesses on the blanket and talked, and at the end we signed the official Iowa papers. The same happy tears fall no matter how we do it.

The longest lead-time I’ve had for planning a wedding was 5 months.  The couple and I emailed and phoned back and forth, as they prepared to fly relatives into Iowa from all over the country. We addressed many details: flowers, chairs, altar, food, and more. Twenty-five people gathered in the wedding circle here at Fern Hollow, and it was just-right.

The shortest lead-time was three days: when California let thousands of its citizens down in 2009, two of them decided they’d just fly to Iowa to finally marry. They arrived with only their witnesses, but asked if I would invite neighbors and friends to join in; the joyful impromptu wedding party numbered 22. We planned this ceremony in one phone conversation, one email, and a short meeting as the guests gathered.

Whether the wedding is long or short, organized or impromptu, it’s always perfect. Couples come with such love and gratitude swirling around them, exuding gladness and happy expectation, and so that’s just what comes right back at them – from Iowa, from Decorah, and from this valley.


Ceremony, day-of service anywhere within 10 miles of Decorah: $100-$200

Planning time: $40/hr (no charge for initial conversations – I’ll let you know when we’ve stepped into this realm)

Rental of Fern Hollow spaces for your ceremony (many other options also available): wedding circle, woods, or our home: $75

Other services available

  • Fern Hollow Cabin, our solar-powered 1850s restored log cabin in the woods. Visit www.fernhollowcabin.com
  • Local garden flower arrangements, in season.


For more information, please contact Liz at Fern Hollow Cabin.

Rural, Decorah, IA[map »]


Photos of Fern Hollow Cabin