Spotlight: Cragun's Resort on Gull Lake

Cragun's Resort on Gull Lake
This picturesque lakeside haven is the perfect place to host your wedding
Written by
Laura Cross

Nestled on the shores of Gull Lake in Brainerd, Minnesota, Cragun's Resort stands as a testament to love, family, and enduring tradition. With the capacity to host weddings for up to 450 guests, the resort can accommodate celebrations of all sizes year-round. From bridal showers and rehearsal dinners to intimate ceremonies and grand receptions, the dedicated team at Cragun's collaborates with each couple to bring their visions to life.

Established in 1940 by Merrill K Cragun Sr. and his wife, Louise, Cragun's Resort is one of the first lake resorts to be established on Gull Lake. In 1957, Merrill Jr. (fondly known as "Dutch") assumed control of the family business, later partnering with his wife, Irma, solidifying the resort's legacy. Those who have visited Cragun’s since the mid-1960s, have come to know Dutch & Irma as integral to the resort's identity. Rooted in promoting tourism in central Minnesota, the resort has evolved into a beloved wedding destination. 

Encompassing over 47,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor venue space, Cragun's can cater to every couple's desires. The North Lawn, Cragun’s Legacy Courses and Gull Lake Cruises stand out as the most sought-after ceremony locations at the resort. Whether exchanging vows beneath the two willow trees on the North Lawn or overlooking the picturesque Steamboat Bay, each venue exudes its own unique charm.

Shane Long Photography
Shane Long Photography

Defined by a blend of nostalgia and modern amenities, Cragun's Resort invites couples to infuse their creativity into their wedding day. Whether a couple is looking to transform an entire space or embrace the existing decor, the resort offers a canvas for couples to personalize their dream celebration.

To alleviate the stress and complexity of wedding planning, Cragun's provides onsite catering, bar and staffing services. Elevating the culinary and cocktail experience, the resort allows opportunities to customize and personalize the food and beverage program. From delightful brunch buffets to traditional reception dinners, the resort caters to diverse tastes ensuring a memorable dining experience. They also offer a wide range of wine, beer and spirits in their standard bar, as well as options to include personal favorites. 

For outsourced wedding vendors, the resort encourages couples to choose from their preferred provider list—a curated selection of trusted vendors with local partnerships. This ensures a seamless collaboration with professionals familiar with the property, guaranteeing exceptional products and services. While couples are welcome to bring their chosen vendors, the resort's recommendations facilitate a smooth and coordinated effort. Flexibility in setup and tear-down times further ensures that couples can relish the moments leading up to their celebration.

Photo courtesy of Cragun's Resort
Photo courtesy of Cragun's Resort

Cragun's Resort isn't just a venue; it's a family affair. With over 200 hotel rooms and 40 cabins, the resort welcomes entire guest lists to stay, play, and relax. Witnessing family reunions, love stories that evolve into weddings, and anniversaries celebrated in this meaningful place is the most unforgettable aspect of hosting weddings at the resort.

Each season at Cragun's brings its distinct charm. Summer offers the allure of lakefront weddings and golf course ceremonies, fall showcases vibrant foliage, winter provides enchanting snowy backdrops and lakeside ice skating, and spring heralds blooming flowers and new beginnings. The resort offers an array of season-specific services and rentals, from pontoons and sunset cruises to non-motorized equipment, tee times, charger plates, and more. Whether arriving on a horse-drawn carriage or celebrating a winter wedding with fish houses and sled dogs, the resort accommodates unique requests.

Embark on a journey of love and tradition at Cragun's Resort, where each wedding is a unique chapter in the resort's storied history. For couples seeking to kickstart their planning, call the resort and reach out to the Wedding Planning Manager, or fill out a request on their website.

Alexa Myli Photography
Alexa Myli Photography