where weddings in the woods happen well


Juliane James Place is a destination wedding venue located in Finlayson, MN, a little less than 2 hours north of the Twin Cities & an hour south of Duluth.

At Juliane James Place we care about art and love and the thrill of learning new things.

We believe in love passionately and produced a space for all couples to get married as equals.

We yearn to be in the middle of happiness so much we started a business where we could help make it happen.

We hope that we can help make your wedding what you dream for it to be.

Main Photo: Jonny Edwin Photography



(612) 888-3218


15 Min. West of Askov-Finlayson Exit on I-35

Address unlisted


Apt. Only


We are what was until very recently the middle of the woods. We are a space that wedding guests couldn't have imagined until they arrived. We saw this land and thought this is the place to make what we can’t find out of what we don’t know yet how to do. Then we learned and we made and we lent more love and sweat and blood into JJP than ever imaginable. Then we got married here. Then amazing clients came our way with amazing families who also believed in making weddings reflect who a couple is.  And we felt full and humbled and supported in this business project of ours. 

We host weddings of up to 150 guests from mid-June to mid-October. 


Our clients are a diverse group of amazing people who want their weddings to reflect THEM not a pre-conceived notion of who they are supposed to want to be when getting married. They are 50% from out of state, 50% clients from within Minnesota. Around 20% of our pre-marriage equality clients have been same-sex clients. Almost 100% of our clients have dogs or love them dearly. We generally have two of them here when we are showing the property or working at it. They stay in the Cities at their other home during weddings unless they receive a proper invite.


Juliane James Place is 40 acres situated between Finlayson, MN and Willow River, MN.  The vision for the property since inception has been to create a modern vacation rental and wedding venue that appreciates the rustic nature of rural Minnesota and the beauty the state offers.  The houses contain unique items obtained from local antique stores and hand-built items made by the owners.  Creativity can be found in each nook of the property.  It is the intention of Juliane James Place to inspire creativity in others and be a canvas for artistic weddings.

Our outdoor facilities are primitive and rustic but completely geared toward and created with unique weddings in mind. The property consists of a main house and a cabin for sleeping quarters, a large pond, and spaces for wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours, and receptions.  The property has a large garden with an additional garden pond and screened-in gazebo.  There are two wood burning stoves accessible to guests and a stone fireplace in the gathering room of the main house.  There a fire pits across the property as well.


The main house is a 2-level house with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.  The master bedroom occupies the majority of the upper level of the house and has an attached bathroom.  This room has a king size bed and a chaise lounge for relaxing and napping.  Mirrors are hung in place and placed by mirrored make-up trays if the master bedroom is being used by fancy folks get ready for their wedding.  Outside the master bedroom there is a loft space with a fainting sofa, library (stocked with wedding-related books and magazines!), and a writing or computer desk for guests to use.  From the loft you can look out the full wall of windows on the south side of the main house and have a view of the cabin, the cocktail area, and the pond.  The south side of the house has an attached deck with seating for relaxing and eating.  The east side of the house has a porch looking out into the woods.  The garden is located behind the house on its west and north sides.


The cabin is located about a quarter mile down from the main house.  It is nestled right up to the pond and you are almost on the water when you are sitting on the front deck.  The cabin has electricity but no running water and is rustic but comfortable.  A system for drinking, cooking, and washing water is in place within the cabin for the convenience of those in your party who will stay in the cabin.  The cabin sleeps up to 6 in 3 double beds and two twin beds.  There is a wood burning stove in the cabin for warmth and ambiance.  A fire pit is located directly outside the cabin for relaxing pond side. 


The pond is large enough for canoeing, kayaking, and using our paddleboat on. It is great for floating on and relaxing. The trail around the pond is about a half mile and the depth of the pond varies.  The ceremony stage backs up to and overlooks the pond.


Juliane James Place has the following spaces available for weddings: a ceremony space with a stage that is flanked with dogwood bushes, astilbes, and hydrangeas, and also includes our benches and antique seating with your venue rental, a cleared space with a 40‘x60’ pole tent for your reception, a garden for guests to wait in upon their arrival, and a large area pond side for cocktail hour mingling.  With two houses each member of a couple can get ready in a different location or on separate floors within the main house.  There is a back entry to the reception space from the main house that allows a couple and their wedding party to move over to the ceremony space without being seen by their guests. Caterers also use this path.


Jesse and Alyson Newquist moved from Brooklyn, NY to Minnesota in 2009 and set out looking for land to buy to get married on. When they came upon the property that is currently Juliane James Place in early 2010 they knew this was the place. It needed a lot of work to become a wedding venue but it was perfect. And then they worked, and worked some more, and learned a lot of new skills. 

The couple married in July 2011 and had their legal ceremony in 2013 across the pond from where they married in 2011. Their wedding was featured in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of MN Bride magazine and was also chosen as one of the 10 Style-Fabulous Real Weddings featured in Style Me Pretty’s first online Fashion and Beauty Magazine. 

Alyson's current focus is Rentivist.com, a peer-to-peer rental website that connects the owners of stuff with those looking to rent it, where she is the Chief Innovation Officer and a Co-Founder. Jesse works in Finance at Target Corp. The couple is obsessed with their two dogs, Dinosaur Nugget and Tuesday Tattoo and love when couples bring their dog(s) to the property for tours, weddings, and vacations. 


Alexandra McLennan manages Juliane James Place when she isn't busy perfecting the finer DIY arts or taking photos of her cats, Ziggy and Oscar. 2016 marked her fifth season at JJP and Bash Collective doing event design and coordination and generally knowing what's up, what needs to be done, and how to make it all happen flawlessly. She and/or Alyson are the hands on deck for wedding weekends and all the weekends of prep leading up to those weekends.