Choosing my 30 of my favorite wedding venues in Minneapolis and St. Paul is an impossible task! And it is entirely arbitrary as the Twin Cities has some amazing options. Because of my obsession with architecture many of these are very modern. I listed the places I love the most ( though I’m sure I’ve forgotten a bunch). My beginning list is 30 killer locations for your weddings and receptions. I’m going to share a few photos and thoughts as well as some general information about some of my very favorite locations. It should get you started with ideas for planning your celebration.
My criteria for choosing is based on locations that I personally have photographed amazing weddings at (and a couple that I haven’t yet but that I’m dreaming of )! I love weddings that are unique, heartfelt and creative, so my hope is that all of these venues are just that. I’ll include a little bit about what makes these venues so special to me. These are ranked in no particular order; they are not the best wedding venues nor are they the only great wedding venues in the Twin Cities.
Aria is located in the Minneapolis North Loop. There is stunning architectural elements, exposed brick, crystal chandeliers and pop art accents.The space can look vastly different different. It is one of my favorite wedding venues in Minneapolis! There are so many places for stunning portraits, a gorgeous dressing room and one of the coolest restrooms.
Paikka is a modern, industrial event center located in an old mattress factory in St Paul. There are 2 beautiful spaces with an adjacent patio. The pink and gold rooms are separated by 9 feet doors embellished with a mural. You can have your ceremony inside or outside. There are steel vaulted ceilings and the original brick walls. they have custom built plant walls that can be moved around the space. Paikka just started a sustainability program! Gretchen and Griffin’s wedding was one of my favorites!
3.Lumber Exchange Event Center
The Lumber Exchange Event Center is another one of my favorite wedding venues in Minneapolis . And as a bonus they are right across the street from the Bob Dylan mural. They have 4 different rooms to choose from. The Fountain room is the most dramatic as it is a 9 story atrium. The River Room is adjacent to and booked together. They also have a Dylan Room and Sawyers on 5th. This is a venue full of dark corners, crazy good light and many places for dramatic portraits. They also have great getting ready suites for both the bride and groom.
4.Nicollet Island Pavilion
Nicollet Island Pavilion is the best of both worlds. The inside of the venue is exposed brick walls and tall industrial ceilings. You can have your ceremony inside or out. The venue is right along the Mississippi river with a great view of the Minneapolis skyline and bridges. The closest bridge is the Washington bridge and if you get lucky will get an amazing sunset! Eric and Michelle’s wedding might have had the best sunset ever!
5. Windows on Minnesota
Windows is a lovely venue located on the 50th floor of the Marquette Hotel at the top of the IDS tower. The best thing about this venue is the floor to ceiling windows (probably where the name came from) overlooking downtown Minneapolis.
6. The Walker Art Center
The Walker is an amazing venue! This is such an iconic building with so many different places for your wedding. They have a theater, street level spaces, roof top terraces, plazas, gardens and lounges. When you host your wedding here your guests get free admission to the museum, they will do a private exhibition tour, they can walk around the Sculpture garden, and a great view of Minneapolis! Plus e is a secret concrete bunker on the grounds that is one of my favorite places! This is definitely one of my favorite wedding venues in Minneapolis.
7. Leopold’s Mississippi Garden
Leopold’s Mississippi is located 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. It’s another great venue that has great space both inside and outside. They have a huge deck with a view of the bluffs and Mississippi River. This is another venue that has the versatility of a really elegant beautiful ballroom and space to get married inside or to set up your ceremony down by the river.
8. Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
The Como Conservatory is a magical garden! They change the plants and flowers every season. Besides the conservatory there are several other spaces for your wedding and reception. They have a beautiful Japanese Garden and an Enchanted Garden out on the property. You can get married in the zoo in front of the flamingos. Plus the last wedding that I photographed there they brought out a real sloth that everyone could see up close. I really wanted to do a ring shot on his claw but the zookeeper wouldn’t let me.
9. Bavaria Downs
Bavaria Downs is a fairly new venue in Chaska. The Edward Anne Estate is complete with a France-Normandy mansion with both indoor and outdoor reception areas. I could see Belle there! There is an outdoor spot set up with marble benches in front of a lake under a gazebo to have your ceremony. It is set on a 270 acre property and they are planning to build a couple of other structures on the site. The grounds are lovely.
10. Mill City Museum
The Mill City Museum is on the Mississippi in the ruins of the old Washburn Flour Mill. Their tagline is “original, eclectic, spectacular”. The venue combines the ruins with modern steel, brick and wood for a gorgeous contemporary industrial space. It is also right next to the Guthrie and the Stone Arch Bridge ( probably the most popular spot in the Twin Cities).
11. Minnesota History Center
One of the best thing about the Minnesota History Center is the views of the State Capital, St. Paul Cathedral, and downtown St. Paul skyline. The Minnesota History Center also has a great outdoor terrace, marble, granite, and limestone accents. The place where most people get married is in front of the tall windows with the State Capital as a backdrop.
12. Cafe Lurcat
Cafe Lurcat is such a pretty venue located across the street from Loring Park. It is definitely a hip, urban venue with incredible food, plus the restaurant is open all of the time, so it can be your favorite date night place. Behind the venue is a great alley that looks like a street in Europe. This is one of my favorite wedding venues in Minneapolis for a small intimate gathering!
13. Day Block Event Center
Day Block Event Center is right downtown Minneapolis. Its a space with hardwood floors, high ceilings, lots of windows and brick. There is a super secret staircase that takes you to the rooftop with the best view of downtown Minneapolis
14. The Hutton House
The Hutton House is an elegant venue with very clean lines. The indoor space is a perfect background for those with a minimalist style. White walls, high ceilings, polished concrete floors, lots of windows and beautiful light. They also have a modern outdoor garden.
15. The Neu Neu (Formerly 514 Event Studios)
The Neu Neu is a historic and unique venue located in the North Loop Neighborhood of Minneapolis. It used to be a former elevator factory and features brick walls and original timber beam ceiling. They have a set of garage doors that open to a courtyard which is perfect to have a food truck during your reception!
16. James J Hill Library
James J Hill Library is a great venue for book lovers. This is a dramatic venue with marble columns, tin ceilings and stacks of books. The library is located in downtown St. Paul next to Rice Park.
17. Weisman Art Museum
The Weisman Museum in located on the University of Minnesota grounds. It is a spectacular silver sculptural building designed by the great architect Frank Gehry. It is an incredible space to have your event. You can have your wedding in the art gallery!
18. The Machine Shop
The Machine Shop is a historic, unique and bright venue in the heart of the St. Anthony neighborhood of Minneapolis. When the Pillsbury A Mill was the largest working mill in the world, their machine shop was an integral piece of their operation and sustained success. This building has been carefully restored, keeping the original 1916 architectural details. Tons of light, cool industrial space and totally elegant as the same time.
19. Guthrie Theater
The Guthrie is one of the most dramatic probably my very favorite wedding venue in Minneapolis. The yellow room may be my very favorite place to take portraits! There are stunning views of the Mississippi River and the Minneapolis skyline. All around the venue are ghost images on the walls.
20. Science Museum of Minnesota
One of the great things about having your wedding at the Science Museum is that your guests can spend time in the exhibits! What could be better than playing with dinosaurs, giant astronauts, you can hang out as a newscaster. So many fun exhibits to play with! They have a balcony that overlooks the Mississippi and if the weather cooperates one of the best places to watch the sunset!
21. Bell Museum
Bell Museum is a modern wedding venue located in Saint Paul, Minnesota on the University of Minnesota campus. It is the state’s official natural history museum, and will feature a digital planetarium, high-tech exhibits, wildlife dioramas and outdoor learning experiences. Bell Museum will offer multiple indoor and outdoor settings for both your ceremony and reception. Imagine your wedding under the stars in the planetarium!
22 Minneapolis Institute of Art
You start at the main entrance with dramatic marble columns flanked by stone lions. Couples who love the arts and appreciate a sophisticated ambiance have four unique, versatile spaces to choose from. Reception areas and meeting spaces are located within or adjacent to the museum’s renowned galleries, so guests feel immersed in the world-renowned collections. They have an outdoor courtyard with elegant landscaping, abstract sculptures, pavilion, and a grove of oak trees, perfect for outdoor celebrations.
23. Loews Minneapolis Hotel
The best description of Loews hotel sleek and modern. It is located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis and right around the corner from the famous First Avenue wall! There are great views of the skyline. The spaces are so elegant with beautiful up-lighting (always my favorite)! Loews has so many little corners, art and architecture. Plus if you love reflections there are lots of shiny things!
24. W Minneapolis-The Foshay
The W is a stunning venue that blends Art Deco with modern chic. There are vibrant colors and high tech features. On the main level there are multiple lounge spots and the best color changing light sculpture. They have 8 different rooms to choose from. And you can go up to the observation deck which is 30 stories up and great views of the Minneapolis.
25. The Varsity
The Varisty is one of my favorite places to see live music in the Twin Cites. They have the best light show during concerts and so great for your party! They bring the killer light show to the dance floor. It is a funky intimate venue with a hip, elegant vibe!
26. Minneapolis Event Center
The Minneapolis Event Center is another venue in the St. Anthony Main area. It was built in 1858 and There are 2 different spaces on site. The Grand 1858 has as original brick, white walls and a glass atrium that leads to a garden patio. The Riverside has a custom made fiber optic chandelier! The View has original hard wood floors. wood beams and original brick. It has a rustic modern feeling!
27. Chowgirls at Solar Arts
Chowgirls at Solar Arts is a stunning hundred year old venue on the top floor of the Solar Arts Building, located in the Northeast Minneapolis Art District. It is a warm, loft-like space with natural light, hard wood floors, wooden beams and exposed brick. Plus Chowgirls catering has amazing food!
28. Orchestra Hall
Orchestra Hall is located in downtown Minneapolis close to Nicollet Avenue. The architecture is stunning with glass and steel. They have 7 different indoor and outdoor spaces. As a bonus it is right next to Peavey Plaza which is a 2 acre plaza with terraced terrain and water feature (which appeals to my love of both water and reflections).
29. Muse Event Center
Muse event center is located in the North Loop of downtown Minneapolis. They are know for their concert quality sounds system and killer lighting so perfect if you are planning the ultimate dance party! Muse is a modern, industrial building with 3 levels, natural lighting, concrete floors and a wrap around mezzanine overlooking the ballroom. As a bonus they have amazing getting ready rooms!
30.Minnesota State Fair
The State Fair is the Great Minnesota get together! If you want to have your ceremony during the fair you can host your wedding at Horton Pavilions at Heffron Park. Having the fair as a background is a huge bonus although the area usually has 100,000 guests a day. The fairgrounds are available throughout the year. One of the buildings available is the History & Heritage Center. The building is full of historical artifacts and photographs over the past 150 years. They combine modern architecture, natural lighting with nostalgia. The other building most used is the Progress Center. It is the oldest building on the fairgrounds and was built in 1907. It has the original brick, high ceilings and clean lines with natural light.
As you may have noticed from this list of my favorites I am a huge fan of modern, architectural interesting, unique, out of the ordinary, memorable, beautiful venues! I’m sure I will remember some that I forgot but for today these are 30 of my favorite wedding venues in Minneapolis and St Paul!