Setting the Scene: Three New Minneapolis Wedding Reception Venues

One of these refurbished spaces could be just the spot for your wedding day.
From: Spring/Summer 2014 edition

Couples seeking stylish Minneapolis venues to celebrate their wedding can rejoice at the recent openings of three refurbished spaces: a warehouse converted into a chic event center, an old-fashioned restaurant that channels European romance and a performing arts center with sweeping views of the city.

Finely Tuned
Orchestra Hall, pictured above, is renowned for its world-class music, and thanks to a recent $50 million renovation, the downtown Minneapolis performing arts center is now available to Minnesota brides as a perfect urban reception venue.

Orchestra Hall features seven dynamic indoor and outdoor spaces for receptions of as few as 20 guests or as many as 300. Larger events are hosted in the grand foyer, atrium or outdoor commons, while intimate parties can take place in the Green Room or the mezzanine and its accompanying terrace. The space also boasts impressive multi-level views of Peavey Plaza, Nicollet Mall and the downtown Minneapolis skyline.

“[Some] places are not going to have a lot of windows,” says event and facility manager Scott Feldman. “Here, you get a perfect view of downtown, with 20- to 30-foot picture-perfect windows along the breadth of the building.”

As you would expect from a concert venue, the building is equipped with the highest-quality sound and technical services.

Aster Cafe
The Aster Cafe, photo by Tandem Tree Photography

European Escape
The Aster Cafe is the oldest standing brick structure in Minneapolis, but they’ve only recently opened their adjoining River Room to wedding receptions. The classic space, accented by soft candlelight, rustic brickwork and charming cobblestone, epitomizes European romance.

“The building really speaks for itself; it’s so romantic,” says events booking agent Dana Thompson. “A bride can take a horse-drawn carriage to the reception while watching the sun set and the skyline light up ... there’s really nothing like it.”

Receptions often begin with cocktails or a champagne toast on the Aster patio before guests move into the River Room for dinner. The space accommodates 80 to 90 people for a seated dinner and up to 150 for a mingling reception. Couples and their guests will enjoy delicious house-made meals prepared by executive chef Heidi Marsh, ranging from traditional fare to more avant-garde options. One couple, for instance, opted to host an Alaskan-themed fish taco bar.

While the River Room itself is a private space, it’s set in the bustling, picturesque St. Anthony Main neighborhood, making it ripe for wedding-day photo ops.

Muse Event Center
Muse Event Center

Downtown & Dapper
The stylish Muse Event Center opened in Minneapolis’ North Loop last fall, a new venue from Crave restaurant parent company Kaskaid, which refurbished the 23,000-square-foot former Trocaderos nightclub. The elegant space now features three floors that can accommodate up to 600 guests for both ceremonies and receptions.

The venue consists of a first-floor foyer and ballroom, a second-level loft and mezzanine, and a third-floor clubroom. Equipped with a state-of-the-art audio system and six HDTVs, it permits full customization of sound, lighting and video. Each floor also features windows that let in natural light, and the various spaces available are adaptable to any bride’s decorative tastes.

“We wanted to have as neutral a palette as possible, so that brides can design the space however they wish,” says Crave director of sales Marlo Kozlak. “Yet brides don’t need to do much; linens and flowers will do the trick.”

As a partner of Crave Catering, the Muse Event Center offers a high-quality culinary experience, offering everything from interactive food stations and buffets to plated dinners. Of course, the venue’s central location in the chic North Loop also makes it a fun wedding destination for guests.

“We are in the heart of Minneapolis, with completely easy access,” says Crave director of catering and special events Sara Paciotti. “It’s a fresh new space, and people are very excited about it.”