The subtle colors of an autumn twilight come alive in the historic Northern Pacific Center.
Classic Venue Choice: Haute Hotels
Centrally located, built for luxury and rich with photo opportunities, hotel venues are a classic choice for wedding receptions. No need to shop around for catering, linens or room blocks—hotels have it all. Guests will enjoy the convenience of heading upstairs to their rooms after dancing the night away. Start your search with these 10 top hotels, many of which are brand-new or freshly redesigned.
Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot
The last train came through this 19th century depot in 1971, but the building has kept its historic roots. “The 2017 renovation of the lobby, event spaces, restaurant and guest rooms captured the history of the building’s train station heritage with modern appeal,” says Lisa Schetinski, director of sales and marketing. “We have the best of both worlds, with historical and modern event spaces.”
Brides have the choice of gorgeous rental spaces, including the renowned Great Hall and the Winter Garden, and can accommodate ceremony, reception and guests all in one location. The notable Mill District location near the Mississippi River is walking distance from the picturesque Stone Arch Bridge, Mill City Museum, Guthrie Theater and Saint Anthony Main. The wedding party will appreciate the many nearby landmarks to explore before and after the wedding, Schetinski says.
The Saint Paul Hotel
St. Paul was recently named the most romantic city in North America. With historic architecture like this hotel, it’s easy to see why. The European-inspired elegance of the property has drawn visitors since its opening in 1910. It’s a popular choice for brides who love the traditional look, though the hotel excels at customization. “Through lighting, linens and décor we transform our ballroom into whatever the bride and groom want,” says Pete Zellmer, director of sales and marketing. The L’etoile Room for brides to get ready in is decorated with white marble and a chandelier that can be customized to match the wedding colors.
With a venue so steeped in history, some families are known to host weddings there generation after generation. The hotel is also a popular choice for accommodations for weddings held at the neighboring Landmark Center and James J. Hill Library.
Le Méridien Chambers
Located in the lively Minneapolis theater district on Hennepin Avenue, the hotel has a modern, artsy interior. The A.R.T. Hall accommodates 200 guests and features views of Hennepin Avenue through floor-to-ceiling windows. For more intimate affairs, the Gallery can seat 60. An enclosed rooftop lounge, outdoor balcony and main-level courtyard are also available. “Often people will hold the ceremony on the rooftop and then come downstairs for a seated reception,” says Carly Clark, director of sales at the hotel’s Mercy Bar & Dining Room. The curated selection of modern art by local, national and international artists changes every few months, so there’s always something fresh.
The Marquette Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
For brides seeking distinctive event space, the freshly updated Marquette Hotel is now the first Curio Hotel by Hilton in the state. The new design features a palette of cool grays. offering a modern and neutral backdrop for any event.
In addition to event spaces at the hotel, Marquette’s premier event space, Windows on Minnesota, at the top of the IDS tower, is a short walk through the Crystal Court. From the tallest building in the state, guests can end the night with a panoramic view of twinkling city lights. “It’s very special—a 360-degree view of the city,” says Claudette Guillermo, director of catering. “You can see as far as the airport, St. Paul, the river and some of the lakes.”
For those seeking a bit of history, this independent hotel in Minneapolis’ North Loop opened last year in an old farm implement warehouse. The massive windows where farmers once shopped for equipment are intact, as are the exposed brick, wood beams and original elevator doors. The ballroom space can be used for a ceremony and reception for 176 guests.
“We are a unique venue and we pride ourselves on that,” says Rachel Mattison, catering sales manager. “It’s a true Minnesota-style hotel.” The venue partners with Minnesota businesses to offer local beers, wines and spirits at the bar, blankets and throw pillows from Faribault Woolen Mills Co. on the beds, and locally crafted soap and shampoo in guest rooms.
The Hotel Landing
This property, which opened in 2017, is the first hotel along Lake Minnetonka in more than 50 years. The ballroom includes walls of floor-to-ceiling windows and two balconies, so guests can enjoy the stunning lake setting. “There are so many outdoor views, it brings the outdoors inside,” says Kim Nevins, director of sales and marketing.
The Nordic-inspired Läka Spa, complete with a couple’s treatment room, adds a resort quality to the boutique hotel in the heart of historic downtown Wayzata. Wedding parties always take advantage of the lake, with options like rehearsal dinners on the water through Al & Alma’s dinner cruises, or take time to explore the new restaurants in town, Nevins says. “Our location gives the look and feel of a destination wedding, without the price tag.”
A 2014 sale to Loews and subsequent remodel transformed the former Graves 601 Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. One thing that remains the same is the Cosmos restaurant, one of the Twin Cities’ only four-diamond restaurants, which can be rented for small receptions and events for up to 80 people. The Stone Arch Ballroom accommodates seated receptions of up to 400, with tall ceilings and custom lighting that creates a modern appeal.
“The skyway-connected space is infused with local style and nods to Twin Cities landmarks and history. It’s modern but not pretentious,” says Carrie Mabery, conference and catering manager. “The feeling of our hotel is casual elegance. You can be as comfortable as you want to be.”
Local touches on the menu include ingredients from the rooftop garden, micro-greens grown on-site and foraged mushrooms. For something sweet, the in-house pastry chef specializes in small custom cakes, pies, petits fours and cupcakes, and can accommodate guests with gluten-free and vegan diets.
The Twin Cities’ largest hotel unveiled a remodel of the lobby, restaurants and event spaces in 2017. “It’s opened up quite a bit. We created a new restaurant concept and expanded the bar section,” says Kathy Roberts, director of catering. The color palette is also lighter and more neutral, reflecting a contemporary design sensibility.
The Gallery event space includes a private outdoor patio that’s popular in summer, while the Symphony ballroom’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer downtown views. Many weddings held at nearby historic venues such as Nicollet Island Pavilion, the Van Dusen Mansion and the Semple Mansion come to the hotel for guestroom wedding blocks or rehearsal dinners. The executive chef has been with the hotel for 10 years, specializing in dietary needs. “We recently did a whole gala that was requested gluten-free for all 800 guests,” Roberts says.
At downtown’s Hotel Ivy, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Minneapolis, the skyway can be used for a wedding ceremony. “Guests are floating above the street,” says Kara Sherman, catering and event specialist. For a more traditional location, 100 guests can enjoy events in Hotel Ivy’s ballroom, which was renovated in 2017 with exposed columns and a hand-carved art wall installation.
Bridal parties can take advantage of the hotel’s partnership with Ivy Spa Salon. Sherman says that not only is the spa one of the city’s best, it’s also one of the biggest, so it can accommodate large bridal parties whose members all need to get ready at the same time.
Hotel Ivy boasts another of the Twin Cities’ biggest—the penthouse suite, which spans two floors. Built for entertaining, it’s ideal for smaller weddings, post-wedding brunches, and welcome parties for up to 50 people. A balcony with a view of the city is the crown jewel on top of the hotel
Kimpton Grand Hotel Minneapolis
Built a century ago as the Minneapolis Athletic Club, this Kimpton property has been a hotel since 1999, but traces of its history remain: The intimate ballroom that seats 225 was originally a bowling alley, and the sweeping staircase is original to the property, making for a romantic setting for the first look. Kathryn Billig, business development coordinator, calls the property “a luxury urban retreat.”
For added indulgence, couples can book the presidential suite complete with a den, fireplace, full kitchen and master bedroom. The space is ideal for getting ready or even small elopements. “Our executive chef does an excellent job of customizing the menu, and he sources locally when possible,” says Tim Rivers, food and beverage outlets manager. “If Grandma used to make a special entrée or dessert, he can add it to the menu.”
What’s New in Twin Cities Hotels
Hotels are stepping up their game with new openings and renovations for the Super Bowl—and the Minnesota wedding scene wins. Here’s what’s new this season.
Embassy Suites Minneapolis Airport
Planned for completion March 31, the first phase of hotel renovations will include the lobby, bar, meeting rooms and atrium. Two ballrooms, both around 3,000 square feet, will also be part of the renovation. A guestroom remodel is planned for the end of the year.
Located on the University of Minnesota campus, the rebranded Commons features a $14 million renovation with reclaimed wood and whimsical nods to Minnesota culture. The entire second floor is dedicated event space.
InterContinental Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport
Scheduled for completion this summer, the first hotel at the MSP airport will connect to Terminal 1 via a new skyway and have its own security checkpoint. A ballroom and event space will be included.
DoubleTree by Hilton St. Paul Downtown
Renovation for this St. Paul hotel is underway. The hotel includes an 11-story atrium for the ceremony or cocktail hour and an adjacent ballroom.
AC Hotel Minneapolis Downtown
Located in the theater district close to popular reception spaces Aria and The Fountain Room, the hotel opened in 2016. It has chic guestrooms and event space for 50 guests.
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
South of the Twin Cities, this venue opened a modern new event center early this year. A nine-story, 180-room hotel and event center is attached to the existing Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. New features include three ballrooms and a spacious glass atrium overlooking the golf course.
DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis-University Area
A new five-story hotel on the University of Minnesota campus opened in 2017. The Bridges Ballroom, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, can accommodate up to 290 guests.