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Five stars across the board for the Minnesota History Center - I would give them 6 stars if I could! This is a really special venue that provided the perfect backdrop for our wedding day. Working with Brittany and her team was a pleasure! They made everything so easy for us from beginning to end. She really took a lot of weight off of our shoulders during both the planning process and the day of the wedding.
If you're looking to capture some phenomenal photos of your wedding day, you can't get much better than the History Center. It is right in the middle of downtown, so you get amazing skyline views of the city, the capitol building, and the cathedral. Our guests had the option to stay inside or venture outside for photos and cocktails - everyone raved about what a gorgeous venue it was! The only thing I was a little disappointed with was that the capitol building (the focal point of the dancefloor/ceremony room) was under construction at the time and full of scaffolding. As the capitol seems to be under construction every other year, I would consider double-checking before you book if that is important to you.
Bon Appetit catering was dynamite! Every guest I talked to raved about the food. When my husband and I sat down for our food tasting, we had a hard time deciding which dishes to pick - they were all THAT good. The food service the day-of was also top notch. It's rare to host a plated dinner and have everyone get their food and eat at the same time, but the staff were amazing and everyone was eating and enjoying dinner simultaneously.
Another bonus (especially if you have lots of kids attending) is that the exhibits are open, free of charge, to your guests the day of the wedding. This is a great way to keep guests from out of town occupied without making them drive too far.
If you're looking for a unique, beautiful venue and delicious food, choose the History Center! I cannot say how happy we are that we chose them!!
Venue: Very pretty, stately -- close to St. Paul Hotel or University Club for grandeur and a step up from all the "trendy" ones with exposed beams, etc. But challenges with the venue are: (I) dinner space is rotunda, with huge hole in the middle; (ii) lots of moving around from ceremony to social hour to dinner to dancing; (iii) ceremony can't start before 6:30; (iv) pay parking for guests; (v) no grooms room before wedding (pay if you want one); (vi) tough acoustics.
Catering: You are forced to use Bon Appetit. Food was good, but problems are: (i) coordinators can be tough (Christie was terrible, but Sarah was good); (ii) so nickel and diming (had 3 or 4 updated estimates day of wedding, when costs were changing by a few hundred dollars one way or another; forced bride and groom to sign some invoice when arriving at venue; CHARGED FOR TASTING -- REALLY?; charge for bread; wanted to charge for video screen when you already pay the AV fee with no other "v" involved; and so on).
So overall, I would definitely pick the venue again -- but only with a different caterer (which currently isn't possible).
Every single person who we spoke with at the wedding said it was, by far, the best party they had ever been to. Michelle and Christi were wonderful to work with. They provided us with a list of "preferred vendors", or people who know and can work with the space. I used all preferred vendors and the night went off without a hitch. I would absolutely recommend the Minnesota History Center for the wedding of your dreams.
*BEST TWIN CITIES VENUE*!!
"Best wedding I've ever been to" was what guests kept raving about!
Contemporary design with beautiful architecture. Everything from the capitol lit up during the ceremony, to the St. Paul skyline and cathedral view on the patio during cocktail hour, the cool hanging plane during dinner, and capitol lit up with our blue uplighting for the pillars during the dance were awesome! The dance floor is stunning!
My only thing I wish could have been changed is if the ceremony could have started at 6pm. Due to it being a museum we were mindful of this, but it didn't deter us!
We got married 9-6-14 on a beautiful fall day both ceremony and reception at the History Center.
Brittany Greene and Sarah Johnson event coordinators that come with the site were both INCREDIBLE to work with during the whole wedding process. They were super quick to respond via email/phone for any questions. They are so detailed to make sure your day has all the personalized touches down to a T!
Bon appetit has excellent catering!
Our cello and violin playing during the ceremony echoed beautifully!
We used photomingle, props, and also had glowsticks to light up the night!
It may seem awkward at first with various areas from the ceremony->cocktail hour>dinner>reception..but it kept guests entertained and the scenery interesting!
Check out #mhcevents on their instagram and facebook page!
We would recommend this venue for anyone who wants to have a stellar wedding. :)
The MN History Center is the best venue for to have a wedding! It is incredibly beautiful and spacious, since you can utilize all different levels. We worked mainly with Sarah on having both our ceremony and reception there. Originally the ceremony was going to be outside on the beautiful terrace, it ended up being severe thunderstorms the entire day and ended up using the great hall as our backup. Best backup spot ever, couldn't complain either way. Sarah was so great to work with, very responsive and put up with all our ridiculous questions! The food was unbelievable, seriously, so good! Our guests are still raving about it. The chef was so accommodating to make meals for our guests with lots of dietary restrictions, as well as, when we made a special request for pizza as our late night snack, he made the most gourmet and unforgettable pizza anyone has ever had. The only reason I didn't give a perfect rating was just due to the restrictions on the time (must be in the evening after the museum closes). They are very upfront about letting you know that and even so, it is well worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
We loved having our wedding at the History Center. They were very professional but did have restrictions on when you can have your wedding, only at night, and we're pretty expensive. You have to use their caterer but the food was outstanding. You can't taste the food before if you are doing passed hor douveres but could taste if you wanted plated meals. I am happy I chose them but very spendy!
The History Center is an extremely beautiful building and an amazing spot for a wedding. The food was really good and the staff was extremely nice. The only people who were rude were the security. I told them about a group of random strangers walking around the wedding and they didn't do anything about it they just gave me a rude reply.
I worked with both Sarah and Christie and they were both awesome and really helped make the day come together. They were both extremely responsive, nice, and helpful.
The week before the wedding people kept asking me why I was so calm and it was mostly because the History Center made everything so easy! They make sure every detail is covered and really go above and beyond to make your wedding day amazing. I couldn't have imagined my wedding day anywhere else!
The place was beautiful for ceremony and reception; Christie was awesome at coordinating all the details; the food was fantastic and they went out of their way to accommodate dietary requests; and they packed everything up for us at the end of the night, so cleanup was a breeze! Thank you!
The History Center did a great job with catering! We had our ceremony and reception there, so they did all the food except for the cake for our wedding. My husband and I had a really busy day, so they set aside some of the appetizers for us during the marriage certificate signing, which was nice. We took a lot of time picking out the food, so we wanted to make sure we got some.
People also had really good things to say about the entrees. The butternut squash ravioli was AMAZING, so anyone and everyone should make sure to order that especially. We also requested that everyone in the wedding party, prior to the ceremony, only have clear liquids in the bridal lounge so there were no spills or stains. Maybe a little paranoid, but it was nice they were willing to do that. The wait staff was also professional and friendly. All in all a good experience!
We had both our ceremony and reception at the MHC. The entire night went so seamlessly and was incredibly fun. I worked with Christie throughout the process who was fantastic, extremely knowledgable, and quick to respond to many emails. She was there throughout the night orchestrating the event and coordinating with vendors. The bar and wait staff were also incredible and completely on top of everything that had been discussed with Christie. The food was fantastic, especially the served appetizers. Everything they did was impressive with respect to service and experience. If I HAD to search for any opportunity it would be the lack of flexibiity with timing since they are a museum, meaning no rehearsal the night before and limited time before the ceremony. However, this worked fine for us and the details of the limitations were known from the very beginning. Enjoy this location and its beauty (pictures are gorgeous)!
We did both our ceremony and our reception at the History Center and it was absolutely perfect from start to finish! We worked with Sarah, who was fantastic - always prompt to reply to emails, there throughout the night to coordinate vendors, and helpful when dealing with the little drama that always comes up during a wedding. She made the day SO easy for me! The food was FANTASTIC as well! We did a beef tenderloin and a blackened snapper - the beef was all medium well (unless otherwise requested), done perfectly, and very tender. The fish had great flavor and was a generous portion. The hors d'oeuvres were great as well! Everyone was so professional and everything went off without a hitch. And the photos are gorgeous!! We continue to get complements on how beautiful our wedding was, and this was just the perfect space. I would HIGHLY recommend the MHC!
It doesn't get any better than this! My daughter was married on 9.1.2012 at the MN History Center. From our first visit to see the gorgeous venue 8 months before the "Big Day", through all the planning process, including emails and planning meetings, over the months, we were completely satisfied with the exceptionally friendly, prompt, enthusiastic, detail-perfect service we received from Christie, our "personal planner" and Bon Appetit representative. Every part of the planning went well, our many questions and requests were dealt with very quickly and professionally, and with our preferences as top priority. Christie was a superlative help to us, with suggestions and details, since we were planning a wedding for the 1st time.
When September 1st came, we had the most amazing and glorious setting (great weather included!) when we arrived for photos, set up, ceremony, reception (both indoors and out) and dance. Our guests were impressed with the beautiful building and we all shared the most delicious food prepared by the chef at Bon Appetit Catering!
We had help all evening long (as we had from January-August) from Christie, and an extra friendly staff, who anticipated our needs and took care of every detail to perfection.
We cannot recommend this Wedding Experience at the MN History Center highly enough. From the simply beautiful and striking building itself, to the quiet green space and views that surround it (the ceremony took place in front of a 60-foot window highlighting the State Capital building in the distance), to the fantastic food and ambiance, to the completely wonderful staff, it was just an overall perfect day for us.
The MHC was the perfect backdrop for my dream wedding!! We worked with Sarah there and she was wonderful. She was very prompt with answering my questions and always super helpful and friendly. And there were a lot of emails as I planned from out of state! She also was always willing to make it work to meet with me when I had limited time when I was back in town. We loved the MHC from the first time we went venue hunting and it could not have been more perfect on our wedding day. Everything was stunning, we got endless compliments on it and the staff was so attentive. We had our cocktail hour on the cathedral terrace outside which was beautiful, the dinner inside (which I had worried about the setup but it ended up working out just fine), and the dance upstairs. The capital at night was so romantic and stunning during the dance. The MHC is also a perfect location as its very close to the St. Paul Hotel, which was where our guests stayed. I cannot say enough good things about the History Center, I highly recommend it!
Our day would not have been as perfect as it was without the gorgeous facility and the superb service provided by all of the staff at the MN History Center. From the very first day, we were walked through all of the options available to us and unique things we could do to make our day that much more special. Communication with the staff was excellent. It never took more than a day to get a response and my questions were always answered thoroughly.
The facilities at the MN History Center are obviously amazing, but there should not be any worry on the quality of service you will receive. A common quote we heard from a majority of our guests was this, "This was the most beautiful wedding we have ever been to....we are not just saying this, the BEST!". My wife and I are certain that we would not have heard this as often as we did if we had not gone with the MN History Center.
The setting of our wedding was unmistakably beautiful and all of our guests were impressed. However, the months leading up to our wedding were not so great. We mostly worked with Christy, and she was difficult to reach, avoided questions asked, wasn't very flexible with what we wanted, and it was like pulling teeth to get information from her.
I am glad we held our reception there, as the food was fantastic & it was gorgeous and in the end, everyone had a great time, including us; however, we weren't very confident in them with the way they communicated with us in the planning period. Lucky for us, it all worked out beautifully.
MHC was an unforgettable place for a wedding reception, but definitely broke the bank. My guests marveled at the space and the food was wonderful. They were very easy to work with on most accounts. Christie is extremely friendly and personally got myself and my parents cocktails and oversaw the reception. They are flexible with food choices-for example they had no trouble serving just simple shrimp cocktail even though it wasn't on the menu. They did allow us to pay the bar tab for a certain amount of time rather than use the other menu drink options. The best part is that you can visit MHC again and again and enjoy the under-celebrated gem that it is. Free exhibits for your guests the day of the wedding as well.