Wedding at the Dome Millennium Hotel in Minneapolis, MN
Twin Cities photographers might face situations where their advertising skills are needed. If this Minneapolis hotel is famous across Minnesota for its dome, it’s also a location perfectly suited for sophisticated staged pictures.
As a wedding photographer, it’s been a long time I wanted to cover a wedding there. Ceremonies at the Dome are famous for their views. Indeed, the 10,000 Lakes State offers only a few stunning architecture, and this dome is definitely one of the most futuristic I have seen!
So when my friend Mike Levad from Twin Birch Studio offered me to be his second shooter for one day, I couldn’t say no and seized the opportunity right away!
So today, I will share with you Melissa and Bobby’s wedding.
Table of Contents
A Nice Couple
First of all, I would like to thank Melissa and Bobby for trusting me all day long. Indeed, I was not the main shooter on this wedding and we hadn’t had the opportunity to meet me prior to their big day! But they managed to feel at ease in front of my camera. And, of course, thanks again to Mike for trusting me. It’s always a pleasure, time to time, to come on a wedding as a second shooter, so I can feel free to be creative and enjoy the fun part without any pressure!
Melissa and Bobby chose the famous Millennium Hotel for their wedding. Given Bobby is an air controller he picked a venue in the clouds. No need to tell you that the timeline was designed to make sure nobody would be late!
Melissa had her hair and makeup done in her large hotel room featuring a unique view on the City. She was surrounded by her bridesmaids and her mother.
During this time, I took pictures of the bride’s white dress inside the Dome. I hung it on the metallic structure in order to catch the panoramic view of downtown Minneapolis. I climbed on a ladder to have a better point of view and completed the staging with some extra lighting effects.
In the meanwhile, Bobby was starting to get ready downstairs, with his groomsmen. The windowless room was not as photogenic as the large hotel suite room, but was great enough to catch some clean getting ready photos.
We shot the groom and groomsmen in front of an angular sculpted white wall.
First Look at the 14th Floor
Then we planned the bride and the groom’s first look at the Dome. Melissa’s mom played a trick to the groom and came behind him pretending she was the bride. The result was a funny picture.
You might feel seeing the pictures that both Melissa and Bobby were nervous. But after discovering each other, they started to feel more relaxed. All their family was gathered on the 14th floor to watch this beautiful moment.
Photo Session and Pictures in the Skyway
Then, it was the scheduled time for the bride and the groom photo session. It was a freezing winter day, but the lovers and their team were ready to face the cold weather. Actually after an express 5-minute session everyone ran back in the skyway. Given the temperatures, that was not surprising!
Directions for the Bridal Party Photo at the Grand Foyer Room
After that, we continued taking pictures of the entire bridal party group at the hotel hall. The room offered enough space and furniture to stage twelve people. Staging such a Vanity Fair-styled group picture is something that I really enjoy doing! It’s like a small theater play. Of course, the bride and the bridesmaid also got their pictures.
Break before the storm
Then we went back to the 14th floor’s dome for the family pictures. While Mike was taking the formal portraits, I had all the opportunity to catch some candid and informal shots of the family. Then we had a break while the bride and the groom went back to their room to relax and to recharge their batteries. I told you, Bobby designed the perfect timeline for his wedding with zero risk of being late!
Shortly before the ritual I took some more artistic portraits of the bride and the groom with the stunning view on the city.
Lots of Emotion for a union
There are very few places in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities to celebrate a ceremony enjoying at the same time a breathtaking view and a futuristic architecture. As a wedding photographer, I was more than thrilled to cover this moment.
Of course their union took place under the Dome. It can accommodate up to 160 people seated. Despite this large capacity, Melissa and Bobby probably invited half of this number. And that was a great thing otherwise I am not sure how wedding vendors could find enough place to move around during the ritual. Indeed, with 80 guests the room was already full and not much space left!
They tied the knot during the twilight time. That’s why you see this blue color in the background. They set up one of those fancy whisky ceremonies. I think that the idea is quite simple but pretty original! It’s actually similar to a sand ritual, except you replace the sand with some whisky which you pour in a wood barrel. I guess the longer it stays confined in the barrel, the better it is.
It’s only after they said yes, exchanged their rings, and officially got married that the two lovers started to really relax and enjoy their guests.
Receptions Cocktail in Studio A-D
The cocktail took place in the 1,936 square feet Studio A-D that offers a view turned towards northeast. I love cocktail hours because it’s the time during a wedding when guests can mingle and meet each other, and thus photographers can catch candid moments.
Bob decided with the caterer to hold a long cocktail hour, which allows me to shoot a lot of pictures.
Great memories at the Dinner
Melissa and Bobby decided to host their dinner reception in the Marquis Ballroom. This is also a large room, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, high ceilings (around 16 feet high), and offering a view on the suburb south area (the Nicollet Towers, the Hyatt Regency).
After their grand entrance, it was time for the toasts and speeches. Fathers and best men made a lot of jokes about the bride and the groom, that she was a demanding person and how great he was managing to please her.
The caterer was great, and I was surprised how good was the food.
Dancing under the stars at the Millennium Hotel in Minnesota
It’s with an amazing 360° view on the city that the bride and the groom opened their first dance. The DJ invited them to take place in the center of the room allowing their guests to surround them. During the night, the view offered by the transparent roof on the city is very impressive. The guests had the feeling to be in a place above everything (literally).
The DJ was good and quickly turned the dome into a dance club.
Advantages of having a hotel wedding
If you are planning to have a wedding in a fancy location, you may consider the Millennium Hotel which offers both the hotel’s advantages and a nice wedding venue.
Indeed, the main complaint I usually hear about this type of venue is that a modern hotel could be soulless. Indeed, some of the modern hotels look more like a business center with some large meeting rooms for conferences than a prince and princess’s castle with a majestic location. But not all of them! Indeed, this hotel has a strong identity with its glass dome and the amazing panoramic view on Minneapolis, MN downtown. On a clear night, you can see the stars! Is that not romantic, to have your first dance under the stars’ light?
Use the Amenities
On a photography point of view, we were pretty happy to have a large variety of rooms to stage our pictures.
Furthermore, for your guests, having a hotel wedding offers several obvious advantages. They can reserve a suite or some rooms in the hotel, and above all they don’t have to drive anywhere. It means it’s more secure for them, and that your event will last longer, because they won’t need to leave.
There are also many other advantages not offered by other more traditional wedding venues. For instance, one of these advantages is the type of services offered by the hotel. If your guests are traveling from far away, they will be happy to have a hotel offering all types of services that a high standard hotel must do: restaurant, laundry, free internet, custom service at reception, etc.
Another advantage of the hotel is its location. Located in 1313 at Nicollet Mall and LaSalle Avenue, it’s close to the Loring Park (which is great for the bride and groom’s photo session) and close to the famous Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral (if you are looking for a Catholic church). Hennepin Avenue with all its theater lights is also a great place for photos. Check on the map to discover all the accessible options!
The Limit of the Dome
The only limit and restriction of this venue is the capacity of the Dome. Hosting only 160 guests, larger weddings don’t fit! So it’s ideal for small to medium groups (not 300 guests).
Another consideration, you should think about the weather! Even if you are protected from the rain and temperature, keep in mind that the mood of your event will be completely dependent on the weather. And that’s the only thing you can’t predict, especially in Minnesota!
5 complementary location for your couple’s pictures
Having a variety of backdrops for the bride and the groom pictures is usually a great idea.
A simple city park such as the nearby Loring Park offers a touch of nature to complement the gray in dull urban landscape. It features a lake, some bridge, a cute historical house. You could also cross the highway to use the Walker Art Center garden.
Red brick buildings, with exposing steel beams works especially great in photography and can be found almost anywhere in the city. For instance, the Warehouse District is packed which such buildings that are being renovated into the loft.
Located in the immediate South area of Minneapolis, MN, the Historical Swedish Institute, is one of the gems testifying of Minnesota glorious ages. With its tower it looks like a little European castle. The preserved side of the museum is nothing but luxurious furniture: precious wood, stained glass windows, crystal chandeliers, decorated ceilings.
Located in St.Paul MN, the State capital offers an Italian Renaissance Architecture, inspired by an Italian Basilica in Rome. The main advantage of the Adjacent St-Mary Basilica is that the building doesn’t host any weddings. So, you would not need to share the location with hundreds of guests!
Despite the hotel’s amenities, the glass dome for your ceremony and ballroom, clubs such as the University Club of Saint Paul, the adjacent Minneapolis Club, or the Saint Paul Athletic Club both offer something precious: an upper-class historical decor.
Indeed, if we could consider new luxurious hotels like the dull “modern version” of the club, I believe that the vintage decor is more photogenic. Their chandeliers, stained glass windows, precious furniture, confers to images high social distinction, and a refined imaginary of an elite class running the world.
In other words, they it’s much more impressive to be equal to a king and a queen than just having a member card for the new fancy gym class.
First I want to thank again Mike to trust me and give me the opportunity to shot image in this amazing location.
It’s clearly one of the most impressive modern venues in the state. It has a lot of options for photography, so if you plan to get married there, call me!