Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel The Depot Wedding

After their engagement session at the Lebanon Hills (Edina, MN), Nadine and Kevin were about to get married in the first Basilica of Minnesota, the Minneapolis Basilica. But, that before the religious event, they were getting ready for the Depot, also known as the Renaissance Hotel (recently acquired by Marriott).

I will first present your reportage I have shot during the preparation of the bride and the groom, and for a second time, the hotel itself (given it’s also a wedding venue).

Makeup time

When I arrived, I started taking pictures of the gorgeous bride who was getting ready into a hotel suite. She was surrounded by her relatives and best friends. The atmosphere was nothing but excitation for the coming event.
While I took details of the bride attire, the bride had her face fixed and hair done.
Then she read a letter from her fiancé, trying not to keep. But her eyes were definitively wet!
After that she put her beautiful dress, and we improvised a few pictures.

A special coordinator for receptions

During the day, we were supervised and support by Busola Amele-Kalejaiye from “Royalle Affairs.” She helped me moving furniture, and making sure we stay on the track. Busola went above what traditional wedding planners do, and offered decoration and florist supervision. Given the bride and the groom were getting had their receptions at the Nicollet Pavilion, the florist work helped to improve the table decoration.

Though, if you get married at the Depot, I am quite sure they will offer you some wedding planners services.

Champagne Time

During this time, the groom and the groomsmen were getting ready in their room. You could also feel excitation in the air. The super good-looking groom was impatient to discover his fiancée.
He got ready with the help of his father, and I tried to take advantage of the beautiful room and the natural light. He also read a letter from his fiancé, struggling not to cry.
After, guys gather and open champagne.

First look at the Empire Builder room

The couple first look was nothing but emotion and laugh. This kind of first look is worth being prepared and include in the bride and groom timeline!

Group photos in the Luce Line room

After so much emotion, it was time for the family and the bridal party pictures.
Despite the floor-to-ceiling windows in the hallway, I preferred to choose the Luce Line room where the natural light was not sufficient for great group portraits. In consequence I installed several flashes to light the scene.

Transportation of the Bridal Party from the Renaissance Minneapolis to the Basilica of St. Mary

After their photos, the entire bridal party jumped into a bus. Equipped with music, drinks, disco light and laser, it was almost a mini disco club on wheels. I sneak into the bust to capture original moments of this trip. I was a break time for the bridal party to exult before a serious religious ritual.

Historic depot on Hennepin Ave

A Legacy from the glorious industrial period

It’s always interested to learn about the history of venue, how sublime building involved during the time, and why they offer such architecture.
For this venue, all start with a rich railroad tycoon, James J.Hill (who gave his name to one of the rooms). He developed Great Northern Railway connected Minneapolis to other cities by train. One of his remarkable (should we say megalomaniac) construction that remains today are the Stone Arch Bridge, and his home located just in front of the Saint Paul, MN Cathedral (nothing less).

The first name of this train station was Minnesota Central Railroad. But it was bought in 1867 by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Depot Freight House and Train Shed, who change the name of the building. The previous train shed was destroyed and the actual building was constructed in 1899 with an Italianate renaissance style. The Renaissance Depot Minneapolis now belongs to the Marriott group.

Then, the story of the building is similar to all post-industrial buildings. At the end of the outrageous prosperity period (related to stories such as Gatsby the great), the Train industry declined, and after the last train left for Milwaukee in 1971 the Train Shed was closed and sold. With the loss of the industry, the city faced a social economic crisis, witnessed the increasing of gangs and insecurity. Soon the Mill City turned into the Murderapolis. After reconnect with prosperity, the building was sold and faced multiple expansion until today.

From Small to Large Ceremonies and Reception Rooms

With 21 event rooms, the hotel offers all kinds of space, with all kinds of capacity. From the Alexander Mitchell room (315 square feet), to the depot Pavilion (20,332 square feet), this hotel can handle events with 2000 guests. But to you have 2000 guests to invite?

For a chic wedding you would prefer the Great Hall, and the Winter Garden, or the Great Northern that both features arched walls. The modern rooms, such as the Soo Line, Hiawatha Ballroom or depot pavilion, are great for meetings and reception, but you might miss the historical touch.

Advantage of a Hotel Wedding vs. a Simple Venue

Minnesota is full of charming historical venue, such as the Steeplechase event center (in Edina, MN). While the country side is perfect for engagement session, you might find several advantages hosting your big day in a big and modern hotel in town.

Amenities Offered by the Depot Minneapolis Hotel

From a practical point of view, hosting your reception is a high quality hotel, offer you and your guest some significant services. They can indeed, enjoy, more than a clean room, all types of services offered by a well-trained staff. It goes from a glass at the bar, a brunch, to a laundry service. What’s more the hotel offers a swimming pool to relax and a fitness center.
Finally, an appreciable service in downtown is the large parking lot offered by the hotel.

Rehearsal Dinner

If you want to gather your family a day prior to your event, hosting a dinner in the same place where you would get ready the next morning present some obvious advantages.

Activity for your guests to do

The day after witnessing your engagement, your families might want to enjoy the city. The Guthrie Theater, the Mill City Museum, the Stone Arch Bridge, the Walker Art Center, the MAC, the Mall America, U.S. Bank Stadium are all good activities that you can only enjoy at the city.

 

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Born and raised in Paris, I am now a proud Wedding Photographer in Rochester, MN. 
I don’t only capture emotions in candid pictures, I also create timeless images and artful photographs.

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