Wedding Photos at the Saint Paul Athletic Club
What memories do you keep from the last ceremony you went? As a wedding photographer in serving the Twin Cities area, I experience a LOT of events! And, to be honest, I can’t remember all of them!
But, have you ever assisted to a wedding which level is far above many other weddings? When you have the feeling to be in another dimension of time, and you just forget that it’s actually a wedding reception? I believe that’s the sign of a successful event. Well, this enchanting and elegant wedding is one of those rare pearls!
So, after covering Emily and Dustin engagement session on two historical locations in Saint Paul (the Capitol and the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary), I was delighted to meet this couple again for their wedding at the Saint Paul Athletic Club. Be ready, it’s one of the most memorable weddings of the season in a unique wedding venue! It’s incredible how everything, in every detail from the floor to the ceiling was enchanting and how the talented couple managed to pull all these elements together!
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Photos of the groom getting ready for his wedding at the Saint Paul Athletic Club
Dustin was getting ready with his best man at the 340 Hotel in Saint Paul Downtown, which has a partnership with the Saint Paul Athletic Club. And for those who wonder, the name is coming from the address: 340 Cedar Street, Saint Paul, MN.
I can’t say the room was huge, especially because I shared it with the great videographer Jorge and his wife, but it was a nice room. Sun rays were coming through the windows and it offered a scenic overlooking view on Saint Paul Downtown. Actually, it was the best man’s room, who was also the officiant! It is kind of cool to be married to your best friend, isn’t it!
The old furniture in dark wood and the canvas created a vintage style; I liked it. It was really about the spirit of an old club. Then, the groomsmen arrived and helped Dustin to get dressed. The elegant tailor-made suit came from Indochino.
I took some shots of his brown leather shoe details (Florsheim), his belt, the Michael Kors watch, the cufflinks and his funny socks.
An impeccable gift
Once all done, he seated and he opened the bride’s gift to him: some hiking shoes and a note. So when he read the letter, it was a strong and emotional moment. And it’s precisely these moments that I like during the preparation. The natural light coming from the windows created a dramatic lighting effect.
The Bride Getting Ready
The bride was getting ready in Saint Paul, MN. She turned her new renovated home into a bridal suite that accommodated all her bridesmaids and family members. She was surrounded by all her beloved ones. Of course, it was crowded but there were only joyful interactions and excitation. In the air, you could fill these same good vibes you have during Christmas when all your family is gathered!
The bride had her hair and make-up done by Creative Beaute Agency: (www.creativebeauteagency.com). To capture the details, I borrowed the elegant golden dress from The Wedding Shoppe: the shoes, the wedding rings (from Blue Nile), and other jewels and brought them outside for a better lighting.
Then the bride opened her gift and had the first look with her father.
First look at the Athletic Club, Saint Paul, MN
It’s in the yoga room of the Athletic Club that we planned the first look between the husband and wife-to-be. It worked pretty well. The huge arched windows, the decoration of the ceiling and the stunning wood floor created a unique and spectacular backdrop, which helped me to picture perfectly the love between those two.
Bridal Party Pictures in the Club Lobby
The lobby, with its balcony is one of the centerpieces of this wedding reception venue. It is the kind of reception hall that brings you to another dimension. We were back at the beginnings of the hotel, during the historic prohibition period. It was such a pleasure to stage these pictures in such a breathtaking backdrop.
Couple Session in Saint Paul, MN
During the planning process, we chose the Como Park for the couple session. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and abort the session to make sure we wouldn’t be late to the church.
Wedding Ceremony With a Special Officiant
They chose their family’s church, the Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran Church (Eagan facing Highway 55) for their religious union, big enough to accommodate all their guests. What made this moment special is that it was celebrated by the groom’s best friend, who was also a pastor. And that’s something unique that made the ritual more intense and powerful. The wedding protocol itself was pretty formal, they walked down the aisle, the respective mothers lighted the candles, they exchanged their vows, she said I do, they exchanged the wedding rings and kissed. Then all the guests headed up to the reception site.
Saint Paul Athletic Club a neoclassical building and pure joy for a Minneapolis wedding photographer
This Saint Paul wedding venue was so unique that a short historical explanation of this 1915 building is needed. What made it so special is maybe the fact that it has been designed by the same architect who created the Great Central Station in NYC. The Club was designed to be a luxury place, reserved only for rich people who could afford it. Now, it is turned into a wedding and event venue.
In other words, that’s just a sublime location with pure elegance! So if you are looking for a professional wedding photographer to capture-powerful memories of your ceremony in the Twin Cities, please call me! It’s a gift to work is such a location!
Celebrate Your Wedding at the Saint Paul Athletic Club
After holding the cocktail hour in the Lobby, the dinner took place in the Grand Ballroom. The Grand Ballroom was a huge room, with a very high ceiling with interesting ornamental plaster, some impressive big two-story windows and some massive crystal chandeliers. The room had a balcony that was useful for taking pictures of the bride and groom’s big entrance. Tables were decorated by the talented florist DIY Flower House.
The white wedding cake was designed by buttercream and the catering was provided by The University Club. For the music, the Blue Water King’s band, turned the evening into an unforgettable and perfect wedding party. I believed I was in some clubs, they really made everyone move on the dance floor until the end of the night! At one point the bride did the bouquet toss. They were helped with the lighting by Doy Willis Lighting.
The graphic designer printed (at Ideal Printer) the wedding’s save-the-date and a guest book (on a thick paper) including some engagement pictures of some pictures from other travels.
During the event, the toast was super great, full of emotions and laughs, a perfect moment.
Turn your receptions into Nightclubs
During the dinner, I remember I climbed the marble staircase to set up some creative and fine-art pictures everywhere I could in the Saint Paul Athletic Club! The floor-to-ceiling windows was more motivating!
My only regret is that the swimming pool was closed (not for the swim lesson), but I would have tried to do some staging pictures! That said, I “kidnapped” Emily and Dustin, the best man and the maid of honor for a last picture on the roof top of the adjacent parking lot. That was a lot of fun!
I can’t say enough how grateful I am to Emily and Dustin who trusted me and allowed me to testify of their unique wonderful wedding. That’s the kind of weddings which make me love so much being a wedding photographer in Saint Paul. At the end of their special day, to me they were more friends than clients.
7 reasons to choose the St Paul Athletic Club to host your wedding celebration
The lobby and the sublime Grand Ballroom
I have already detail how beautiful are those room. Visit them and you would understand!
Enjoy the hotel amenities
It’s pretty convenient to have an all-in-one venue. You and your guests don’t have to drive and thus can party until the end of the night.
What’s more, if you have family flying to your event, it would also be more convenient for them to enjoy the 340-Cedar Street Hotel.
Perfect to have pre-wedding dinner
If you plan to gather your close family for a rehearsal dinner, it’s again, easier for everyone to be in the same hotel downtown.
A bar for a refined beverage
Having an extra room for guests who don’t like to dance but prefer to chat is always great. And having delicious cocktails is always better than cheap beers.
Only one lifetime event
Such high standing venue, with experienced team (managed by the University of Minnesota), high-quality service working with qualified staff, good caterers comes, fur sure with a price.
If I never encourage newly couple freshly graduated from university to get a loan to get married. But I would rather encourage those who have comfortable incomes to allow you a folly.
Indeed, it’s a one-lifetime event that you would never regret nor forget!
Save on decoration
Another great advantage of such location is that you don’t need to spend money in decoration. Thus you can trim on flowers, linen, and other superficial interior ornaments.
Saint Paul Athletic Club: Pure elegance for sublime photos
All photographers would tell you that they dream is to work in such a photogenic venue. Indeed, chronicle an event there is the guarantee of having enchanting images that you would cherish forever.
Nevertheless, you need a good and experienced professionals to work in low-light environment.
- CAKE Buttercream
- MUSIC BAND Bluewater Kings Band
- GROOM WATCH/CUFFLINK: BELT Michael Kors
- GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ideal Printers
- CAMERAMAN Karica Films
- BRIDAL PARTY DRESS & WEARHOUSE Birdy Grey
- WEDDING RINGS Blue Nile
- HAIR STYLIST & MAKEUP ARTIST Creative Beaute Agency
- SHUTTLE/CAR/CARRIAGE: Enterprise Exotics
- GROOM SHOES Florsheim
- GROOM SUITE/TIE/BOOTIE Indochino
- VENUE CONTACT: The University Club
- BRIDE DRESS The Wedding Shoppe
- FLORIST DIY Flower House
- LIGHTENING Doy Willis Lighting
3 other Historical venues in The 10, 000 Lakes State
After if you don’t have 300 guests to invite, and only have a limited budget, you might prefer to consider more affordable locations. This is 3 charming venue, with different styles, in the 10,000 Lakes State. Let’s go from the simple more, to the more sophisticated.
If you are ready to drive 2 hours driving from Minneapolis, the Berwood Inn in Lanesboro features a charming Victorian House. Photographers would love the rustic aspect, the cottage garden four outdoor weddings, the open view on the valley, and the warm atmosphere of the dinner room. Of course, this country side venue is closer to a barn than a fancy palace!
Located in the Historic Minnesota St Anthony Main Street in Minneapolis, the Aster Cafe is a cute venue, perfect for a rehearsal dinner, or a small event. The historical green frontage with arch windows is nothing but lovely. It’s ideally settled in front of the Mississippi River, providing a view on the city skyline and access to the nearby parks. You would also appreciate the bright bridal suite to get ready!
The McNeely Conservatory is another Minnesota gem cherished by photographers for portraits and family session. Its Sunken green house and its renowned dome are nothing but enchanting. It provides an enchanting location to tie the knot.
The Park also provide all kinds of room for receptions.
One century ago, when the gentlemen from the university went to the private Saint Paul Athletic Club to smoke cigars and discuss the future of Minneapolis, the young ladies used to go to the park.
If you are planning your one-lifetime event at the Saint Paul Athletic Club, I would be more than happy to hear from you. Indeed, for pictures, it’s really one of the top wedding venues in Saint Paul and a real dream for photographers.