wedding venue

Grain Belt Brewery office building in Northeast Minneapolis to become event center

A local event management company is transforming the almost 130-year-old former Grain Belt Brewery office building in Northeast Minneapolis into a multi-level event venue.

Entourage Events Group’s plans include converting the two-story front half of the building, located at 1215 Marshall St. NE, into numerous private dining rooms, meeting and conference rooms and bridal suites, as well as repurposing the back half (once used by Grain Belt as a beer tasting room) into a large ballroom.

CEO Steve Hark said Entourage is taking an iconic but underutilized building in a prime location and breathing new life into it in a way that honors its history and old-school charm. (Similar ingredients are present in other venues where Entourage manages events, such as The Armory in downtown Minneapolis and Minneapolis Event Centers near St. Anthony Main.)

Construction has already begun in anticipation of a fall debut for the venue, dubbed The 1893 at the Historic Grain Belt Office, a nod to the building’s original use and the year it was constructed.

RSP Architects is handling the design and ensuring the building’s historic preservation. The Minneapolis-based firm’s headquarters are across the street in the old Grain Belt Brew House.

The nearly 20,000-square-foot building was last renovated in 2014, following more than a decade of vacancy, and had most recently been used as a leasing office and amenity space for the adjacent Grain Belt Apartments. Grain Belt Apartments LLC owns both the apartment complex and the office building. It was an extensive renovation that cost millions of dollars, according to Hark, who said the latest buildout is expected to cost about $500,000. It will be funded by both Entourage and the building’s owner.

Entourage will begin hosting events, including weddings and corporate gatherings, at The 1893 in October. The venue is now accepting bookings and already has scheduled a handful of events.

Read the full article here at The Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

5 Things To Consider When Choosing A Wedding Venue

One of the many great things about living in the Twin Cities is that there is no shortage of beautiful wedding venues to choose from when planning your wedding. We’re confident you’ll be able to find the perfect wedding venue for your big day, but at the same time, when you have all these options to choose from, it can be hard to figure out which venue is best for you. This sentiment rings even truer when you consider that you probably don’t have a lot of experience choosing a wedding venue, so you may not know what things to look for or which features are a must have.

Everyone has different styles and tastes when it comes to their wedding venue, but in today’s blog, we want to share a few things that all brides and grooms will want to consider before they sign a contract with a venue.

Factors To Consider For Your Wedding Venue

Here’s a look at five things you and your future spouse will want to consider when choosing a wedding venue.

  1. Can They Accommodate Your Date? – First things first, you have to make sure that the venue is available on the day you’re targeting for your wedding. If they are already booked on your dream wedding day, there’s not much you can do. Unless the specific day has meaning to the couple, it’s easier to see what days are available at the venue and pick your wedding day from what’s available instead of trying to pick a specific weekend and hoping that the venue is open on that day. This is especially true if you’re trying to book less than a year out.
  2. Consider Your Guest List – You don’t need to have your full guest list in order before you book your venue, but it’s a good idea to get a ballpark estimate of how many people you intend to invite and how many you think will attend. Will all guests get a plus one? Will kids be invited? Start thinking about how many people you expect to attend, because that may impact your venue options. Some more intimate venues can only handle a set number of people, and if you book before you really think about your guest list, you may have to trim the list down further than you initially hoped.
  3. Inside/Outside Ceremony –  Do you hope to get married while the sun shines on your face and the birds chirp in the distance, or do you want to get married inside a beautifully decorated wedding hall? Start thinking about whether you want the ceremony to take place indoors or outdoors, and if you want an outdoor ceremony, be sure to have a backup plan in place in case the weather doesn’t comply. We have a number of venues like The Grand 1858 and The Riverside that can accommodate indoor or outdoor ceremonies based on the weather that day.
  4. Ease Of Access – It’s also a good idea to consider how easy it is for your guests to get to and from the venue. Parking isn’t always easy to find in the Twin Cities, and while you may be able to set up a shuttle service from your hotel, it pays to give some thought to how easy it will be for your guests to get to and from the venue. A lot of our venues have on-site parking or are very close to popular hotel choices, meaning your guests won’t have to make special arrangements to get to your wedding or get home when the fun is done.
  5. Budget – Finally, it only makes sense to have a budget in mind before you agree to a contract with any wedding venue. Your wedding venue may be one of your first expenses during the wedding planning process, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it plenty of thought before you pick a venue. At Entourage Events Group, we can help walk you through our pricing options and explain how going with an event’s service that can help with other aspects of your wedding can save you a lot of time and money down the road. We can help you find a venue that suits your budget and your vision.

If you do these five things, we’re confident that you’ll be happy with your wedding venue selection. And if you’d like help with this process or just want to learn more about the beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces we have available, click here to set up a walk through or give our team a call at (612) 564-3777.

How to Plan For the Unexpected on Your Wedding Day

Everyone wants their wedding day to be perfect, and oftentimes it is, but that doesn’t mean that everything always goes exactly the way you imagined it in your head. When you’re working to coordinate guests, catering, decorations and entertainment, things can oftentimes go a little different than you had planned. So how can you work to expect the unexpected and prepare for little hiccups so they don’t end up ruining your big day? In today’s blog, we share some tips for preparing for the unexpected on your wedding day.

Planning For Potential Problems On Your Wedding Day

None of the following issues are a big deal as long as you are aware of their potential and you take a few steps to help mitigate their likelihood or prepare to audible in the event they occur. Here’s how to prepare for and expect the unexpected on your wedding day.

  • Bad Weather – We experience all four seasons here in Minnesota, and the weather can also change in a hurry, so don’t assume you’ll have perfect weather just because we’re had a run of nice days in a row. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan if wind, ice or snow make it impossible to put on a nice ceremony outside. Many of our venues like The Grand 1858 and The View have indoor/outdoor ceremony options, so we can plan for an outdoor wedding and quickly adjust to an indoor ceremony on the day of the wedding if the weather just won’t comply. Have a backup plan in case of bad weather.
  • Caterer Problems – A number of different issues can occur with your caterer, so it’s important to touch base with them regularly and ensure everything is on track for your wedding. Don’t just book a package and then assume everything is happening as expected six months later. Stay in contact with your caterer and have them let you know of any issues as soon as they come up. Oftentimes it’s much easier to choose a venue that has an in-house caterer so that food doesn’t need to be brought from off-site. At Entourage Events Group, we have in-house catering options created by some of the best chefs in the business. This helps ensure everything comes out on time, and communication with our on-site team is always a breeze.
  • Getting Ready Gaffs – A number of small problems can develop on the day of the wedding when the wedding party is getting ready for the ceremony. As we talked about in a previous blog about bride and groom suites, it’s helpful to choose a venue with on-site bride and groom suites where everyone can get ready in the same place. This ensures everyone is on time in one location instead of battling traffic to get downtown while in a suit or dress. Also, it’s helpful to have an amenities basket in the suites to help with any small issues. A phone charger, deodorant, hairspray, wet wipes, breath mints, band-aids and bobby pins are all great things to have in your bride and groom suites in case someone needs something in a pinch. Again, our venues offer on-site bride and groom suites to help with the preparation process.
  • Communicate Expectations – People want to help on your wedding day, but they need to know how they can be helpful, even if that just requires them being in a certain place at a certain time. While you can’t account for flat tires or car trouble, you can help to prevent timing issues by ensuring that everyone knows where they are supposed to be and at what time. Send out addresses with directions and expected arrival times. Keep everyone on the same page and even consider starting a group chat with important parties so that all important information is in one easy-to-access place.
  • Drinking And Driving – You don’t want your wedding day to be remembered as the day your uncle or the best man got a DUI, so make it easy for people to get home safely on the day of your wedding. Although the choice is ultimately up to them, give them some options to help them make the right choice. Many of our venues are within walking distance of spectacular hotels, we can provide the names of some wonderful shuttle services we’ve worked with in the past, or you can encourage guests to use one of a number of different ridesharing apps like Uber or Lyft to get home safe. You can’t totally control this factor, but you can make it easier for your guests to get home safe after a night of fun.

If you want to help reduce the risk of the unexpected happening at your wedding, work with an event planning group like Entourage Events Group that can help to organize a number of different aspects of your wedding. We’ll help streamline the process, and we’ve seen and helped avoid a number of potential pitfalls on wedding days, so we know how to help you get through any minor issue that arises. For more information, or to set up an appointment to learn more about our venues, click here or give our team a call today at (612) 564-3777.

6 Tips For Organizing Your Bride & Groom Suites At Your Wedding Venue

When your big day finally arrives, you’re going to need a place to get ready before you and your spouse walk down the aisle and say your vows. Getting ready off site and then driving to your venue can cause issues for your arrival time, not to mention your hair and wardrobe. That’s why so many people look for a venue with on-site bride and groom suites.

But once you’ve picked a location with a bride and groom suite, what should you know about making sure the rooms are ready for you and your attendants on your wedding day? We share some tips for organizing and arraigning your bride and groom suite in today’s blog.

What To Have In Your Bride And Groom Suites

When you book one of our venues that has bride and groom suites, we’ll give you a tour of the area and walk you through some of the ways guests have utilized the space in the past. With that in mind, here are some helpful ideas for organizing your bride and groom suites on your wedding day.

  1. Snacks – Stock the room with some snacks so that people can easily grab something if they get hungry. With so much going on with hair, makeup and outfits, it can be easy to overlook eating like you normally would. Make sure your attendants aren’t doing everything on an empty stomach by bringing some snacks into each suite. Just be sure to avoid greasy or messy foods that could cause problems if one of your groomsmen is a sloppy eater!
  2. Hydrate – Similarly, make sure that your attendants can easily stay hydrated. Water is a great option, but others like to bring in coffee, especially if they are at the venue early in the morning to get their hair and makeup done. It’s going to be a long fun day, make sure you and your attendants are hydrated.
  3. Alcohol Is Your Choice – Nobody wants their attendants to be inebriated before the ceremony, but a number of our couples have done a light mimosa bar to help kick off the celebration. You know your attendants better than anyone, so use your best judgment when it comes to alcohol before the ceremony.
  4. Music – A little music can help set the mood for the day and help to calm any nerves. A bluetooth speaker and a smartphone are perfect additions to your bride and groom suites.
  5. An Amenities Basket – If you have an aunt or an in-law that really wants to help with the wedding but you’re unsure of what task to assign them, have them prepare a little amenities basket for the bride and groom suites. Have them stocked with useful tools that just might save the day in a pinch. Things like tissues, wet wipes, breath mints, a lint roller, bobby pins, tums, tampons, floss, moisturizer, band-aids and chapstick are great things to have on hand on your wedding day.
  6. Phone Charger – You probably won’t be on your phone much during your wedding, but your attendants may be snapping pictures, playing music or helping coordinate others, and that can drain a phone battery quickly. Bring a phone charger and let people know that it’s fair game to charge their phone while everyone is getting ready.

We want your wedding day to be perfect, and that starts before you say I do when you and your attendants are getting ready. Choose one of our stunning venues and get ready in our on-site bride and groom suites with ease. To get a glimpse of some of our bride and groom suites, click the link, and for more information about booking a venue or scheduling a tour, head on over to our contact page!

How To Write The Perfect Wedding Vows

When you say “I do” to your partner on your wedding day, you’re committing to more than just a ring on your finger. You’re making promises and commitments that you’ll work to fulfill for the rest of your life, and oftentimes you express these promises in the wedding views you read before you officially tie the knot. Writing your own wedding vows is an incredibly personal experience for both you and your partner, but at the same time, many people struggle to find the perfect words to say on their big day. We can’t write the words for you, but we do have some tips for writing them and some tricks for getting past writer’s block if you’ve become stuck. Below, we share some tips for writing the perfect vows for your wedding.

Perfecting Your Wedding Vows

Your wedding vows are intrinsically personal, which means we’re not going to be able to dictate exactly what you should say to your spouse. Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of things we can take care of on your wedding day, like delivering the perfect venue, providing dazzling decor and crafting an exquisite food and drink menu, but we can’t write your vows for you. That being said, we know some starting points and some ways to approach writer’s block that should help make the process easier. Here are our tips:

Consult With Your Spouse

If you’ll be writing your own vows, talk with your future spouse about whether or not you want to write them together or separately. Many people automatically assume that you’ll write your own vows and keep them a secret until you’re at the altar, but it doesn’t have to be like that. We’ve heard beautiful vows from couples who clearly worked together to write two vows that come together as one as they are read. If you want to write your own vows, but you don’t want to do it by yourself, consider working with your future spouse to create your vows together.

Talk About Length and Style

If you’ll be writing them separately, it’s still a good idea to talk a little bit about length and style. Keeping your vows similar in length is easier for both parties, and it might be simpler to keep the use the same phrasing throughout in terms of “I promise to,” “I vow to,” “I will always,” etc. You definitely don’t need to have the same style or length, but some couples find it helpful to discuss before they start writing their vows.

Getting Past Writer’s Block

If you’re stuck along the way, or you’re just trying to decide the best way to say everything you want to say to your future spouse, we’ve come up with a few talking points that can help you put pen to paper. When making your vows, consider writing about:

  • The best qualities of your future spouse.
  • How they make you a better person.
  • What you love most about them.
  • How you’ve grown together in your relationship.
  • The obstacles and challenges you’ve overcome together.
  • How you want to make them feel every day for the rest of your life.

Finding The Order

Sometimes the hardest part of writing your vows isn’t finding the right words, it’s finding the right order. Again, it’s important to remember that they are your vows, so you can declare your love in any way you like, but many vows tend to have a certain flow to them. Oftentimes they begin with a declaration of love where you tell your partner why you are so in love with them and why they are the only person for you. Then after you’ve told your spouse why you love them, you can transition to your promises. Now is when you’ll vow to love them, to honor them, to cherish them, to always make breakfast in bed on Sundays, you name it. And after you make your promises, you can finish by letting them know you’ll work to fulfill those vows for the rest of your life.

Don’t Procrastinate

And finally, one of the best tips that we can give is that you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to write your vows. We know that it can be intimidating to start, but the pressure is only going to build as you get closer to your wedding day. Write them at least a week before your wedding, and take time to practice them a couple times a day in the mirror. Even if you’ll be reading them off note cards, practicing them will make everything easier on the big day. Don’t put your vows off until the last minute.

We know that your vows will be perfect, and we know that writing your vows will be easier to do if you have faith that everything else with your wedding is in order. Let Entourage Events Groups handle other aspects like the venue, the decor, the music and the catering so that you can focus your attention on your future spouse and your vows. To learn more about how we can handle all those aspects and more, reach out to our team on our Contact Page.

5 Tips For Choosing The Perfect Wedding Venue

Planning a wedding in the Twin Cities involves countless decisions, but one of the first choices you’ll have to make along the way is where you and your future spouse will tie the knot. After all, you can’t pick a wedding day until you’ve found a venue that can accommodate you and your guests on a given day. Because it’s one of the first big decisions you’ll be making, picking out a venue can be a bit intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be if you know what to look for in a wedding venue. Below, we share five tips that will help you find the perfect venue for your wedding in Minneapolis / St. Paul.

1. Ceremony & Reception In The Same Place?

One of the first things you’ll want to consider is if you want to have the ceremony and reception in the same location. Some people want a ceremony in a church or location that has special meaning for the couple, while others want the ceremony and reception in the same location so that guests don’t have to travel between multiple locations. Regardless of what decision you make, know that all of our venues have the option to host both the ceremony and reception, or just the reception.

2. Indoor Or Outdoor?

Do you want to get married outside, or do you want to ensure bad weather doesn’t ruin your ceremony by keeping everything indoors? Minnesota experiences all four seasons, so even if you try to pick a day where the weather should be beautiful, there’s no guarantee Mother Nature will comply. If you want to try for an outdoor wedding, consider choosing a venue that can easily adapt to the weather conditions on short notice and move your ceremony inside if need be. Both The Grand 1858 and The View have indoor and outdoor ceremony options, allowing you to have peace of mind that no matter the weather, your wedding will go on as scheduled.

3. Know Your Style

When it comes to choosing a wedding venue, you want one that fits your style. Are you looking for a venue with a rustic vibe, featuring original wood floors, exposed brick and plenty of natural lighting? We recommend The View. Maybe you’d prefer a reception hall with an open floor plan that elegantly blends historic and modern touches? If so, The Grand 1858 may be the perfect option. Or if you want to wow guests with tall ceilings and a stunning view of both downtown and the riverfront, might we recommend The Riverside. Look for a venue that encompasses you and your spouse’s style.

4. Food, Decor & More

A venue is just a venue until it’s transformed by your personal touch and choices. You’re going to be picking out decor, linens, centerpieces, flower arrangements and lighting, not to mention the menu and drink options. You can certainly make all those choices with the help of your spouse-to-be, or you can connect with an events group and let them help you with the process. At Entourage Events Group, we specialize in iconic weddings that are unique to the couple, and we love to blend our creativity with your personality. Connecting with an events team that can help organize and assist with all of the elements that actually go into producing the perfect ceremony venue, reception hall or dinner can take some of the stress off your plate while also giving you peace of mind to know that your decor and dining will be on point.

5. Book Early

The earlier you start contacting potential venues about availability, the better, especially if you’re hoping for a shorter engagement. Wedding venues, especially in the Twin Cities, tend to book fast, so you can’t afford to drag your feet. Schedule a tour or contact our events team to learn about our availability to see if we can find a date and venue that works perfect for you.

For more information, or if you’d like to learn more about booking a wedding at one of our fantastic locations, head on over to our contact page or give our team a call today at (612) 564-3777.

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