When couples come to us looking for a unique and elegant venue, the Minneapolis Institute of Art is one of the first to come to mind. There are plenty of quirks and details you need to be aware of when planning, but after planning 5 weddings at MIA this year, we have a pretty good handle on it. 😉
In order to give you an inside look at what it’s like having a wedding at MIA, we interviewed their Head of Hospitality, Hannah Beshara.
How old is your building, what is its history and when did you start doing events?
Designed by the preeminent New York architectural firm McKim, Mead and White, the original building opened its doors in 1915. A neoclassical landmark in the Twin Cities, the museum expanded in 1974 with an addition designed by the late Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. In June 2006, the museum unveiled a new wing designed by architect Michael Graves. Weddings to work parties, board meetings to brainstorms—there are many reasons to hold an event at MIA, and many one-of-a-kind spaces to choose from. A Twin Cities landmark located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis with ample parking, Minneapolis Institute of Art is the premier destination for one-of-a-kind experiences. Your event supports the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
What do you think the best feature of your venue is?
I think our best feature is that we are truly a one of a kind venue space. You cannot find a space like the Jade Corridor anywhere else. We feel very lucky that we get to host events in gallery spaces and offer such a beautiful backdrop.
What do you think is the biggest challenge of working in your space, and what are some best practices for it?
We were built to be a museum, not a venue space so the logistics of the vast space can be challenging to work with at times. We partner with the best vendors in the area and are always able to overcome obstacles when they arise.
What do you think is the perfect number of guests for your venue, assuming everyone will be sitting at a table at one time? What is the benefit of having this number of guests?
Mia offers versatile indoor and outdoor event spaces, spectacular views of the iconic Minneapolis skyline, full-service technology in state-of-the-art rooms, and one of the finest art collections in the country—from Rembrandt to van Gogh, Monet to Matisse, Asia to Africa—all within a beautiful, historic campus. For a seated dinner, we can accommodate groups of up to 300 guests which makes each event feel intimate and memorable. For a Reception Style event, we can host up to 1000 guests.
What is the most interesting thing someone has done at a wedding at your venue?
I am always amazed at the visions our clients have for their special day! From thousands and thousands of floral stems to fireworks and horses in the park, MIA has seen it all!
Do you require a professional planner or day of coordinator at your venue? Why or why not? If you don’t have one, or have one that doesn’t do a good job, how does it affect you as a venue and the wedding as a whole?
We do require our clients to work with a professional Coordinator and it is a very important job! The coordinator is there to assist with personal needs the day of the wedding while our team is setting up the venue space. Often Coordinators are part of the planning process leading up to the wedding day and helpful in developing a timeline, securing vendors, offering suggestions for floor plans etc . An experienced coordinator makes such a difference and offers a smooth, organized, and seamless set up and event.
Huge thank you to Hannah for taking the time to do this interview with us! We hope that this inside look at the Minneapolis Institute of Art has been a helpful guide in your venue decision. Be sure to send us a message if you’re still in need of a coordinator or planner for your wedding here!