Although we absolutely love weddings here, The Essence Event Center is great for all events and gatherings! The venue’s timeless character is truly unique and so stunning. To give you an inside look into the space, we interviewed their Executive Director, Catherine Cuddy.
How old is your building, what is its history and when did you start doing events?
The Essence Event Center‘s building was originally a blacksmith shop for The Northern Pacific Railroad. Built in 1895, The Chimneys were part of a service area for the Northern Pacific Railway called The Como Shops. The building’s iconic chimney smoke stacks are a remaining clue to its origins as a bustling blacksmith shop. Long ago, trains were driven directly through the front doors for repairs and out the back once work was completed. We had our first event Spring of 2021 after holding off our official opening a year due to Covid.
What do you think the best feature of your venue is?
The best physical feature is the gorgeous Minnesota made brick and original timber beams. Our best feature as a venue is the generous rental times, open catering and vendor policy and lovely private suites available at no extra cost for wedding rentals.
What do you think is the biggest challenge of working in your space, and what are some best practices for it?
We are excited to offer ceremonies at no extra cost to our wedding clients, however the maximum size we can accomodate for the ceremony is 200 seated guests. This can cut down on your guest list. However, you may consider a smaller semi-private ceremony with just immediate family or an offsite ceremony.
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?
For a seated dinner, we can accommodate up to 300, however, the space really sings in the 250 guest range.
What is the most interesting thing someone has done at a wedding at your venue?
We love to accommodate the many ways weddings look for Minnesotans. We love when the client’s really use the entire space for their needs. This might look like a morning Tea Ceremony in the courtyard or cocktail hall attended by close family and friends with traditional wedding clothing , followed by a Western Style ceremony in the afternoon to start the evening celebrations. However the client needs the space for the day, we are happy to flip different set ups for their wedding day needs.
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 not require a planner or day of coordinator, however, we strongly suggest our couples hire a professional! It can mean the difference of smooth sailing all day or a very stressed out wedding party, parents and vendors. Besides, you don’t want your mom packing up decor at the end of a long and joyful day!
Thank you to Catherine for taking the time to do this interview with us! We hope that this inside look at The Essence Event Center 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!