Photo courtesy of The Woman’s Club
“The Woman’s Club is one of the best kept secrets in Minneapolis. It’s seven stories and 66,000 square feet of mystery,” says Jennifer Van Wyk, Director of Strategic Growth at The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis. Van Wyk is joking, but only a little bit. Somehow, despite being designated a Minneapolis Historic Treasure and towering above Loring Park, The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis continues to operate in relative anonymity. For almost one hundred years, this gorgeous building has been a hub for various charitable projects, professional development, and arts and culture events. Oh – and it is one of the most stunning wedding venues in the Twin Cities.
Although the building was not constructed until 1928, The Woman’s Club has been a force to be reckoned with since 1907. With ventures ranging from scholarship programs, putting plumbing in schools, building playgrounds and libraries, and various projects surrounding food security, The Woman’s Club has worked tirelessly for the benefit of Minneapolis for over a century. Most recently, The Woman’s Club partnered with Involve MN to provide homemade, fresh meals for unhoused individuals in Minneapolis.
“You’re sure to find a way to make an impact in the Twin Cities as a member of the Woman’s Club”, Van Wyk says. Of course, the club seeks to provide valuable resources for its members even as its members do the same for their communities. Whether you are a senior looking to connect socially, a young professional looking to network, or just a regular person who wants to be the first to know about the arts and culture events hosted by the club – you are sure to find what you are looking for.
And do not let the name deceive you: membership is open to anyone, regardless of gender.
If you are just looking for a beautiful place to hold your wedding, you might not care about the extraordinary story of The Woman’s Club. Even stripped of its philanthropic pursuits and feminist history, The Woman’s Club does not disappoint. Outdoor events on the rooftop terrace enjoy a magical view of Loring Park and downtown Minneapolis. Indoor events have several rooms of varying sizes to choose from, each more spectacular than the last.
Designed by Léon Arnal (also known for designing the Foshay Tower), this is a venue that you will never forget. Bronze chandeliers, hand-carved plaster, oak floors, and more await you and your guests. “It’s very Gatsby feeling,” Van Wyk says. “The dark wood, the big, picturesque windows…” she grins. “There are parts of the building that feel like Robert Redford is going to come around the corner.”
Events at The Woman’s Club are infinitely customizable. Rentable rooms range from a library to a ballroom to the aforementioned rooftop terrace and more. The Woman’s Club is happy to answer specific questions about rates and availability. “Everything is based on the couple,” says Van Wyk. Of course, there are special rates available for members.
Over the years The Woman’s Club has built relationships with businesses across the Twin Cities that they are happy to share with couples. Once the team at The Woman’s Club gets to know the couple, they are ready with suggestions of businesses that will fit that specific couple’s aesthetic and budget. This means that every aspect of your wedding – from the flowers to the photography to the music and more – can support local business owners. This was the “mentality of the women who started this club,” says Van Wyk. “Let’s all win.”
Recent weddings at The Woman’s Club have run on the small side to comply with COVID regulations but hope springs eternal that safely hosting larger events is also on the horizon. “We honor the guidelines,” says Van Wyk. “We are ready and willing to take the time and energy to do everything safely.” Practically speaking, this translates to following mask rules, social distancing, limiting event sizes, and maintaining strict sanitation regimens. The team at The Woman’s Club has worked side by side with couples for the last year to ensure that they get the picture-perfect wedding they have dreamt of without compromising the safety of their families.
Whether you are looking for a breathtaking venue to celebrate your big day or are looking to build community and create change with like-minded people, The Woman’s Club is sure to surprise and delight you. “Come inside and have a look,” says Van Wyk. “Come and have a beer on the rooftop (when it’s open again), come to a show, listen to a featured storyteller or author, come and be a member. There is something for everyone. You just have to look inside.”
“And bring your mask.”