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James J Hill Library

Saint Paul , MN
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

80 W Fourth Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102 US (map)

PHONE

651-265-5447

WEBSITE

View website
Please let this vendor know that you found them on the WeddingWire Network.

ABOUT US

The James J. Hill Reference Library has awed and inspired couples with its historical intrigue and stunning architecture since it opened to the public in 1921. Constructed of Tennessee... Read more
The James J. Hill Reference Library has awed and inspired couples with its historical intrigue and stunning architecture since it opened to the public in 1921. Constructed of Tennessee marble and Minnesota sandstone, it is both a living monument to “the Empire Builder,” James J. Hill, and a Saint Paul touchstone, situated on picturesque Rice Park in the heart of downtown. Read less
Wedding Venue

PHOTOS

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INFO FOR WEDDING VENUE

When was your venue built?
1921
Describe your venue:
Banquet Hall, Historic Site
Describe the style of your venue
Glamorous, Vintage
What wedding services does your venue provide?
Ceremony, Reception
What is the maximum capacity of your venue?
225
How many event spaces or rooms does your venue offer?
5
Does your venue offer an indoor space?
Yes
Does your venue offer a covered outdoor space?
No
Does your venue offer an uncovered outdoor space?
Yes
Does your venue have on-site accommodations?
No
What is the minimum rental fee for your venue?
4000
Bar Service
Offered in-house
Is bar service included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Beverage Service
Offered in-house
Is beverage service included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Catering
Outside vendors welcome
Event Coordination
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Is event coordination included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Event Rentals
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Are event rentals included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Lighting and Sound
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Are lighting and sound included in the minimum rental fee?
No
Linens
Outside vendors welcome
Seating
Offered in-house, Outside vendors welcome
Is seating included in the minimum rental fee?
Yes
Shuttle / Transportation
Outside vendors welcome
Wedding Cake
Outside vendors welcome

REVIEWS

4.8
out of 5.0
4.8/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.7/5.0
4.6/5.0
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Virginia
Wedding:
8/10/2014
5.0/5.0
We looked at nearly all the major venues in MN before choosing the JJ Hill. It just fit our book/nerd loving selves, plus the look of the building was evident in every room - which was not the case in all venues.
My husband and I live in NY so it was important to have a site that needed minimal decoration and had an on site coordinator. JJ Hill fit the bill. We did both our ceremony and reception at the site (to make travel easier for out of town guests), and Katie, our coordinator handled everything seamlessly. She always answered my questions quickly. And everything was made very clear in the contract.
And we had no problems the day of the wedding! Everything looked beautiful and was well organized. The guests had no problems navigating parking or bathrooms. And since we had a big indoor space, there was always a backup plan in case of rain (which luckily held out!).
Plus the site had a variety of photo opportunities - parks, the river, the books, the St. Paul hotel, etc. Some of the rooms inside the building get a lot of bright light, so an experienced photographer would be a good idea.
I am happy we choose this site and would do so again!
We looked at nearly all the major venues in MN before choosing the JJ Hill. It just fit our book/nerd loving selves, plus Read more...
We looked at nearly all the major venues in MN before choosing the JJ Hill. It just fit our book/nerd loving selves, plus the look of the building was evident in every room - which was not the case in all venues.
My husband and I live in NY so it was important to have a site that needed minimal decoration and had an on site coordinator. JJ Hill fit the bill. We did both our ceremony and reception at the site (to make travel easier for out of town guests), and Katie, our coordinator handled everything seamlessly. She always answered my questions quickly. And everything was made very clear in the contract.
And we had no problems the day of the wedding! Everything looked beautiful and was well organized. The guests had no problems navigating parking or bathrooms. And since we had a big indoor space, there was always a backup plan in case of rain (which luckily held out!).
Plus the site had a variety of photo opportunities - parks, the river, the books, the St. Paul hotel, etc. Some of the rooms inside the building get a lot of bright light, so an experienced photographer would be a good idea.
I am happy we choose this site and would do so again! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
5.0/5.0
The JJ Hill Library is guaranteed to have your guests in awe. Everyone loved the space. It is so unique and requires no decorating other than some flowers and candles on the tables. We had both the ceremony and the reception there. The chairs were quickly removed to make way for the social hour. All done seamlessly. Katie was the coordinator and assisted us with all our questions before and during the event. I know that our guests really enjoyed being in such an unusual, historical and beautiful venue. We loved it! It exceeded all expectations. The James J Hill Center is beautiful and sure to be remembered by your guests for a very long time.
The JJ Hill Library is guaranteed to have your guests in awe. Everyone loved the space. It is so unique and requires no Read more...
The JJ Hill Library is guaranteed to have your guests in awe. Everyone loved the space. It is so unique and requires no decorating other than some flowers and candles on the tables. We had both the ceremony and the reception there. The chairs were quickly removed to make way for the social hour. All done seamlessly. Katie was the coordinator and assisted us with all our questions before and during the event. I know that our guests really enjoyed being in such an unusual, historical and beautiful venue. We loved it! It exceeded all expectations. The James J Hill Center is beautiful and sure to be remembered by your guests for a very long time. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Karen & David
Wedding:
7/5/2014
5.0/5.0
The James J Hill Library and their exceptional staff saved my daughter's wedding day!
With only 11 days left until our daughter's wedding it became clear to us that we were in need of a new venue due to the flooding of the Mississippi River. Much to our amazement the James J Hill Library was available! We were thrilled and so hopeful that they would be able to accommodate us and sure enough - Dawn, on her day off, responded to my email explaining our situation and by Tuesday she had made last minute staffing arrangements and gave us the best news ever - Yes, you can hold your wedding here! By Thursday we were sitting down to meet and go over the details and that was it! Easy as that we were moving our wedding from The Minnesota Boat Club to the James J Hill Library. Did I mention that the wedding was on July 5th? So, yes to top everything off, all of this was happening in conjunction with the 4th of July.
Our guests loved the Library and everything was simply perfect! All of the staff I met were so engaging, compassionate, and willing to help! I wish I could recall all of their names because they all deserve mention! Glenn and Ariel were so professional, friendly, and helpful during the wedding. Even the President of the Library, Greg Fouks, stopped by on the day of the wedding to make sure everything was in order. The staff made it clear that they wanted the wedding to be as perfect as we did, and they did everything they could possibly do to make sure it was!
Our caterer was Mintahoe and I cannot say enough good things about them as well! They made the change to the library effortlessly and all was well!
The James J Hill Library is an amazing venue, with a caring and compassionate staff who will ensure that your event is the best it can be.
The newlyweds loved their wedding day at the James J Hill Library as did everyone who attended and us - the parents of the bride!
The James J Hill Library and their exceptional staff saved my daughter's wedding day!
With only 11 days left until Read more...
The James J Hill Library and their exceptional staff saved my daughter's wedding day!
With only 11 days left until our daughter's wedding it became clear to us that we were in need of a new venue due to the flooding of the Mississippi River. Much to our amazement the James J Hill Library was available! We were thrilled and so hopeful that they would be able to accommodate us and sure enough - Dawn, on her day off, responded to my email explaining our situation and by Tuesday she had made last minute staffing arrangements and gave us the best news ever - Yes, you can hold your wedding here! By Thursday we were sitting down to meet and go over the details and that was it! Easy as that we were moving our wedding from The Minnesota Boat Club to the James J Hill Library. Did I mention that the wedding was on July 5th? So, yes to top everything off, all of this was happening in conjunction with the 4th of July.
Our guests loved the Library and everything was simply perfect! All of the staff I met were so engaging, compassionate, and willing to help! I wish I could recall all of their names because they all deserve mention! Glenn and Ariel were so professional, friendly, and helpful during the wedding. Even the President of the Library, Greg Fouks, stopped by on the day of the wedding to make sure everything was in order. The staff made it clear that they wanted the wedding to be as perfect as we did, and they did everything they could possibly do to make sure it was!
Our caterer was Mintahoe and I cannot say enough good things about them as well! They made the change to the library effortlessly and all was well!
The James J Hill Library is an amazing venue, with a caring and compassionate staff who will ensure that your event is the best it can be.
The newlyweds loved their wedding day at the James J Hill Library as did everyone who attended and us - the parents of the bride! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Meredith
Wedding:
7/5/2014
5.0/5.0
The James J Hill Library was quite literally a lifesaver! Our original wedding venue felt the pain of the flooding in St. Paul along the Mississippi river just two weeks before the wedding. As we searched for a back up plan, we found the James J Hill Library and, miraculously, they were available. The staff were in communication with us immediately even though it was technically their day off, and once things got rolling, they couldn't have been better.

We were able to seamlessly transfer everything from our original venue over to the library through Mintahoe Catering and Event Services. We were given permission to tour the library, bring over wedding items in advance of the big day, and set things up as we wished. The staff at the library could not have been more supportive, caring, and helpful throughout the entire process.

In the end, we had a different wedding than what we had imagined, but it could not have been more elegant, beautiful, or creative. All of our family and friends loved the space and the warmth they felt throughout the evening.

Thanks for saving the day!
The James J Hill Library was quite literally a lifesaver! Our original wedding venue felt the pain of the flooding in St. Read more...
The James J Hill Library was quite literally a lifesaver! Our original wedding venue felt the pain of the flooding in St. Paul along the Mississippi river just two weeks before the wedding. As we searched for a back up plan, we found the James J Hill Library and, miraculously, they were available. The staff were in communication with us immediately even though it was technically their day off, and once things got rolling, they couldn't have been better.

We were able to seamlessly transfer everything from our original venue over to the library through Mintahoe Catering and Event Services. We were given permission to tour the library, bring over wedding items in advance of the big day, and set things up as we wished. The staff at the library could not have been more supportive, caring, and helpful throughout the entire process.

In the end, we had a different wedding than what we had imagined, but it could not have been more elegant, beautiful, or creative. All of our family and friends loved the space and the warmth they felt throughout the evening.

Thanks for saving the day! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Ellie
Wedding:
3/1/2014
5.0/5.0
We got married in the middle of winter in Minnesota and this was a great option. It allows you amazing pictures without setting a foot outside. Our guests were blown away by the venue and how beautiful it was. They provide you a day of coordinator and are nothing but professional throughout. They offer suggestions for what works well at their venue, but also allow you flexibility to make it your own.
We got married in the middle of winter in Minnesota and this was a great option. It allows you amazing pictures without Read more...
We got married in the middle of winter in Minnesota and this was a great option. It allows you amazing pictures without setting a foot outside. Our guests were blown away by the venue and how beautiful it was. They provide you a day of coordinator and are nothing but professional throughout. They offer suggestions for what works well at their venue, but also allow you flexibility to make it your own. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Default vendor profile pic
Jessica
Wedding:
12/7/2013
5.0/5.0
The library was a WONDERFUL place to hold our wedding. We picked the library because of the unique space and wow factor it offered. We did a 1920's theme which fit perfectly with the space and all of our guests were stunned with how beautiful the venue was. The staff was wonderful and very flexible to all of our requests, which included changing the floor plan for dinner 1 week before the event. Having a coordinator there the day of was wonderful and all of the building managers were very personable and easy to work with once the coordinator had left. There were a few negatives that I would mention. First, the rehearsal must be done during the day (4:00 at the latest) on a weekday which made it difficult for all of our wedding party to attend. Second, we were not able to get into the venue until 2:00 that day which put a little stress on getting the space set up as we did our decor ourselves. Lastly, there is not designated parking which was hard for our guests as there is so much going on in that area on weekends. These negatives were minor in comparison to all of the positives. My husband and I (as well as all of our guests) loved the venue and would host an event there again without hesitation.
The library was a WONDERFUL place to hold our wedding. We picked the library because of the unique space and wow factor it Read more...
The library was a WONDERFUL place to hold our wedding. We picked the library because of the unique space and wow factor it offered. We did a 1920's theme which fit perfectly with the space and all of our guests were stunned with how beautiful the venue was. The staff was wonderful and very flexible to all of our requests, which included changing the floor plan for dinner 1 week before the event. Having a coordinator there the day of was wonderful and all of the building managers were very personable and easy to work with once the coordinator had left. There were a few negatives that I would mention. First, the rehearsal must be done during the day (4:00 at the latest) on a weekday which made it difficult for all of our wedding party to attend. Second, we were not able to get into the venue until 2:00 that day which put a little stress on getting the space set up as we did our decor ourselves. Lastly, there is not designated parking which was hard for our guests as there is so much going on in that area on weekends. These negatives were minor in comparison to all of the positives. My husband and I (as well as all of our guests) loved the venue and would host an event there again without hesitation. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
Perhaps our favorite aspect of our wedding!! Such a unique and beautiful venue. Yes it is an expensive rental but worth every penny. We have been to so many weddings and wanted to give our guests a somewhat different experience. We received so many compliments (even still to this day one year later).

When we booked we were working with Beth who then retired a few months later so we ended up working with the new coordinator Erin. Erin had only been there a few months before our wedding so I think was still getting comfortable. She was very helpful and got back to us right away if she didn't know the answer to a question. We did, however, receive the wrong colored up-lighting which isn't horrible but definitely frustrating.

We didn't like that we weren't able to get access to the library earlier in the day or even the evening before to start prepping. They were also very strict with having everything out at a certain time (ours was midnight) which was stressful. I would recommend hiring someone to help with takedown as our families did this but it took away some of their relaxation. Also, I wish we had hired a true day of coordinator to help with little questions that pop up during the course of the evening. My mom was fine with being this contact person but after our wedding had expressed it took her away from a lot of the evening (bouquet toss, cake cutting). I thought we'd save the money there but now wish we had hired someone.

The space seems dark but chose a photographer experienced there and your pictures will look fabulous!!!

The space speaks for itself. Absolutely gorgeous and magical. You won't regret it.
Perhaps our favorite aspect of our wedding!! Such a unique and beautiful venue. Yes it is an expensive rental but worth Read more...
Perhaps our favorite aspect of our wedding!! Such a unique and beautiful venue. Yes it is an expensive rental but worth every penny. We have been to so many weddings and wanted to give our guests a somewhat different experience. We received so many compliments (even still to this day one year later).

When we booked we were working with Beth who then retired a few months later so we ended up working with the new coordinator Erin. Erin had only been there a few months before our wedding so I think was still getting comfortable. She was very helpful and got back to us right away if she didn't know the answer to a question. We did, however, receive the wrong colored up-lighting which isn't horrible but definitely frustrating.

We didn't like that we weren't able to get access to the library earlier in the day or even the evening before to start prepping. They were also very strict with having everything out at a certain time (ours was midnight) which was stressful. I would recommend hiring someone to help with takedown as our families did this but it took away some of their relaxation. Also, I wish we had hired a true day of coordinator to help with little questions that pop up during the course of the evening. My mom was fine with being this contact person but after our wedding had expressed it took her away from a lot of the evening (bouquet toss, cake cutting). I thought we'd save the money there but now wish we had hired someone.

The space seems dark but chose a photographer experienced there and your pictures will look fabulous!!!

The space speaks for itself. Absolutely gorgeous and magical. You won't regret it. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Grace
Wedding:
10/4/2013
5.0/5.0
If you want to have your wedding in a unique venue that is very classy then this is the place to pick. Our wedding was at night and so the library lights illuminated the long table and stacks of books which made for a breathtakingly beautiful night.

We had around 175 attend our wedding and choose table arrangement #4- which left room for guests to mingle and sit down to eat comfortably. FYI: There are many different table seating options to choose from and the staff at the library are very accommodating. We worked with Katie who was absolutely GREAT. Not only did she help coordinate all the vendors the day of and the timing of the ceremony but when it was minutes before the ceremony and I needed something to eat and she gave me a protein bar!

I second what others had said- if you have a question the James J. Hill Reference library staff have the answers!
If you want to have your wedding in a unique venue that is very classy then this is the place to pick. Our wedding was at Read more...
If you want to have your wedding in a unique venue that is very classy then this is the place to pick. Our wedding was at night and so the library lights illuminated the long table and stacks of books which made for a breathtakingly beautiful night.

We had around 175 attend our wedding and choose table arrangement #4- which left room for guests to mingle and sit down to eat comfortably. FYI: There are many different table seating options to choose from and the staff at the library are very accommodating. We worked with Katie who was absolutely GREAT. Not only did she help coordinate all the vendors the day of and the timing of the ceremony but when it was minutes before the ceremony and I needed something to eat and she gave me a protein bar!

I second what others had said- if you have a question the James J. Hill Reference library staff have the answers! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Planning, Wedding Venue
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Alea
Wedding:
9/27/2013
5.0/5.0
My husband and I just had our wedding at the James J. Hill Reference Library two weeks ago, and it was perfect. We had about 100 people in attendance, and it was the perfect size. The venue is so beautiful and the library staff is more than accommodating. Melissa, the coordinator, is so incredibly flexible, responsive, helpful, and just generally on top of things. She remembered details that I would have forgotten, and made planning so smooth. She worked with the vendors to coordinate everything, and she was always available. Also, most of the vendors were familiar with this venue, which also made things easy. I could not have asked for a better experience or a more beautiful venue.
My husband and I just had our wedding at the James J. Hill Reference Library two weeks ago, and it was perfect. We had Read more...
My husband and I just had our wedding at the James J. Hill Reference Library two weeks ago, and it was perfect. We had about 100 people in attendance, and it was the perfect size. The venue is so beautiful and the library staff is more than accommodating. Melissa, the coordinator, is so incredibly flexible, responsive, helpful, and just generally on top of things. She remembered details that I would have forgotten, and made planning so smooth. She worked with the vendors to coordinate everything, and she was always available. Also, most of the vendors were familiar with this venue, which also made things easy. I could not have asked for a better experience or a more beautiful venue. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jessica
Wedding:
9/20/2013
3.1/5.0
Overall, I felt the James J. Hill library was an absolutely exquisite setting for my wedding. My pictures are phenomenal and my guests were awestruck by the beauty of the library; that being said, the library's "services" that go with a wedding could be improved.
My event coordinator didn't seem as coordinated as I'd have hoped. She was very nice, and fairly responsive, but there were moments when I felt like she didn't remember what I had written in my emails (primary method of communication with the library throughout my experience), like that the minister had decided he did not want to use the podium, and we wouldn't need it (it was up front day of and he had it removed).
In a couple of instances I was told one thing by the former (now retired) event coordinator like that the library provided cueing (which I thought meant they'd be willing to play songs off my IPod for the ceremony) but were not true according to the new wedding coordinator (I had to have my personal attendant do the IPod work). I was told in the beginning we could NOT have the flowergirls throw petals or bubbles or anything, so I paid the florist to create a vine to carry between them. Then I was told a few petals would have been fine. The lights were dimmed at the wrong time, etc. For someone as detail oriented as myself, these inconsistencies were very annoying. Overall, it looks like their rules are getting a more relaxed though, so thats a good thing for future brides.
One of the biggest problems I had at this venue was with Mintahoe beverage service. They are the EXCLUSIVE providers for the Hill library, so you cannot shop around for pricing or service. They were NOT fun to work with. Very expensive compared to others.
The library itself is phenomenal, and you'll love it the day of, but you should know that there are some restrictions based on the historic setting and that the staff wasn't as helpful with the details during planning, or on day of, as I would have liked.
Overall, I felt the James J. Hill library was an absolutely exquisite setting for my wedding. My pictures are phenomenal Read more...
Overall, I felt the James J. Hill library was an absolutely exquisite setting for my wedding. My pictures are phenomenal and my guests were awestruck by the beauty of the library; that being said, the library's "services" that go with a wedding could be improved.
My event coordinator didn't seem as coordinated as I'd have hoped. She was very nice, and fairly responsive, but there were moments when I felt like she didn't remember what I had written in my emails (primary method of communication with the library throughout my experience), like that the minister had decided he did not want to use the podium, and we wouldn't need it (it was up front day of and he had it removed).
In a couple of instances I was told one thing by the former (now retired) event coordinator like that the library provided cueing (which I thought meant they'd be willing to play songs off my IPod for the ceremony) but were not true according to the new wedding coordinator (I had to have my personal attendant do the IPod work). I was told in the beginning we could NOT have the flowergirls throw petals or bubbles or anything, so I paid the florist to create a vine to carry between them. Then I was told a few petals would have been fine. The lights were dimmed at the wrong time, etc. For someone as detail oriented as myself, these inconsistencies were very annoying. Overall, it looks like their rules are getting a more relaxed though, so thats a good thing for future brides.
One of the biggest problems I had at this venue was with Mintahoe beverage service. They are the EXCLUSIVE providers for the Hill library, so you cannot shop around for pricing or service. They were NOT fun to work with. Very expensive compared to others.
The library itself is phenomenal, and you'll love it the day of, but you should know that there are some restrictions based on the historic setting and that the staff wasn't as helpful with the details during planning, or on day of, as I would have liked. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue

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80 W Fourth Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102 See On Map
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