We got to sit down with Gale Mansion staff to discuss everything wedding in their timeless historic mansion in the heart of Minneapolis. If you’re considering them for your venue, our Gale Mansion wedding tips below should have all the answers you need!
Q1: What should we expect when working with the Gale Mansion?
The Gale Mansion offers a unique and hands-on experience with a professional staff there to make sure your day runs smoothly. They recognize that every wedding is as unique as the couple they are working with, and strive to ensure they can meet your unique needs.
Your experience will most often start after your inquiry, when their team will connect with you, ensure your date is available, and schedule a tour of the Mansion so you can explore and get a feel for its historic beauty.
If you decide to book with the Gale Mansion, you’ll complete a contract to lock in your date and set down some preliminary details. Then the fun begins! Within 4 to 5 months of your wedding date, you’ll return to the Mansion for a fully personalized tasting and planning session with the staff.
Two months prior, you’ll get to check in again to discuss wedding details, start making final decisions, and creating a floor plan and seating chart for you and your guests!
At 11 days out, the staff will work with you on final head counts, seating arrangement updates, and menu details. Then they will be there every step of the way on your day of to set up, flip, and help breakdown your event, and coordinate with all your vendors to ensure your day runs smoothly!
Q2: Where can we learn the basics? (Availability, Pricing, etc.)
The best place to start is with an inquiry so you can speak directly with Gale Mansion staff about your event! You can also find basic information around policies, procedures, packages, menus, and pricing on their website!
For your reference, the Gale Mansion offers two overall booking options which both include food and beverage service – peak and off-season!
Q3: What does a Gale Mansion wedding package include?
Excellent question! The Gale Mansion prides itself on meeting their couples’ individualized needs. This means they offer a lot options and hands-on support.
Basic booking includes food and beverage service with their awesome team of professionals and delicious menu options. They also provide all indoor tables and chairs, outdoor chairs, and can provide linens and votive candles upon request.
While the Mansion does not provide florals or centerpieces, they do offer an exceedingly helpful option for couples – set up! If you’d like Mansion staff to set up your centerpieces as part of the general event set up, they are more than happy to do so for requests within a certain size. Just provide them with your materials and design at your rehearsal/the day before your event!
Speaking of rehearsals – yours is included free with your booking! Most often, these take place the day before your event. You can also book the Mansion for your rehearsal dinner ☺
Q4: What kind of booking window does the Gale Mansion offer?
The Gale Mansion offers 12-hour booking windows for standard bookings with the option to add additional hours at $250/hr. Their booking windows are also flexible – so if you’ve been thinking about a brunch wedding, they’ve got your covered!
The Mansion closes at midnight, so last call is usually set for 11:30 pm and the final song for 11:45 pm, with guests making their way out by midnight. Bridal party and vendors/cleanup crews have an additional hour to breakdown and access any things they might have left behind in the bridal or groom suites, so no worries there!
For more information on understanding how to plan your booking window, check out our blog on how to build a timeline that will work for you.
Q5: What are our catering options?
The Gale Mansion boasts full in-house catering and bartending service! Part of booking with them means you’ll be booking with their awesome food and beverage team too. They have tons of different menu items for whatever your taste and style, and their full menu is available on their website.
Their bartending service offers flexible options to meet your needs as well. You are able to have a cash bar, a fully hosted bar, and just about anything in-between – for example, hosting just your wedding party or hosting beer and wine with all other drinks as part of a cash bar! And while you can’t bring in outside alcohol, they are more than happy to accommodate timely requests. Seriously, they are awesomely flexible! If you have any questions or ideas, just ask ☺
The Mansion also offers fully personalized and individual tastings for each couple they work with, and gives you the opportunity to sit down with their team over delicious food to discuss all your wedding details in a relaxed atmosphere.
Q6: Let’s talk dessert.
Don’t mind if we do! The Gale Mansion’s food and beverage service includes an in-house pastry chef who can not only create your wedding cake, but an array of unique and delicious desserts as well. Their full (and awesome!) dessert menu is available on their website.
If you’d like to bring your own wedding cake or dessert, you are more than welcome! (An additional fee)
Q7: What if we need to make changes?
This is a great question – final head count for guests is due 11 days before the event along with their menu options. This is also a good time to bring up any last minute adjustments or tweaks to seating arrangements and other small details.
Another important Gale Mansion wedding tip – weather! If you’re worried about the forecast, the Gale Mansion works closely with you to stay on top of any weather issues!
If you choose to move your outdoor wedding indoors by noon the day prior to your wedding, they will wave your outdoor chair rental fee at no cost. If you’d like to wait it out – we know how Minnesota weather can be! – they just request that a final decision is made by noon the day of your event to ensure set up runs smoothly.
Q8: Tell me about the music situation!
The Gale Mansion can accommodate all sorts of musical talents including DJs and live bands. Their ballroom is even equipped with a stage!
While they do ask that musical entertainment bring their own equipment, the ballroom is equipped with an AV system, a speaker system, and microphones which can be used for a rental fee. It’s also super helpful if you just want to plug in your own playlist instead!
Q9: Can we include our dog?
Absolutely! The Gale Mansion is pet-friendly, and asks only that there is a designated ‘pet-wrangler’ to help keep your furry friends happy and safe.
Q10: How about parking and transportation?
Great question – since the Mansion does not have a dedicated parking area, they offer complimentary valet services for events with over 50 guests at no additional cost! Valet services start thirty minutes prior to your ceremony and remain on-site until the last car leaves – so no worries there.
Wedding party members and other early-arrivers are welcome to park in the Mansion’s drive or to use the free street parking surrounding the Mansion!
Q11: What about deposit and capacity?
The Mansion’s ballroom has the capacity for 202 guests for a sit-down dinner with that capacity rising for more informal appetizer-based receptions.
Instead of a percentage deposit, the Mansion requires that rental fees are paid at the time of signing. Then typically within six months of your event, a payment is billed, with the full final amount due 11 days prior to your event.
The food and beverage costs are consumption-based after minimums, so their staff will work closely with you to ensure accurate head counts and day of consumption criteria!
Q12: Is there a preferred vendor list, and are we required to use it?
The Gale Mansion does have a preferred vendor list for your reference and recommendation, but you are not required to stick to it. They are more than happy to work with you or your wedding coordinator to meet and greet your new vendors and ensure a smooth event process!
Speaking of coordinators – if you’re curious about day of wedding coordination, check out our blog!
Q13: Are there any décor restrictions?
Thanks for asking! To protect the historical beauty of the Mansion, they kindly request that your event uses no glitter, live flames only within glass vases, real florals for outdoor ceremonies, faux florals for indoor aisle decorations, and that nothing is nailed or affixed into the walls.
If you are ever in doubt, feel free to ask their staff at any time!
Q14: What is THE number one Gale Mansion wedding tip for couples starting out on their planning journey?
Here’s what they had to say: remember, it’s your wedding! It can be easy to forget this simple maxim when you are getting so much advice – from family, friends, vendors, Pinterest! Keep in mind that you can’t please everyone, and in the end, this day is about you and your partner. Stay true to you for this big event ☺
Q15: What are some of the Gale Mansion’s unique accommodations?
- Beautiful bridal and groom suites.
- Beverages and snacks for the bridal party prior to the ceremony.
- Access to their historic rooms and grounds for unique photo-ops!
- Timeless turn of the century beauty and detailing.
- Partnering with professional staff for a full service venue experience.
- Option for a sparkler exit!
- Pet-friendly ☺
Special thanks the wonderful couples that have let us capture their wedding at the Gale Mansion!