The James J. Hill Center

80 West Fourth Street
St Paul, Minnesota 55102
View their website

Average Base Cost: $18,000

Our average base cost for a James J. Hill Center wedding is calculated by figuring a 125-person guest list for a Saturday ceremony/reception and a food/beverage cost of $80/pp. Entertainment, flowers, additional decorations and rentals, transportation, and photography are NOT included. Price is rounded up to the nearest thousand. Gratuity and sales tax (only on the catering, however, since this is a non-profit venue) is included in our average base cost.

*Prices subject to change

How it breaks down:

Facility Rental Fee: The venue rental fee at the James J. Hill Center breaks down as follows:

Reading Room: $4,000
Ceremony (additional): $1,000

Note: Events occurring on a holiday or holiday weekend are subject to a minimum 25% rental rate increase. Saturdays between May 1 – October 31 are subject to a rental rate increase as well.

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What’s Included:

  • Seven hours of guest time
  • Three hours of setup time for client and vendors
  • Tables and chairs
  • Easels
  • Event Manager – coordination of vendors and onsite contact
  • Building Security and Building Services staff
  • 130’ x 50’ (6500 sq. ft.)

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SEE MORE: View our favorite Minnesota wedding venues here!

Extra Costs: A Hill membership of $150 is also required.

Food and Beverage: You must use one of their preferred catering and beverage services. Caterers include Fork & Flair, The Deco Catering, and beverage service from Mintáhoe Catering and Events, The Saint Paul Hotel, and Surdyk’s Catering. You can view the full list here.

Other Vendors: You must use their catering/beverage vendors as well as AV. Others vendors will be considered but additional fees may apply.

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More Stats:

Space Type: Inside/Outside (the outdoor space overlooking Rice Park can be used before the event or during cocktail hour. High top cocktail tables can be used and there can be passed appetizers and beverages, but no chairs will be set up outside.)


  • Ceremony and Reception: 200 people
  • Seated Reception Only: 250 people
  • Standing Cocktail Reception Only: 350 people
  • Ceremony Only: 250 people
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Photo by Michelle Tanner Photography

Bridal Suite: The bridal suite is available as a changing room beginning three hours prior to guest arrival for events with ceremonies at the Hill Center. Food and non-alcoholic beverages permitted, however, no refrigeration is available. Items must be cleared from the room immediately following the ceremony.

Parking: Ramp parking and meter parking. Valet parking can be arranged for an additional fee.

How Will Grandma Get There? The James J. Hill Center is located downtown, and is right across the street from the Saint Paul Hotel, and close to other hotels such as the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront Hotel and the DoubleTree by Hilton St. Paul Downtown. The venue is located 20 minutes from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

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Photo by Ling Photography

Party On! Events can go until 12 a.m. (bar must close 30 minutes prior).

The Report:

Entrepreneur James J. Hill opened the center in 1921 with a vision to “provide the people of Minnesota with a Reference Library to support and grow cultural and economic development in the state.” Originally called the James J. Hill Reference Library, in 2013 the name was changed to James J. Hill Center to “fully represent the services and program.” The non-profit business center, featuring an expansive ceiling and columns carved from Kettle River sandstone, provides a “complete host of library services and a gathering space where the next great idea will be born.”

Woman Getting Married Says:

If you’re looking for a stunning wedding venue in the heart of downtown, it doesn’t get better than this. The venue is absolutely gorgeous and would need very little in terms of decor. And even though you have to use one of their preferred caterers and beverage services, they offer a great selection with a wide range of pricing to fit lots of different budgets, which is great. I would definitely put this on my list for St. Paul brides to see!

Click here to learn more about my wedding venue review process.

Discover more wedding venues here.

All products featured on Woman Getting Married are independently selected by our editors. However, we may earn affiliate revenue on this article and commission when you buy something. Learn more.

Amenities/What’s Included 9
Convenient for Grandma 9
Layout 8
Location 10
Overall Charm 10
Venue Value 8

WGM Rating

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