Downtown Mpls. Co-Working Space Begins Hosting Weddings

Downtown Mpls. Co-Working Space Begins Hosting Weddings

Twin Cities co-working organizations are finding ways to move beyond memberships, leveraging their various spaces for private events; Joule, for example, is doubling as an “all-inclusive” wedding venue.

Co-working spaces: where freelance professionals, entrepreneurs, and startups convene in a shared environment to work on their latest projects—and now, a place where they can tie the knot as well?

Joule, located in downtown Minneapolis, is one of several co-working spaces in the Twin Cities. The organization rents out non-traditional office space to individuals for a membership fee, as well as meeting rooms to business groups. And this week, it announced plans to launch “JouleWed,” which it describes as an “all-inclusive wedding model” that packages together vendors and services.

Renting out space for private events is not a foreign concept for local co-working organizations. For example, CoCo—which now has three locations—rents out space at both its Uptown and Downtown Minneapolis locations for night and weekend events, and each can accommodate up to 200 attendees. But cofounder Don Ball told Twin Cities Business that CoCo focuses on attracting events that align with the interests of the organization and its members—namely, entrepreneurship, technology, creativity, and marketing. (In other words, not weddings.)

Joule founder and CEO Jackie Menne said that her organization previously rented out spaces for various events but was looking for additional ways to take advantage of its facility. Menne describes herself as a “business matchmaker” who wanted to leverage her skills outside the business community.

JouleWed ceremonies, which are open to non-Joule members, will be held in an inner “atrium room,” which spans about 2,000 square feet; receptions will be held in the 4,000-square-foot “Joule Suite.” The layout for weddings is designed to host up to 50 guests.

The organization is offering what it calls “Sapphire,” “Pearl,” and “Diamond” packages, each of which includes a three-hour event for up to 50 guests, an officiant, keepsake bouquets and boutonnieres, music, a photographer, a reception in the “JouleWed lounge,” a champagne toast, keepsake glasses for the couple, non-alcoholic beverages, and cake. The Sapphire package costs $3,000; the Pearl ($5,000) and Diamond ($7,500) packages include upgrades like videographers and a hosted bar.

Joule partnered with a number of local vendors to develop its wedding packages, including Angel Food Bakery in Minneapolis, Muddy Paws Cheesecake in St. Louis Park, and Brie catering in Columbia Heights.

To kick off its new offering, JouleWed is giving away a “Diamond Plus” wedding, valued at $8,500, through an online sweepstakes, which runs through June 12.

The co-working trend has increased in popularity in recent years. The latest addition to the Twin Cities’ co-working scene is Cafe, Inc., which bills itself as an “upscale” co-working environment with plans to franchise the concept. It opened in Edina earlier this year, and its space features a new restaurant concept from Dunn Bros Coffee, called Maker’s Café.