The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
The Lumber Exchange Event Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sits pristinely inside the Lumber Exchange Building, which dates back to 1885. This historic building claims the title of the first skyscraper to grace the skyline of Minneapolis. As the signature venue of this building, the Lumber Exchange Event Center provides a distinctive space for a wedding ceremony and reception.
The Lumber Exchange Event Center. Four separate pools make up this breathtaking fountain, situated in the center of the room. Walls are made of exposed bricks and antique lamps line the perimeter, adding a vintage touch. Skylights line the soaring atrium ceiling, allowing in natural light. With fabric draping above and twinkling strands of lights, the overall effect is simply magical. The full capacity of the Lumber Exchange Event Center is 350 guests for a cocktail reception and 200 for a seated dinner.
What You Should Know
The event staff at the Lumber Exchange Event Center possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which they apply to every wedding event hosted in this venue. Share your wedding dreams and wishes and the coordinators will help make them a reality.
The team will assist with all setup according to your preferred layout for the ceremony and the reception. Full breakdown and cleanup is also provided by the event team. The venue is handicap-accessible. On-site parking is provided for guests.
The event team has created an extensive list of preferred vendors to help you choose service providers for your event. The list contains caterers, florists, photographers, videographers, rental companies, transportation companies and entertainers. The venue provides bar service for events in the Lumber Exchange Event Center.
A rehearsal is included with your ceremony rental at the Lumber Exchange Event Center. The venue provides rooms for the bridal party and groom's men to dress and prepare for the event. A private green room with a private bathroom is also provided for the bride and groom for changing after the festivities.
Lumber Exchange Event Center is complete with state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment and connectivity. An equipment package is provided for your wedding event.
The event coordinators at the Lumber Exchange Event Center understand that every bride and groom bring unique desires to the process of wedding planning. With this belief, the staff welcomes special requests and they strive to accommodate them whenever possible. Some special amenities are also available, with an upgrade fee.
- Inquire about additional audiovisual equipment available
- Explore special photo opportunities available inside the Lumber Exchange Building
- Book your rehearsal dinner at one of the restaurants located in the building
From the Vendor
Minneapolis' Most Versatile Venue!
We are Downtown Minneapolis’ most versatile venue, located at the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and South 5th Street in the dazzling Lumber Exchange Building. Over the past 4 years, we have hosted some of the Twin Cities’ greatest events at The Fountain Room, The Exchange & Alibi Lounge, and The Pourhouse. We are now thrilled to launch our newly remodeled event venue including The Fountain Room, River Room, Sawyers on 5th, and Dylan's! Our expanded space offers the flexibility to transform spatially and aesthetically to accommodate events of all styles. Our spaces can be seamlessly adapted from a small, romantic wedding reception to a fully branded corporate meeting. No matter the size, budget or occasion, we can turn your dream event into a reality!
Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$ – Affordable
Historic Venue, Loft, Park
Bar + Drinks, Food + Catering, Planning, Service Staff
The best day of my lifeReviewed on 10/19/2015
Choosing a reception venue was one of the hardest parts of wedding planning for us. We wanted somewhere that was unique, felt like "us", could seat 200 people, and yet wasn't crazy expensive. The Fountain Room accomplished all of this! There is nothing like seeing the room for the first time when you come into the reception; the pictures don't do it justice and the ambiance is so romantic with hanging cafe lights, the fountain, and candles everywhere. It is a beautiful venue and there was plenty of room for our 180 guests. Having the bar in the same room as the dancing was another feature we were looking for, as it keeps everyone in the action more. We started our day at the Lumber Exchange for our first look and wedding party photos. The marble staircase and balcony makes for a great background and was exactly the modern vintage look I was hoping for. Our ceremony was at a park in Minneapolis and we returned to the Fountain Room after the cocktail hour was over. We had many guests from out of town who aren't accustomed to driving downtown so we got parking vouchers from Barb to make their experience a little easier. Barb was great to work with throughout the whole process and the staff at the Fountain Room/Empire Events is very competent and professional! We also had good experiences with Tom and Matt. There is a bit of "trust the process" that needs to take place, as I have "type-A tendencies" ;) and wanted things to be just like I was picturing them. But truly, we were in great hands and you just have to go with the flow and know that staff will handle whatever bumps come up, because that's what they do every day! The bar/alcohol package was very flexible and we included appetizers during the cocktail hour to count towards our minimum. Prior to the wedding day, we had agreed upon a certain amount of wine/beer/signature drinks, though throughout the night Barb and Tom checked in with us and we were able to shift things around to stay under our minimum and not waste money paying for bottles of wine that weren't needed, for example. I'm certain that other venues would not be this flexible and it was much appreciated that the Fountain Room allows you to adjust things as the night goes on. We cannot give the Fountain Room and our experience with Barb a high enough rating. Barb's positivity, creative ideas, and "can do attitude" was so refreshing! The Fountain Room played a huge role in our wedding day being a fun day that we will never forget. Thank you!!
First, it's easy to see by all the wonderful pictures how amazingly beautiful The Fountain Room looks. From the marble staircase and the rich history inside The Fountain Room we couldn't of asked for a better venue for our wedding day. For my husband and me, what truly made The Fountain Room special was the great team supporting us throughout our joyous occasion. Barb is very energetic and goes above and beyond what is expected of her. I can tell she has a true passion and works hard to deliver. The team on the actual wedding day including Barb, Matt, Tom, both Bartenders, and a couple of others (can't remember their names, sorry!) were just amazing! I can't even begin to describe all the little things they did to make sure we had a stress free day; not excluding the hours they put in the day before, during, and after for us. Thank you The Fountain Room Team - Love Farrah & Kevin!
Best Day Ever...Reviewed on 6/07/2015
I'm in love with the space and the staff! I had my wedding May 16th, 2015, and it was perfect! Barb took care of every single detail and every single person on the entire staff made this day exceed my expectations! If you are looking for a unique space, with staff that KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING, this is it!!! Beautiful hard lines from the brick, and amazing soft lines from the fountain... My 200+ guests were as amazed as I was! Worth every penny! Our pictures were unbelievable as we not only had access to the fountain room, but to the entire building!
I want to first start out by saying WOW!!! We had our wedding reception at the lumber exchange two weeks ago and the staff, venue, and food were everything we could have dreamed of and more. When we had originally booked with the Lumber Exchange in May 2016, Barb sold us on the vision of the venue; and that’s saying a lot because the Dylan's and Sawyer's room were both under renovation. I'm talking dust, debris, and construction tools everywhere. Barb was very responsive with keeping us updated throughout the renovation process and it was so neat watching our venue come to light. As the wedding day approached, Barb, Allison, and MaKayla helped us prepare and work out each and every detail including food, drinks, decorations, lighting, music, cocktail hour, seating chart, etc.. We negotiated on budget several times, and every time we adjusted they were honest, very professional and were upfront about all costs but never tried to push anything on us. Now, for the wedding day :) We paid a little extra to have the bride and groom suite available for the morning and it was so worth it. Again, our bridal party, parents, and grandparents were in awe of how beautiful the suites were. Us girls spent the morning doing hair and makeup in the luxurious bridal suite on the 3rd floor while the groom and the guys prepped in the groom's lounge on the first floor. The bridal suite was equipped with a bathroom, a TV, mirrors, exceptional lighting, comfy couches, mimosas, a lot of space, plus a view. While the groom's suite had a pool table, TV's, gaming system, a bar, a putting green, and lots of mirrors and seating. I would recommend renting the bride and groom suite if you are planning your wedding at the Fountain Room. The pictures are breathtaking, trust me! Also, both suites remained locked while we went to the church for the ceremony so we could leave our belongings there during the day, it was perfect. We also did our first look with the bride and groom in the lobby of the Lumber Exchange building with the grand marble staircase. Again, beautiful! Our cocktail hour was in the Fountain Room and guests were blown away simply by how extraordinary it was. If you have not seen pictures yet, it's a must! The magnificent two story fountain was a great feature for pictures and conversation while the unique seating and ambience of the room pleased guests. We then moved into Sawyer's room, a more intimate area, for our reception. The room is lined with floor to ceiling windows that overlook Downtown Minneapolis. We chose to do family style pasta for our dinner and it was perfect. The food was impressive and guests appreciated not having to shuffle through a buffet. And finally, the dance party started. The dance floor was spacious and again it was so cool looking out over the city as we danced the night away. We also used the venue’s photo booth and I know our guests had a good time with that, I would definitely recommend it. Lastly, location, location, location! The lumber Exchange is in the heart of downtown Minneapolis near several hotels, connected through the skyway, surrounded by tons of entertainment, and next door to the light rail. I really couldn’t ask for much more out of my wedding venue. The Lumber Exchange delivered above and beyond and I am so grateful, our wedding day was perfect.
Absolutely incredible. Our experience at the Lumber Exchange was phenomenal from start to finish. The decor was beautiful and the amenities really added so much to the whole experience. My wife and her bridal party loved the bridal suite, and my groomsmen and I felt he same about ours. We had an evening ceremony in the Fountain Room and could not have been happier with the whole feel of the ceremony. I could not recommend the Lumber Exchange enough. The beauty of the venue propelled our wedding wildly beyond our expectations and the staff of the Lumber Exchange worked tirelessly to ensure every moment was perfect for us. It was an absolutely wonderful wedding.
The Lumber Exchange building in it of itself is absolutely beautiful! We were one of the first weddings in the new Sawyer's on 5th venue and were not disappointed. When we booked the new venue, it was still under construction but Barb helped us in envisioning how the space was going to transform and how it would fit our wedding vision. We were able to come see the venue numerous times during construction which was great! Barb and the staff were super helpful with answering questions even though at times somewhat difficult to get a hold of (there seemed to be quite a bit of staff turnover). Day of there were some communication errors that caused some confusion and greatly delayed our end of night timeline (this could be attributed to the fact that we were one of the first weddings to take place in the new space). On our wedding day though, the staff were absolutely great in making sure the space looked how we were wanting it to! We received SO MANY compliments on how beautiful the space was (we also rented Dylan's for our cocktail hour), how convenient the location was (numerous bars and restaurants around and not to mention the hotel connected via the Skyway system), and how AMAZING the food was!!! Honestly, it was THE BEST wedding food I've ever had! And with my food allergies (along with some of our guests having allergies), the chef was more than accommodating to that. All in all, the day was amazing but the hiccups that occurred prevented me from giving the venue 5 stars.
Reasons to book Lumber Exchange Event Center - The Fountain Room: • Creative and talented staff • Attentive and kind service throughout the wedding night and planning process • Unique, historical, and stunningly beautiful venue • Food where guests will not stop raving • Seamless and fluid organization between all your vendors • A flawless evening that keeps you smiling Reasons to not book The Fountain Room: • Guest count is less than 2 or more than 500 .... that’s it. The venue was remodeled between booking and holding our wedding – so it was even more stunning! The building/venue is beautiful, historical, and elegant, but it’s a must see in person. Our experience with the staff, specifically Barb and Tom, was phenomenal! This was the first venue we toured, and we did not know what to anticipate. We hosted a cocktail reception, and a suggestion from Barb on that first day on how to host such an event was one of the reasons we booked the venue. Her creativity, along with her staff, is even more astounding than the venue. We believe its what made the wedding so perfect. In addition, every single vendor we chose came as a recommendation from Barb after we were unsatisfied searching on our own. Our guests could not stop raving about the food which was the in-house chef – everyone had a favorite, and no one hated anything! The staff were kind and attentive all night, I wish I knew all their names to thank them individually. You all were outstanding! Lastly, the event was so great, not only we not want it to end, but our guests didn’t either. So to everyone at The Fountain Room – thank you for helping us throw a wedding where no one wanted to leave!
Barb and her team went above and beyond on our wedding day. They took all the decorations that we had and made the room beautiful and things flowed smoothly. The team is very busy--they are so helpful and attentive in person. Sometimes emails take a few days to hear back on (when you are planning 2 days for an answer can feel like an eternity), but they will answer phone calls and you will get answers faster!! We just had our reception here and our guests could not get over how beautiful the space was. We had a horrible experience with the Lumber Exchange Party Buses to transport our guests--but this is a different team and I would just recommend not using them, but looking elsewhere. This is completely separate
BARB! BARB! BARB! She is the single greatest person that has helped us throughout the entire wedding process! She is absolutely amazing! She has a ton of energy and will make sure everything is perfect! She works with you from start to finish and will make sure you are taken care of. On the night of our wedding she was absolutely amazing and took care of everything. When we planned our wedding we had a vision for how everything would look, and Barb did everything to make sure that it exceeded our expectation! The Fountain Room is a beautiful venue! It is incredibly unique and sets up for an incredible time! People went to cocktail hour in The Pour House and had a lot of fun before the reception. During the reception, the room was absolutely beautiful! The huge skylight was lit up well with up lights, the ceiling drapery and twinkle lights looked amazing, and the Fountain! WOW the fountain! Barb lights it on fire basically and it looks awesome! All of the tables and arrangements were taken care of as we talked about before too! Barb made sure all of our vendors knew where to set up and everything! After the Reception people went down to The Pour House again and kept the night rolling! Being in Downtown it allows for an incredible amount of fun to be had from start to finish! The Fountain room was our first choice throughout the wedding process, and it was the best choice! BARB YOU ROCK!
The Fountain Room was fantastic! We booked our this venue for our wedding on a Saturday in July, both ceremony and reception. Everyone was wonderful to work with and the service was great. We received many compliments from our wedding party on how nice the Fountain Room staff was. They worked with all of our other vendors to coordinate flowers, lighting, music, etc. so we didn't have to worry about anything. Barb and Tom were very responsive to emails and questions and gave suggestions that I hadn't even thought of. They know what they are doing and they helped everyone stay on schedule and know where they needed to be and when. The space itself was gorgeous and it really came to life with everything set up. Our guests had so many wonderful compliments about the decor and the party overall. I would highly recommend this venue to others either for weddings or large parties.
There are not enough characters to express just how wonderful the team at the Fountain Room were for my wedding. Barb was a constant source of joy and excitement. She took all my minuscule changes and many questions and ran with them, never once making me feel like I was a troublesome bride. Cambrie and Tom were wonderful during our rehearsal dinner, keeping us in the loop when we could eat and when we were close to our limit. When it came to the wedding, everything was exactly as I imagined it, if not better. They took my awful drawings for how the centerpieces should be arranged and made it reality, using all my extras to decorate the space beautifully. I learned quite early on that I didn't need to worry about vendor arrival times or when the bridal party needed to come up to the ceremony space. They had it all covered! If you want a beautiful space with an awesome staff that will make your big day everything you wanted it to be, go with the Fountain Room. You will not be disappointed.
This is the bride... Todd S is the groom. The venue and staff were AMAZING!!! The weekend of our ceremony/wedding we were given nothing but 10000% from all staff!!!! Barb C our event coordinator and her intern Claire went above and beyond to make sure the venue was even better than we would have dreamed! Our wedding was exactly what we wanted!
The Fountain Room was the absolute perfect venue for our dream wedding! Barb and her team made our entire experience easy and fun! From the very get go, Barb was amazing! Her energy and vision put together the most beautiful space you can imagine. The venue itself has so many cool spots for photos, from the Pourhouse with its secret doors to the new club the Exchange with glass floors and jellyfish tanks. The Fountain Room is unbelievably gorgeous with the towering atrium and streetlights used in downtown Minneapolis a century ago. You have to see it yourself to know how beautiful this venue is!
You will love the fountain room!Reviewed on 1/28/2016
We loved everything about this venue. There were so many different locations to host ceremony/social hour/reception and we felt it really allowed it to customize our day to exactly what we had wanted. The staff at the fountain room are extremely helpful and truly there to make your day go as smooth and seamlessly as possible. We had nothing but rave reviews from our guests!
Wedding Day Magic at the Fountain RoomReviewed on 11/16/2015 Courtney W
We recently used the Lumber Exchange for our ceremony and reception site and were quite pleased with the experience. The venue itself is beautiful. With its elegant fountain, exposed brick and vaulted ceiling with sky lights– it gives the feeling of being in an outdoor courtyard. One of the biggest benefits of this venue is that the linens, tables and chairs are all included in the room cost as well as the set up and take down for both the ceremony and reception. It gave us peace of mind knowing we didn’t have to assign a lot of family members to aid in the setting up or removal of our décor. And from the beginning our Event Manager, Barb, was incredibly helpful and attentive. Her enthusiasm is contagious! Our “day of” team were awesome as well from the security staff to the bartenders and our go to, Tom. Everyone was quick with a smile and executed everything without a hitch. Our guests raved with praise! We are so thankful to the Fountain Room for helping make our wedding day and night spectacular.
Awesome Venue and Service!Reviewed on 10/15/2015
I had my ceremony and reception at the Fountain Room. It was a fabulous venue and Barb gave the best service to us! We had 200 guests and did a 7:00pm wedding with a appetizer/cocktail/dancing reception afterwards. It was beautiful and people are still talking about it. In between the ceremony and reception, the Fountain Room staff did a fabulous job of hosting a cocktail hour on the floor below while setting up the Fountain Room for the reception. I highly recommend the Fountain Room and you will not be disappointed if you use Barb..she is the greatest!!!
Great wedding venue!Reviewed on 10/06/2015
My husband and I had our wedding ceremony and reception at The Fountain Room this past August, and it was the best day of our lives! I'm the kind of bride that has a specific idea of how I want things to look and boy was I amazed! The staff had about 2 hours to flip our room before the reception started, and of course I was nervous but wow!! They seriously listened to every vision I had and they put it to life just as I had imagined! I worked most with Barb and Abigail and let me tell you they are the most helpful ladies I've ever met! They are great at their jobs and hands down recommend this venue to anyone looking to get married at a beautiful venue that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
Book at The Fountain Room!Reviewed on 10/02/2015
I had an excellent experience working with Barb at The Fountain Room. I was impressed by her at the very first tour of the place, through follow-up meetings, and on the actual day. Her level of energy and excitement is contagious. She loves her job and you can tell! The venue was perfect for what we wanted. We did the ceremony in The Fountain Room, headed downstairs to The Pourhouse for a cocktail hour, and then back to The Fountain Room for our reception. I was nervous about doing a flip from ceremony to reception but Barb took care of everything. I was busy taking pictures during the cocktail hour and didn't get to see the reception space before our grand entrance. However, after discussing details with Barb, I knew I was in good hands. When I entered, it looked exactly the way I had imagined in my head. My guests really appreciated everything being all in one building and the fact that they could walk just a couple of blocks to their hotel when the night was over. I would highly recommend working with Barb at The Fountain Room if you want to be certain your questions will be answered and you'll have the wedding you imagined. Barb was extremely patient in answering all of my questions to ensure I was comfortable with how things would happen and when on the big day. I can't say enough good things about her and the space. Everyone thought the space was unique, romantic, and fun!!
I absolutely loved this venue for my wedding. Not only is it a beautiful setting, but the staff (especially Barb!!!) is absolutely amazing. She is so attentive to detail, and helpful in the planning process. You can tell she truly cares about making your day everything you envisioned, and makes the planning easy and fun.I would recommend this venue to anyone and everyone with 5 stars.
Beautiful, historic venue.Reviewed on 7/23/2015 Sarah B
The Fountain Room at the Lumber Exchange was the perfect setting for our wedding. The building's historic touches - exposed brick, marble staircase, old brownstone exterior - made for beautiful photos. Dale provided such a high level of customer service to us and made sure that every detail we envisioned was executed perfectly. We also liked this venue for its flexibility: we were able to choose our own vendors for catering, decor, flowers, etc. We used the Fountain Room for both the wedding ceremony and evening festivities (dinner + dancing). We enjoyed a cocktail hour on the beautiful marble mezzanine level. A beautiful "all-in-one" location.
Barb is AWSOMEReviewed on 7/14/2015
I only had 6 weeks to put together my perfect wedding. I couldn't have had my day go as perfect as it did without all of her help. Barb went above and beyond for me and it was truly appreciated. She had so many suggestions I hadn't thought of and saved me time and money. I wouldn't hesitate to tell anyone to choose the Fountain Room and Barb to have their wedding or any other event.
Beautiful venue but so many kinks...Reviewed on 6/26/2015 Emily S
Absolutely stunning venue with so much history. Everyone raved about the appearance of everything. However, the coordination of the wedding was absolutely terrible. The communication between the staff was unacceptable. It often took several phone calls and e-mails before I would be able to reach them. I was also contacted by my other vendors stating they were unable to get in contact with The Fountain Room staff. The staff were not available throughout the day as they stated they would be, so whenever we had questions, it was extremely hard to find someone to assist. We also had to set up the actual hallway tables themselves (for gifts, name cards, etc), despite us being told this would be done. The running around to find a staff member to retrieve the tables for us caused great amounts of stress for us. In this time, we saw firsthand the staff give several tours to prospective couples, rather that being available to us. Additionally, I watched a staff member take a plate of our own cupcakes from the reception area without asking. All of this was on top of the errored bill that was received following the wedding. After sending the complaints to the staff, we were given a long response of excuses. Would I recommend this venue? For its appearance and ambience, absolutely. However, after my experience of their disorganization and poor communication, I would not want anyone to have the same experience that I had.
Beautiful venue but...Reviewed on 4/15/2015 Kristen O
Let me start off by saying what a beautiful venue this is for a wedding. Everyone was in awe when they walked in and saw high ceilings with the drapes. Downside was the extremely expensive bar minimum, service fees were high and confusing at times on total charges, overly complex in trying to figure out the logistics for the alcohol coverage, and poor planning. The venue is on the third floor of the building. It was secure so only guests could have access, however they did not have adequate coverage of the front door and elevator to accommodate when guests were arriving and leaving.
Wonderful, Classic, and Classy WeddingReviewed on 5/22/2014
The location provided a classic and classy experience, just what we were looking for. The original Marble of the building from 19th Century was so beautiful, and the pictures were beyond our expectations. The venue is so elegant. The service received by the team was second to none. I highly recomment this location to any bride searching for the same experience.