The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
As a historic building designated on the National Register of Historic Places, the Washington County Historic Courthouse in Stillwater, Minnesota is a beautiful and culturally significant place to tie the knot. Its Italianite architecture and beautiful indoor details, including intricately tiled floors, makes this building, which dates back to the 1860s, a beautiful backdrop for gorgeous wedding portraits. From the gleaming cupola to the impressive facade, with its arched windows and dramatic portico, this is a picturesque building that delights guests from start to finish.
The courthouse hasn't been in use for county business since the 1960s, but it has found a second life as an important historic landmark in Washington County. With its picturesque design and hilltop location that gives you and your guests a spectacular view of the St. Croix River Valley, the Washington County Historic Courthouse is a beautiful indoor wedding venue with abundant exterior charm.
What You Should Know
Because this venue is a historic treasure, there are some restrictions to be aware of as you consider whether this is the right place for your wedding. Your ability to decorate may be limited and your event must be insured. You may choose to purchase special event insurance through the county or through an outside source, but you must provide proof of insurance in order to actually hold your event. This proof must be available at least 14 days before your scheduled event. The county's insurance is relatively affordable, with prices for events including the consumption of alcohol being higher than those without any alcohol. Insurance must cover bodily injury and property damage.
Availability is limited for wedding events at the Washington County Historic Courthouse. The courthouse may periodically close reservations for weddings, but those who dream of marrying in this beautiful building should check back often for availability updates.
Extra perks associated with this venue include:
- Ample opportunity to tour the premises, thanks to regular events at and guided tours of the building
- Proceeds of your wedding support the upkeep of the courthouse
- Recent restorations make the building a comfortable modern space with respect for the building's original integrity
From the Vendor
Washington County Historic Courthouse
Sitting high on the bluff overlooking Stillwater and the St. Croix River, the Historic Courthouse is an architectural and historical treasure offering a romantic space for ceremonies, receptions and groom's dinners. Fantastic photo opportunities on site and in town. Experienced, helpful staff.
Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$ – Affordable
City Hall, Historic Venue
WONDERFUL!!Reviewed on 3/05/2014 Kaylin S
Provide an absolutely wonderful and stunning wedding for us! Would recommend to any and all!
Beautiful and wonderful!Reviewed on 7/24/2013 Holly L
The Historic Courthouse is such a gorgeous venue. The staff are incredibly accommodating and helpful, as well. It was the perfect venue for our needs (we were on a budget and loved being able to hire an outside caterer and bring in our own alcohol--we saved so much money this way!) I would definitely recommend this venue to anyone.
Perfect venue to create your own vision!Reviewed on 7/04/2013 Caroline T
My husband and I chose the Washington County Historic Courthouse because we wanted a venue that 1) would not break the bank for a group of about 90 people; 2) would let us choose our own caterer instead of having to go with the venue's choices; and 3) would give us a sense of being able to create our own vision. The WCHC staff were extremely nice and helpful in arranging our wedding in the way that we wanted it to be. The price is very reasonable compared to other nearby venues, and it had the perfect atmosphere. Plus you get it for the whole day, as opposed to a few hours. We also had our ceremony on the steps of the courthouse. Everything was wonderful! Highly recommended.
Beautiful and easy to work with!Reviewed on 9/01/2015 Jackie L
We selected the Washington County Historic Courthouse as our venue for a few main reasons: it's an extremely beautiful venue that can accommodate both the ceremony and reception, it's reasonably priced, and they did not lock us into a specific caterer or beverage provider. This venue is low key and very easy to work with - we didn't need to worry about meeting high minimums or about nitpicky details. They arranged for the required security officer, set up the reception according to our plan, helped us set up the outdoor sound system and promptly answered all our questions. You are limited to only beer and wine (and no kegs), but that was not at all a problem for us - it just meant we got to offer more options! The venue is beautiful - we did very little decoration, just tablecloths and centerpieces, and our reception was beautiful. Also, and perhaps most important - everything was laid out up front. There were no hidden, additional charges, no last minute requirements - everything was very straightforward.
Absolutely AMAZING!Reviewed on 12/15/2014 Miranda B
Two words; absolutely AMAZING!! We could not have picked a better place! The views are breathtaking! The staff is extremely helpful and do everything in their power to make your special day perfect! There are SOOO many awesome spots for pictures! We had the ENTIRE courthouse to ourselves for the ENTIRE day! Our ceremony was outside at 3:00 and then from 3:45 - 5:30 guests got to tour the courthouse, including the jail and exhibit. We also had yard games outside for the children! At 5:30 we had dinner upstairs and then music and dancing until 11:00! It was a perfect day!
Amazing SiteReviewed on 11/29/2014 Jennifer O
We absolutely loved this venue. There is so much history, and we loved the fact that we could hold the ceremony and reception at the same site. The staff was incredibly helpful throughout the process. We were able to visit the site when we wanted and the staff answered emails quickly and answered our questions with a lot of experience. We absolutely loved the flexibility the Courthouse offered. We were able to bring our own home brew for the ceremony and we were able to use our own vendors. The site was perfect for our wedding!
Beautiful for an outdoor ceremonyReviewed on 9/12/2012 Emily C
We only held the ceremony here, but the building and surrounding area is beautiful for pictures.
Beautiful venue with helpful staffReviewed on 9/10/2012 Katy S
The historic courthouse is a beautiful building inside and out. I enjoyed every moment of our wedding here. It easily accomodated our 170 guests, much more comfortably than I anticipated with room to walk around and dance (once we cleared out acouple of tables). My husband and I loved that we could bring our own food and beverages in to the courthouse for the reception. The staff were also great, they allowed me to come look at the space several times before the wedding and answered many questions over the phone as well. They were present, but never overbearing during our rehearsal and on the day of the wedding.
Beautiful LocationReviewed on 10/07/2011 Rebecca A
I loved having my Wedding at the Washington County Historic Courthouse. We had planned to do the ceremony on the front steps but it was cold and rainy so we had it inside which was just as beautiful. We also had our reception there! The best things about the courthouse, is that you can bring in your own caterer and wine/beer, it is so beautiful you don't need much for decorations, and it is affordable! The only downside is that you have to have pay a security guard and he pretty much was no where to be seen most of the night.
Disappointed with the serviceReviewed on 9/15/2011 Katie S
I was excited about the Courthouse for my wedding reception. I knew it would be more work to have a wedding at this location because you have to set up everything and hire in everyone for the day. I was up for the challenge. What I didn't expect was a nasty attitude the day before my wedding from Carolyn a staff employee of the courthouse who works with people having their wedding at this location. Previously, I was working with Anna who had been very helpful. She is the other staff member who works with weddings at the courthouse. Carolyn was very upset that we had gone in on Friday to set up some of the decorations after having received permission to do so. There was no wedding taking place the Friday before my wedding on Saturday, and therefore, we were told we could come in during their regular hours to set things up. Carolyn rudly informed me we should have been paying hundreds of dollars for this time. I guess their policy now states that you can have from noon the day of your wedding until midnight for set up and take down. I am not sure how this could be done with. I was informed that I would have from 8AM on Saturday to start setting up. Looking back, I now realize that would have been extremely stressful. I wish that myself and family were not treated so disrespectfully just the say before my wedding. The venue itself is neat; however, the AC could not keep us cool/comfortable during the dance.
Nice and hands-off!Reviewed on 11/05/2010 MaryBeth E
I looked at several venues before deciding on this one. My biggest pet peeve about many of them was the lack of freedom you were given when renting the space. I really wasn't interested in an all-in-one sort of deal where your venue gets to decide who caters, who bakes your cake, and even what your flowers look like. The Historic Courthouse is remarkably hands-off when you want them to be, yet simultaneously very, very helpful. I loved the ability to pick our own caterer, supply our own beer and wine, and the fact that we were given full-day exclusive access to the building. It was perfect! Plus, the architecture and interior design is AMAZING.
Beautiful Venue & Accomodating StaffReviewed on 8/14/2010 Nicole A
I've always seen the Washington County Historic Courthouse in magazines & thought was a gorgeous building, but was thrilled to learn they do weddings. The staff was very informative & they have their "wedding" system down to a tee. I worked primarily with Anna M., but also had assistance from Carolyn - both of whom answered my questions fully & were prompt in returning any calls. They let you customize your wedding - pick your own caterer, music, beer/wine which I loved. I hated being told at certain venues we had to use this DJ or this cake maker, etc. The courthouse is a well-kept secret & we were happy with our decision to hold our reception there.
ExcellentReviewed on 8/09/2010 Jennifer S
Historic building features beautiful outdoor spaces, overlooks downtown Stillwater, and has exceptional customer service.
Review for Washington County Historical CourthouseReviewed on 10/18/2008 Kristin L
25' ceilings stain glass windows judges bench hard wood floors wonderful atmosphere great price outdoor veterans courtyard
Rating for Historic CourthouseReviewed on 9/04/2008 Lauren S