Hand-painted ceilings, original chandeliers, and timeless elegance make Greysolon by Black Woods a gorgeous historic wedding venue. If you’re looking for a North Shore location, you have to check out this spot in downtown Duluth. We talked to the team at Greysolon about the history of the venue including hosting celebrities including Eleanor Roosevelt!
Q: Let’s get to it, what’s your business’ specialty?
A: Making your wedding day the best day ever!
Q: Where can we find you?
A: In the heart of downtown Duluth, Minnesota. Steps away from the shores of Lake Superior.
Q: Tell us when and how your business began.
A: In 2008, Black Woods Group had the opportunity to rent the historic Greysolon Plaza with the Ballroom and Moorish Room as well as the space that has become Black Water Lounge. Our owners jumped at the chance to be a part of the history of continuing to host grand events at this historic site. Fast forward to today and we still have those “pinch me” moments looking at the hand-painted ceilings and original chandeliers every day that we come to work. We feel lucky to be able to host events in such a majestic space!
Q: What makes your company unique from others?
A: What makes us unique is our people and that we genuinely care about our couples. We want to know your dog’s name and see your kitty videos, we want to know where you’re from, how you met and why you chose Duluth for your wedding. We love connecting with you and getting to know your story!
Q: How long have you been in the industry? What do you think has changed the most since then?
A: Between Jax, Kalysta, and Korah, we have over 50 years of experience in the wedding industry. We’ve seen the wedding trends ebb and flow, and the overall difference is that couples are making their weddings their own. Everything that happens is because they want it to happen with their own style, goals, and unique touches that make it personal and completely “them”.
Q: Walk us through your average workday.
A: Walk around the beautiful site, turn on the lights and get everything just right. Excitedly respond to new inquiries, attentively update details and answer questions for couples already booked with us, bribe the chef to make us lunch, “oo” and “awe” over wedding photos our couples share with us.
Q: What would you want couples searching for your business type to know?
A: Timeless elegance CAN be in your budget. Many of our couples are surprised when they see our prices as they expect a venue like ours to be much more expensive. However, we have always lived out one of our original branding statements which is: “Affordable elegance within your budget.”
Q: How far in advance should a couple book with you?
A: It depends! For peak season dates, about 1 year to 1.5 year out. However, we have planned weddings within a couple of weeks!
Q: What’s one wedding trend you’d like to see fade away?
A: Receiving lines, they can feel a little awkward. We love when couples move about the space greeting guests rather than forming a line. Goes with the natural flow of the event.
Q: What is the biggest crowd-pleaser at your venue?
A: Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple (appetizer); Gorgonzola Potato Torte (starch); and of course, our signature Champagne Chicken Entrée.
Q: What are your other hobbies and passions besides creating beautiful wedding days?
A: Jax — Farmer’s Markets, National Parks, and foraging in the woodlands for décor and dining.
Kalysta — Interior design, anything surrounding Lake Superior (being a beach bum, walking the shoreline, hiking the trails) and my little humans.
Korah — #hygge
Q: What is the history behind Greysolon by Black Woods?
A: Greysolon was originally built in 1925 as the Hotel Duluth and was known far and wide as one of the most beautiful hotels in the country. Patrons included Crown Prince Olaf of Norway, Eleanor Roosevelt, and President John F. Kennedy. Today, the Black Woods Group has restored Greysolon to its original splendor, making it a memorable wedding reception and event space.
Q: Duck Duck Grey Duck or Duck Duck Goose?
A: Duck Duck Grey Duck— this is a Minnesota thing!
Q: Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall Wedding?
A: WE LEGITIMATELY LOVE ALL OF THEM.
Q: Veil or no veil?
Q: Mountains or Beach?
Q: Chocolate or Vanilla?
Q: Go-to comfort food?
A: Champagne Chicken from any one of our Black Woods Group venues.
Q: Favorite place you’ve traveled to?
A: Jax—Sequoia National Park
Kalysta—Hawaii-love the Aloha spirit
Korah—I love hunting for the middle of nowhere.
Q: What show are you binging right now?
A: Jax—The Queen’s Gambit.
Kalysta—Bridgerton! Reminds me of the Greysolon.
Korah—The Last Kingdom.
Q: Go-to cocktail (or mocktail)?
A: Cucumber Press
Thanks for chatting with us, Greysolon by Black Woods crew! Book your tour at this venue to see this beauty for yourself.