The Mitten building wedding is a celebration with a rustic or industrial vibe where a city loft meets a rustic barn. This interesting combo plus the great flexibility of the Mitten allows you to embody any wedding ideas you wish on your big day.
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Location & Story of the Mitten Building Redlands
The Mitten Building is an event venue in Downtown Redlands, the city in San Bernardino county, Southern California, 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles and 45 miles west of Palm Springs. Redlands is known for its late 19th and early 20th-century architecture, and the Mitten house is one of these well-preserved buildings. This beautiful historical building has its character and a vintage charm.
Built in 1890, it worked at first as a citrus packing house. Later, it became a Mitten Letter Factory owned by Frank Mitten whose company manufactured plastic letters for signs. Since then it kept its official name — the Mitten.
Starting from the 1980s, the house remained empty and abandoned. The current owners bought the house which no one else wanted, in August 1998. They discovered that the old building was in excellent condition. So, it was carefully restored without changing significant structures. That’s why when the Mitten was reopened in 2000, it still had its old Californian look with brick walls, exposed rafters, beams, and dark wood.
The Mitten is considered one of the largest event centers in Redlands. It holds more than 500 guests. Couples choosing the venue plan for a DIY, bohemian, rustic or vintage-style wedding.
Amenities of the Mitten Building Redlands
The historic Mitten Building in Downtown Redlands offers both ceremony and receptions areas as well as consulting, flowers and decor. The venue is not all-inclusive and you can choose the options you need and customize your event according to your vision.
As written on their official website, the venue accommodates parties from 25 to 730 persons. You can choose the only ceremony option, only reception, or both of them.
What you get included in your Mitten building wedding package:
- 1 hour for the ceremony + time for setup & clean up
- 4 or 5 hours of rental time for reception (depending on part of the day you’ll choose) + 2 hours for setup,
- 2 hours in the bridal room for preparation,
- tables, chairs, linen,
- some decor including arbor for the altar spot,
- 1-hour rehearsal.
What you have to care for on your own:
- a day off coordinator,
- cake or other desserts,
- a photographer, florist, etc.
As for catering, it must be provided and served by The Mitten Building. They will provide you with the menu and all the necessities for a buffet dinner. So, your Mitten Building wedding cost will depend on your guest count & the option you’ll choose. It will start from $1,800 for an event.
The Mitten is one of the rarest venues which are in Downtown yet have a late-night option. If available, extra event hours may be added for $500.00 per hour up until 1 am.
The guests will have public parking across 5th street to the East and in the venue’s lots to the South.
Events Sites of the Mitten Building
The venue has two big indoor spaces to choose from and one outdoor patio.
- The Main Room has a multi-level interior. The downstairs serves as a reception area. Upstairs you can also make your ceremony after that come downstairs for thу dinner and continue your celebration upstairs again. The entire Main Room can hold up to 500 guests.
- The Summerbell Ballroom with an adjoining garden patio you can also use for your reception. Some couples make their ceremonies on the adjacent outdoor patio. The ballroom together with the patio can hold 30–225 seated or standing guests.
- The Speakeasy bar is located in the basement area and can also serve as a groom’s preparation room on request.
You see now the Mitten building is not a huge venue, yet it has different event sites for every aspect of your wedding including bride & groom pre-wedding areas.
Bridal & Groom Preparation Sites at the Mitten Building
For your bridal preparation, you’ll get at the Mitten one of two bridal rooms. As I know, both event spaces — the Main Room and the Summerbell room — have private rooms for a bridal party to prepare. These rooms with brick walls and beamed wood ceilings are designed in a simple rustic style. Windows are not large but let in enough light to snap some quick shots. There is a big mirror, hangers for clothes and the possibility to place wedding accessories. I wouldn’t say the space is grandiose: still, it will be quite enough if you don’t have lots of bridesmaids.
If you want more colorful bridal preparation shots you can:
- just take a sofa or some chairs outdoors onto the patio and take pictures outside. I always suggest making it if we have time and need more space and light for photography than a bridal room can offer.
- The bride you see in the photos got prepared at one of the nice hotels in Downtown Redlands: it was the Mission Inn-Riverside, approx. 20 minutes by car from the Mitten building. One of the perks of the Mitten is that you can customize your event and choose exactly what you need: for example, use the sites of the Mitten for your reception only as we did and make other parts of the wedding somewhere else. So, choosing a hotel nearby is one more option to get nice pre-wedding shots.
The groom will be accommodated in the basement with a vintage wood bar. It looks very impressive with its turn-of-the-century dark wood cabinetry in the style of speakeasy bars of the 1890s. Space, though a bit dark, is really huge and enough for a big groom’s party. The Mitten organizes private dinners here so ask if the space will be available for you on your wedding day.
First Look & Couple Pictures at the Mitten building
The First Look you see in the photos was also at the Mission Inn-Riverside hotel. The couple chose a nonconventional way and didn’t make their First Look but had a private moment of prayer before the traditional ceremony in the church.
You can make the same on the Mitten property. Use the brick walls of the building as a rustic backdrop and make your First Look in front of the house. The red entrance door is a remarkable exterior detail of the Mitten and is a nice spot for couple pictures. We also snapped some shots on a bench next to the door.
And we took a couple of pictures with an industrial vibe right next to the bridal room inside the house. Another option may be the green patio next to the Summerbell room. Under the tree canopy and ringed by greenery, it’s a good photo spot.
Also, don’t forget that you can walk around a bit and take some shots outside the venue in the streets. This way is nice for sunset portraits as well as for group shots in case you have enough time before your reception.
Wedding Party & Group Photos at the Mitten building
Keep in mind that the venue probably won’t allow for your guests to come into the building before your ceremony starts. Still, as I remember the guests can come into the bar area and order some pre-wedding drinks. So, the easiest and quickest way to capture some fun shots with wedding parties is to go to the basement. There is a great space for big groups in front of the bar and shots turn out lively and colorful.
You will also have the opportunity to take pictures with the family during the cocktail hour on the outdoor patio and snap some shots in front of the building.
In case you are ok with your wedding timeline and have enough time, I would suggest taking pictures in free public spaces of Downtown Redlands outside of the Mitten. For example, there is the Redlands Bowl in Smiley Park with its classic architecture, a big stage, and green landscaping. It’s less than 5 minutes by car from the Mitten and you can easily reach it by walking.
Another interesting spot is the Historic Redlands Train Station. Just some steps from the Mitten across the street and you are already there. This classic building from the 1910s with white columns is a popular photo spot for family & wedding photo sessions.
Ceremony sites of the Mitten building
You’ll have 2 options if you decide to exchange your vows at the Mitten venue:
- to make your ceremony in the Main Room & the mezzanine level if you have a big guest count. This room can accommodate up to 500 seated guests for a wedding ceremony.
- to use the Summerbell room & outdoor patio each with the maximum capacity of 100 guests for a ceremony, so it’s a nice choice for a more intimate wedding.
The great advantage here is that you can combine and transform the event sites as you need. You’ll have numerous options to choose from what fits you best. For example:
- for an intimate ceremony with less than 100 guests, you can use the upper area for a ceremony and later go down for the reception into the Main Room or onto the patio;
- you can make your ceremony on the patio and move to the Summerbell room right after that;
- you can use both the Main Room and Summerbell room with the patio if your guest count is really big or you need separate sites for every part of your wedding;
- and you can make like the couple from the photos below: rent only one site for your reception because you’ll have your ceremony at the church nearby.
The ceremony you see in the photos was planned as a traditional Catholic one so the couple decided on the St Catherine of Alexandria Roman Catholic Church in Riverside. It’s approx. 20 minutes by car from the Mitten. Choose what is suitable for you renting the Mitten building for all day or just for some hours of reception.
As for the Mitten Building wedding ceremony itself, event sites of the Mitten are with their brick walls and rectangular windows are a blank canvas to embody any ideas you want: great spaces for a DIY, crafty or rustic wedding.
For example, there is no fixed place for the altar spot so you can choose as the focal point the window of the room or the old wood door and adorn it accordingly with flowers and draperies. The venue will help you with the seating chart as well. For the Summerbell room, you will get complimentary lighting from the venue. As for decor, the venue will offer you flowers, centerpieces, or decorations from a preferred floral studio for an additional cost.
Reception site at the Mitten Redlands
The most popular Mitten site for a reception is the Main Room and the wedding you see in the photos was not an exception.
Firstly, the Main Room is really large: you can accommodate up to 500 guests at 60 tables.
Secondly, it’s multileveled so people will move around and won’t feel stuck to their tables only. On the upper floor, except for guest tables, you can place a DJ, a photo booth, or just throw your bouquet from above.
Thirdly, the room’s red pipes and ceiling beams may be adorned easily with any decorations you like. Thanks to these rustic & industrial interior details remaining from the past the room is easily transformed with appropriate decorations. Items of decor can be hung from the ceiling beams or adorn the windows and the iron fence of the upper level.
As for reception lighting, there are wrought-iron chandeliers, garlands with twinkle lights along every beam and rail, plus two brass lamps on the upper floor. Together with wood and brick all around, you’ll have a very welcoming warm ambiance. Still, definitely make sure your photographer is skilled at using studio light because the lighting situation is quite challenging there.
Keep in mind that dance floors you can add only through the Mitten building and it will cost additionally. As for noise restrictions, amplified music is ok indoors until 1 am: it’s a late-night venue.
All advantages of your Mitten building wedding
The Mitten Building in Redlands is excellent for vintage, simple, and industrial-chic weddings. With its beamed high ceilings, classic brick walls, dark wood, and lots of vintage details, it’s a perfect canvas for decorating which comes together however you want. If you need a certain look and feel for the wedding, you’ll easily embody your ideas here.
The 2 big spaces and 3 level layout are great for keeping different aspects of the wedding accessible, but separate. You’ll find here also nice pre-wedding areas which not every loft venue will have.
Here you won’t be stuck with a pre-selected list of vendors & items because their wedding packages are not all-inclusive. It allows you much more freedom to choose things exactly as you’d want them. On the other hand, with two rooms to choose from, in-house catering, and a built-in bar, you’ll be halfway done with the planning of your event.
So, you’ll find at the Mitten total freedom to customize your event at a very affordable price. According to the reviews, the Mitten is reasonably priced for the type of venue and services provided. When each aspect is separately priced, it provides more flexibility in planning your budget.
There are several venues in Southern California with similar options & ambiance.
BRICK is located right in Downtown San Diego. It’s also a loft-styled building with no curfew & noise ordinance.
Fig House in the historic area of Highland Park in L.A. is a modern loft-style building with an urban garden.
SmogShoppe in the center of Culver City, L.A. was in the past a smog check center and became a unique event venue with adjacent vertical gardens, an open-air kitchen and great unusual atmosphere.
Maxwell House of Pasadena is very flexible and gives you the freedom to bring in and choose whichever vendors you like including alcohol.