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Planning Your Reception

From the first time you visit the University of Northwestern – St. Paul to the day of your wedding, you can expect consistent and professional service with the highest ethical standards. Bon Appétit will coordinate the details of your events according to your needs and will manage the catering process from beginning to end.

Great Room reception hall.
Photo by: Abigail Berge Photography

Bon Appétit

Bon Appétit is a premier on-site restaurant company that provides café and catering services for all Northwestern events. Bon Appétit is known for its culinary expertise, commitment to socially responsible food sourcing and business practices, and strong partnerships with respected conservation organizations. Bon Appétit strives to create food that is alive with flavor and nutrition and prepared from scratch using authentic ingredients.

Bon Appétit’s services are also available for rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, gift openings, and to provide dressing room refreshments for your special day.


Bon Appétit provides the following for your event:

  • Table linens, napkins
  • Table skirting
  • Glass votive candle holders
  • Vases and mirror tiles (12” square or round)

If you would like additional specialty items, chair covers, special or extra linens, etc., they will need to be rented. Ceiling draping is available to rent for the Nazareth Great Room. Rental fees will be applied to your final invoice.

Nazareth Great Room Policies and Procedures


Reservations can be made by calling or emailing the wedding coordinator. You may hold a wedding and reception time for two weeks without a deposit. At some point within the two weeks you would need to request the contracts. A deposit of $675 for the reception and $450 for the chapel is due with the contracts. These deposits are applied to your final bill. We accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Purchase minimums

There is no rental fee for the Nazareth Great Room. Food purchase minimums vary by day and time for your event. Contact the wedding coordinator for details.

Dance policy

University of Northwestern invites you to host a wedding dance as part of your reception in our exquisite Nazareth Great Room. Any dancing that is part of a wedding reception festivities must be family-oriented and wholesome.

Dancing may be incorporated with a Nazareth Great Room reception on Friday evenings, Saturday evenings and Sundays. If you choose to have a dance with your reception, a Dance Package fee will be charged. Couples must use a disc jockey service from the University of Northwestern Approved DJ List. All approved DJs are required to work from a pre-approved music list for any event at Northwestern. A limited number of songs may be submitted to your DJ for approval, if a song you would like is not on the list.

Attendance guarantee

It is necessary to guarantee the exact number of guests attending your reception. This guarantee must be finalized at least ten days prior to your event. Billing of all food, taxes, service fee, and equipment rental (if applicable) will be based on the guarantee. We customarily prepare for 10% above your guarantee (10 maximum). We cannot refund any money for guests who are unable to attend due to weather-related causes.

Service charge and sales tax

Food prices are subject to 17% service charge and state sales tax. There is sales tax on the service charge, required by the state of Minnesota.

Final payment

An invoice will be sent to you so that all wedding and reception costs can be paid in full prior to the event. The payment due date will be indicated on your invoice as well as on your contract. Please pay by check, credit card or money order made payable to University of Northwestern.

If you would like additional specialty items, special or extra linens, etc., they will need to be rented. The rental fees will be applied to your final invoice.

Cancellation policy

If cancellation is necessary, the deposit will be refunded only if the same date and time are rebooked by another party. If a cancellation is made within 72 hours of the scheduled event, 50% of your estimated total will be charged, based on your attendance guarantee.

Food and beverage regulations

Due to Minnesota Health Department Regulations and Bon Appétit Management Company Policy, Bon Appétit must prepare food and beverage consumed on the premises. In addition, Health Department Regulations prohibit guests from taking home extra food and beverage. This policy excludes wedding cakes. Alcohol, including communion wine, is prohibited on campus. We reserve the right to dispose of any alcohol found on the premises.

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