Why Mill 1?
- We’ll just say it: Mill 1 is gorgeous. When we created Mill 1, we didn’t mess with perfection: we sandblasted brick, exposed original high-ceiling pine beams and refinished gleaming maple floors. We added a stunning custom bar and modern amenities, creating a uniquely serene, beautiful, natural backdrop that can be customized to reflect your personality and style. Our space will wow you and your guests.
- Your wedding photos and videos will look fantastic, no matter the weather, no matter the time of day, no matter the season. We’re across the street from a state park and the historic Holyoke Canal Walk, both of which feature incredible natural and industrial backdrops. And our wide variety of indoor, well-lit spaces ensure dry, comfortable guests while offering stunning photos you will cherish for decades.
- Our Event Managers are master stress relievers. They are deeply grounded in managing details, but they lead from the heart, which is exactly what you want for the biggest party you’ve ever planned. We put all our love into helping you plan your special event and coordinating your details with care.
- We take food very seriously. Because personal and tailored food choices make events special and memorable, Mill 1 doesn’t limit you to one in-house caterer. Choose among our variety of five caterers, who consistently provide exceptional service and delicious fare.
- We’re green. We produce electricity onsite using a renewable resource (water) making every event at Mill 1 Zero Net Energy. We’re the greenest site for your celebration!
- Customizable floor plan
- Free, plentiful, well-lit parking
- On-site directional signs guiding your guests to Mill 1
- Handicapped accessible ramp directly into Mill 1
- AC and heat to keep the space comfortable for you and your guests
- Toiletry baskets in restrooms and bridal suite
- Access to indoor and outdoor spaces across the property for unique and breathtaking photo opportunities
- Access for all guests to enjoy the bridge over the canal, which includes tables and chairs during warmer months
- A pet-friendly property so your furry family can be part of your special day
Planning & Getting Ready
- Venue Event Manager’s time before your event to help with vendor coordination and logistical planning
- Venue Event Manager’s time during your event to help facilitate setup (does not include design or decorating), crowd flow, event timeline, and any venue related items
- Use of our event management platform, Tripleseat, to communicate with Event Manager, access documents, and keep track of logistics and floor plans
- Wedding suite to use however you wish (we even have an additional separate room to use if desired!)
- 1 hour for ceremony rehearsal if you choose to get married on location
Ceremony / Reception
- Warm glowing bistro lights loosely hung over the dance area, reflecting beautifully in the polished maple wood floors
- Mill 1 banquet tables & chairs and cocktail tables set up and taken down before and after your event
- White garden chairs for your ceremony if you choose to get married on location
- Gorgeous lobby with shiny hardwood floors and high ceilings for cocktail hour
- Various bar/liquor menus for you to choose from and the opportunity for custom drinks and cocktails
- Friendly bar staff
- Full kitchen for your Preferred Caterer of choice
- Separate room for vendors to eat and store equipment, with their own entrance and restroom, to stay “behind the scenes”
Non-wedding Event Pricing
Up to 250 guests
Ask us about pricing for your non-wedding event such as Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Anniversaries, Birthdays, Showers, and more!
250+ and special events
For larger events (up to 350), conferences, multi-day events, galas, and special events, please contact us for rate quote.
Details & Décor
FOOD, LINENS, CHINA & FLATWARE
At Mill 1, you’ll choose among our five sensational caterers and work directly with them to pick the food, linens, water glasses, silverware & china/flatware you want. Your caterer will set and clear your tables. In our experience, full-service catering may cost between $40-100 per person.
Mill 1 has a gorgeous, custom bar area and a full liquor license. We offer full per-person open bar, cash bar, and open bar by consumption. See our ‘Beverage and Bar Options’ for details.
FURNISHINGS & DECOR
Your rental includes our many sized banquet tables and black banquet chairs, white garden chairs, or antique cross-back chairs (depending on the package you choose) set up however you wish in Mill 1, and white garden chairs in our Mill 4 ceremony space. If you would like a different style of chair or table, we will happily rent those for you, and will take care of coordinating delivery and set up. Our Wedding Package options include a variety of special décor items, among which are string lights, paper lanterns, rustic mill accessories, white drapery, and lounge furniture, depending on the package you prefer.
We have many spots and hidden gems that create exquisite backdrops for your wedding photos. You have the entire property to take advantage of unique photo opportunities, both indoor and out, from our famous green door to the bridge over the canal. During the planning process, as part of your rental, we can schedule a 1-hour walk-through with your photographer to choose the perfect photo spots for your special day. See some examples of photos from real Mill 1 weddings!
Maximum in Mill 1 = 250 seated with tables
Maximum in Mill 4 = 150 seated
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely, however ceremonies in Mill 1 are only for 50 guests or fewer (see our Water Wheel Wedding package). During these smaller events, we divide the Mill 1 space into a Ceremony space and a Reception space; the Ceremony space will stay set for the duration of the event. All other ceremonies happen in our Mill 4 ceremony space which includes white garden chairs for up to 150 guests and other special elements depending on the package of your choice (see our Ceremony packages). Mill 4 is adjacent to Mill 1.
Yes! We will work with you to schedule a 1-hour rehearsal during the week before your wedding. The day may vary depending on events that have been booked the day(s) before yours. We will usually work this out a month or two before your event date so you have time to book your dinner space.
While we would absolutely love to host your rehearsal dinner, it is probably not the most economical use of your funds as you would need to book the space for a separate event and hire a caterer. However, there are some amazing dining options nearby that you could plan for your dinner after we’ve done the 1-hour Ceremony rehearsal at Open Square.
In the case of Micro Weddings, yes! In all other cases, we have two separate spaces to rent: Mill 1 is the event space where your reception will be held, and Mill 4 is where ceremonies are held. Since these are two separate rentals, you get separate time for your ceremony beyond your 5-hour event time. You will begin your ceremony in Mill 4 about 30-45 minutes immediately preceding the start of your cocktail hour. You will have two to 2-3 hours before your ceremony starts to decorate; doors to Mill 4 will lock approximately 1 hour after your ceremony ends.
Decor, Vendors & Mill 1 Staff
Prior to your event, Mill 1 Event Managers will guide you (or work with your Planner) in making sure you have vendors booked and details ready for your special day. They work with you to create a detailed floor plan, seating plan, arrange for your beverage needs, ensure your vendors have directions and know where to park, etc. The day of your event, Mill 1 staff sets up tables and chairs, and the Event Manager puts out directional signage, welcomes your vendors, addresses any needs you have related to the space, and coordinates the flow of the event when a planner/coordinator is not available. Mill 1 Event Managers do not decorate or help with the design process.
We used to be able to do that, but we’re too busy now! We have events booked sequential days and are not able to manage event material the day before or after. Your rental is for a particular length of time on a particular day. You may pay for access to the space for additional sequential hours on the day of your event for $100/hour. Mill 1 is not responsible for any items left in the space the day before or the day after your event, and you may be charged a storage fee or a waste removal/cleaning fee.
You will be onsite getting ready and lounging in our bridal suites. Your photographer will arrive to take photos while you get ready and you will also do your first-looks (as desired). In the meantime, your caterer will arrive and bring in food to prep, put out linens, and set the tables. Your florist (if applicable) will place centerpieces and other floral details. Your planner or helper will put out your personalized décor items, setup place cards, setup the gift table, and make sure everything looks just how you planned. The bar staff will begin setting up the bar and serving the bridal parties (this must be set up and paid for in advance). Your DJ will arrive to setup their equipment in the Mill 1 event space as well as the Mill 4 ceremony space (where applicable) and do sound checks. And any other vendors you have hired will arrive and setup at this time, which will all be facilitated by the Mill 1 event manager.
Additional consecutive hours to decorate are available for $100 per hour with a $100 minimum. You must ask for any additional time in writing 60 days or more before your event so Mill 1 has time to send an invoice and schedule staff.
Couples/Hosts usually choose one of the following three options:
- Ask someone you know to place and remove special décor items within the set-up time frame.
- Hire a planner to place and remove special décor items and/or to coordinate your event for the day – we cannot express how highly we recommend a good wedding planner/coordinator; they will be one of the most valuable things you include in your wedding budget. Check our Preferred Vendor list for some wonderful event planners.
- Negotiate with your florist or caterer to place and remove special décor the day of your event.
You must coordinate these items through your Caterer, Planner, or Mill 1 directly. Additionally, Mill 1 does not allow paper or plastic items for a few reasons, most notably because they are not environmentally friendly and they tend to create a bit of a mess. We want to make sure your special day is as beautiful as possible, so we’ve decided to say “no” to those items.
Our packages include black padded banquet chairs, white garden chairs, or antique cross-back chairs with a Mill 1 event rental (depending on your package of choice). White garden chairs are included with a Mill 4 Ceremony space rental. If you would like something different, like the popular Chiavari Ballroom chairs, we are happy to acquire those and invoice them with your Mill 1 rental. Ask your Event Manager about pricing for special chairs if you’re interested.
We used to allow this but there was damage to our floors. We take our floors pretty seriously, so you’ll work with your Mill 1 Event Manager to choose your style of chair if different than what is included in our packages. This also applies to any furniture that you hope to bring into the space; we will rent them for you directly through Mill 1 (we need to consider things like fire-ratings, scratch free feet, weight limits, etc.)
Our insurance company requires that all vendors providing services for a fee must be fully insured including liability and workman’s comp insurance.
Yes, BUT they must have insurance if you are paying them. All vendors providing services for a fee must be fully insured including liability and workman’s comp insurance. Insurance designed for DJs and Musicians is very affordable. It covers their equipment and can be found with a simple on-line search.
We think you’re better off hiring folks with expertise in that, so we don’t rent audio or visual equipment but have excellent preferred vendors who can help you.
We’re happy to hang items for you but our insurance carrier requires that Mill 1 staff perform ALL work that is above standing height and/or requires a ladder/lift. The fee for this work is $100/hour with a one-hour minimum each for setup and takedown. You must ask for ladder time 60 days or more before your event, in writing, so Mill 1 has time to invoice you and schedule staff. If you would like to hang something up that does not required a ladder/lift on a painted wall, column, or window please speak with Mill 1 directly during the planning phase; Mill 1 must approve any special décor, including hanging ones, that are attached to the building. You may NOT fasten or nail anything into any of the walls; however we already have hooks preinstalled in the brick that you may use between windows.
This is another insurance issue, so we thank you for your compliance! You may have 3 candles per table and 1 candle per window sill. ALL candles must be in a container and the top of the flame must be at least 2 inches below the top of the container. You may also choose to use LED candles, in which case we have no restrictions.
Logistics, Booking & Payment Schedule
We recently added a lovely package specifically for micro-weddings for up to 50 guests. This package includes all of the amenities that comes with a basic Mill 1 rental, but includes both a ceremony and reception in the Mill 1 event space. We divide the space into different areas; the ceremony space (set up with white garden chairs) stays for the night while the rest of the space is used for your cocktail hour, reception, and dance floor. This package includes a full open bar for all guests for the duration of the event. We have also included white garden chairs and white table linens to help you with your décor. This is our Water Wheel Wedding package.
For a conference with classroom style seating, 300-350. For a private event, 250 with tables.
We are an indoor only venue. We actually have two separate spaces to rent: Mill 1 is the event space where your reception (or micro wedding) will be held, and Mill 4 is where ceremonies are held. Both of these buildings are attached to each other, separated by a short walk across the parking lot, or through the first floor corridor. Since we are an indoor venue, you don’t have to worry about weather at all, because you can get from one space to the other entirely inside! However, we do still have some lovely outdoor seating areas for guests to enjoy at their leisure, which includes on the bridge over the canal and garden areas attached to the parking lot (April through October only; alcoholic drinks are not allowed outside).
The thing we love most about Mill 1 is that it is so picturesque! There are many unique and wonderful backdrops for photos that convey several aesthetics – rustic, industrial, organic, urban, water, green, historic, charming, modern, artsy. Depending on your style there are definitely lots of options, both indoor and out! You can see some examples from real weddings on our Pinterest page.
At Mill 1 we book dates on a first come, first served basis. We do not hold dates. A date is officially yours once we have the deposit and a signed contract. Otherwise dates are booked or they are open.
We host one event per day. Days are reserved on a first come, first served basis via a security deposit of $750.00 and $1,250 toward your venue rental ($2,000 total). Checks/Money Orders should be made out to ‘Open Square LLC’ and payment should be received upon contract signing date.
Nine months before your event, you will pay your remaining room charge (including known décor additions and tax). Three months before your event, you’ll begin working with our Mill 1 Event Coordinator on your seating plan, event timeline, and bar choices. Thirty days before your event, you will pay your full bar bill (if applicable), and any un-billed room extras. And fourteen days before your event, you will finalized guest counts and pay the outstanding bar bill (if applicable). That’s it!
You’ll choose among our list of amazing Caterers who we know provide delicious food and excellent service. We’ve curated our caterers list to reflect the widest variety of styles and budgets.
We provide the space (with tables and chairs) and bar staff and glasses. You get to choose from our list of Caterers who will provide linens and napkins, china/flatware, silverware and water goblets, and serve your food and clean up after your meal.
Due to liquor license regulations absolutely no outside beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) may be brought into Mill 1. FYI: there is a $1,000 Friday, Saturday and Holiday event bar minimum and a $500 bar minimum all other days, even if you’re not serving alcohol at your event.
Bringing outside alcohol into our venue is a violation of our liquor license, so no. Any outside alcohol will be confiscated and removed, and you will risk a shutdown of your event.
Yes, but these must be ordered through Mill 1 as part of your bar package, you cannot bring these in yourself as that would be against ABCC rules and jeopardize our liquor license – even if these are meant to be “centerpieces” or “prizes” we cannot allow the potential consumption of outside alcohol in Mill 1. Speak to your Event Manager for details.
Open bar package include all adult guests with the exception of moms-to-be. We have a separate open bar rate for under-aged guests and expecting mothers. Guest counts must be confirmed and paid for no later than 14 days before your event.
No. We do not offer corking fees and we do not purchase alcohol from sources other than our regular distributors. These are ABCC rules we’re following. There are many local breweries that we can order through our distributors, so please check with us as we may be able to add a custom order to your Open Bar package (we cannot do this for a cash bar).
Unfortunately no. The ABCC does not categorize us as a restaurant, and as such, they do not allow us to provide sealable wine bags like those you find in restaurants.
We do not serve shots.
Sure! If you purchase a full Open Bar, you may limit what’s offered to your guests in any way you like, but Open Bar prices per person remain the same. You may also choose to cover only beer and wine on a pre-paid consumption tab for your guests and everything else can be included as a cash bar.
If you purchase a Premium or Ultra Premium Open Bar package you may special order wine or beer. There is a per bottle charge in addition to the cost of the Open Bar package and there is a $250 minimum for special wine/beer orders.
We carry a seasonal rotating stock of two to three craft beers at all times.
Mill 1 was one of the first mill buildings built on the canal system in Holyoke, with the first brick laid way back in 1848! At it’s height, Holyoke earned the name “Paper City” because of the many mills dedicated to producing paper (some of the original mills began with textiles and converted over to paper with new machinery and the advancing canal system). In 1847, the South Hadley Falls company began the endeavor to make Holyoke the first planned industrial city in the country by utilizing water diverted from the Connecticut river; they worked for over 4 decades digging out 4.5 miles of canals to run under the many mills and factory buildings. Energy from the flowing water was transmitted from the waterwheels under the buildings through a system of gears, shafts, pulleys, and belts to power the factories’ machinery. The early canals were dug by men (and many children, some under the age of 12) with picks, shovels, and horse-drawn teams – and if you like the supernatural, there have been reports of old spirits residing in the buildings! Open Square is one of the few properties that still have working water wheels, harnessing green energy to this day to fully power Mill 1 and the adjacent buildings.