Minnesota

Ready to tear my hair out. Help with venue?

FiancBFiancB MinnesOOOta member
500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
I was going to get married in OR but we decided to move it to here. We would like to have it in the cities but are willing to have it be a reasonable distance away. We actually live in Bemidji. 

Our original venue had just a food minimum of $5k. We could have the ceremony there at no cost, no room rental, and catering was reasonable. I cannot seem to find anything like that here. If there's no exorbitant rental fee, the catering is, or there's hidden insane costs. Plus we're running into the issue of places being booked solid since this is kind of last minute, so hidden gems that are less likely to be taken would be great. We would love to find a place where we could have an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception. Or possibly a nice garden to have a ceremony in with a nearby hotel to have the reception in. 

I liked the Crowne Plaza and they are one of very few places without a rental fee, but then the food costs over $45 pp if you want much of anything at all. Some parks cost something like $350, but then there's chair rentals, and often a lot of rules. I am getting so frustrated! Any ideas?
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Re: Ready to tear my hair out. Help with venue?

  • FiancBFiancB MinnesOOOta member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Oh and we will have about 100 guests. 
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  • Do you have a date already?

    Wedding Black & White, Sepia
  • FiancBFiancB MinnesOOOta member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited February 2014
    We're trying for 6/21 but it's mostly taken so we would be willing to move it by a couple weeks or have it on a Friday. We found a contender for a reception (maybe... it would be a Friday and still more $$$ than we were hoping for. It's the profile event center) but would like to find a place for a ceremony still. I have no idea what parks would be good for that. 
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  • I think Cedars Hall is pretty cheap, and they have open catering and liquor policies. You could use the money you save to rent chairs and stuff at a park site. We considered an outdoor wedding at a Mpls park, and it would have come to $800-$900 with rentals. Germanic American Institute and Summit Manor both have outdoor spaces, but I don't know about catering or liquor policies there.
    FiancB
  • FiancBFiancB MinnesOOOta member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Thanks @fancymax I sent them an email. 
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  • We're at the Refuge Golf Club (Oak Grove) on a Friday- catering min is $4,500 and room rental is $750.

    I know Majestic Oaks (Ham Lake) is priced similarly, but I don't know exact numbers

    Good Luck!!!
  • lahnaloolahnaloo member
    10 Comments First Anniversary
    edited February 2014
    I am pulling my hair out as well, so I feel your pain. 

    A couple places I am considering looking at is The Chanhassen Dinner Theater which is in all inclusive of about $7k or so, although that doesn't help your outdoor wishes much.  

    Also, look into the Bunker Hill Activity Center in Andover, MN or the Renaissance Festival.  I think the Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, would have such a beautiful outdoor wedding.  They do weddings during off-season while the festival isn't running.

    Linden Hills in Little Falls, MN lets you rent the mansion for the weekend and it overlooks the Mississippi River.  Linden Hills may have a lot of little hidden fees like chairs, tables, and tents though.  

    Good luck.  I'm still looking as well.  >_<
    FiancB
  • FiancBFiancB MinnesOOOta member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited February 2014
    Thanks @ lahnaloo! We are looking at Earle Brown Heritage Center and Oak Marsh golf course this weekend. Earle Brown looks pretty cool but is a little spendier than Oak Marsh so I figure I'll look at those two and decide what ends up being more important. 

    I looked at Profile Event Center for a reception, and I love that you can put things like flowers and decorations and DJ toward the minimum, but ultimately I realized a Saturday was going to be a lot more convenient for my guests and they don't have any left. They do have some Fridays/Sundays though, and those are much more affordable. I wanted to do a ceremony at a park near the university and a reception at PEC, but the fees for parks right in the city are way higher than one would think. 

    I am hoping to hear more about the Freight House in Stillwater but they have not been good about emailing me back. I guess they're renovating and changing ownership or something. 

    We would love to get married near the university because FI wants to do pictures there and an after party around dinkytown but everything is either very expensive or taken at this point. 

    I will look at the ones that you mentioned! I didn't think of the ren fest. When people mentioned it I pictured getting married at, you know, a ren fest haha. It didn't occur to me that I could use the grounds without getting dressed up. Durr. 
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  • chkmeowtchkmeowt member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited March 2014
    Look into the Carpenter Nature Center - it is gorgeous and inexpensive. http://carpenternaturecenter.org/rental-facilities/

    We also considered the Ren Fest grounds during the off season. The biggest draw back was the only bathrooms are ye olde port o johns. Not the best place to try and squeeze a wedding dress into.

    Harriet Island (where we are getting married) the rental was only $1100! Very affordable and very beautiful. Availability can be found here. http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=1236


    Wedding Black & White, Sepia
  • FiancBFiancB MinnesOOOta member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Thanks so much! We found a venue. We are going with the Oak Marsh Golf Club. They are having a special right now where the room rental is $250 instead of $900, plus they're throwing in a decoration package including ceiling draping (normally $500) and basic centerpieces. 

    I thought I would be kind of bummed to have it at a golf course but it's really pretty and we tried the food which was really good for the most reasonable prices that I've seen- well under $30/pp. Plus it's about 10 minutes from FI's parent's house.

    We liked Earle Brown as well but all said and done for food, taxes and everything they would've been about $1500 more than Oak Marsh, and we didn't have to move our date as much, and they will let us have our ceremony whenever as opposed to specific times. 

    *big sigh of relief*

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