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Magnolia Hotel?

We don't have a wedding date yet, but I've started searching for reception venues.  I came across the Magnolia Hotel downtown.  It looks beautiful and the minimal amount of information that they put online about the wedding package sounds amazing.  We love spending time downtown and around the Old Market, so it seems like the perfect fit.

I was just curious if anyone had ever been to a reception there, or if anyone had chosen it as a venue (or decided against it).  I'm looking for more info before I go check it out for myself!


Re: Magnolia Hotel?

  • edited December 2011
    Well, the Magnolia Hotel was one of my top choices for my venue because it is very beautiful.  A few things I really liked was the perks they show on their website.  You get the suite,block of rooms, and everything all in one place, etc. 

    I would say the Magnolia Hotel really comes down to personal preference.  For one, the ballroom is very small.  They say they can have up to 250 guests, but that is if you put some of your guests in an adjoining room, which I did not like.  The ballroom also has very large pillars, so it blocks the view to the dance floor for some of your guests as well.  The ballroom is nothing special in my personal opinion.

    The biggest downfall for me was the food/beverage minimum they charge for a Friday/Saturday wedding.  When I first started looking in October 2010 the rental was $1,000 for Courtyard Ceremony and a $10,000 food/beverage minimum on a Saturday wedding.  Since we were only thinking 150 guests maximum the coordinator was willing to lower the food/beverage to the Friday minimum of $8,000.  However, when I went back in December ready to put the deposit down the coordinator informed me that the prices were going up because of the new year.  The deposit and rental for the courtyard is now $2,000 and the food/beverage minimum for Saturday weddings is $15,000.  Even though it was only December still he was not willing to lower the cost. So, basically if you decided to have 250 guests you will spend at least $60 per person. 

    Obviously, I decided against going to the Magnolia Hotel and I am now having my ceremony and reception at the Joslyn Art Museum for less than what it would have cost me at the Magnolia Hotel.  My biggest piece of advice is to consider every option regardless of the rental price because your biggest cost is food/beverage.  The Joslyn Art Museum is $5,000 to rent, but their food starts at $15.00 a person vs. the Magnolia who is $2,000 to rent and you have to spend at least $15,000 on food/beverage. 

    If you have any other questions let me know!  Other venues I would definitely check out are: The Club at Indian Creek, Joslyn Art Museum, and if you only need reception space the Livestock Exchange Building.
  • edited December 2011
    We were thinking about the Magnolia, but when I called to see if our date was available the woman rudely told me it was already booked. Since my family is out of town, we wanted a place that could have the reception and also allow guests to stay on the premises (a hotel). We are having our reception at the Marriott in regency and are extremely happy with how we have been treated.
  • edited December 2011
    We're having ours at 1316 Jones.  It's across from Cubby's and 13th Street Coffee.  We really love the Old Market too.  It was only $900 for the room rental (on a Friday.  It was a few hundred mroe for Saturday.) and dinner starts at $15 per person. 

    I looked at Magnolia.  It looked gorgeous, but I knew it was out of my price range.  We might stay there the night of the wedding though.
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  • ashleye1018ashleye1018
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Another option near downtown is the Durham Western Heritage Museum. The space is beautiful, it does cost a little more to rent, but you get to pick your own caterer which can help save a ton of money.
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies!
  • LatentSmileLatentSmile
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We went with the Joslyn Castle - it's near downtown and if you consider blocking rooms at the Element hotel, the hotel provides a shuttle service to and from for the entire day at $25.00/hour.
    The only drawback we found was the guest count has to be under 200...although for us, with our huge families, it was a blessing at the same time. Best of luck!

    ETA: We also used the shuttle to go downtown for pictures while our guests enjoyed the cocktail hour instead of renting a limo/separate transportation.
  • edited December 2011
    We looked at Magnolia as well-- we love the Old Market-- but it was a bit pricey--  We are having ours at the Livestock Excange Building-- you have to use their caterer, but the food is good.  And the ballroom is beautiful and elegant.
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