Minnesota-Minneapolis and St. Paul

Reception Venue advice- unlimited budget- large wedding- need good food

I need advice on finding a reception venue.  Needs to hold 300 + people (the more the better- we have a giant guest list.)  Money is not a concern.  Good food, not traditional wedding food, is an absolute must as is a BIG bar and the option for live entertainment.

I want something in Minneapolis if at all possible.  I am fine with an outdoor tented reception with a great caterer, a restaurant, or a more traditionale event space.  I want the reception to be beaitiful- windows are a plus, and I'd like the overall feeling to be a bit town and country with an urban romantic vibe. 

Any suggestions? Wedding is in August 2013.

Re: Reception Venue advice- unlimited budget- large wedding- need good food

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    A) I'm green with envy.  A "no budget restrictions" wedding would be crazy fun to plan.

    B) Hire yourself a wedding planner!

    C) A few ideas:
    * McNamara Alumni Center seats up to 400 and is gorgeous: http://www.mac-events.org/events/weddings.html
    * It's not Mpls, but Harriet Island in St Paul would be my pick for a best-venue in the cities and you could host thousands there (literally)  http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=1236
    * Also St Paul - but the MN History Museum is gorgeous and their caterer is really good and unique, not sure about capacity but I've been to some huge events there: http://www.minnesotahistorycenter.org/weddings

    Seriously though (not really) - cut 100 people and use the Guthrie :)
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    These are the first few venues that came to mind: Nicollet Island Pavillion, Mill City Musuem, the Semple Mansion, Varsity Theater, The Lafayette Club, The Rotunda at Carlson Towers, or Windows on Minnesota. 

    I'm not sure if any of these meets your "town and country + urban romantic vibe" or not, but I think it might be hard to find a venue that has both of those polar opposite elements.

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    Mill City Museum, also by the Guthrie is gorgeous too. Not sure how many it can hold, but definitely one to consider.

    Also Windows on Minnesota, it's in the Marquette (i think!?) Hotel.

    Dellwood Hills Golf Club is gorgeous too, they have a few options for reception halls. I think the big, main ballroom there holds 400.

    Like PP, I'd also consider McNamara Alumni Center at the U.
    <a href="http://www.thenest.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Money Saving Tips"><img src="http://global.thenest.com/tickers/tt17ce82.aspx" alt="Anniversary" border="0"  /></a>

    White Knot

    Planning Bio-Added FOR SALE page, will be adding more stuff to it soon! 
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    I'd definitely second the Mill City Museum and Windows on Minnesota.  You should look into those.  I'm not familiar with the other recs.

    So In Love

    Josh and Renata's Wedding

    Planning Bio

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    If we had a big wedding, we probably would've gone with Nicollet Island Pavillion. I didn't get as far into it as looking at food because I found out right away that our group was way too small for it to work. But it's got gorgeous indoor space, plenty of outdoor space with a great view of the river and skyline.
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    Calhoun Beach Club. They have Damico Catering and it is an amazing space. It books early because its incredible. It was booked by the time we were looking but it was one of my dream spaces.

    We did the St. Paul Hotel, and it worked out exactly how we wanted. The food is incredible, and they do top shelf liquor if you want. There staff is impeciable and the accomodations for guests are wonderful. Plus when you want to do pictures, you can just leave your bridal suite and walk over to Rice park.

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    NIcolette Island Pavillion is amazing and has a great "in the city" yet "outdoor" feel.  That would be my dream venue if I'd had the budget to do it.  I personally didn't like Windows on Minnesota - great view of the city but lacks any outdoor space and felt really sterotypical to me.  
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    Nicollet Island Pavillion gets my vote!
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    All awesome suggestions! Thank you VERY much for your advice!   If possible, I'd like to stay away from ballroom type venues and go for something more unique. 

    I think I will start by looking at the Nicollet Island Pavillion, Windows on Minnesota, the Guthrie, the St. Paul Hotel, Mill City and McNamara.

    Thank you all again- I will keep you updated on what I ultimatley choose.
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    I also had my reception at the St. Paul Hotel and I think that for 300, it might get kinda tight.  Just my .02!  We had 200 and it was comfortable.
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    I dont think the Mill City or Guthrie will hold that many people.
    We looked at the Carlson Towers and fell in love .. just too far into the suburbs for us.
    We are having our reception at the MN History Center & I believe they hold 400? They've been great to work with and we are pretty much able to do whatever we want as far as food goes.

    Good luck!
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    I would also suggest the Landmark Center if you are looking for something very beautiful. The architecture is pretty fantastic! I got married there and used Deco Catering (Landmark allows you to bring in your own licensed caterer) and they have a ton of delicious nontraditional food choices.
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    This may totally not be the vibe you're thinking, but I'd check out Aria at the Jeune Lune  http://www.thejeunelune.com/. It's the former theater and totally unique. If we weren't having a small wedding, we'd have used it. But since they can fit 400 people, our less than 100 wedding would've drowned in the gigantic space!

    good luck!
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    Thank you!  I actually have been considering Aria at the Jeune Lune already and that (couple with some soft roamtic decorations) is completely the vibe I am going for.
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    If you're looking for big with options for live entertainment, you should check out Medina Entertainment Center.  They'll hold up to 600 or 700 people.  We're having ours there, and there's even room to set up lawn games and stuff off to the sides for extra entertainment options.  And they have a hotel on-site.
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    Lucky lady! ;)
    We are having our reception at The Saint Paul Hotel in October 2012.

    I cannot say enough good things about the venue, the service and the staff!! We just had our tasting, definitely not 'wedding' food! Their packages are amazing, but you can customize anything and everything.

    Mary Jo, the co-ordinator, has been doing weddings for 20 + years and is such a pro. Absolutely fabulous!

    The only drawback for a wedding celebration of your size is that The Saint Paul Hotel only seats 260, plus the wedding party, without tables on the dance floor. Otherwise, it can seat up to 320 including the head table.

    Also, remember on average 20% of people invited aren't able to come...so that may also help!


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    edited March 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_minnesota-minneapolis-st-paul_reception-venue-advice-unlimited-budget-large-wedding-need-good-food?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:81Discussion:4e211f4f-d092-4a83-8ec0-aff4a2268ec0Post:2211bad3-e093-4a0d-a374-3a175339cf63">Re: Reception Venue advice- unlimited budget- large wedding- need good food</a>:
    [QUOTE]All awesome suggestions! Thank you VERY much for your advice!   If possible, I'd like to stay away from ballroom type venues and go for something more unique.
    Posted by ElizabethK2013[/QUOTE]

    <div>Definitely look into the Varsity Theater. I had my reception there and it was fantastic. If you have your heart set on a seating chart and traditional 10-person rounds, it won't be the right space, but the food is excellent and the space is sort of like "Moulin Rouge", but drunk. (Meaning, whimsical.)</div>
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format bbhtml
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    Nicollet Island Pavillion or Mill City Museum hold large groups. What is that space at Target field called?  I just came across it, but forgot the name.
    Good Luck!
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    Make sure that you check out The Knot's list of venues.  You can sort by size, price, etc.

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