Minnesota-Minneapolis and St. Paul

Approx 250 Guest Venues - Minneapolis

Hi everyone,

My fiance and I are trying to plan out a wedding for a Friday in August 2013. We're looking at a guest list of about 250, and we're hoping to figure out some venues. We're definitely looking for something in/close to Minneapolis...

So we're looking at about a $18-20k budget for the reception (total budget is 40 for everything)  and 250 guests. First off, I hope that's not in bad taste to give budget (wanted to give good info on our parameters) and secondly is 40-50% of total true for reception? Here's where we're looking:
  • McNamara Alumni Center - love space, but D'Amico seems really expensive... anyone ever worked with them on a similar budget/guest list?
  • The Depot - also like space, but seems out of budget
  • Nicollet Island Pavilion - not sure yet, seems like a lot of options
  • Windows on Minnesota - also not sure yet
  • St. Anthony Main - Really liked the wedding coordinator/service, not sure yet, prices seemed reasonable (Three Sons)
  • Blaisdell Manor - really interested, like the prices (also Three Sons)

I guess what I'm really trying to find out is if anyone here has worked with a similar budget and guest list before in Minneapolis? Also any recommendations on other venues that are doable in that price range?

Thanks all, this forum seems so great. This whole process can seem daunting but reading your posts remind me we CAN DO THIS!


Re: Approx 250 Guest Venues - Minneapolis

  • Options
    The Profile Event Center in Minneapolis is def in your price range, and their Casablanca Hall can accommodate your guest list. They are fabulous to work with, and we're still getting comments on our wedding 2 months later. :)
  • Options
    Not in bad taste to give out budget AT ALL. Just makes us able to give you better advice :-)

    I know MacNamara's ridiculously expensive, even though they do give a little bit of a break if you're a U of M student or alum. D'Amico's makes fantastic food without a doubt, and you're definitely paying for it.

    I'd also look at Dellwood Hills Golf Club in Dellwood (kinda by Stillwater), I considered them for a while and they have a lot of great options for food. Plus their ballroom's beautiful.

    Like PP said, Profile Event Center is worth looking at too.

    Mill City Museum would also be worth considering.

    Good luck in your planning!
    <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! 
  • Options
    We chose the wabasha street caves. Its in your price range and can accommodate that amount of people.

    D'Amico has AMAZING food. They are a little steap on the price but again they do a great job.

    My friend had her wedding at St. Anthony Main. They had great food/service. She said that it was very reasonably priced (although I never asked how much she paid).

    I agree with PP, Mill City would be worth looking into. They use D'Amico (if I am remembering correctly) for catering but the hall rental was within your budget.
  • Options
    We have a reception budget similar to yours and also looked into (or saw in person) many of those same venues you listed.  We visited Windows on Minnesota, St Anthony Main, and Blaisdell Manor in person.  I personally wasn't impressed with Windows but my fiance really liked it.  It has great views of the city, but no outdoor space and is RIGHT in the middle of downtown.  I really liked St Anthony Main, but in the end there were just a few odd little things that bugged me about it so we decided against it (ugly chairs and carpeting, the bathroom for guests is a public restroom shared with the building, no hotel attached).  Blaisdell Manor is nice but not the style I wanted- it was overly cramped inside for me and did not have a ceremony space.  I would say that with your budget both McNamara and Nicolette Island are good possibilities. Both are lovely spaces and have good reputations.  I have heard that the Depot is very over priced - so I wouldn't waste your time there.

    In the end we decided to have our ceremony/reception at Oak Ridge Conference Center in Chaska.  It is a bit farther from the city than we originally wanted but I have been SO HAPPY with our choice so far.  If you are willing to explore options outside the metro I would highly recommend it.  They are extremely easy to work with and accommodating and the the food is soo yummy.  Haven't had the wedding yet but I am anticipating that it will be terrific!  Our coordinator is Samantha and she is amazing - if you do visit there I'd try to get an appointment with her :)

    Happy wedding planning!
  • Options
    I love Nicollet Island Pavillion. We probably would have went with them if we'd had a bigger wedidng, but our group of about 80 was way too small for the space.
  • Options
    edited July 2012
    I always wanted Nicollet Island Pavillion too, but they tried to limit a lot of things that really bugged us.  And, they tend to charge for every little extra.  It's a great location and if you can make it work, I'd say go for it.  But, if you don't want to be nickel and dimed, I'd try somewhere else.

    If you like St Paul, you should look at the Great Hall.  It's just a space you can rent, and you can bring in catering and alcohol.  They have a preferred list, but it's a pretty good variety of caterers. 

    We ended up getting the Medina ballroom.  Way outside of the city, but they are super reasonably priced, have a huge facility, and have a hotel on site.  They've been great to work with so far.  We are looking at 300-350 guests, and they were about the only place we could find that would accommodate that.
  • Options
    This is great. It's so hard to compare costs sometimes because every place calculates them differently. Did you find that it was easier to just ensure you made an appt, went over every cost and had them bundle it all up for you?
  • Options
    Most venues will have a standard package and a price list of extras.  Making appts to tour various places is a good idea.  When we toured Nicollet Island, there was a wedding being set up, which was nice to see, but their coordinator was trying to get through as many couples as she could before the wedding started. 

    It kind of helps to have a good idea of what things you want as a part of your wedding.  For example, if you want to have a host bar of beer and wine, make sure there arent' limits on the number of kegs you can have.  If you plan on having a slide show, see if the projector is included.  Decide if you want to have your family cut and serve cake, or if you want the venue to do that,  That kind of stuff. 

    At the time we were looking, my mom was in AZ for the winter, so I put together a spreadsheet of our top 4 choices and broke out the costs so she could see a side-by-side comparison.  That seemed to help a lot in figuring out the best deal for us.
  • Options
    We called our top choices and asked to take a tour and asked them to e-mail us the contract before our tour. They had no problem doing that. We wanted to make sure we knew what was in it so when we went in we knew what questions to ask. I would make a list of the things that are most important to you and your FI about your location: IE in house catering, bar provided by the venue vs outsourcing, using their venders or option to choose your own, etc. Making an xcel spreadsheet with the costs of each location broken down will probably help you.
  • Options
    Are there any hotels that are reasonable as well? We've started looking into it, but it seems like the hotel ballrooms tend to be a bit more expensive. We've been really hoping for a venue downtown but we're also open to a hotel.
  • Options
    eas1223eas1223 member
    Name Dropper 5 Love Its First Comment First Anniversary
    edited July 2012
    Do you want to do the ceremony at the same location as the reception or are you looking for a reception-only location?  We have about 200 people and a similar budget, but we needed a location that could host the ceremony as well as the reception.  Although most of the hotel ballrooms were within the price range, we weren't excited about a hotel ballroom ceremony.  You could look at the Graves, Le Meridien and the W downtown.  I think they could all do your reception within your budget, especially if you aren't planning on a host bar all night.  We almost picked Windows on MN, but decided we didn't want the ceremony there.  

    In the end, we went with Bearpath, which is a country club out in Eden Prairie.  We really liked the outside ceremony and happy hour space.  If you are willing to go out of the city, you might also look at the Carlson Towers.  My cousin got married there and it was really pretty.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards