Minnesota-Minneapolis and St. Paul

Hello ladies! New to the board and needing MAJOR help!

This website is amazing! My name is Libby and I actully got married on January 25th. Due to the fact that we are a military family, we just had a courthouse wedding and are planning for a bigger wedding back home. He is from Spring Valley, WI (about an hour east of the cities) and I am from Red Wing, MN (about an hour southeast of the cities).

We are on a very tight budget. We want to stay under $5000. We're planning on an outdoor star themed wedding for 125 guests, 8 in the bridal party, and hubby and I! I already owe $500 to my MIL for half of my wedding dress. Other than that, I have nothing. Oh and the wedding is July 7, 2013.

What I would want for my dream wedding is outdoors at sunset under a huge tree with lights coming down from it. Very minimal for decorations. Probably just some lanterns hanging from the trees and lights going up the aisles. I want an indoor reception though since it will be after dark.

What I'm SERIOUSLY looking for are venues. Everywhere I look it cost $3000 for a venue plus food. I would love to find a cheap place that is outdoors with large trees, maybe a lake or something. Otherwise I'm wide open for ideas.

I only plan on have flowers for the bridal party as well as corsages. I'm thinking a couple of kegs to be honest (I know, not the best but it's cheap) and wine. I need ideas for cheap food and all that jazz.

Sorry for such a long post! I promise my next ones won't be this long. :P Thank you so much ladies!

Re: Hello ladies! New to the board and needing MAJOR help!

  • eas1223eas1223 member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited January 2013
    Do you want the wedding to be in the MPLS/St. Paul area or in Red Wing? You will find much cheaper prices if you are willing to go outside the cities and you might get better advice on venues in those areas on the Minnesota board rather than the Minneapolis/St. Paul board.
  • You should look into local parks that have pavillions.  You can usually reserve these spaces for a reasonable fee.  You can do all the decorating yourselves and go with a simple buffet-style meal.
  • I'm thinking buffet style to save some money. We found a golf course in Spring Valley, WI that doesn't have a facility fee of you spend over $400 with them on food. You can bring in your own caterer but then you have to pay the $400 fee to them.

    Overall, if we went with their food and did a sit down dinner, we could get away with only spending $1500-$2000ish with some alcohol provided by us. Still under budget.

    They provide the chairs and all that jazz. I just have to look into renting a tent possibly and chairs. They do offer a room just in case the weather turns bad.
  • hordolhordol member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer First Anniversary
    edited February 2013
    I got really excited reading this cause I'm originally from Spring Valley myself (and my parents live on the golf course you're talking about.) I live in the cities now, though.

    I had a similar budget for my wedding and ended up going with the Washington County Historic Courthouse in Stillwater. It's a beautiful old building near the St. Croix River and you can do an outdoor ceremony on the steps (which looks very grand) and an indoor reception in their big room. It might not be exactly what you're looking for if you want more of the outdoor thing, but they are pretty reasonable to rent (I'm paying 1300 to rent it on a Friday night, so it would probably be a little more than that for a Saturday) and they let you bring in your own caterer and your own alcohol, which saves a ton. I think I will be going over budget in the end, though, but my wedding is quite a bit bigger (looks like I might be having around 170).

    Good luck!

    Edited to add: I just saw your wedding date and realized that is soon! I'm not sure that the courthouse would still have availability for this summer but if it sounds like something you'd be interested in, it never hurts to check.

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  • No way! My husband's family just sold Crystal Cave. :P But, I think we're going with the golf course. It's the cheapest and I found a cheap Italian restaurant that will cater really cheap too. For venue and a full buffet, should be only $2000 plus $400 minimum for alcohol. Not bad if you ask me. I totally forgot that sunset is at 9 pm during summer. : ( Which throws out my idea of a sunset wedding. Nobody wants to be sitting at a wedding from 9-2 am.
  • I'm from RW also.  You could check out the new pavilion in Central Park there.

    Also, another option is the dining hall at the correctional facility (only issue is you can't have alcohol there).  My mom always wanted me to have my reception there, it's beautiful.

    Or, Memorial Park in RW could work too.    

    I've heard the RW Country Club is pretty reasonable as far as pricing goes.
  • Hey, check out thestillfarm.com.  Rental is $1600. Caterers in the area will work with any budget. Tables and chairs would run under $200.  Located in Downing which is North of Spring Valley.
  • Thank you ladies for the suggestions! I think we're going to go with the golf course in Spring Valley. I was thinking Provenzanos (Italian restaurant in Red Wing) for dinner and then doing one or two beers on tap and probably a little bit more for alcohol. I figured with the venue and food, we're about $2000. Which leaves us with about $2000 for decorating, dj, photographer (trying to get in touch with a family friend on hubby's side to do it cheap), flowers, favors and all that jazz. We're trying to keep it fairly simple I suppose. I just found a much cheaper way to get the paper lantern look with balloons so that saves a ton!
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