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Minnesota-Minneapolis and St. Paul

Venues

Hey guys, I have been engaged about a month, and can not find a decent venue to save my life. Everything I like is taken or outrageously expensive. We're looking at a guest list of about 200 people, and are looking for someone that has a low food minimum, under $5,000 and a low rental fee. Some places are also only allowing a rental time of 6pm to midnight. I feel like I've looked at every place in Minneapolis and don't know where else to go that doesn't look trashy. Oh and I'm shooting for an April wedding, so outdoor ideas are out. Any ideas? Thanks!
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Re: Venues

  • edited December 2011
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  • edited December 2011
    Oh and as far as the caterer, I'm having a hard time finding someone that doesn't charge less than $20 a plate. And a venue that allows us to bring in our own caterer would be nice too.
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  • periippaperiippa member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Are you looking outside of Minneapolis, in the suburbs? Also, are you looking for a Saturday? Most places in Minneapolis or St Paul have food minimums of at least $5k, especially on Saturdays.
  • edited December 2011
    Also, you might need to open up your search beyond Minneapolis proper.  Where is the ceremony?  Or all in one place?
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  • hkieslinghkiesling member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Summit Manor in St. Paul might fit your requirements.  There's no food min, and plates start somewhere around $17.  It's an hourly rental, so you can be there for the whole day or just the evening.  You can have the ceremony there if you want.  It seats up to 200.  There are a lot of things included in the rental fee like cake-cutting, linens, china, clean-up, flowers on the table... That makes it pretty affordable.  Info in bio.
  • TeaForMeTeaForMe member
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    You could check Murzyn Hall in Columbia Heights. It's not quite in Minneapolis, but close. It fits up to 375. And you can bring your own caterer.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for the responses! Wherever we go, we would like to do both the reception and ceremony there (which is why I don't want a really short rental) although I wouldn't really have a problem with having them in two different locations. Also, I have been looking only in Minneapolis, but have now started looking in St. Paul and a few other places, but the prices seem to be the same. And finally, I am shooting for Saturday because I have a lot of OOT guests, including an uncle from Tennessee who said he will definitely be there, so I don't want anyone to have to take extra time off of work. As far as the food minimum, $5,000 is decent, I guess, but then the entree's cost $25 a plate, which for 200 people comes up to $5,000, plus tax, tip, beverages, and anything else extra. Lancer, for example, requires you buy the cake through them, and it goes toward the minimum. They charge per person, which means the cake would cost over $800, and from what I was told, is very plain, no decorations or anything. My cousin got her wedding cake for $150 to feed over 300 people. We're trying to have a budget of $10k, at the very most, and with the catering prices I feel like thats not possible.
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  • edited December 2011
    My wedding is April 10, 2010. We had a hard time with the same things. (also having the ceremony and reception at the same site) We decided on the Wabasha caves in St. Paul. They are really good to us. The rental fee is $1800 for Saturday. We were able to choose between 6 caterers and can have any licensed baker for the cake. They do have a bar but you don't have to use their bar tending services. You just can't bring in outside liquor. And their bar minimum is only $600. If you would like more information, send me an email-- [email protected]
  • hkieslinghkiesling member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Oh, and Summit Manor lets you bring your own alcohol.  That's a HUGE money saver for us.
  • edited December 2011
    We had the reception and ceremony at Medina Golf and Country Club.  It can hold up to 300. We had around 180 and it worked out perfectly.  I think plates range 21-28 pp.  They don't have a min but the room rental is $1k.  I was really happy with the service. 
  • edited December 2011
    We chose FIVE Event Center in Mpls and they allow you to bring in any caterer.
  • edited December 2011
    If your budget is 10k for everything then Medina won't work for you...your food/alcohol alone would be about that price. Look at community centers as you can sometimes bring in your own caterer. 
  • edited December 2011
    Qwerty, I have some ideas for you:Reception:Harriet Island Pavilion - Open catering, St. Paul, available April 3rd, open liquor (need licensed provider), amazing views. <a href="http://tinyurl.com/nf8xlzElm" rel='nofollow'>http://tinyurl.com/nf8xlzElm</a> Creek Chalet - Maple Grove, list of approved caterers, wine & beer only. <a href="http://tinyurl.com/n5hw26Columbia" rel='nofollow'>http://tinyurl.com/n5hw26Columbia</a> Manor - Mpls, list of approved caterers. "Cute factor" can be increased via DIY... Another Knottie made the Martha Stewart poms and hung them from the ceiling - super cute. <a href="http://tinyurl.com/nylg6zChildren" rel='nofollow'>http://tinyurl.com/nylg6zChildren</a>'s Theater (Cargill Stage) - Mpls, open catering, cool space. Call the contact, don't email. (Trust me, I waited 1.5 mos. for a response.) <a href="http://tinyurl.com/nmfzx7Dakota" rel='nofollow'>http://tinyurl.com/nmfzx7Dakota</a> Lodge - West St. Paul, part of the Dakota County Parks. <a href="http://tinyurl.com/krm9xbVoyageurs" rel='nofollow'>http://tinyurl.com/krm9xbVoyageurs</a> Environmental Center on Little Long Lake? Weisman Museum? Wabasha Caves?Rev. Tomkin Coleman has a reception site module too: <a href="http://tinyurl.com/5gj3bsCeremony" rel='nofollow'>http://tinyurl.com/5gj3bsCeremony</a>: As for an off-site ceremony, how about the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory? Or the Cowles Conservatory? [url]<a href="http://tinyurl.com/7c9fb" rel='nofollow'>http://tinyurl.com/7c9fb</a>[/url]
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  • megs2460megs2460 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Hi and congrats!   I'm having my reception at The Fountains of Ramsey in Ramsey, MN. It's a new venue and really nice.  It's also very very reasonable and I don't think there is a food minimum either!Let me know if you have questions about the place!http://www.fountainsoframsey.com/
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  • edited December 2011
    I am having my reception at the profile event center. It is located in minneapolis, 4 blocks from the UOM. It's kind of a different kind of venue but we really like it.  The food min is 5,000.  Our buffee is $22 a plate but the price might have gone up.  You can bring you oun alcohol.  You could also do a desert buffe which we might do to reach the min or late night pizza. You can bring you own cake with no cake cutting fee.  Lines, table ware, sercurity, roon is included, set up and tare down too.  You would have the hall 10-2amPlus they have a great lighting system with fog machine that is included.  It looks like a club.  They have an in house DJ too that's $475 for 6 hours and $50 for each extra hour
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  • edited December 2011
    The Eagan Community Center fits the bill perfectly.  Plates there are between $11-14, plus add-ons like china/silverware/tablecloths/napkins, but for our budget the total cost was around $21pp for catering.  You can also have the ceremony there, which works out great! You will really have to dig into the suburbs to get out of the high prices you're mentioning - Minneapolis/St. Paul charge a premium for weddings due to the historical nature/ambiance/demand those cities generate.  HTH
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  • edited December 2011
    I had the same issue as you, and I researched over 25 places in the twin cities area!  I found out that the food minimum doesn't mattter in the least- if you have 200 people you are being charged per plate.  We decided on Edinburgh USA (Brooklyn Park) which is way over what we planned on spending... but happy we are doing it!  For all of our alcohol, food, ceremony, and reception at Edinburgh,  time (4pm-1am) it is going to be around 12K.  One place that I did find that was a lot less was Medina Entertainment Center (medinaentertainment.com). It is very nice with ceiling draping, everything is included, and is cheaper than most.  Honestly though, for a guest list of 200 you are going to have to be prepared to spend a little more than 5k :(
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks again everyone. I'm constantly refreshing the page checking out responses, even if I don't respond. It's just time consuming checking everyone's ideas on this computer. We have already checked out the Profile Event Center, and I really liked it, but they didn't have the room I liked available, but I do have a hold on the other room just in case. I have a tentative appointment to check it out on Sat. when its all set up for a wedding. Wabasha Caves is also booked solid for April, May, and June 2010, so thats out. April 3 in general is out because it is the day before Easter, and 95% of those invited are Christian--my mom believes no one will show up, and I'd rather not risk it. I did just see a caterer that seemed very reasonable, and definitely in my price range, and she has a list of all of her venues on her page, so I'm going to go off that and look at those sites. My mom suggested the Medina Event Center as well, and wants me to set up a time to go look at it. I work retail, so its somewhat difficult for me to do that because I work terrible hours, but I'm hoping to get out there sometime next week. I really am looking into everyone's suggestions, even if I don't mention it, so thanks again!
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  • nicole0066nicole0066 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We had our reception at the Links golf course in Ramsey.  We had a Saturday wedding and paid only 500 for the rental fee and I'm pretty sure there was no food or drink minimum.  We had a 2-entree buffet and the cost was under 20.00 a person, and the food was delicious!  The room already has up and includes ceiling draping/lighting.  We had our ceremony at a church, but I'm sure you could hold the ceremony at the golf course.   
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  • malloryp8malloryp8 member
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We're having ours at the Kelly Inn in Plymouth.  We doing two meat buffet for $15 a person. It's Green Mill catering.  Their minimum is 3k.  Not too bad.  Also if you want to do open beer their kegs are the cheapest I've seen.  Go in and look at the space they have.  It was just remodeled and it looks great.  Their letting us have it as early as we want to 1am.
  • jaramlerjaramler member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    What areas specifically in the metro area are you willing to go to? Two friends of mine (separate events) have had their weddings at The Wellstead of Rogers.  So NW metro area.  It is really, really nice and I know the prices are very reasonable compared to other comparable places closer to Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Contact them for more details, but I know it is a nice place for a reasonable price.  The food was great.  It was built relatively recently so it is very current.  The chairs there are really nice too, so you don't need to rent linens/chair covers.  Go to the photo album to check out more pics.  You'll love it.http://www.wellsteadofrogers.com/crownroom/
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