Minnesota-Minneapolis and St. Paul
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Anyone use Earle Brown?

My FI and I are trying to decide between a couple of different reception venues.  COST is a major factor for us!  Anyone know about Earle Brown Heritage Center?  I've read on other threads that some ladies have found them to have hidden costs.  Can anyone ellaborate?  I don't want to waste my time with them if they aren't worth it!  Thanks Smile

Re: Anyone use Earle Brown?

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    newlyseliskinewlyseliski member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Get a catering quote from them before you agree to sign a contract!  I really wish that I had done that before committing to my reception venue because they sample menus and prices that the venue coordinator showed me did not accurately reflect all that the caterer options actually charged for.  We had four caterers to choose from and they all charged a substantial amount for labor and gratuity on top of the price per plate, which neither of us were expecting.
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    graysquirrelgraysquirrel member
    5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011

    My friend used Earle Brown last spring. From what I remembered, they had a small list of preferred vendors which were not cheap. My friend ended up with Buttercream cake which was good, but pretty pricey. Their food was pretty expensive and wasn't the greatest. I would make sure that you get solid vendor quotes and make sure that you do tastings. I think that she mentioned $50 pp at one point, but this was probably also due to their bar costs. Don't take any of this as 100% since at the time I didn't want to pry.

    It is a very pretty place, though, and the hotel on the property is great-- people can just stumble over there when they are done and call it a night. Good luck!

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    k8lyk8ly member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We used them in May.

    I'm not sure what hidden fees people are refering to.  They were pretty standard for the industry.  All venues/caterers charge an 18-20% service fee and sales tax - sales tax for booze is higher.  The "booze tax" varies depending on city and county.  This isn't unusual....take it into consideration when figuring your budget - a $6500 minimum will run you closer to $8000 if you stick strictly to the minimum.  There's also a fee for security ($200?) if you serve alcohol, also standard.  If you rent a hall and do all the catering yourself, most places require you to hire an after duty police officer or security guard of some kind.

    Anything you add on - tulle draping, napkins, are subject to these fees (but usually doesn't apply to the food/beverage minimum) at most venues. Some people choose outside vendors for this reason.  EB has preferred vendors, but you don't have to use them. We used Roseville Bakery because a Buttercream cake would have been subject to these fees and pushed the price up by a couple hundred dollars. 

    So, back to Earle Brown.  They were AWESOME!  On top of things with emails, and their wait staff was very attentive.  We got many, many compliments on the food (which they do in-house.)

    It was about $30 per person (before fees) for a two entree buffet - yes, attend the tasting.  We did a set amount for the open bar, and once that was done, we switched to a cash bar, and tapped a 2nd keg. This allowed us to offer people drinks, but we were able to control the budget for it.  We set the amount based on how close we came with just food to the minimum after we got all our RSVPs back.
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    I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy. ~Dory
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    edited December 2011
    The most important thing I have learned wtih planning a wedding is to ask all vendors if there are any additional fees for anything above what they quote you.
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    ceciliarungececiliarunge member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    k8ly, you have a PM.  Thanks everyone for the input!!!
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    k8lyk8ly member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Cec - replied! 
    image
    I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy. ~Dory
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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