Minnesota-Minneapolis and St. Paul

I'd say I'm going to cry, but I already have like 10 times :(

Ok...I'm newly engaged (July) and am trying to plan a wedding remotely.  I live in CO but am from MN.  As a compromise to my parents, we are having the wedding in MN.  I've asked them to look at venues for me, but every venue I pick they shoot down with several "negatives" and no positives.  Then they look at venues they like, and come back with a list of "positives" and why we should consider their venue.  The most recent is a country club.  We don't want to get married at a country club - it's not our style.  I've tried to explain this, but haven't had any luck.

We want a venue that suits our style.  I asked them to look at Wabasha St. Caves but they ate dinner there years ago and claim it's too loud and humid...???!!!!

More or less, we want an outdoor ceremony and an affordable reception with a band so we can dance and have fun.  But I'm at the point that this has become such a miserable process for me that I don't want to do it.

Sorry for the rant brides...I am just at wits end. 

Re: I'd say I'm going to cry, but I already have like 10 times :(

  • Enchanted616Enchanted616 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'm really sorry!  Do you have friends that still live here that could maybe help you out with some of the investigative work?  Then you could have some positives to come back with. :)  GL!

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  • edited December 2011
    I know the girls here are awesome. So feel free to ask us about various venues. My Mother has been fighting with me on all my decisions BUT the venue. So I don't know what else to tell you. Depending on who is paying I would discuss with her that since you are compromising and having it in MN you would like to have the venue of your choosing.
  • brink131brink131 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I had a similar experience trying to find a venue (we live in CA, the wedding and my folks are in MN). My folks would give luke-warm or negative reviews about my choices and then rave about the places they picked out, such as golf courses, when we specifically said we didn't want a golf course. I was able to fly back home for a week and go look at a few places for myself, which made all the difference in the world. I took my mom with and finally, when we were looking at places together, she was able to understand the kind of venue I wanted. I didn't actually find my reception venue while I was there, but my mom found the perfect one just after I left because she knew what I was looking for.

    Do you have enough time before your wedding to do this? Also, my MOH lives in the Twin Cities and she was able to go look at a couple places too for me - like pp said, any friends you can send out to do some scouting who might give a more objective review? I know it's hard and stressful, but keep your chin up, believe it or not, something really will come along!
  • tpender13tpender13 member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    That sucks! Maybe you could look as much as you can online, and come out here for a few days and see them yourself. If that's not an option, what I would suggest is to give us more details about what you're looking for. How many guests, what time of year, budget, etc. You'll get a bunch of suggestions, that will give you something to look at online. Get it narrowed down to a couple options, then either try to see the places yourself or maybe send a couple different people there to see more than one persons opinion. Or ask us again. You'll get honest opinions, good and bad. HTH!
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  • hoff0079hoff0079 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thanks girls, you are amazing!
    I'm thinking it would be best to fly home and look myself.  What we want is relatively simple:
    -Close to the cities to accomodate out of town guests
    -Outdoor ceremony (obviously with a backup plan)
    -A reception site that allows bands
    -Nice "would likes": option to pick own cateror and/or beverage provider (mainly to make it more affordable).

    We don't like hotels or golf courses as I feel they are too stiff/formal for our personalities.  I thought a site like Harriet Island Pavilion would be great, unfortunately it's booked every Saturday this summer.  We aren't having decorations or fancy party favors. We just want to have a beautiful ceremony and a great night in front of the band.  If anyone has suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them :)
  • edited December 2011
    That blows that your parents are shooting down all your ideas.  Every venue has it's bad sides, even the good ones.  I adore our venues, but there are still plenty of things I'd change about them.  Like PPs said, this board is a really good resource, since all of us are either planning or have already gotten married and we love sharing what we've learned.  Some suggestions for sites:

    Nicollet Island Pavillion
    Columbia Manor
    St. Paul College Club (my reception venue)
    Landmark Center with the wedding across the street at Rice Park

    There are really a ton of places that can accomodate you, depending on when your wedding is and how many will be there.
  • tpender13tpender13 member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_minnesota-minneapolis-st-paul_id-say-im-going-cry-but-already-like-10-times?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:81Discussion:32e5e856-202a-425d-b7fb-a2dfeaea3dc7Post:dbb634e8-f2ab-44ed-93de-01d402c94df8">Re: I'd say I'm going to cry, but I already have like 10 times :(</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks girls, you are amazing! I'm thinking it would be best to fly home and look myself.  What we want is relatively simple: -Close to the cities to accomodate out of town guests -Outdoor ceremony (obviously with a backup plan) -A reception site that allows bands -Nice "would likes": option to pick own cateror and/or beverage provider (mainly to make it more affordable). We don't like hotels or golf courses as I feel they are too stiff/formal for our personalities. <strong> I thought a site like Harriet Island Pavilion would be great, unfortunately it's booked every Saturday this summer.</strong>  We aren't having decorations or fancy party favors. We just want to have a beautiful ceremony and a great night in front of the band.  If anyone has suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them :)
    Posted by hoff0079[/QUOTE]

    Are you saying that you're getting married this summer? Or are you talking about 2011?

    I love, love, LOVED Nicollet Island Pavillion, but it just wasn't going to work for our smaller group. It is really neat looking, so you wouldn't need to do a ton w/decorations. I don't think there are catering options though.
    <a href="http://www.mintahoe.com/go/nicolletislandpavilion" rel="nofollow">http://www.mintahoe.com/go/nicolletislandpavilion</a>

    Black Bear Crossing at Como Park is beautiful, too. Again, I don't think there are catering options.
    <a href="http://blackbearcrossings.com/receptions.html" rel="nofollow">http://blackbearcrossings.com/receptions.html</a>
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  • edited December 2011
    Here are some options: 

    Bayview Event Center
    Eagan Community Center
    Dellwood Hills GC (it's really not country club-ish; almost woodsy; relaxed)
    Gale Woods Farm (meets all of your requirements!)
    International Mkt Square (no outdoor ceremony)
    Macalester College
    Mill City Museum (not sure on how much room the band would have)
    Minnetonka Orchards
    The Science Museum of St. Paul
    Solera
    St. Anthony Main
    Wellstead of Rogers (Crown Room)

    I'll also throw out my venue, the Varsity Theater. An outdoor ceremony would have to be off-site, but indoor ceremonies are held down the street at the Loring Pasta Bar and it is DEFINITELY NOT a golf club-esque atmosphere!

    Good luck!

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  • debbieupperdebbieupper member
    1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    I'm sorry your 'rents are going for something you're not! That has definitely been a part of my wedding process, and it's really normal for everyone to want different things. I think if you get a chance to come to MN to look WITH your parents, they will see your reactions to various places and maybe understand a bit more what really makes you happy.

    If you'd like, I can email you a spreadsheet of about 40 twin cities venues that fit what we were looking for, which is quite similar to what you're looking for (outdoor ceremony, rustic/chic, any caterer, decent price, etc). We went with The Little Log House in the end and I couldn't be more excited for it. It's just beautiful. PM me if you want the spreadsheet, though!
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  • edited December 2011
    Another suggestion - I'm having mine at 413 on Wacouta which is a new venue downtown St. Paul next to Mears Park.  It's very unique - our theme is "vintage urban".  It's a renovated space in the historic Gilbert Building.  I assume our tastes are similar only because our 2nd and 3rd choice was the Wabasha Street Caves and the Harriet Island Pavillion.  Take a look!

    www.413onwacouta.com

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  • edited December 2011
    What about Centennial Lakes in Edina?  Very close to the airport, beautiful outdoor ceremony area, but the reception room only holds about 120 people.

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  • MaggieandJakeMaggieandJake member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Another option would be the MN Boat club which is on Raspberry Island, and might be a good compromise between a country club and an in the city outdoor location.  I would have chosen it for my venue, but my date was booked (and our date really wasn't flexible).  They are run through the same company that does Nicollet Island Pavillion, but on a smaller scale.  I know that their catering minimum is only $3500. (vs Nicollet island is $13000!)

    Another beautiful place is the Eagan Community Center (also booked on my date) which does outdoor ceremonies and has a room for the reception.  I believe that they allow any licensed caterer, but have a contract with a specific company for alcohol. 

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  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011

    Stillwater Boat & Packet - they've got the side-wheels and paddleboats that go up/down the St. Croix River.  Outdoor yet you've got the indoor option if it rains right on the boat itself, you bring your own caterer, etc., there are hotels nearby, etc.  They were super easy to work with when I was doing a project for one of my previous jobs.  There is also Afton Cruise Lines depending on the size of your guest list.

    Little Log House Pionner Village (www.littleloghouseshow.com) - have been to multiple family weddings there and they've been easy to work with, they've got the option of outdoor ceremonies as well as indoor.  Very well maintained property, it's a hike but managable...

    St. James - Red Wing, I know you don't want a hotel but this place is quite different from your average "hotel" venue.  Their banquet room overlooks the MS River and all that Red Wing brings along with it.

    Lilydale Pool & Yacht Club - Very nice venue, good food, reasonable prices. 

    A lot of places are going to depend on what your expected to show guest list is (right it out!!!)...

    Depending on the time of year you could check into some of the area ski hills (Welch, Buck, Highland, Trollhaugen, etc.) as most in the area rent out in the summer. 

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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_minnesota-minneapolis-st-paul_id-say-im-going-cry-but-already-like-10-times?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:81Discussion:32e5e856-202a-425d-b7fb-a2dfeaea3dc7Post:dbb634e8-f2ab-44ed-93de-01d402c94df8">Re: I'd say I'm going to cry, but I already have like 10 times :(</a>:
    [QUOTE]What we want is relatively simple: -Close to the cities to accomodate out of town guests -Outdoor ceremony (obviously with a backup plan) -A reception site that allows bands -Nice "would likes": option to pick own cateror and/or beverage provider (mainly to make it more affordable).
    Posted by hoff0079[/QUOTE]

    Check out BayView Event Center on Lake Minnetonka.  FI and I went to check out BayView and loved it immediately!  We are having our wedding and reception there, and we wanted just about everything you said you'd like to have!  We're having an outdoor ceremony by the lake, and there is a tented area next to it in case it rains.  There are 2 different rooms to choose from for your reception; we're in the Lower Lake Room since we're having fewer guests (and it's cheaper, in addition to being right along the lake).  I'm pretty sure they allow bands.  Unfortunately, you don't get to pick your caterer, and aren't allowed to bring in outside beverages, so that's a drawback.  FI took his parents to check out the place, and they LOVED it!

    Hope your search goes better, and good luck!  The girls on this site are great resources; they've definitely helped me a lot!!
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  • edited December 2011
    We just had our wedding at the caves with two great bands and I don't remember it being overly humid.  It was loud, only because the bands were loud, but nobody cared-including my 93 year old grandmother who closed down the place at 12:30.  You can always mention to the band to keep it on the lower end if you think the volume will bother your parents-plus they can always hang out in the bar area too :) It is a great venue with little need to decorate because it has so much charm!  All of our guests loved the location.
  • hoff0079hoff0079 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    For those of you who have had weddings or been to them at the Caves, where was the ceremony?  I really want an outdoor ceremony....but can't use the bandshell on Raspberry island because you can only use it 9a-1p!

    I'm fighting right now between Harriet Island Pavilion and the Caves.  I do like Harriet Isl but the Caves are SO cool and my parents are still fighting me on them.  Boo!
  • ClintonBeanClintonBean member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Check out venues that The Knot recommends.  You can sort by criteria and most venues have several photos to look through!
    Best of luck!


    http://www.theknot.com/Vendors/Minnesota-Wedding-Venues/Profiles/CAR/004
  • edited December 2011
    We had our ceremony on stage , then did the receiving line right into the bar.  We did not have a sit down meal-just food stations, but there were tables and chairs.  The turn around was really slick and nobody really noticed that it was happening because they were in the bar drinking!
  • edited December 2011
    One other thought-I would have LOVED an outdoor wedding as well, but am so glad that we didn't have an outdoor wedding.  I didn't have to worry about the weather!  And it was flippin' HOT the day we got married, so being in the Caves was wonderful.  AND you don't have to spend extra for another site :)
  • edited December 2011
    If you are willing to go a little outside of the city, The Grand in Northfield (about 35 minutes from Eden Prairie) was where I just got married and had my reception.  There isn’t a place there for an outside ceremony on site but they might be able to suggest someplace else in Northfield (it’s a super cute small town!). 

    The prices were so much lower than in the cities and the venue is unique…guests commented on the venue that evening and for months afterwards.   The food was great and actually it would be awesome for a band.  The pictures on their website (just google The Grand Northfield, MN) don’t give the place justice.  I can email you some pro pics.  Also they were great to work with as they are more of a small town feel and take the time to help you get everything just perfect. 

    No one complained on the location, although most of our guests were not from the Twin Cities so they had to travel regardless of where it was.
  • hoff0079hoff0079 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011

    Ok so I'm making progress on the parents :) and I"m going home this weekend to check some places out.  Does anyone have suggestions for Stillwater weddings?  I

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