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Ann Arbor Reception Venues

Hi everyone, I am an out of town bride looking to plan a wedding for next spring in Ann Arbor. I seem to be having trouble finding an interesting venue for the reception. I need a place that can accommodate 130-150 guests, and is NOT some crummy banquet hall because I dislike them. I would prefer a location that lets me select my own caterer. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Re: Ann Arbor Reception Venues

  • elkayelkay member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Comments
    Do you already have your ceremony space? Some venues require you to do both ceremony and reception there, so you'll have to verify what they offer. Many venues insist you use their kitchen; that's fine if they have a great chef.

    This newly opened rural space -- NOT cheap (it's a Zingermans property), and they've been taking bookings for a while, but it would be fabulous. I've worked with the event coordinator on another event, and she definitely knows what she is doing and how to handle all issues.

    Ann Arbor City Club, beautiful grounds, and the chefs will work with you to create a custom menu.

    Matthaei Botanical Garden, University of Michigan. Beautiful settings. I don't know what the current alcohol policy is though.

    Cobblestone Farm. Antique rural-in-the-city.

  • If you like barn weddings several of the best ones in the state are in the AA area and I have yet to see a barn that provided their own catering.  Misty Farms, Misty Valley, Cobblestone, Cottonwood, White Oaks, etc. off the top of my head.


    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In general, there aren't many venues in Ann Arbor, and there are even fewer that allow your own catering. Cobblestone is absurdly popular, I don't like your odds of getting a date there for next spring. I ride my bike up to the Buhr Park pool most summer weekends, and there's almost always a "wedding here" sign. You could consider renting a park shelter (Island Park is apparently very popular).

    I'm doing my ceremony at Matthaei and considered doing my reception there. Their reception space won't hold 120-150 - we ended up going with the Union for the reception because we thought it would be cramped with 100. If you end up having a smaller wedding, they have a list of caterers to pick from (which isn't very small, and has choices from <$20 pp to Zingermans), and they only allow beer and wine for alcohol. Their event coordinator is also about the nicest and most helpful person ever, and unlike many vendors was totally on board with sending me a lot of information to review over e-mail before talking over the phone. 

    If you, your fiancé, or one of your parents is affiliated with University of Michigan (student, alum, etc.), I would recommend checking out the University of Michigan Union and/or League. Catering has to be through the U but I've had their food at events before and it's great. Prices aren't too bad either. The catch is that their catering license won't allow them to serve alcohol at an event not hosted by someone affiliated with the University. I just booked my reception a few weeks ago and they have lots of Friday availability for next spring, but Saturdays are a bit thin on the ground. I got the last Saturday available for the room we picked for all of May and June.

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