Choosing A Venue

17 Mar

So, the GTB and I delved into a stack of available site rentals for the reception and ceremony.

We’ve already decided against a church wedding (though we believe in G-d, I don’t feel like its right just stomp into some church I’ve never attended and ask to be married). Besides, I feel that religion is more a sense of what you feel than a location.

Our stipulations include:
* must hold 200 people (eek, there goes the “small wedding”)
* must offer some options for catering (I don’t want to be forced to use a specific caterer, just because I am renting a certain space)
* must be within 3 miles of a decent hotel
* must have parking available
* must allow live music
* must have indoor/outdoor space available
* must not cost over $2,500 to rent (I know, I know, we sound cheap, but come on! If we’re trying to pull this whole thing together for under $15,000 (no small, feat, I know!), we simply cannot spend almost 20% of our budget on renting a space.

Suddenly, many, many of the venues are out. Here are some decent locations in consideration:

So we started out with some cool places —

Hyland Ski & Snowboard Chalet
pros – located in Bloomington, close to hotels, holds 220, only $975 for 9 hours nice chairs (wouldn’t need to rent chair covers!)
cons – alcohol service is kind of expensive
Elm Creek Chalet
pros – good catering selection, beautiful interior, indoor/outdoor space, $1,200 to rent
cons – I dislike Maple Grove immensely
Gale Woods Pavillion
pros – can hold more than 200, spacious, good caterer list, lots of bathrooms, $1,300 rental
cons – far from the city (Minnetrista) and decent hotels, GTB doesn’t love the “barn” look
Centennial Lakes
pros – awesome location, inexpensive catering/alcohol, beautiful building, $995 for 6 hours
cons – only holds 120 people
Minnehaha Falls Pavilion
pros – inexpensive, can supply own caterer, including BBQ
cons – any beer over 3.2 and all wine must be supplied by Sea Salt, must be careful with amplified music, pavilion closes at 10pm, other park guests could enter reception area
Clarence W. Wigington Pavilion
pros – $1,900 rental fee, includes 2 patios, can bbq, caterer list is negotiable
cons – must hire liquor service
Washington County Historic Courthouse
pros – can supply own liquor (***), rental is 8:30am-1am, can select own caterer, cool area for small ceremony, ample parking, lots of hotels w/in 1 mile
cons – must leave some courtroom stuff in room, max limit of 200
Minneapolis City Hall and Hennepin County Courthouse
pros – amazing, beautiful marble facility, only $1,000 to rent from noon to midnight, holds up to 275 in rotunda
cons – must use 1 of 3 caterers (and liquor provided through them), parking fees, may be scary for older relatives/ non-locals to drive through/park in downtown Mpls
Saint Paul College Club
pros – holds up to 250 guests, costs $250/hour, we provide liquor (even kegs!) food would run about $30/entree for 2 entrees, but… there don’t appear to be all those kickback fees! They provide china, linens, next to governor’s mansion
cons – Kelly Inn is 1.5 miles away (city driving), onstreet parking
Gale Mansion
pros -$1,200 for 6 hours, includes cost of linens, tableware, candles
cons – must spend $22/person on food, $5/wine, $4/beer
Van Dussen Mansion
pros – bridal dressing suite, $1,200 rental, free parking in back
cons – catering/alcohol rules are vague, may be tough area for out-of-towners to navigate


One Response to “Choosing A Venue”

  1. amber March 18, 2008 at 12:00 am #

    i thought you already booked that awesome courtroom place???

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