Wedding Venues in St. Paul & Minneapolis
Frank and I have been engaged for 8 weeks (as of tomorrow), and planning is progressing nicely now that we’ve got a date, location and color palette. The first four weeks of our engagement were spent researching and visiting venues I had found through local bridal magazines and wedding websites.* Frank and I quickly found places we didn’t like for one reason or another, which made creating a criteria list much easier. I went from a lost and overwhelmed state of “Which kind of bride do I want to be?” and “What is our couple style?”** to an opinionated, can-do “We need the following”: can hold up to 250 people, have a live band, cater good food; has historic ambiance, room to accommodate both ceremony and reception; and is in the city. At first I was worried the criteria was too cut-throat, then I worried it wasn’t cut-throat enough but it effectively whittled down our choices (some of which I was, yes, sad to see taken off the list). Goodbye beautiful Camrose Hill Farm and the magical weddings you have there. Au revoir Como Park, Minnesota Arboretum, Minnesota Boat Club, Theodore Wirth Chalet or Chambers Hotel.
This left us (happily) with: James J. Hill Library, University Club of St. Paul (downtown clubhouse), Wacouta on 413, Landmark Center, The Great Hall, Minnesota History Center. Then they left me with: we’re booked for the rest of the year honey.
I’m of the “short engagement” variety and wanted a fall wedding, so I took to the next tier of places that seemed like a cool idea, but in retrospect am glad my Mom told me they seemed a bit too hipster. Regardless, while they would have accommodated a fall wedding, they lacked the essential “placeness”*** Frank and I wanted. We looked at Bar Lurcat, Spill the Wine and Nick & Eddie’s.
While I would have loved a fall wedding, I was forced into the (very sad, very pathetic) reality that when you live in a state that has a five-month window of nice weather, you may have a little difficulty finding an open Saturday evening at your chosen location.
Additional locations not mentioned above but were considered: Walker Art Center, Mill City Museum or Calhoun Beach Club, Como Lake Pavilion, Nicollet Island, The Saint Paul Union Depot, The Saint Paul Hotel, Semple Mansion, Gale Mansion, St. Paul College Club, Weisman Art Museum, Van Dusen Mansion, McNamara Alumni Center, Varsity Theater.
TIP #1 to finding a wedding venue:
If you’re actually looking for a wedding venue in St. Paul or Minneapolis, start here and peruse the places they have listed. It’s the most comprehensive local wedding website I have found. Also, if you fill out this form and click on the ceremony or reception sites box, vendors will reach out to you with information via email – super easy! Bellagala is also another resource that has been very responsive to my inquiries, is local and also can handle wedding planning/coordination (which I have opted out of – my type A personality cannot handle sharing wedding duties).
TIP #2 to finding a wedding venue:
Going through local wedding photographer websites was a great way to start my list of venues because I was seeing the venue in action. Some of my favorites: Eye Spy Photography, Olive Juice Studios, Studio 306, Melissa Oholendt.
**These are phrases frequently seen bridal books and magazines, which slowly become real questions you ask yourself and panic when you find you do not have the answer.
***Not an actual word.