Venue selection, according to The Wedding Guys,™ is one of the best ways to showcase a couple’s style, personality, and interests. Gone are the days of “cookie-cutter” same-as-my-friends’ weddings. Today’s weddings are as unique as the couple getting married.
One unique venue option is FIVE Event Center, formerly the Fifth Precinct in Minneapolis, built in 1895 and brought to its contemporary splendor—with a mix of warm colors and textures—in 2005.
“We have received wonderful feedback both for our unique and contemporary New York design and our ability to create weddings and events on different budgets,” explains Bruce Dachis, who owns the event center along with his wife, Toni.
“I think the overall appeal to brides is the Sex in the City atmosphere,” he says. “And the grooms like that there is no other space like this in Minneapolis.”
With approved caterers Wolfgang Puck Catering, Macy’s Design Cuisine, D’Amico Catering, Prom Catering and Twin City Celebrations, the food promises to be as modern as the space. FIVE can accommodate up to 200 people for sit down dinners and 325 people with food stations.
Brides and grooms wishing to capture the romance of a bygone era find the Saint Paul Hotel, a local landmark since 1910, the perfect wedding day venue. The old-world style speaks for itself (classic English garden outside, beautiful architecture inside), as does the location in St. Paul’s charming Rice Park area. With a long-standing reputation as the place to hold a social occasion (the staff treats wedding parties and guests like royalty, from the bellman to the concierge), it’s no wonder that weddings book out as far as 18 months in advance.
The Saint Paul Hotel’s renowned Promenade Ballroom is ideal for weddings of up to 300 guests, and the newly remodeled and expanded Hill Room can easily host events up to 150.
Maple Grove’s Rush Creek Golf Club, open to the public since 1996, offers a stunning golf course backdrop (with meticulously groomed fairways, rolling hills, and a creek), the picturesque MacMillan ballroom, (think vaulted ceilings, two stone fireplaces, and panoramic windows, and competent, friendly catering coordinators who make the celebration as stress-free as possible for the newlyweds. A Juliet balcony is available for the bride to toss her bouquet, and the outdoor terrace provides an unforgettable atmosphere for ceremonies.
A detailed terrazzo floor with a medallion design, exquisite natural wood and stone finishes, and breathtaking views of the lake at Carlson Center give the Conservatory at Carlson Center, located in Minnetonka, an intimate yet elegant and inviting appeal. The venue can accommodate up to 160 guests, with ample parking available.
Another unforgettable venue, located in Detroit Lakes, is The Lodge on Lake Detroit, a smoke-free lakefront lifestyle hotel and spa. Couples can get married outside by the lake or in the large banquet room (accommodating up to 100 guests). The Lodge on Lake Detroit features an expert catering staff, dedicated wedding coordinator, The Spa Within (great for pre-wedding pampering), a fireplace lobby with a full-service bar, grand piano sunset serenades, guest rooms with upscale amenities, family suites with kitchens and connecting rooms, and the romantic Renewal Spa Suite—complete with an aromatherapy whirlpool and fireplace.
Newlyweds enjoy the serenity of Lake Superior at the Best Western Superior Inn and Suites, a smoke-free hotel located in Grand Marais. The use of regional artwork in the newly renovated rooms, in addition to the concept of the Renewal Steam Suites, featuring luxurious steam showers, breathtaking views of the majestic lake, and a romantic fireplace and whirlpool, recently earned the hotel a “Best of the Best” design award at the Best Western Convention in Hawaii. Nearby attractions include the Gunflint Trail, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Lutsen Mountain, and Superior National Golf Course.
Honeymooners and couples celebrating an anniversary find peace and quiet at Canoe Bay in Chetek, Wis. (near Rice Lake). This luxury resort, designed by a couple, especially for couples, is set in a heavily wooded 280-acre country estate. An upscale cabin atmosphere, amazing views of the property, top-notch service, an award winning wine selection, and memorable meals in the elegant lakeside dining room add to Canoe Bay’s charm.
Couples can unwind before their ceremony with a massage in the new wellness center, soak in the only year-round outdoor pool and hot tub on Lake Superior, or relax in a double Jacuzzi as a fire glows in the fireplace and waves crash against the rocky shoreline at Bluefin Bay, a seaside resort on Lake Superior. The resort is “wedding friendly” in every way, from the newly-remodeled and contemporary Bluefin Grille Restaurant, with split-level dining (perfect for weddings of up to 100 people), a talented chef, and a variety of lodging options ranging from hotel suites to townhomes overlooking the water.
Cove Point Lodge, a beautiful Scandinavian-style lodge in the town of Beaver Bay, is ideal for either small, intimate weddings or romantic honeymoons. The setting—a picturesque lodge surrounded by 150 acres of woods and rocks, with all rooms facing Lake Superior—oozes romance. Couples can stay at the lodge and relax (rooms include fireplaces and/or Jacuzzis facing the lake), or explore the area on trails or at nearby state parks. A full service lodge features a massive stone fireplace, stunning lakeside dining room, lounge, and swimming pool.
SETTING THE TONE
Whether it’s an elaborate bash or an intimate affair, a couple with a “sky’s-the-limit” mentality or on a more limited budget, Watermark Stationery, located in Wayzata, offers one of the largest selection of invitations varying from bold, traditional, ornate, modern and romantic styles. The friendly sales team at Watermark loves what they do and thoroughly enjoys helping brides and grooms select the perfect scene for their cinematic love story.
The invitation sets the tone for the celebration, and then it’s up to brides and grooms to add pizzazz and personal touches to their parties through items such as canopies, tables, chairs, P.A. equipment, LCD projectors (for slideshows), décor pieces, and ceiling and design treatments, available for rent at Midway Party Rental. This local, family-owned business is known for exceptional customer service (including a 24-hour emergency phone line) and a low-price guarantee.
A MEMORABLE MEAL
According to The Wedding Guys, the reception dinner gives couples the chance to express their palate and the caterer’s expertise and innovation. Classic entrees will always have a place at the dinner table, but many caterers are moving away from the classics and offering dishes that reflect the couple’s heritage or interests. Sometimes the wedding has a theme and the food helps to carry the theme through.
By-design menu development is a specialty at Three Sons Signature Cuisine. Couples are encouraged to bring their ideas to the table to represent family or cultural traditions, lifestyle, and personal preferences.
“Many people aren’t aware just how much they can customize their event to ensure that their personalities really come through, without being over-the-top,” says Ben McCallum, executive chef/co-owner.
The chefs are “miracle workers” who deserve credit for creating masterpieces using only fresh, seasonal ingredients, McCallum says, but the event consultants, coordinators, and office team are “the heart and soul of the catering company.”
The outstanding reputation of Three Sons is based on the fact that a talented team of professionals regularly meet—and exceed—wedding day expectations.
Soile Anderson, owner of Deco Catering, believes that serving food should be a unique, artistic experience, especially at a wedding celebration. Couples get that and more at Deco Catering, where the emphasis is on custom-designed menus and high-quality cuisine.
“Our success is built on uncompromising quality, superior service, attention to detail, and a distinctive flair that is individually carried out in everything we do,” says Anderson. “We customize each event to our clients’ specifications and requirements.”
A wide array of menus and service—designed specifically with brides in mind—is available at Wildside Caterers. Regardless of wedding day needs or budget restrictions, the experienced professionals at Wildside Caterers work with couples to help make their dreams come true. As one happy guest commented of Wildside, “I cannot adequately describe how beautifully presented and delicious my meal was. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.”
THE PERFECT GOWN
According to the Wedding Guys, sexy sheath silhouettes, glamorous ball gowns, stunning goddess styles and flirty flare are all the rage. Brides today have the best of both worlds, with a mix of traditional and trendy literally sewn into design concepts.
And forget New York City when it comes to wedding fashion. Minnesota’s own Edina is the city to hit. One of these fashion-forward shops is dugo (Dress Up Go Out), in Edina’s Galleria.
“Mothers of the bride and groom especially like us because we understand their style and can custom-order many different items,” says Nancy Shank, owner.
The newest Priscilla of Boston signature salon, also located in Edina, was designed with the same ideals of luxury and tradition used to design their gorgeous gowns (individually handcrafted from the finest fabrics, laces, and embellishments). Brides receive individualized attention and guidance from professional experts, including on-site fittings and the possibility of working one-on-one with the designers on a custom made gown. The Priscilla of Boston collection consists of Priscilla of Boston, Melissa Sweet, Platinum, Vineyard, and Reverie by Melissa Sweet.
Edina-based Monique Lhuillier, one of only two flagship boutiques in the country (the other is in LA) also features an exquisite line of bridal gowns that are feminine, modern and stylish, with a traditional romantic sentimentality.
The Monique bride appreciates fine fashion and it shows, from the way the gown fits and flows to the gorgeous silk organza, silk satin, silk charmeuse and taffeta fabric.