The decision to get married is one of the most important a person will ever have to make. The ceremony is something to remember forever: the exchange of vows, the promise to stay together as one while the closest family and friends watch teary-eyed from church pews, fold-out chairs on sandy beaches, or wherever you choose to tie the knot. Once the ceremony is finished, though, it’s time to let loose and celebrate. All of your friends are family are waiting to wish you the best, to raise a glass to your newly-created union, to eat, drink and be merry in the face of eternal love. This is what the reception is for. Open bar? Dance floor? Catering? What local venues really are best for your wedding reception? With all of the planning a wedding takes, look no further than this list for the best places to host your reception.
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive
Saint Paul, MN 55103
www.comozooconservatory.orgThe floral colors and smells of the year-round conservatory and gardens, the surrounding greenery of the park and the beautiful glass dome of the building itself all make the conservatory one of the best places to host your wedding reception. The addition of fantastic catering, done by Lancer Catering, and an opportunity to use the visitor center, zoo and amusement park for a playful touch, makes this truly a one-of-a-kind venue for your special event.
Afton House Inn
3291 St. Croix Trail S.
Afton, MN 55001
Tucked away in the St. Croix Valley, the only thing more serene than the natural setting is the Inn itself. Take advantage of the two separate reception rooms, or celebrate with your guests for a reception down the river on one of the boats offered. Either option will provide the best in service and amenities, and some of the best views that the Minnesota wilderness has to offer. If you’re traveling from the cities or elsewhere and don’t want to make the trek back after celebrating, the Inn’s luxurious rooms are perfect for a night’s stay.
Minnesota Boat Club
1 S. Wabasha St.
Saint Paul, MN 55107
On picturesque Raspberry Island lies the historic Minnesota Boating Club. The building is old-world beauty, as is the setting: the mighty Mississippi flowing past, the pristine green space of the island and the bluffs and the Saint Paul skyline twinkling above. While it might be located downtown, none of the bustle or the noise of the city reaches the island, making it the perfect blend of urban landscape and natural beauty. The catering company, Mintáhoe Catering and Events, is also amazing and will work closely to make sure you that your and all of your guests’ needs are met.
317 on Rice Park
317 Washington St.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Facing Rice Park and the magnificent Saint Paul Hotel, with the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts right next door, 317 on Rice Park provides the cosmopolitan wedding reception that every little girl dreams of. The historic building is spacious enough to accommodate 500 of your loved ones (250 to dine), but still offers an intimacy that is usually lost with larger venues. While downtown Saint Paul bustles outside, pop champagne, dine on exquisite food and enjoy the elegance inside this amazing venue.
Profile Event Center
2630 University Ave. S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
In the heart of the Twin Cities, Profile Event Center offers nothing short of excellence in hosting your wedding reception. The trendy venue features two separate halls: The Casablanca Hall is the larger, more classic of the two, while the Diamond Hall is small, more modern and more technologically advanced. Both halls offer outdoor patios. In whichever style you’d like to host your reception, Profile’s professional staff will work closely with you on every detail to ensure that your night is one to remember forever.
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Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.