Dr. Reverend Coleman,
My fiance and I are hoping to have a summer 2010 outdoor ceremony and reception in the Twin Cities, MN Metro Area that would allow us to bring in our own caterers. We would love to have a space for our ~100 guests to have a sit-down buffet dinner, and also a place to dance. I would love to have flowers or trees or water, or all of the above! Do you have any recommendations for a scenic wedding location in Minneapolis or St Paul that has a flexibility we’d like as far as dinner and drinks?
Newly Engaged Bride
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
I get this question all the time – It’s tough to find a Minnesota reception site that will allow you to bring in your own catering, isn’t it? For most wedding reception sites, that’s how they make their money, so understandably, they have to provide the catering to stay in business.
A bride told me last week that the Minnesota Boat Club on Harriet Island in St Paul allows outside catering, but looking at their website, they say that they use Mintahoe Catering. Maybe there’s some flexibility there?
6/1/2010 – 2:08 pm: I’ve left Mintahoe a voicemail, and they’ll be calling me back with an answer.
Other than that rumor, though, it’s tough, and outside of WaterFallView in Anoka, MN (reviewed here, and pictured on the left), I’ve never heard of a place that does it in Minnesota…maybe renting a pavilion in a city park, or a city’s community center, and decorating iy yourself? A park would allow outside catering because it would be like a picnic, if you’re okay with that. Some of the suburbs have surprisingly nice community centers, too.
Note: While you couldn’t rent a park because you have alcohol at your wedding reception, sometimes pavilions/community centers, or city-run places, will allow alcohol to be served.
Another note: Some Twin Cities, MN area parks will allow 3.2 beer, of course…
Yours is a tough, tough, question, unfortunately…it’s that problem of Minnesota reception sites making their money from their catering, so private places (as opposed to city-run places) have to feature their own catering to cover the mortgage. If you find that the MN Boat Club does allow outside catering (or, if you hear of another site that does), please let me know – many brides will thank you!
I hope this e-mail helps!
Rev. Tomkin Coleman
Minnesota Wedding Minister & Designer