Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >
May 5, 2008 11:07 AM

wedding help for friend in MSP

Hi all! I have a friend who's looking to get married this fall. Her request is for a good restaurant next door to a picturesque spot. (Her grandmother is not very healthy and she wants to limit her walking/getting in and out of the car time.) She'd like to do a short outdoor ceremony, followed by dinner for 35 for under $5,000. She'd prefer the Twin Cities, but any ideas close by will also be welcome. So far we've thought of Lurcat or Calhoun Beach Club, but I'm not sure if either will fit the budget. Any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. ummmm. . . patio at w.a. frost?

    or there are areas of the mpls sculpture garden you can rent (very reasonable-- like $400?), including the glass house, or the pretty arbor-- cool wedding pics-- then the party could hop in the car for 5 mins and dine anywhere downtown

    1. Sculpture Garden and then reception at the Walker. Great food, one of the coolest venues out there. Talk to the event coordinators there. That price point should be easy. I would have done mine there as I lived down the street from it (literally), but we had 180 people and that space wouldn't work. Feel free to email me with any other wedding questions.... I have a notebook/scrapbook of info on local vendors, and we had an amazing wedding in October 2006.

      1. Nicollet Island Inn. You can get married in an island park in the middle of the river, with views of the falls and downtown, then go inside to a romantic, suitably sized room for dinner. The wedding party could also stay at the Inn.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Jordan

          What night of the week? the per-person price they are willing to pay is healthy nad can afford them a great meal, but with just 35 guests you'll find that a lot of places are hesitant to give up their operation on a Saturday for $4000-$5000 minimum. I would guess that from the above suggestions, you'll get the following response if trying to book a Saturday:
          -Lurcat: we don't close to the public on Saturday
          -Walker: Minimum on Saturday is at least $15,000...probably higher
          -CBC: see Walker
          -Nicollet Island Inn: Not sure if they would close down to the public.

          What they need to look for is a RESTAURANT that has a separate PRIVATE DINING AREA that will work for 40-60 people...they will be able and willing (and thrilled) to accomodate a group of this size.

          My #1 recommendation, depending on date, would be Forepaugh's in St. Paul. Right size, great setting, right price's just that they are under renovation and I'm not sure on the reopening date.

          Another one that might work really well for a group this size is the Van Deusen Mansion.

          1. re: g rote

            I'd temper the recommendation for Forepaugh's with additional cautions: New owners (Taher Inc.) are renovating both the building and the menu.

            The best guess at the food quality & price range might not be from what Forepaugh's was like before it closed, but rather from the other restaurants owned by the same company: Wayzata Eatery, Nordeast Eatery, Alaska Eatery.


            1. re: g rote

              I agree with g rote's suggestion of a room with private dining, rather than a whole restaurant.

              Lurcat does have a separate room, although I have not heard whether or not they are willing to close it off from the main dining room. It's my recollection that they will do this though. (But I could just as easily be wrong. You'll obviously have to check with Lurcat.)

              My other suggestion is Vincent, which has a separate dining area which ought to accommodate a group of 35 pretty easily.

              Another nice venue for a ceremony is Thomas Lowry Park, right up the hill from the Walker, Loring Park, etc. It may be a better venue in the summer than in the fall, though.

              1. re: bob s

                The private dining room @ Lurcat is seperate from the Cafe and can hold about 50+ people for seated dinner, however the cost to reserve it on a Saturday would be outside the OP's budget.

                1. re: Foureyes137

                  Fair enough. Thanks for the info...

              2. re: g rote

                there is a public park and gazebo right near there...someone could shuttle gma in the car, but an easy walk for everyone else.

                1. re: jillbcooks

                  For reference/new readers, the OP's friend was slated to be married last fall, so information may be out of date.

            2. For our wedding this past fall, we did a ceremony in our back yard, followed by a brunch at Signature Cafe (they opened just for us, with significantly fewer people)

              Their patio is very pretty, and in a very quiet neighborhood. I know they had told us that we could use it for our ceremony if we wanted to, so long as we set everything up ourselves.

              With the budget you're talking about, you might be able to rent out the restaurant, although it would depend on what time/night you're talking about.

              They also might think about renting space at a park, and bringing in a caterer to handle the food.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Danny

                What about Meritage in St. Paul?'s right across from Rice Park which is very beautiful. I'm not sure if they would close down for your party but I'm not sure
                they could accommodate you.

                410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                1. re: Danny

                  What about Meritage in St. Paul?'s right across from Rice Park which is very beautiful. I'm not sure if they would close down for your party but I'm sure they could accommodate you.

                  410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                2. Al Vento might also be a consideration. We're considering them for our wedding. Their proximity to Minnehaha Falls makes a reception hosted there pretty attractive. It's not next door, but they're less than a mile apart.

                  They offer a catering menu on their website, $40 per person, including wine or beer. Here's a link to their site:

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: spunky_monkey

                    Tell your friend Congrats...I have to agree with others about the venues you suggested. I know the Calhoun Beach Club has a high f/b minimum...but it all depends on the day.

                    However, here are some other suggestions to contemplate.

                    Kozlaks Restaurant is in Shoreview, MN...they have a pretty nice garden where people can get married. They have the main restaurant that can be rented out and a downstairs that can be rented. They've been around since the 70s and they're all about service. I believe minimum is quite reasonable, but depends on the month. Their # is 651-484-8484.

                    Nicollet Island Inn could really be a good option though I agree, I don't think they'd shut the entire place down--but it would be beautiful. My best friend got married at the Pavillion in October, but the area itself (and we stayed at the Inn) was lit up and very romantic.

                    A wedding at Como in the Pavillion or in the Japanese Gardens might work. They have several options and the grandma wouldn't have to move around too much. Prices are flexible and the catering is done by Lancer. Or even if you didn't want to have the reception there, Il Vesco Vino is relatively close by, as is Frost, etc.