Our Favorite Wedding Venues to Cater

It is always interesting to cater a wedding at a venue we have never been to before. We are always up for catering wherever your wedding may be but we do have some venues that we absolutely love and would be happy to go back to over and over again. We decided to highlight 3 of our favorites; one in St. Paul, one in Minneapolis; and one in the suburbs.

Landmark Center – St. Paul, MN

The Landmark Center is one of the most stunning wedding venues in the twin cities. This elegant venue has so much offer clients and we have such a blast creating a beautiful meal in a beautiful setting. Our selection of hors d’oeuvres compliments the center to enhance the overall grand feel of any wedding or event. We offer a wide variety of sophisticated dishware and lovely linens to help bring the center to life and create the perfect ambiance for your party. The venue is very welcoming to outside caterers so long as they have catered there before or is willing to take a tour of the facility and follow all their guidelines.

Semple Mansion – Minneapolis, MN

Best Minneapolis Wedding Venues

Image courtesy of Dan Oksnevad Photography

Paralleling the grandeur of the Landmark Center, the Semple Mansion is our favorite venue to cater in Minneapolis. The multiple levels of the Mansion offer a unique setting for your wedding or event. The Grand Palladian Ballroom offers a stunning view of Minneapolis and includes beautiful tables and chairs for your dining experience. The Mansion allows outside caterers of your choice and provides a kitchenette right off the ballroom to provide ease for the caterers which in turns allows us to provide seamless service at your wedding.

Green Acres Event Center – Eden Prairie, MN

The third venue we decided to highlight is the Green Acres Event Center located in Eden Prairie, next to Starring Lake Park. This recently renovated barn is such a unique venue that provides the perfect mix of luxury and rustic quirkiness. If you choose to have the ceremony at the barn as well, set-up for the reception is a little bit hectic but we love the challenge. Guests are invited to the cellar for a cocktail hour while we set up all the tables and get the meal prepared for you to enjoy. We think this is one of the up-and-coming wedding venues in Minneapolis, MN.

After the Venue is Selected – Consider a Wedding Photographer

After a Minneapolis wedding venue is selected, brides will often look to hire their wedding photographer next. It is important to look beyond Minneapolis wedding photographer prices, and consider the experience, portfolio, and personality of the vendors. Also, make sure to ask if they have photographed at your selected venue before – as you’ll want them to be comfortable with the space, it’s lighting conditions, and the venue rules.

How to Choose a Wedding Caterer

The food is an integral part of any wedding. Before you blindly choose a wedding caterer you should consider these questions.

Do they offer full-service?

Many caterers do not offer full-service including linens, dish rental, servers, set-up, clean-up and drinks. While it is not necessary to choose a caterer that does offer all of these services together, it can be a huge stress reliever. There are so many different vendors you need to keep track of when you plan a wedding; the photographer, the DJ or band, the florist, etc. It can be very helpful to have the entire food portion of the wedding covered under one catering service instead of up to three different vendors. Also, oftentimes these services are cheaper when purchased as a large package deal.

We polled local Minneapolis wedding photographer Dan Oksnevad (www.danoksnevadphotography.com) to get his take on catering. “When selecting a wedding caterer, make sure to see some sample pictures of their meal presentation. It has been my experience that some brides can be disappointed with their caterer if their food isn’t exactly ‘photogenic’. For most people, the wedding album is an afterthought, and doesn’t come up in conversation around catering. Try to think of the desired end result (presentation, ambiance, photography, etc), as well as how good the food will taste.”

What type of food is offered?

While this may seem obvious, it is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a caterer. Some caterers offer a wide variety of hors d’oeuvres, main dishes and desserts while others offer only one genre of food. Decide what types of food you want to serve at your wedding and look for a caterer based on their selection of food. Be sure to go in for tastings to make sure you and your fiancé enjoy the meal and it is up to your standards and worth the plate price.

What are the costs involved?

Many caterers offer a plate price or cost per person. Determine what the cost includes. Is it simply the food or does it also include rental and service fees? While the food is a key element of the wedding, you do not want it to break your budget. So stick within your means and choose a caterer who can provide you the quality and service and a price that works for you.

How to Select a Wedding Food

Hors d’oeuvres, dinner, dessert or all three?

The first step is deciding whether you are going to serve Hors d’oeuvres, dinner, dessert or all three food items. Any option is perfectly acceptable and is usually decided based on budget and the time of the wedding and reception. For example if you have a late morning or early afternoon reception it would be perfectly acceptable to simply serve hors d’oeuvres or dessert. Another type of reception this is acceptable for is a late evening wedding/reception. If the wedding ceremony begins post-dinner time (6pm or later) then a simple dessert reception would suffice. Food is an integral part of a wedding reception so if your budget allows it is always best to serve your guests dinner. Oftentimes clients choose to do hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail hour, a dinner reception and then dessert with the dance.

Choosing food based on personal preference and crowd pleasers.

Many couples want to serve food that reflects their personal preferences. This is a great idea and we always encourage our couples to choose food they like. It is also important to think about what your quests will like to eat. The best way to do this is to offer different options for the meal and have guests indicate their preference on a response card. Oftentimes chicken, beef, fish, and vegetarian options are offered to guests. If your wedding includes a large amount of children you can offer a kids plate consisting of kid-friendly foods. The dessert is a great place to include your personal preference. You can either choose your favorite dessert to offer to guests or offer multiple options like the dinner. Be sure to have a tasting of the food prior to making your decision. This should include you, your fiancé and a couple other key decision makers for the wedding such as parents or a wedding planner.