Photo courtesy Lowertown Event Center
Sean and I got engaged just before Christmas, which meant we got to see lots of friends and family members in the days that followed. We called it “the engagement press tour.” Those holiday gatherings were filled with questions, including one we heard again and again: “Have you set a date yet?”
This question filled me with anxiety. I’d only been engaged for a few days. Was I seriously supposed to have a venue booked already?! But I eventually realized that once you’ve got a ring on your finger, picking a venue is something you need to do sooner rather than later. Not only does a venue solidify your wedding date, it also sets the tone for your entire celebration. It’s a big decision that took us two months to make.
There are so many amazing venues in the Twin Cities that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I found that pinning down three things in advance really helped me focus my search:
Sean and I made a preliminary list and ran it past both sets of parents. We initially thought our guest count would be about 150, but it turned out to be closer to 200. Having this number up front helped us focus on venues that could comfortably fit our group.
This is a big one. Before we could book a venue, we needed to know how much money we had to work with. Having a figure in mind helped us avoid getting in over our heads financially. For example, we loved the first venue we looked at, but once we added up all the costs and fees, we realized it was just too expensive. It was difficult to walk away from that space, but looking back, I’m so glad we did. The financial strain wouldn’t have been worth it.
We pinpointed two or three things we really wanted out of a venue and kept those priorities top of mind when were deciding which locations to look at. Sean and I wanted our ceremony and reception in the same place. We liked the idea of celebrating downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul, and we wanted a more modern look rather than a traditional one.
The second venue we toured turned out to be “the one.” We’re thrilled to be getting married at the Lowertown Event Center in downtown St. Paul. We’re excited that we can get ready, get married, and party in the same beautiful space. It can fit 200 guests without being too crowded or too empty. And the location on Mears Park will be an amazing backdrop for our big day.