How to Have a Saint Paul Wedding on a Budget

Weddings can corrode your pocketbook faster than it takes to implode a Las Vegas hotel. It might have something to do with a dress that costs $7,500.00, or a photographer charging $5,000.00. Cynical, yes, but it’s hard to deny the fact that the cost of weddings are going through the roof. As a product of coupon-adoring parents, I knew I’d have to put a stop to the disappearing dollar act when planning my own wedding. Below are some tips and budget-friendly, Saint Paul reception venues that will help save you money on your big day:

1. Winter Wedding
Winter weddings are cheaper, especially in Minnesota. Obviously if you are reading this from Arizona or Florida, this probably will not apply in your case. When looking at a venue, be sure to ask the Event Coordinator about winter specials.

2. 86 Saturday
Everybody wants to have their wedding on a Saturday. Is it necessary? Of course not! You can save nearly half the cost of the venue by having your wedding any day besides Saturday.

3. Centennial Showboat
This venue is a fabulously unique venue on the Mississippi River that charges $300 for venue rental without a food or beverage minimum (or $100 with a $1000 f&b minimum).

4. Landmark Center
One of the most gorgeous buildings in Saint Paul. Granted, the light-filled Musser Cortile costs a pretty penny, but for receptions under 125 guests, there are three, architecturally stunning courtrooms waiting to fill the void. This venue does not have an exclusive caterer, so you can save even more.

5. Catering
Look for a venue that allows you to bring in an outside caterer. Suddenly, you have options, both in food selection and cost.

6. City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation
City Park and Rec Departments manage some of the best venues in town. Saint Paul, for instance, manages a few locations on Harriet Island. Minneapolis has the Cowles Conservatory at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Bring in your own caterer, decorations and cake.

7. Your Apartment
No, I’m not suggesting you have a wedding reception in your 500 square-foot apartment. I am suggesting, however, that you look into other properties your apartment management company runs. Galtier Towers in Saint Paul, for instance, has a beautiful 10th floor atrium space for rent. If you are a tenant, the cost to rent the space is $0.00 with a refundable deposit.

8. Cake
A lot of venues will let you bring in your own cake/dessert. My only advice: beware the cake cutting fees. If the venue has an in-house caterer, chances are they will charge you to slice the cake. Just another reason to find a venue that allows outside catering!

9. Photography
Wedding planners always tell you not to skimp on your photos. I’m guessing this is because your wedding photo is going to be featured on a billboard in Times Square, right? In reality, the two of you are probably the only ones who are going to be looking at your photos. Maybe you have a friend, or a friend of a friend that is an amateur photographer. It’s a win-win. You save, they build their portfolio and everybody ends with great-looking pictures.

10. Invitations
Round up friends and family to help you design and create custom invitations. Print at your nearest printer and get ready to address a lot of envelopes.

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