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I actually have quite a few suggestions, but it depends on your budget and headcount. You should check out places like the University Circle museums and institutions (such as the Western Reserve Historical Society, where I'm getting married, or an outdoor, tented venue like Wade Oval). There are also some cool places away from the city -- if you went to university in the area, check with them for interesting venues. CWRU, where I went, has a gorgeous manor home that's rentable and just outside the city but also has rooms.
But if your hesitation to have a reception at a hotel is just because you want something unique, don't rule it out entirely. You don't have to go the ballroom route. Ask about alternative spaces for rent. For instance, I'm having my reception at the Intercontinental but am both saving money and getting a neat -- and very unusual -- space on their third floor lobby/glass balcony.
Best of luck!
Totally misunderstood the question! If you're worried about guests driving to the hotel, you can always hire a shuttle for after the reception. Many limo companies will give you a discount if you get both the limo and shuttle from them. BVIP Limousine Service quoted me $350 for 4 hours for the shuttle, so it's pretty affordable.
Unique venues can be ethnic restaurants/party centers - they are all over the place, and they're usually very affordable and have great food (I can give more info if you're interested). I know Botanical Gardens do receptions, and that would be gorgeous. I also considered having my reception at the Foundation Room at House of Blues - it's very cozy and has a middle eastern feel.
Yes, Botanical Gardens is georgeous -- and the single most expensive place in this city to get married. If you don't have a $60k budget, I wouldn't even look there!
Oh really? I had no idea. I just know they wanted $2K for the ceremony.
That's just for the ceremony. If you wanted a full reception there, with dinner and all that, it's megabucks. But I'm actually surprised they only asked for $2k.
Cleveland, OH, USA
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I am having my reception at the 100th Bomb Group right next to the airport. There is a Hilton Garden Inn right there that shuttles 24/7 to and from the Bomb Group. I've already met with sales and they will set up an actual schedule for my wedding and the shuttle so my guests know when the shuttle will be just for them. They also shuttle to Great Northern Mall, Walmart, and local food places by the mall.
The 100th Bomb Group is an interesting venue that is based on airplanes. They have a lot of amazing photo's on Facebook if you're a member and a few on their website. As for budget, they have several packages that include as little or as much as you want. I am working with Kim Stipe and she has been more than accomodating of our budget. Hope this helps!
I just asked for the ceremony, and they told me $2k for an hour or hour and a half, don't remember exactly. I can see how it'd be a lot for the reception since they'd have to bring everything in.
Betty and David
Cleveland, OH, USA
I was also going to suggest looking at the Severance Hall, Cleveland Botanical Gardens or the Glidden House where your guests can also stay (depending on your headcount). They're all quite beautiful so you wouldn't need to add that much in terms of decor. We actually went to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens to do some of our wedding pictures there, which we were really happy with.
You should also check out the Old Courthouse in downtown Cleveland which is a really impressive space and very close to a lot of the major hotels. And a couple of the Cleveland hotels have some pretty unexpected venue spaces in addition to big ballrooms. I remember the Arcade at the Hyatt Regency had a pretty unique setup and the Renaissance had a restaurant/bar-like venue to rent for smaller groups (100 or so).
I agree with Laura that you can do a lot with a hotel ballroom, especially with the right vendors. My wedding was just last month at The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland and I'm still amazed with what our florist/designer created!
I remembered more stuff reading other responses - I attended a wedding at the Renaissance in the large ballroom once, and it was absolutely beautiful. Didn't look like a typical hotel at all.
Also, check out Signature of Solon Country Club, Bertram Inn in Aurora and Barrington Country Club (I think that's the name).
If you're looking for something on the more affordable side, orchards like Mapleside do beautiful weddings. I believe there's another orchard in Chesterland that does weddings as well.
I'm also having my wedding at the 100th Bomb Group this September. I worked with the Airport Sheraton and my guests can stay at the hotel and use 24hr free shuttle service to and from the reception.
I went to a wedding recently at Michaud's Towne and Country and the Hilton Garden Inn in Strongsville shuttled guests as well. Hope this helps!