By LAURI GROSS
You know the wedding
you want: Sophisticated. Stunning. Dramatic. For a destination that’s up to the challenge, the St. Clair Ballroom, Cleveland’s newest venue in the heart of downtown, will be an easy choice. With space for up to 300 guests – but just as appropriate for smaller gatherings – the St. Clair Ballroom is located on the fourth floor of the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center and it’s dripping with elegance. The formerly private club is sporting a major makeover and is now available for anyone to book an event there.
Anne Rusnak, Director of Private Dining and Sales at St. Clair Ballroom, said, “The bar and the library are updated with beautiful new fixtures and carpeting, and the woodwork is new. We did a sophisticated update. The ballroom was a complete gut.”
The new ballroom began hosting events last March and is already popular because there is plenty to love about the space, starting with the views.
“Instead of one view of downtown Cleveland, we have 180-degrees,” said Ms. Rusnak. She pointed out that the lake, Malls A, B and C, The War Memorial Fountain, the Rock Hall and more are all part of the stunning views from the St. Clair. Ballroom. “In the evenings, the tall buildings catch on fire,” she added, referring to the visual effect of the setting sun. “As that subsides, the fountains turn on and the up-lights go on. It’s like you are paying for a panoramic scene that you don’t have to pay for,” she added.
Although the St. Clair Ballroom is a separate entity from the Marriott at Key Center, Ms. Rusnak said, “We have a symbiotic relationship with the Marriott.” She explained that couples getting married at the St. Clair ballroom, can take advantage of bridal suites at the Marriott.
“We provide a full package so it can be one-stop shopping,” she added. Ms. Rusnak works directly with brides and other clients on all their choices to ensure the perfect event, including tables, chairs, basic linens, china, silverware, glassware, wait staff, cake cutting service, wines and craft cocktails.
Although the St. Clair Ballroom does not provide wedding cakes, they do serve it for free. “And brides can choose our homemade gelato to go with it,” Ms. Rusnak added.
The flexibility of the space is another big draw. It can be configured to fit any need. “The board room can be booked for 10 people,” said Ms. Rusnak. “And even in the ballroom, if you have a small gathering of 25-30, because of the architecture, even a small group won’t feel dwarfed.”
Renovations at the Key Center include a spectacular new outdoor plaza, a reimagined lobby, and a grand new arrival area in the Marriott Hotel. The Il Venetian modern Italian restaurant offers fine dining. Other amenities include the Vedas day spa and salon, and a barbershop. There is also valet parking, and self-parking is within a short walk. And, of course the venue is in close proximity to Playhouse Square, FirstEnergy Stadium, Progressive Field, Quicken Loans Arena, Huntington Convention Center, Cleveland Museum of Art, and more.
Ms. Rusnak sees the St. Clair Ballroom as part of Cleveland’s vibrancy. “We are setting a high bar,” she said. “We don’t want to lose the millennials. We want to make Cleveland a space to live, work and play. This is their town. Cleveland is a vibrant city and a lot is happening here.”