A quick note about venue and vendor reviews: I am not associated with or paid by the reviewed parties. My thoughts are based on my experience, both good and bad, as a photographer photographing at the venue or with the vendor.
Overview Of My Experience:
On January 4th, 2014 I had the opportunity to photograph a wedding reception at Ces and Judy’s Catering in St. Louis. Upon entering I was greeted by a large, round room where cocktails were served before entering the dining room. An easily accessed balcony overlooked the area and a fireplace at the far end offers a comfortable feel. This is a great spot for a group shot with all your guests if you want one.
The dining room itself was very nicely appointed. On this particular evening the room was accented by wonderful uplighting, although to be honest I don’t know if this was provided by Ces and Judy’s themselves or something the DJ brought. There were about 150 guests and I think that’s just about as many as I’d want in the dining room at any one time. Any more and it would start getting pretty tight between the tables.
There is a nice sized, dedicated dance floor with room for a DJ’s table and lights. From a photography perspective, the room has white ceilings that are just the right height in order to bounce the flash and produce better photos. (Rooms that have dark painted or exceptionally high ceilings are not optimal for photos – something to keep in mind if natural looking reception photos are important to you.)
The food was very good. The chicken and beef were both juicy and tender. We also had mixed grain rice that was good enough to get seconds, and a creamy pasta with broccoli that I couldn’t get enough of. Call me weird, but I love broccoli. They did not pass Carol’s infamous “green bean” test, however, being too stiff for our preference.
I was impressed by the staff. Everyone I spoke with was very friendly and helpful and they were very cooperative from the point of view of a vendor. So many places look at the photographer, DJ, and other vendors as a nuisance they would rather not deal with, but that wasn’t the case at Ces and Judy’s where I felt as welcome as the guests themselves. How the staff treats the vendors is a good indicator of how genuinely and sincerely they will treat everyone else.
Photographically, the building is a treasure trove of amazing indoor locations. There’s a large, four story atrium of wood and iron with an old style “cage” elevator at one end. DO NOT MISS THIS! Sneak away for ten minutes and get some photos before you wear out dancing. This is also a great place to go if the weather prevents many outdoor run-around photos.
- Easy access to Hwy. 40
- Interesting and unusual building with numerous indoor areas for photography.
- Attractive decor, clean and well kept.
- Exceptionally friendly and helpful wait staff.
- Good food. (Although they did not pass the “green bean” test.)
- Slightly tight with a large guest list. (The reception I photographed had about 150 guests, I wouldn’t recommend much more. Although I believe they can accommodate a larger group it would be a bit tight.)
The Final Word:
I would gladly recommend Ces and Judy’s Catering for wedding receptions up to about 150-175 guests. The staff was great, the food very good, and all in a building full of indoor photographic potential. I’ve photographed at a lot of reception venues and I’d rate this one close to the top of the list.
Ces and Judy’s Catering
10405 Clayton Rd, Saint Louis, MO 63131