Call it another sign of the rebirth of landmark Statler City in downtown Buffalo.

Wedding receptions on again at Statler

October 7, 2011 Updated Oct 7, 2011 at 7:42 AM EDT

By WKBW News

October 7, 2011 Updated Oct 7, 2011 at 7:42 AM EDT

The former Statler Towers will host its first wedding reception under its new owner, Mark Croce, when Ashley Leaderstorf, 26 of Tonawanda, and Edward Kellerman, 27, of Orchard Park celebrate their marriage with 250 of their closest family and friends. The reception is set for the Statler's Terrace Room.

The Leaderstorf/Kellerman wedding is the first of more than 50 Croce has booked in recent months as he moves ahead with the multi-million renovation and rebirth of the 18-story Niagara Square building.

The couple had previously committed to another location for their reception, but when they heard the Statler was coming back they had to check it out.

"As soon as we walked in, I knew it had to be here. It is just timeless," Leaderstorf said.

The couple, who met working together downtown at the another Mark Croce business - the Buckin' Buffalo, approached the developer about booking their reception.

"As far as we were concerned, we just couldn't have it any other place, " Leaderstorf said.

The October 8 date was a challenge, Croce admitted.

The Statler has already hosted a number of smaller, corporate events including Business First's "Brick by Brick" awards on Sept. 15 and the annual Buffalo Irish Festival in late August.

"We were already pushing hard to have everything ready for the National Trust for Historic Preservation conference on Oct. 19," said Croce. "We decided to push a little harder to help Ashley and Eddie realize their dream."

Guests were surprised to see the reception location on the invitations, Leaderstorf said.

"People were over the top when they received their invitations, particularly the older people who remember what the Statler was before. My mother had her prom there," Leaderstorf said.

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