Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Do’s and Don’ts of a Beautiful DIY Wedding

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cake with flower petalsBefore we launch into the do’s and don’ts of a DIY wedding, we’re giving a disclaimer: the level of do-it-yourself you choose for your wedding is going to determine how much DIY affects your wedding planning. We’ve seen brides produce everything from start to finish, from the save-the-dates to the centerpieces to designing thank you cards. Every couple is different, and there’s no right or wrong to wedding planning. We’ve seen wedding ceremonies and receptions that fit a busy couple to a T completely planned by the event or wedding planner. There are certainly benefits to this arrangement, as we wrote about in a recent blog post. Then there’s the opposite couple: they are at the epicenter of every wedding planning decision, creating as many details of their wedding day as possible.

So what’s the “right” way for your wedding? How much do-it-yourself wedding planning fits you as a couple? These tips can help you make your decision:

Do expect that a DIY wedding is going to take A LOT of time. It’s true. No matter how simple the pictures look, the process to get to that point is going to take time, and a lot of time. If you’re having a big wedding, multiply your production process times the amount of items you need. For example, if it takes 30 minutes to make 10 favors for your wedding, it’s going to take 1200 minutes to make 400 favors.

Don’t get in over your head. Let’s face it: we’re not all crafty. Know your skills. We can’t all produce beautiful cakes, or are detail-oriented enough to glue together the perfect centerpiece. If you’ve never worked on a computer, don’t assume you can create professional wedding invitations. There’s a reason they are called professionals.

Do know how much you can do. There are only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week. Know how many wedding details you can take on, and schedule accordingly. Remember: there’s no shame in hiring vendors to tackle those details that you can’t.

Don’t procrastinate. The days leading up to your wedding are busy, so don’t wait until the last minute to tackle your DIY wedding projects. It won’t work. Get as much done ahead of time, so you can tackle all the last minute details and items that (God forbid!) don’t go as planned right before your wedding.

Do communicate with others. A wedding is an event that is based on efficient coordination. Even if you are producing everything for your wedding, make sure you are communicating with your wedding venue, family and friends to ensure that all the pieces fit together.

Don’t assume that DIY is always cheaper. Number one mistake of any do-it-yourselfer: making the assumption that if you make everything for your wedding the cost is less. While this might be the truth 6 out of 10 times, do your homework. Sometimes it is cheaper to ask a professional to print 1,000 invitations, simply because they have the equipment and supplies. Don’t forget to factor in time, too, when you calculate the cost. If you have to take a day off to produce centerpieces, for example, then the cost of losing income should be tallied in as well.

Do practice. Don’t look at pictures and assume that your cake is going to turn out perfect. Don’t assume that those centerpieces are going to turn out on the first try. Practice before your big day to ensure that what you think is going to happen actually happens.

Have any questions? Choose a wedding venue with experienced event planners. Event planners are coordinators, and can do as much or as little as you want. They are invaluable for coordinating the details on the day of your wedding, and pulling together all your DIY wedding projects into a beautiful affair. They can also give you advice based on what they’ve seen work at other weddings, and can recommend vendors for the wedding projects you don’t want to do yourself. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day—and neither is your wedding.

Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Wedding Reception Hall

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wedding venue Milwaukee WIIn some ways, we’re all beginners in choosing the right wedding reception hall for your big day. Every wedding day is a beautiful, and unique, opportunity to celebrate your union with your family and friends. As the wedding reception hall whose job it is to make your dream day a reality, we know how overwhelming wedding planning can be, and especially how hard it is choosing the right wedding reception hall—the crux of your dream wedding. So what factors should play a part in choosing the right wedding reception hall?

  • Date. There are two ways to use your date to find the right wedding reception hall. First you can have several dates available and contact reception halls about what dates are open. If your heart is set on a reception hall and date, reserve the hall on that specific date as soon as possible (years in advance)—or ask for open dates and choose that date for your wedding. The second option is to set your dates and contact halls about that date. Once you know the facility is available, you can set up appointments to tour the sites that have your ideal date available.
  • Your wedding day needs. Do you need a ceremony and reception site? Ask about the size of the wedding reception hall. Do you need accommodations for out-of-town guests? Use a map to make sure the reception hall is close to hotels. Do you need a caterer? Ask the hall manager about what services they provide. Do you have a caterer or other vendor that you want to use? If you have a vendor, you want to use, contact wedding reception halls and ask what vendors they allow in to their facility. A few facilities even have an open door policy, and allow any vendor in to their reception hall. Does the reception hall have space for all your guests? To find the right site for your wedding, make a list of questions and your needs for the wedding. Ask the manager at each reception hall the questions before you tour the hall. If the venue won’t allow your preferred caterer, there is no reason to go visit.
  • Your style. Are you a couple with traditional tastes? Do you like historic facilities? Prefer a barn out in the country? Talk with your fiancé about what kind of wedding he or she envisions to make sure you are contacting and visiting reception halls that match your tastes and style.
  • Set your budget for your reception hall. As you research facilities, ask for pricing information so you have a clear idea of all expenses. If you are looking for a way to save money, ask about the reception hall weekday rates, set your wedding on a Friday or Sunday or use one of these tips to keep your budget intact.
  • How much planning help you need. Are you busy and need help with coordinating your wedding? Ask each reception hall about wedding planning services.
  • Handicap accessibility. If you have friends or family with mobility issues, keep them in mind as you choose your reception hall. Remember you have options. Thinking about handicap accessibility now can ensure that everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.

Here’s a factor that shouldn’t be part of choosing the right wedding reception: procrastination. Since the wedding reception hall is such a vital part of your wedding day, don’t delay contacting local wedding reception halls to set up an appointment (even via social media!) or checking their Facebook pages about open house dates. An open house is a unique opportunity to see the wedding reception hall, get a full tour, talk with vendors and even enjoy refreshments. It’s also the chance of a lifetime to envision your big day, and decide what wedding reception hall is the right location for one of the most important days of your life.