Monthly Archives: July 2019

Choosing the Best Wedding Ceremony and Reception Venue

bride above a beautiful wedding receptionHosting a wedding ceremony and reception in the same place can be a matter of convenience or budget; in both cases, it can be beautiful (and not quite as easy as typing in “Milwaukee wedding venues near me.”) However, choosing a wedding venue for both the ceremony and venue does add a few more boxes to your wedding venue checklist.

Search for venues with space for the ceremony and reception without inconveniencing guests.

Hosting a ceremony and reception at the same wedding venue brings continuity to the day and virtually eliminates transportation costs. It’s incredibly convenient for guests as well; they don’t have to leave one venue to head to another or even stop for refreshments on the way.

Instead, guests enjoy a beautiful wedding ceremony, offer their congratulations, and enjoy the amenities of a wonderful cocktail hour—all before sitting down to the start of a wonderful wedding reception. To maintain the flow of the festivities, search for a venue with space for both areas (ask if there is space for a ceremony with these other wedding venue questions) without the inconvenience of a huge breakdown by staff.

Look for a wedding venue with convenient parking.

In addition to enough space, you should also look for a wedding venue with parking. No one wants their guests heading for the exit so they can plug their parking meter. If you’re planning on holding the ceremony and reception at the same site, choose a wedding venue with on-site parking so guests can enjoy the day without worrying.

Consider your less-mobile guests.

A wedding ceremony and reception is a gift to guests who may not be able to get around very easily, unless it is hard to get from one area to another. If you have guests on the list who have mobility issues, consider them as you tour the venue. Is it easy for them to get around? If the ceremony outside, can all your guests get to it? Is the venue handicap-accessible?

Look for wedding venue dressing spaces.

A wedding day comes with a few logistical details that may not be the most fantastic but are incredibly necessary. Dressing spaces and storage are two of those minor details that play a big part in enjoying your special day. When touring the venue, ask to see dressing spaces so you and your attendants can change when needed and store items without worry.

Find the décor that sets the stage for the ceremony and reception.

Another huge (and budget-saving) benefit of planning a wedding ceremony and reception at the same place is that wedding décor can be used for both events. Keep this in mind as you plan your wedding day; look for décor that works for both the ceremony and reception.

Plan a fantastic cocktail hour.

The cocktail hour is the core of a seamless wedding day (especially when the ceremony and reception are in the same place). Talk to the wedding venue about ways to make the cocktail hour a fantastic and seamless part of the day. Look for ways to integrate every detail of the cocktail hour with the ceremony and reception details so the transition feels smooth and flawless.

7 Hot Summer Wedding Mistakes to Side Step

There aren’t enough good things that can be said about a summer wedding. It’s a beautiful time of year to get married—and one of the few months of the year when the temperatures are (hopefully) fantastic! Yet even with all those positive vibes, planning a summer wedding still comes with its fair share of mistakes that leave couples and their guests in hot water (or weather). Here are a few of the most common summer wedding mistakes—and what you can learn from them.

Not having a plan B

Most of the time, summer comes with its fair share of beautiful days with sunshine and pleasant weather. The key word here is “most”—and unfortunately it’s a word that summer brides and grooms count far too much on.

Unfortunately, summer also comes with rain, thunderstorms, scorching heat, and huge temperature swings. These are all things couples should plan for (with an indoor venue, emergency kits, last-minute props, etc.), even when the weather forecast includes a “small chance of…” The lesson is to plan accordingly—and enjoy the results! A rainy wedding day can turn into a series of one-of-a-kind photo opps with umbrellas and rain boots. A hot wedding day can stir up a lot of fun with fans.

Ignoring your hot guests

Your big day is your day, but don’t forget the people that have taken the time to celebrate it with you. The good news is that keeping guests cool doesn’t have to take a ton of effort. If you are holding an outdoor ceremony, think about scheduling your wedding ceremony when the sun isn’t blazing down on you and your guests. If a steamy ceremony isn’t avoidable, look for wedding venues with air conditioning for a welcome reprieve from the heat.

Cooling stations are another great way to cool your guests (and a great favor idea!) These stylish containers can be placed strategically in areas where guests circulate. Cooling stations can contain water, fans, mosquito spray, sunscreen, flip flops—anything that keeps guests cool and comfortable is welcome.

Setting yourself up for a meltdown

Overdressing is a common couple mistake. So many couples are guilty! As much as you want to look fantastic on your wedding day, don’t forget to think about your own comfort on your big day. When planning your attire, look for fabrics (and shoes!) that aren’t stuffy or cumbersome.

As long as you are at it, do the same for your attendants. (They’ll appreciate it!) If you do want an incredibly formal wedding ceremony, give your attendants gifts they can use after to keep cool. Fans are an obvious choice, as are flip flops (glam them up for a personalized formal test) and sunglasses. Your attendants are going to appreciate it, especially when the day is sizzling.

Not planning for bad weather

Every couple dreams of a sunny summer wedding. Unfortunately, rain and thunderstorms can be just as disastrous. You and your guests don’t want muddy shoes and soaked outfits. If you have any doubts about the weather, consider holding the ceremony in a venue with space for the ceremony and reception (with fantastic décor that brings the outdoors in).

Leaving guests hungry

The best summer wedding menu is full of fresh, seasonal tastes that are light and delicious—but not too light. Couples need to choose the right items that fit the season and atmosphere, but aren’t too light and too heavy. Guests love the freshest summer wedding menu dishes with fresh fruits and vegetables and pastas and meats with a seasonal flavor.

The summer wedding mistake most couples make is selecting a wedding menu that’s too light, leaving guests hungry and heading for the exit. Instead, couples should choose a caterer carefully that can help plan a full menu of light appetizers and entrees (plus a bonus late night course that keeps everyone on the dance floor).

Serving only cocktails

Guests love summer wedding cocktails, and couples love to come up with unique summer cocktail recipes suitable for their special day. However, summer wedding cocktails shouldn’t be the only item on your beverage menu (especially when it’s hot).

Instead, make sure you give guests plenty of opportunities to hydrate throughout the wedding day. Put bottled water out for guests after the ceremony (personalize the water bottles for a fun twist). For a more formal twist, have a waitress serve water (with delicious fruit added for a summer flavor) during the cocktail hour. Your effort to keep guests (and yourselves) shouldn’t stop there; instead hydrate your guests during dinner, at the bar, and near the dance floor. Your guests’ll appreciate the chance to fuel up, and you’ll appreciate the fact that everyone is hydrated and enjoying themselves.

Not asking about entertainment restrictions

A summer wedding wouldn’t be complete without unique summer entertainment. There are some really neat ideas that fit the season (like fireworks and sparklers!) Unfortunately, many of those summertime entertainment ideas are limited by local municipalities (i.e. curfews for volume, firework and sparkler permits, etc.) If you decide on a really unique summer wedding entertainment, always ask the venue before you set anything in stone; you don’t want your idea for the ultimate wedding entertainment to turn into a wedding day regret.

14 Perfectly Elegant Wedding Themes

floral bouquet on table with sparkling back drop: outdoor touch for summer weddingIf you’re a couple that wants a wedding theme as upscale as your beautiful wedding venue, these wedding ideas are for you. They are also the start of a one-of-a-kind wedding day, because no two themed weddings are alike. Every detail of these wedding themes can be as unique and as extraordinary as the couple being celebrated.

cake with floral arrangement from an elegant vintage wedding

Vintage

A vintage wedding day is a step back in time with all the details of a favorite era. Couples can celebrate the Roaring 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s (especially with the right historic wedding venue ask a backdrop). For a Hollywood spin, you can even indulge in every detail of a Great Gatsby party. The choice is up to you, but be ready to enjoy all the little touches of a vintage wedding: floral, lace, lanterns…the vintage possibilities are endless.

couple cutting cake on wedding date

Romantic

A romantic-themed wedding is all about the love in the air. This wedding theme is all about creating a formal atmosphere with the sweetest touches. Most couples use formal, floral touches but the interpretation of this wedding theme is entirely up to you.

birch containers with elegant wedding centerpiece

Outdoors (Inside)

Many couples associate events that bring the feel of the outdoors in as casual or rustic, but the truth is that this wedding theme can be the perfect fit for an elegant affair. A formal event with this wedding theme should include all the elements of a beautiful garden, such as flowers, topiaries, and greens.

red carpet in lobby at 1451 Renaissance Place

Red Carpet

A red carpet wedding reception can be a grand theatrical event or an event fit for a movie star (with a stunning background suitable for this incredibly formal wedding theme). Either way, this is your chance to roll out the red carpet (literally) for your guests and create a night with all the drama of the stage and big screen.

wedding venue with centerpiece lights and guests at wedding reception

Holiday Theme

The winter holiday is a wonderful time to celebrate a couple who loves this time of year. A winter holiday wedding theme also comes with numerous opportunities for unique décor. A holiday themed event can be a cozy event filled with touches of cranberry and velvet or a striking affair with a neutral background and beautiful holiday poinsettias.

winter wedding venue feature wall with beads and uplighting

Winter

A winter wonderland includes all the touches of the season, which is different for every couple. For some couples, this wedding is a bright and shining event with crystals and lights. For others, a winter wedding is more of a muted affair with subtle touches of the season. The possibilities don’t end with décor; a winter wedding is a fantastic opportunity to include a hot cocoa bar (with all the fixings) or another seasonal favorite.

welcoming wedding venue foyer with warm fireplace

Autumn

This season is a beautiful time of the year, and a wedding themed around the season should be nothing less. An autumn wedding is the perfect occasion to include all the scents, tastes, and touches of the season. The exact nature of those touches is different for every couple: apple cider, seasonal wines and ales, rich colors, pumpkins, leaves, and other classic seasonal touches.

floral centerpiece with tall gold vase and lilies

Spring

A spring wedding is a fresh event with all the touches that make guests glad winter is over. The menu and décor can be just as energetic and bright as the season. A spring wedding menu includes fresh flavors and décor that embodies the beauty of the season: flowers, greens, fresh produce, and delectable spring cuisine.

elegant wedding centerpieces with simple rose arrangement

Summer

This seasonal wedding theme is a chance to bring the essence of summer alive; though those themed details are different for everyone. A summer wedding is a chance to incorporate bright colors, fans, umbrellas, and all the freshest tastes of summer (personalized summer cocktails, anyone?).

masquerade ball decor

Masquerade Ball

A masquerade ball is a wedding theme that is uniquely different, but incredibly fun. This theme also lends itself to bright and coordinated décor set against a stunning wedding venue. For a theatrical twist, couples can consider a Phantom of the Opera event. For a whimsical wedding reception, couples can incorporate the colors and feel of Mardi Gras (plus the entertainment!).

holiday wedding with babys breath centerpieces and cranberry napkins

Traditional

A traditional wedding theme is a nod to favorite wedding traditions of the past or to your ethnic heritage. As such, there are a million different ways couples can create the perfect traditional wedding day. With a formal traditional wedding theme, every detail should be black-tie worthy and dressed to the nines.

beautiful wedding day after couple organizes wedding planning

Garden Wedding

Everything about a garden wedding should be dreamy, from the invitations to the décor. The venue can be a beautiful outdoor garden or an indoor venue with garden décor (this option is perfect for an off-season wedding).

mandap with floral garland

International

An international wedding can be full of ethnic and cultural details that make guests feel like they just arrived. As with other wedding themes, an international wedding reception is a chance for couples to pick-and-choose their favorite details. Modern couples can select their favorite details while hosting a wedding reception with all the amenities.

wisconsin wedding venue with beautiful love sign and local flavors

Local Flavor

One of the freshest and trendiest wedding themes is a wedding reception with a wonderful local flavor. The effort is creating a bit of a destination wedding. Think tasting stations with brews and wines from local businesses, a menu with local, fresh dishes, and a surprise visit from a local celebrity or band.