The Brew City is full of beautiful wedding venues. How are you supposed to find the right Milwaukee wedding venue that fits your vision and pocketbook? One of the first lessons of wedding planning is that you can’t always judge a book by its cover. Some of the most beautiful wedding venues can provide the perfect backdrop without breaking your wedding budget. The second lesson is that you should expect to allocate 40% of your budget for the wedding reception (i.e. wedding venue, caterer, etc.)
All these wedding planning lessons can make finding the right Milwaukee wedding venue seem like an overwhelming puzzle. Fortunately, this guide can help you through the process and help you find the right wedding venue that is the perfect setting for your wedding day.
Set a budget.
Before you start looking for a wedding venue, it’s important to set criteria for your search. You can do so with a conversation with your fiancé. This is the time to state anything you really want at the wedding, and discuss important details like the location, date, and how you’re going to pay for it. (Use this list of wedding planning questions to guide your discussion.)
Research, research, research.
The next step is to research local Milwaukee wedding venues. Fortunately, this step can mostly be done online, on websites and social media. However, there is a note of caution that comes with this step. Though pictures on the website and social media look great, never book a wedding venue without seeing it in-person. This is your time to ask questions and schedule a showing.
Interview your potential wedding venues.
If you want to narrow down your prospects, contact each Milwaukee wedding venue with these questions:
- Is the venue available on this date/during this month/in this season? (If you don’t have a set date, it can be easier to find a wedding venue with available dates during your desired season or month.)
- Will my wedding be the only event at the venue?
- How many guests does your venue accommodate? Is there space for a ceremony and reception? If so, will my guests have to wait before the reception?
- What is the venue rate? What does the venue rate include (i.e. equipment, staffing, etc.)? Is there an overtime fee if the reception goes beyond a certain number of hours?
- What services are covered by the venue rate?
- Does your venue offer wedding planning services?
- Does your venue carry liability insurance? (This can be important in case a guest is injured.)
- What is the wedding venue cancellation policy?
- Can I bring in a wedding caterer or photographer? Or does your venue require us to use certain vendors?
- What is the venue alcohol policy?
- Is there convenient parking near the wedding venue?
- Is the wedding venue handicap accessible?
- Are there local accommodations for my guests (i.e. hotels, inns, etc.)? How far away are these businesses?
Review the contract.
After interviewing your potential wedding venues, it’s time to tour your wedding venue (with this list of wedding venue tour questions) and review the contract. Once you’ve signed the contract for your favorite Milwaukee wedding venue, the fun next step can begin: envisioning and planning the day of your dreams.