All posts by Renaissance Place

Engaged? Use these 10 Essential Wedding Planning Tips

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bride and groom dancing at summer wedding reception in beautiful wedding venueFrom the moment couples announce their engagement, the advice starts coming in (and never seems to stop). Suddenly, everyone has an idea for your wedding—and there are a million ways to use all that advice. When it comes down to it, though, you don’t need all that wedding advice (good news!), just a few basic tips that can guide planning the special day of your dreams.

Don’t procrastinate.

Wedding planning can be a lot less stressful by checking off a few of the wedding planning tasks now (here are the first few wedding planning tasks to get you started). As an extra bonus, booking the right wedding venue and vendors guarantees that you get the site, caterer, and photographer that you want. As you start planning, don’t feel that you need to have an exact wedding date. It can be easier to get the venue and vendors you want if you are flexible about dates (“what dates are you available?”) and only have a month or season in mind (use these tips to choose the right wedding date).

Stay organized.

We’re not going to lie: there are a lot of steps to wedding planning. It can be overwhelming—and completely doable if you stay organized. Use this wedding planning checklist and these tips to stay on top of your wedding planning. If family or friends ask to help, give them a deadline to ensure that the task is done and checked off the list.

If hiring a wedding planner, choose the right level of wedding planning.

Most couples assume that a wedding planner is a one-size-fits-all service that completely takes over. In reality, there are full-service wedding planners that can attend to every detail and part-time planners that can assist throughout the process. Decide which type of planning fits your wedding and your lifestyle early in the process and add it to your to-do list (or criteria for your wedding venue). This can help you decide between two planners or venues (some venues offer on-staff wedding planners that are intimately familiar with the venue and local vendors).

Select your venue carefully.

There are a lot of big wedding planning decisions; one of the biggest is the wedding venue because it dictates all the other wedding day details. The best piece of wedding planning advice: consider your options for a wedding venue carefully. Use this wedding venue checklist and these questions to select the best wedding venue for your special day. Don’t choose a wedding venue until you’ve seen it; online photos can be misleading. Schedule a tour (or ask a family member or planner if you can’t) to ensure that the wedding venue is the right one.

Let everyone know that you have a favorite vendor.

Assumptions are the enemy during wedding planning; don’t assume you can bring in your favorite caterer or décor caterer you would love to use. Make sure you ask the venue if they have an open vendor policy, which allows couples to bring in their preferred vendors. If hiring a wedding planner, let them know right away that you have a vendor in mind so they can factor that into the planning process.

Draft a guest list early in the process.

As you go through the wedding planning process, you’ll find that two key points keep coming up: date and amount of guests. While you don’t have to get a final guest list nailed down, it does make cents (pun intended) to set an estimated guest list. As you plan, decide whether you want an adults-only wedding or a kids included guest list. This simple step can help you as you make key wedding planning decisions—and save you from heartache. You don’t want to fall in love with a wedding venue that doesn’t have enough room for your guests.

Make guest comfort a priority.

Your big day is all about you, but the people you want to join you celebrating should be a focus too. Keep your guests in mind as you plan. Choose a venue with enough space and all the amenities that your guests appreciate. Little things matter, like a venue with convenient parking and transportation so guests don’t have to tramp for miles to your big day. An open-bar policy can also be a touchy subject for guests; decide early what your preference is and communicate the specifics on your wedding website. You’d be surprised too how those little things can stick with you; the smallest details, like a late-night food course, can be the detail that guests talk about for years.

Decide on a budget ASAP.

A wedding budget should not be an afterthought. Have a conversation with your significant other and anyone else that has expressed an interest in contributing to your big day. (As long as you are opening the lines of communication, discuss these key points before you delve into wedding planning.) Decide on a wedding budget (this wedding budget checklist can help) and be open about issues that may arise, such as credit problems or credit card limits.

Pack an emergency wedding kit for your big day.

An emergency wedding kit may seem like a small detail, but one with big implications. Make sure you pack these wedding essentials for those “just in case” situations, such as bad weather, a rip or tear, or any other unpleasant problems that come up. In your wedding kit, too, plan on putting payments for vendors and any last-minute items you need for the day (use this list of wedding kit essentials).

Enjoy yourself.

A wedding is a celebration. Enjoy it—and the process to get to your big day! When you feel overwhelmed, use these tips for de-stressing or spend some time relaxing with these de-stressing ideas. Once all the planning is over, take a deep breath and use these last-minute preps to ensure that you are enjoying every moment of the biggest day of your life.

Wedding Planning Guide: What is the first step in planning a wedding?

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wedding day at a reception hall with bride and groom dancing after wedding planningYour significant other popped the question! Congrats! Once the glow of the proposal has worn off, it’s time to face the enormous task of wedding planning. While this wedding planning checklist from Real Simple can get you through the next few months (or years), we’ve given you a wedding planning guide that can get you started with the first step, talking to your partner, and can take you step-by-step from there.

Before you shop for wedding dresses or decide on flowers, sit down and talk to your future husband or wife (then follow the next steps in our wedding planning guide). A simple conversation now can give your wedding planning direction and guide you as select and finalize all the wedding day details.

Location

Where would you like to get married? Decide together whether your home town, current city, lake home, alma mater, or favorite vacation spot is your ideal place to get married. Once you’ve narrowed down the city, state, and country, start thinking about what you want and need in your wedding venue.

Next wedding planning step: Use this list of criteria to narrow down your choices for wedding venue; the next step is to contact potential wedding venues and ask them these important questions.

Date

You don’t have to select the exact wedding date, but it is helpful to narrow down your options to a month or season. If there is some flexibility on date but not on budget, ask the wedding venue for an evening weekday or Sunday morning (for brunch!); many venues give discounted rates for off-peak days.

Next wedding planning step: Use this guide to decide on a wedding date you both are excited about. Contact wedding venues and ask if the date is available. If there is some flexibility on date, ask the wedding venue for open dates during the desired season or month.

Guest List

You and your spouse-to-be don’t have to come up with an exact wedding list, but start talking about whether you want a big wedding or a smaller, more intimate affair. An idea of the guest count is also helpful when choosing the right wedding venue, which shouldn’t be too big or too small.

Next wedding planning step: Use these steps to set a wedding guest list. A final guest list can give you general numbers to give to the caterer and vendors for linen rental and centerpieces.

Budget

This is a very important part of the initial wedding planning conversation. Decide how much you want to spend on your wedding day, and where the funds are coming from.

Next wedding planning step: Contact any friends or family members that have expressed an interest in helping pay for the wedding day. Make sure you get a clear answer (not just “we can cover dinner”) to minimize any disagreements later.

Style

Every couple has their own style and vision for the wedding day. Do you want a formal, elegant wedding day? Or a day with a historic style? Is a rustic wedding more your style? As you discuss the big picture, be sure to ask if there is anything really important that either of you really want on their big day. Your spouse-to-be’s answer may surprise you.

Next wedding planning step: Take your desired style and run with it as you coordinate the details of your desire wedding atmosphere. Use the style to find wedding venues and attire, and to set a delicious wedding menu.

Time

Wedding planning can be a monumental task. Discuss the amount of time you both have to allocate to planning your special day. Be realistic; a good wedding planner can be a huge help when your time is small.

Next wedding planning step: If you need a wedding planner, get recommendations from friends or add it to your list of wedding venue criteria. Many venues have a wedding planner on staff who is intimately familiar with the site and local vendors. If DIY wedding planning is the choice, ask friends or family for their help; give them specific tasks and deadlines to eliminate any misunderstandings later.

24 Wedding Venue Questions You Shouldn’t Forget to Ask

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milwaukee wedding venue with dramatic uplightingIt’s not unusual to be so completely awestruck by a wedding venue that you completely forget to ask about the logistical details. It’s even completely understandable; after all, there are some beautiful wedding venues in Milwaukee!

Try to avoid the trap “it’s so beautiful, where do I sign?” whenever possible. Those small details can play an important role in coordinating all those other details (use this convenient wedding planning checklist), such as a volume curfew that puts a real damper on a fantastic wedding dance or a lack of parking for wedding guests. A wedding venue is the foundation of all that wedding planning; it makes sense (both for your wedding budget and wedding planning) to sweat the small details before you reserve the site for your big day.

This advice comes with a wedding tip: never reserve a wedding venue without asking the logistical details and touring the venue (and we can help!). Use this list of wedding venue questions to make sure the venue is the right one AND this link to tour a beautiful Milwaukee wedding venue as you plan your special day.

Availability

Venue Cost

  • How much is your venue rate? How many hours are covered by that rate? What is the overtime fee if my wedding goes beyond that length of time?
  • What services are covered by the venue rate?
  • Do you offer wedding planning services?
  • What staff is included in the venue rate (i.e. coat check, venue manager, etc.)?

Fine Print

  • Does your venue carry liability insurance? (This can be important in case a guest is injured.)
  • What is the wedding venue cancellation policy?
  • Do I have to use a preferred vendor from a list? Do you have an open vendor policy? (The latter policy means you can bring in the vendor of your choice.)
  • What is the venue alcohol policy? Do I need to hire a vendor bring it in? Are bartenders included in the venue rate?

Guests

  • Where do my guests have to park? Is it close to 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?
  • When can I tour the wedding venue?

7 Winter Wedding Do’s and Don’ts Your Guests Appreciate

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winter wedding venue feature wall with beads and uplightingThere are some wonderful winter wedding ideas on the web (like these winter wedding ideas). While guests love every one, we’re focusing on those winter wedding planning steps that your guests really appreciate—especially on one of our freezing Wisconsin winter days.

DO warm them up.

We’re stating the obvious: it’s cold outside! Winter weather can be cold, snowy, wet—or all of the above. Don’t leave guests out in the cold. Take steps to warm them up as soon as they walk in the door; welcome them with a warm fire (add that to your wedding venue checklist) and serve them warm beverages and refreshments. Remember, that a cozy welcome shouldn’t turn into toasty wedding reception; take steps to keep guests comfortable so they enjoy themselves.

DON’T make guests trudge (too far) through the snow.

Nothing can put a damper on the evening like ruining guests’ best dancing shoes. When choosing a winter wedding venue, make sure you ask about available parking. Make your guests’ night; choose a wedding venue with an incredibly close parking lot so your guests have a short walk in the cold winter weather. (If you want to make the winter weather commute even easier, hold your ceremony and reception at the same wedding venue.)

DO choose the right venue for a beautiful winter wedding.

Choosing the right wedding venue is important part of any season wedding planning; a winter wedding deserves no less. Use this checklist for singling out the right wedding venue for your big day—and don’t mark a beautiful venue exterior off the list just because of the weather. Some of the most beautiful photos are taken outside (especially with beautiful shawls and accessories!) in the winter weather.

DON’T feel you have to plan a winter wedding all yourself.

Planning a winter wedding can feel overwhelming. There are so many winter wedding details to coordinate! To de-stress the process, take a break from the wedding planning (use this list of local de-stressing ideas in Milwaukee!) and don’t hesitate to ask for help. If you want professional assistance, hire a wedding planner or select a wedding venue with experienced planners that are intimately familiar with the venue, local vendors, and the wedding planning process.   

DO get inspired by the beautiful season.

Every couple chooses a winter wedding date for a different reason: to commemorate a certain date, because it’s their “down time,” beautiful wedding venues tend to have more wedding dates, they love the season…the list goes on and on. Whatever the reason, once you’ve chosen a winter wedding date, indulge the season as you plan BUT don’t feel confined by it. Winter weddings can still be colorful and diverse events; not every winter wedding has to be pure white or holiday-themed. Have fun with creating a beautiful winter wedding day.

DON’T neglect your bridesmaids.

Hopefully, you chose your bridesmaids because you prize them. Make them feel like prized guests on the wedding day—no matter how cold it is! Provide transportation so they don’t have to brave the cold weather. When they do need to stand in the cold (like for beautiful wedding photos!), provide fashionable weather accessories that keep them snug and warm. Your bridesmaids are going to appreciate shawls, muffs, mittens, hats…anything cozy and warm.

DO decide on the right winter wedding favor.

A winter wedding comes with incredible opportunities: beautiful winter wedding décor, scrumptious seasonal wedding menu dishes, and unique winter wedding favors. Think hot cocoa kits (with all the fixings), mittens, holiday ornaments, blankets, fire starters…the options for winter wedding favors are as numerous as the snowflakes during a blizzard (these winter wedding favor ideas can inspire you).

The Complete Company Holiday Party Planning Checklist

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company holiday party with lightingPlanning a company holiday party is not for the faint of heart—but it is a task for the incredibly organized. We’ve been part of many company holiday parties (and have planned our fair share as event planners); we know that company holiday party planning can feel larger than the spirit of the holidays. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive corporate holiday party planning checklist that can organize the task and provide the assistance needed for a memorable (and hopefully jolly) company holiday party.

____Goal/Type of Event. The first step in company holiday party planning is determining the goal, type of event (that fulfills the goal), and guest list. Would you like to host an employee-only luncheon? A formal adults-only event for employees and their significant others? A family-friendly company holiday party brunch? The simple step of setting goals and a target guest list can help with the next steps of company holiday party planning.

____Venue. Once the type of company holiday party is determined, choose a company holiday party venue nearby that checks off all the boxes: appropriate for the type of event (i.e. formal for an adults-only company holiday party or employee luncheon), secure location, convenient for parking and public transportation, sized appropriately for the guest list, budget-friendly. Contact local company holiday party venues to get a quote and ensure that the company holiday party venue meets every need and can provide appropriate amenities, such as staffing and parking.

____Date. The right company holiday party date is dependent on the nature of the business and type of company holiday party. For example, a weekend brunch is the ideal setting for a family-friendly gathering for employees and their families. If winter is a slow time for regular company business, schedule an employee lunch for mid-day or late afternoon (or an open-house where employees can drop in as available). To narrow dates, use one of two company holiday party planning strategies:

  • Holiday season. A company holiday party scheduled in November and December capitalize on the essence of the holiday spirit. The only disadvantage is that attendance may be decreased due to the many personal and professional holiday commitments. (Budget-friendly tip: schedule a company holiday party during an “off day,” a weekday when venues are typically not booked, to get a discounted rate. Contact a local company holiday party venue for rate information.)
  • Post-holiday season. A post-holiday company party, scheduled in January and February, are a popular option among guests because they have fewer holiday obligations. After-holiday parties can also be a budget-friendly option as many holiday party venues offer discounts during this off-peak season.

____Theme. Choose a holiday party theme that is in line with company holiday party goals, such as Santa’s workshop for a family-friendly holiday party. A holiday party theme gives the event direction and plays a key role in choosing décor, refreshments, and holiday party favors.

____Invitations. When selecting the right method of invitation distribution, consider the guest list and most appropriate manner for notifications. A digital invitation is a convenient and comprehensive way to reach the office staff. Paper invitations are a highly effective method for generating RSVPs to a family-friendly gathering. If the guests are younger, brainstorm ideas for a new-age digital invite. Whatever the method, design an invitation that sets the tone for the event. Be cognitive of the theme and appropriate information for the occasion.

____Food. The type of event determines the amount and timing of company holiday party treats, such as appetizers or a meal. The extent of the food served can vary from a course of appetizers to a full sit-down meal. The type of dinner service (i.e. buffet, sit-down, family style) should fit the occasion, such as a full sit-down meal for a formal company holiday party.

____Transportation. Book a venue with parking so your employees don’t have to pay for the convenience. This is a small way to show appreciation for your employees.

____Entertainment. The possibilities for company holiday party entertainment are endless: carolers, a holiday show, speech, Father Christmas, comedians. The right holiday party entertainment suits the occasion and the guest list.

____Alcohol. If holding a holiday party during the work day, or if hosting a luncheon where employees are expected to return to work, a company can choose to limit or choose not to have alcohol at the party. Don’t feel obligated to have alcohol at the company holiday party. If doing so, make sure the decision is approved by top managers and legal counsel.

____Favors. Company holiday party favors depend on the guest list and type of occasion. Favors can vary from a small hot cocoa gift basket to as large as a company bonus. A recent company holiday party trend is to return the favor as well, by having employees bring items to donate to a local charity (i.e. food for a local food bank, books for a children’s charity, etc.) If this option is chosen, don’t neglect to add a show of appreciation to employees for their contributions.

7 Tips for an AWESOME Wedding Dance

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wedding couple dancing at wedding venueIf an epic dance party is the top priority on your wedding planning checklist, these tips are for you. We’ve seen some fantastic wedding reception dances, and these tips always seem to make a wedding dance a big hit for both couples and guests.

Two words: WOW factor.

Impress your guests the moment they walk into the door. Choose a venue with all the details that leave guests awestruck and ready for mingling and dancing. The right décor, like lighting, signage, and table décor, can put your guests in the mood for a night of serious dancing. If a vintage wedding is more to your liking, complement the historical details of your venue with vintage décor and songs.

Make sure your venue has the power for a dance party.

If you want to host the ultimate dance party with a fantastic song play list and cool lighting, ensure that your venue has the electrical system to pull it off. During the wedding venue tour, ask venue staff if the venue has hosted DJs and bands in the past (as well as these other questions). You can also request information about electrical requirements from your entertainer.

Look for a dance floor Goldilocks would approve of.

If a packed dance floor is your goal, take steps to make sure it doesn’t feel packed. The right dance floor is like the Goldilocks fairy tale: not too big and not too small. A small dance floor can drive guests away because they don’t want to be jostled; a dance floor with room to spare can look empty and unappealing.

Choose a venue with a strategically-located bar.

One of the easiest ways to empty a dance floor is to make guests work to get a beverage. Choose a venue with a bar near the dance floor, or station a beverage station within a quick walk from the dance floor.

Surprise them.

To add “memorable” to the list of words that come up in conversations about your wedding, add a surprise to the wedding reception line-up. Choose a surprise from the list, or come up with a custom surprise that fits you as a couple. A choreographed first dance can make guests cheer, or schedule a surprise visit by your favorite sports mascot (maybe from the school where you first met?).

Be selective about your wedding entertainers.

The best parties are led by top-quality entertainers. When searching for entertainers, seek out quality entertainers who come highly recommended and have experience. Be cautious about entertainers who don’t have a list of clients that can recommend them (from personal experience) or don’t have a contingency plan in case of an emergency.

Serve a late-night wedding course.

If you want to keep guests on the dance floor, serve a late-night course so your guests aren’t heading out for a snack. For a themed wedding, choose a dish that fits with the occasion. If you have a favorite that you didn’t serve earlier, ask your caterer to bring out platters for the perfect dance party fuel.

10 Musts of a Stellar Wedding Website

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wedding reception with MR & MRS letters in front of a shiny background at a rainy weddingA wedding website is a valuable part of any engaged couple’s wedding planning toolkit—and a very appreciated source of information for guests! Don’t let the people you want to join you on your special day down. Don’t forget to include any of these important wedding day details on your wedding website.

Logistical Details

The most important detail on any wedding website is the answer to the where and when questions. Include a complete schedule of your wedding day activities, as well as information about your ceremony site and wedding venue. If you’re lucky enough (for both you and your guests) to find a fantastic venue with free parking, make sure you include information about the location of the parking lot. For venues near paid parking, give guests the exact cost or the information they need to give to the parking structure to get free wedding parking. If there is a convenient public transportation option for guests, let them know the specifics that can get them to ceremony and reception.

To build anticipation, take the logistical part of your website a step further. If your ceremony site or wedding venue is breath-taking, include photos and video that make your guests look forward to your big day.

Lodging & Travel

For out-of-town guests, serve as their travel agent. If you have reserved a block of rooms at a local hotel, include information about prices and the details they need to provide when reserving their room. Beyond that information, give them a list of places to stay and specifics about interesting places to visit. In Milwaukee, include delicious breweries, brewery tours, the zoo, local museums, and favorite lakefront spots can give them the local taste they desire.

Registry Specifics

The registry section on a website is sure to be one of the most visited, so make it easy. Include locations for local guests and links for out-of-towners. If you are requesting donations to a charity as a gift suggestion, this is the place for that information.

Couple Info

If you want to avoid (or at least lessen) the million questions about how you met and how long you’ve been together, include your love story on your wedding website. As a nice touch, add a list of the bridal party to your digital site.

Wedding Day Dress

Couples can’t tell anyone how to dress, but you can give guidelines for dress on your wedding website. To back up the formality of attire, include pictures of your wedding venue; your guests won’t think of wearing jeans when they see beautiful pictures of your elegant site. For out-of-town guests, give helpful suggestions for attire if you expect the weather to be extremely hot (or share that the venue has air conditioning) or incredibly frigid.

Adults only

If you are hosting an adults-only wedding reception (read on to help you make the decision whether a reception minus kids is right for you), this is the place to let guests know. For parents, include information about child care services or a “kid zone” that is part of the reception. If you need wording suggestions for this section, use this adults-only wording website to deliver the news.

Cash Bar

Don’t leave your guests thirsty. If you are hosting a cash bar, let your guests know so they have funds on hand and enjoy their beverage of choice.

Social Media Specs (Or lack thereof)

Some of the best wedding shots come before or during the festivities; if you are using a social media hashtag to harvest all those unique shots, include social media hashtags on your wedding website. To the contrary, if your big day is unplugged, let your guests know your preference so they can tuck their phones and tablets away—or not bring them—to your ceremony.

Contact Information

Your guests are going to have questions. Answer them! Include a way for guests to contact you and ask any questions they may have. Hopefully, this step can reduce the amount of questions you have to deal with on your wedding day (so you can enjoy it!).

“Other Stuff”

Got any other information to share? Your wedding website is the place for it. When adding to the site, however, avoid awkward pictures and stories that could embarrass you, your fiancé, or any friends and family.

Should you host an adults-only wedding?

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wedding venue with centerpiece lights and guests at wedding receptionHosting an adults-only wedding is a new trend among couples, and one that comes with a lot of opinions (a LOT of opinions!). A bride recently wrote about her views and experience planning a hosting a wedding sans kids. One guest recently voiced her opinion that an adults-only wedding was a selfish idea.

So is an adults-only wedding right for you? You can come to an answer by asking yourself these questions:

  • What kind of wedding do we want (a big party with lots of adults-only beverages, a late evening affair, or a family celebration)?
  • What time do we want to hold our reception? (A later reception may be more appropriate for adults-only.)
  • Do our friends and family have a lot of kids?
  • Are we having kids in our wedding party? (You can still host an adults-only reception, but may need to address the presence of kids at some point.)
  • Does our budget allow for kids? (Depending on your budget, you can cut the guest list with an adults-only list or have an adults-only reception by providing babysitting in a kid zone away from the reception.)
  • Is our venue a kid-friendly venue? Do they allow kids? (Don’t be afraid to ask the venue staff when you first contact them.)

If you do decide that an adults-only wedding is right for you, use these tips for successful wedding planning and an awesome reception.

Decide where you want to draw the line. Be firm about who is considered a kid and who is not. Don’t “un-invite” one teen while inviting another. Try to be as consistent as possible, and don’t be afraid to tell your guests how decisions were made.

Be clear about your expectations. If you want an adults-only wedding reception, be clear with guests. Address the envelopes accordingly (no “plus family”) and put the names of only the guests invited on the response card (Mr. & Mrs. John Doe). Add a line to your wedding invitations and website that is clear about your no kids policy. A simple “Please join us for an adults-only wedding reception” will do. If a limited budget is involved, a clearly worded “We have limited seating available; therefore our dinner and reception is an adult affair” should provide a clear explanation. (More ideas for adults-only invitation wording can be found here.)

Know that it’s okay to contact some parents. If you have a close friend or a guest you know is going to have questions, it’s all right to reach out to them. Don’t feel you have to give you a huge explanation for your decision; however, it’s better to answer questions upfront and offer any assistance to guests (i.e. babysitter numbers, answer questions about your wedding “kid zone).

Expect some negative feedback. Don’t be surprised if there is some less-than-thrilled feedback from guests. When confronted, be clear with your intentions and, though tempting, don’t make exceptions. You are going to cause far more drama and get more unpleasantness when allowing some guests to bring kids while others are not. Instead, offer to connect parents with responsible babysitters or, when the budget allows, offer to assist with the financial cost of child care.

6 Tips for an Autumn Wedding You’ll Fall in Love With

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welcoming wedding venue foyer with warm fireplaceBeautiful fall colors. Yummy hot chocolate. A cozy autumn evening. Fun Halloween antics. No doubt, you’ve chosen a fall wedding date for one or all of those reasons (and more!). Now it’s time to pull all your favorite parts into a wedding day that completely you; we’ve given you a few tips to make your fall wedding vision reality.

Don’t count on beautiful fall weather.

Autumn weather is unpredictable; in some ways, it can be more unpredictable than any of our other Midwestern seasons. One day it’ll be 70 with sunshine, the next 50 and rainy. Plan accordingly, both for your sake and for the comfort of your guests. Choose an indoor venue with air conditioning for those hot fall weekends and heat for the cooler days in September, October, and November. For great photo opps, look for a venue with details and locations great for your wedding photos. You might not get the chance to head outside if the weather is cool and wet.

Decide on your fall theme—and indulge it.

birch containers with elegant wedding centerpieceAs much as you love every aspect of fall, make sure you choose one detail as your focus and carry it throughout your décor. A fall wedding with a little bit of leaves, a little bit of Halloween, and a little bit of every other autumn detail can feel make the reception feel disjointed and scattered. For example, for a Halloween wedding, plan a reception full of Halloween details and schedule a murder mystery for your main stage entertainment. If you need help focusing your wedding reception details, choose a venue with an experienced planner to assist you with connecting the dots (i.e. décor, entertainment, menu, etc.).

Bring the outdoors in.

If a beautiful fall day is one of your favorite parts of the season, create an atmosphere that exudes it. Choose table décor that exudes the outdoors, such as antlers, birch logs, and fall logs. To add formality, add candles and lighting that give your reception the right feel.

Embrace seasonal flavors.

Hot chocolate. Apple cider. Pies. Pumpkin dishes. The scent of these delectable autumn dishes can make your guests’ mouths water and add an ambiance that screams autumn. Incorporate your favorite dishes strategically as you plan your wedding menu and add food stations to your wedding reception plans. An interactive apple cider area with all the fixings can be a big hit with guests. For a more adult-only autumn flavor, add a beer or wine tasting to the evening’s events. Stock the tasting with beverages created just for your favorite wedding season.

Make your reception feel cozy and warm.

There are very few people who don’t appreciate a warm fall evening by the fire—especially on a cool autumn day. Take steps to warm your attendants and your guests. Provide shawls and fashionable sweaters for your attendants (the more fashionable, the cuter the photo opp!). For your guests, welcome your guests with touches that exude cozy (like a warm fireplace and lighting).

Add a favorite fall favor to your plans.

After going to great lengths to create a wonderful seasonal atmosphere, don’t leave your guests out in the cold. Choose a fall favor that warms and emanate the season: mittens, jellies, miniature pies, apple cider (or mixes), caramel apples, candles with fall scents.

7 Stunning Colorful Wedding Decoration Ideas

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elegant halloween wedding ideasSome couples love a neutral wedding décor. Creamy whites. Subtle touches.

This post of color wedding decoration ideas is not for you.

These ideas are for brides and grooms who want a pop of color. For couples who love color and want to express it with wedding décor. For those who want to make a bold statement on their wedding day. (If you fit into the third category, a couple who wants assistance with planning all those colorful details, contact us for wedding planning services that can make your vision a reality.)

red carpet in lobby at 1451 Renaissance Place

Roll out the red carpet.

Every guest wants to feel like royalty, and a red carpet at the front door accomplishes that purpose while setting the stage for a bold wedding.

arrangement of boxes, flowers, and candles with orange table coverings

Use contrast.

If you want to incorporate a bold color palette into your wedding reception, choose a wedding venue with a neutral décor so you can use contrasting colors that pop.

Incorporate textures.

For a bit of interest, choose elements with texture to add interest to your wedding reception.

dotted table linen with dressed chairs for a hint of color

Be creative with patterns.

If you want your color to truly be a pop, add small touches, such as patterned linens with small polka dots. Coordinate the pattern with chair dressings that play up the color scheme.

wedding reception hall with uplighting with bride and groom names

Use lighting to grab guests’ attention.

When you choose a wedding venue for the architectural details, draw attention to those details with uplighting. Use colored lights that coordinate with your linens and highlight columns and high ceilings—the exact reasons for your venue selection.

wedding venue Milwaukee WI

Bring excitement to the room with bright colors.

To mix it up, cover your chairs with colored linens that exudes excitement. Select another color for the tables to create an unforgettable wedding decor.

romantic wedding decor with rose centerpieces

Choose rich colored décor.

Don’t worry about being too “matchy-matchy.” Bring in elements with the same rich colors and a small touch of something different for striking wedding décor.