All posts by Renaissance Place

beautiful wedding day after couple organizes wedding planning

8 Tips for Couples Wedding Planning During COVID-19

Wedding planning is normally stressful. Wedding planning during COVID-19 is STRESSFUL. There are so many unknowns, and it’s easy to feel anxious and worried.

We realize that this time is incredibly stressful, so we’ve put together wedding planning tips for Milwaukee couples (and a list of COVID-19 frequently asked questions). We’re here to help you plan your wedding during these uncertain times—until the day when we can all gather together again.

Do what you can.

Many Milwaukee wedding venues and vendors have more time on their hands, making it an ideal time to contact them and confirm as many wedding details as possible. If you are cautious about meeting in-person, ask the venue or vendors about meeting virtually. If the meeting is virtual, make sure you come prepared and ready to talk about your preferences and budget.

Be organized.

There are quite a few deadlines and details to track during wedding planning, making an organized wedding strategy a “must.” In particular, a wedding planning checklist and wedding venue list is incredibly useful. For all other details, there are great wedding printables available for couples using a paper system and wedding apps that can make the process easier. If you don’t have time for organization or wedding planning, hire a wedding planner or choose a wedding venue with a wedding planner for less-stress wedding planning.

Stay flexible.

Unfortunately, the only thing certain during the COVID-19 pandemic is uncertainty. As you plan, realize that local rules and regulations are prone to change. Be flexible as you plan, and take breaks from it all when you feel anxious.

Keep guidelines for postponing a wedding close at hand.

If you dream of a big wedding day with a big guest count, realize that you may need to postpone your big day. Fortunately, your Milwaukee wedding venue should be able to accommodate your postponement and give you a new date. (Plus, you can always use these ideas for celebrating on your original wedding date.)

Keep everyone important updated.

As your wedding date draws near, remember that it’s not just you who is making plans. As your plans change, make it a point to keep your important wedding guests up-to-date.

Don’t forget to update your wedding website.

While it’s natural to call your parents and relatives as plans change, don’t forget about other guests that have penned in your wedding date. A wedding website is a great way to spread the word (especially if you use these wedding website tips) and let your guests know about postponements and updates (like wearing a mask to your big day or a change in entrance).

Take breaks from wedding planning.

When you feel stressed out, don’t hesitate to take a break. Have a quiet dinner at home. Watch a movie. Take a walk or go for a run. Open a bottle of wine or enjoy an ale from one of our famous Milwaukee breweries. Turn off your phone and relax. Sometimes, a short break is all you need to recharge your batteries and inspire your next wedding planning step.

Try to make the best of it.

The pandemic has changed the way everyone lives and celebrates. While you can’t change reality, try to make the best of the pandemic by incorporating small details into your wedding. Small touches like beautiful masks and signage mark the time of your wedding and blend seamlessly in with “normal” wedding details. When you do get incredibly stressed, think of your beautiful wedding day and all the fun you’ll have.

wedding pictures from beautiful wedding done by wedding vendors

Your Guide to Choosing the Best Milwaukee Wedding Ceremony and Reception Venue

Considering holding your wedding ceremony and reception at one venue? This guide can help you choose the right Milwaukee wedding ceremony and reception venue, and plan the day of your dreams in our wonderful city.

What are the perks of hosting a wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue?

The are some definite benefits to hosting a wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue:

Easier Planning. If you decide that a single venue is the answer for you, you’ll find that it’s easier to plan because you only have one venue to contact to coordinate many of the details.

Convenience. You won’t have to go very far from your ceremony to cocktail hour, eliminating the need to coordinate transportation for the wedding party.

Budget-friendly. With only one venue fee, a single venue is easier on the budget. Many items (décor and equipment) can also be used for the ceremony and reception, lowering many of the costs on the wedding budget worksheet.

What should I look for in a wedding ceremony and reception venue?

Fortunately, the list of criteria for couples looking to plan a ceremony and reception in the same venue isn’t that much different than those who choose two venues—though there are a couple of notable differences.

Space. This criterion is incredibly important for couples who want to host their wedding ceremony and reception at the same wedding venue. When touring and contacting wedding venues, you should always ask if there is enough space to seamlessly transition from the ceremony to the cocktail hour to the meal. The lack of space can result in some long—and awkward—wait times for guests and couples.

Style. The style of the wedding venue creates a powerful first impression for guests, and sets the foundation for every other wedding detail. When planning your wedding, discuss your preferred style for a Milwaukee wedding venue (plus these other wedding details). This simple question can help you narrow down your options and find the perfect backdrop for the wedding of your dreams.

Ideal ceremony setting. A beautiful ceremony setting is just as important as the amount of space in the wedding venue. The right wedding ceremony and reception venue has a setting perfect for saying, “I do”—even if you need to enhance it with décor (which can be used for the cocktail hour and the reception).

Availability. The right wedding ceremony and reception venue is available for your big day. (Ask your Milwaukee wedding venue about availability when you contact them, along with these wedding venue questions.) If you prefer privacy on your wedding day, look for a venue that hosts only one event at a time.

Parking and accessibility. Guest convenience should always be a top priority for couples as they choose a wedding venue. While it may not be at the top of the list, choosing a wedding venue with parking nearby and handicap accessibility ensures that everyone can attend easily and comfortably.

How much time should I plan for between the ceremony and reception?

Typically, couples should allocate 60-90 minutes between the ceremony and reception so they can have enough time for pictures and prepare for the reception. If you are planning a wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue, it may work to shorten the time span (especially if there is enough room in the venue for ceremony and reception seating, which minimizes set-up time). You should also ask your wedding photographer and videographer how much time it typically takes for photos.

From there, couples typically set this wedding day schedule (though you can customize your schedule to fit your needs and wishes):

  • Cocktail Hour
  • Dinner
  • Toasts
  • Cake Cutting
  • Wedding Dances (Wedding Party Announcement, First Dance, Mother-Son Dance, Father-Daughter Dance, Etc.)
  • Last Dance
  • Cake Cutting

What vendors do I need for my wedding ceremony and reception?

While the list of vendors is similar for couples that hold their wedding day at one and two venues, holding a wedding ceremony and reception at one venue does make it easier to seamlessly utilize their services. For example, couples can use much of the same lighting and décor for the ceremony and reception.

Some wedding ceremony and reception venues in Milwaukee require couples to use particular vendors, while other venues have an open vendor policy. An open vendor policy allows couples to choose vendors they want, like their favorite caterer or florist. (These tips can help you choose the right wedding vendors for your special day.) For couples overwhelmed by the amount of great wedding vendors in Milwaukee, the best wedding venues come with experienced event planners that recommend wedding vendors for their big day:

  • Officiant
  • Décor (i.e. florist, lighting, etc.)
  • Equipment Rental (Unless available from wedding venue)
  • Photographer/Videographer
  • Caterer
  • Baker
  • Entertainment (i.e. band, DJ, live entertainers)
elegant historic wedding venue

10 Ways to Choose a Date for Your Milwaukee Wedding

While it’s not always the easiest task, choosing a wedding date is an important—the most important!—parts of planning your Milwaukee wedding. Your Milwaukee wedding venue, caterer, and photographer are all going to ask when you want to get married. This guide can help you sift through all the factors that may play a part in choosing the right wedding date.

Milwaukee Venue Availability

If you have your heart set on a particular wedding venue, try asking the wedding venue for available wedding dates during a particular period. You can ask for open wedding dates during a season, month, or year.

Season

A seasonal wedding is a full-sensory experience, highlighting a couple’s favorite tastes, smells, and colors of the season. If you have a favorite season, choose a date in that season and get ready to coordinate all your favorites seasonal items into a wonderful wedding atmosphere.

Off-Peak Days & Times

Choosing an off-peak time or day is a perfect reason for couples who want an unexpected wedding date or have a tight wedding budget. (Read more tips about managing your wedding budget.) With this approach, you can choose dates in non-typical months (i.e. not June, September, October) or on weekdays that couples don’t normally choose.

Family Dates

Do you want to acknowledge a relationship that inspired your special union? One way is to ask if you can set your special day on their anniversary.  

Special Relationship Dates

Every relationship has special milestone dates: the day you met, your first date, the day you got engaged. Any of those dates—or another special day—is the perfect candidate for a wedding date. If you want to share the significance of the date, include it on your wedding website and on a story board at your wedding.

Career

If your career comes with an incredibly busy season, plan to say “I do” when you have a moment to breath (and meet with vendors, and confirm details, and…). Once you’ve narrowed down a season, ask your favorite wedding venue for an available wedding date during that time.

Wedding Vendor Availability

It’s not unusual to want a favorite wedding caterer, photographer, or another vendor included in a wedding—even before you know where to hold your Milwaukee wedding. In these cases, wedding planning starts by asking wedding vendors what dates are available. Some wedding venues require couples to use specific vendors, making it important to ask about their vendor policy when interviewing potential venues. (Don’t forget to ask these other Milwaukee wedding venue questions as well.)

Holidays

Do you love holiday trees? Or the wonder of the holidays? A holiday wedding is a great way to create the wonder of the season with your favorite holiday details. This approach also works for couples who love Halloween, Juneteenth, or any other wonderful holidays.

Family & Friend Availability

A wedding is a celebration, and it’s natural to want everyone to be involved, which is why you should ask friends and family you are particularly close to if they can attend. While it’s important to make sure that everyone is at your wedding, remember that this is your special day. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be incredibly difficult to find a date that works for everyone.

Length of Engagement

Planning a wedding does take quite a bit of effort and time. If you want a larger wedding, it might be helpful to give yourself more time (though it is possible in less time, especially if you use this guide for planning a wedding in 6 months or less). Once you have chosen a wedding date, it’s time to organize your wedding planning, choose a beautiful Milwaukee wedding venue, and enjoy the journey (with a few fun, de-stressing dates) to your special day!

unique spring wedding idea: patterned black and white table coverings with purple pastel chair bows

Milwaukee Wedding Planning: How to Create the Perfect Wedding Guest List

Compiling the perfect wedding guest list is a key part of wedding planning. This step-by-step guide can guide you through the process (and help you choose the perfect Milwaukee wedding venue!).

Step 1: Decide whether you would like to host a family event or adults-only wedding.

For some Milwaukee couples, this can be the first step or final step when the budget is tight or guest count is higher than the venue capacity (which should be a top question on your list of Milwaukee wedding venue interview questions).

The good news is that there is no disadvantage to hosting a wedding with kids or adult-only event. If planning a wedding for kids and parents, plan on adding children-friendly foods and entertainment options to your reception (such as coloring tables, bubbles, movie room, etc.) For an adult-only wedding, clearly categorize where you are drawing the line, such as “16 and over” or “18 and over.” (You can also use these tips for planning an adults-only wedding.)

Step 2: Make your own version of the 70-15-15 rule.

The 70-15-15 rule is different for every couple, but the premise is the same. Basically, this rule divides up the guest list into three separate lists. The largest portion (70% in this case) are guests of the couple, while the remaining 30% is divided between the bride’s and groom’s parents. For a complete breakdown, a 200-person guest list would be divided into 140 guests chosen by the couple, and 30 guests chosen by each of the parents.

This step should be accompanied by a conversation about the wedding guest list with any family members or friends contributing to the wedding (either with effort or financially). Be very clear about your numbers and rationale for your final guest number when you discuss the guest list with family members. It can eliminate a lot of drama and hurt feelings later!

Step 3: Compare your guest count to the venue capacity.

When crafting a guest list for your Milwaukee wedding, always make sure your final guest invite list is within the venue capacity. (You should ask about the venue capacity when first contacting a Milwaukee wedding venue.) The venue capacity is not an arbitrary number; instead, it is chosen to ensure the safety of guests.

When considering your Milwaukee wedding venue capacity, don’t feel like you have to cut the guest list down to the exact number. Typically, couples should plan on 80-90% of guests attending the wedding. This means that couples can plan on setting a list that is above the venue capacity, but should be careful not to sky rocket over that magic number (and remember that more guests equate to a higher budget as well).

Step 4: Divide up the guest list.

If you are worried about your guest list being too long, start divvying up the guest list. There are two ways to do this.

The first way is to separate guests into categories, such as “friends,” “family,” “co-workers,” etc. As you divide up the list, put guests at the top of the list that you’d really love to attend. The “maybes” can go on the bottom. This simple wedding planning step makes it a lot easier to trim down the guest list.

The second way is to divide the master guest list into circles of separation. The first list would be those closest to you, the second would be a step further from you…and the degrees of separation would continue. When trimming, cut the guests on the last lists (those not the closest to you). Once you’ve got the list trimmed to your final number, it’s time to move on to the next step and enjoy planning your Milwaukee wedding!

Your COVID-19 and 1451 Renaissance Place Event FAQ’s Answered

This blog was originally posted on March 31, and is now updated with the latest information as of May 22, 2020.

At 1451 Renaissance Place, we understand that these are stressful, uncertain times. However, we are certain that if we take care of each other, the day will come when everyone can safely celebrate together!

While we wait for that day, we wanted to answer some of your most pressing questions about how the threat of COVID-19 has affected events at 1451 Renaissance Place. Hopefully, these answers can alleviate some stress and reassure you for the future. (Please feel free to contact us with any other questions.)

Is 1451 Renaissance Place temporarily closed?

May 22 Update: Though we are still not able to host large events, we are available to answer your questions, schedule socially responsible in-person tours and hold and reserve future dates.

Yes. For the safety of our staff and guests, 1451 Renaissance Place is temporarily closed. At this time, we are contacting couples with upcoming events to assist them with setting a new date and coordinating details for their big day.

How can we reach 1451 Renaissance Place?

May 22 Update: The best way to reach us is by emailing us.  We will do our best to get back to you during the next business day, but please note our response time might be a bit delayed as we guide our couples and clients through the rescheduling process. Your celebration is just as important to us and we will respond within 48 hours!

If you require immediate assistance, please mark “urgent” in the subject line. If you prefer that we respond with a phone call, please provide your phone number and an Event Specialist will call you back. 

Can I reschedule my event date if it has been cancelled due to the Safer at Home restrictions?

May 22 Update: Absolutely!  We are currently rescheduling affected celebrations to alternate available dates within 12 months of the original date. 

Is there a fee for rescheduling?

May 22 Update: We are transferring 100% of deposits from affected dates to any available dates within 12 months of the original date.

When do you anticipate holding events again at 1451 Renaissance Place?

As soon as it is safe to do so! We know this is vague, but, like everyone else, we are also waiting until it is safe to do so. In the meantime, inquire about your dates and follow these CDC guidelines. Stay tuned for further updates on our Facebook page and website.

Will vendors let us transfer my deposit and date?

We cannot speak to arrangements with outside vendors. However, most local Milwaukee vendors have been working to accommodate clients, and get back to doing what they do best – giving every couple the service they deserve! 

Is 1451 Renaissance Place still taking new event reservations?

May 22 Update: Yes! Now is a great time to gather information, make plans, and nail down your dates! As an added bonus, if you reserve your date before we re-open, we will take $500 off your required deposit and reflect that same discount in your overall guaranteed minimum! Contact us for available dates and more information.

We understand that couples and businesses are taking this time to plan their events and confirm their venue. It is a great time to gather information (especially on our blog and website), make plans and nail down dates! We encourage any couples or organizations interested in 1451 Renaissance Place to contact us for available dates and information.

When is your next open house?

May 22 Update: We are hoping for a June 3, 2020 Open House. Please contact us to confirm and reserve your spot.

How do we get updates on 1451 Renaissance Place?

Please check our Facebook page and website for more information about future Open Houses and events.

What event planning can be done during my quarantine?

This is a great time to do some research (especially on our blog!), gather information and contact vendors.  Our experienced event planners are happy to help you in any way we can, including holding or reserving a date, scheduling tours (including live virtual tours!), contacting outside vendors and coordinating the details on your behalf. 

Do I still have enough time to plan my 2020 event?

Definitely!  And we can help!  Our advice to any couple is, “don’t put off your dreams!”

Stay healthy and thank you for your interest and support. We look forward to being in touch soon, and to a time when social distancing is a thing of the past.

wedding day at a reception hall with bride and groom dancing after wedding planning

10 Questions to Ask BEFORE Planning Your Milwaukee Wedding

Planning a Milwaukee wedding involves a lot of conversations, but the most important conversation is the first with your fiancé. This conversation is your chance to discuss what you want and don’t want on your big day, plus a few other details that get your new marriage started in synch.

What is our favorite wedding style?

This may be one of the most important questions wedding couples ask because it’s a crucial part of searching for a Milwaukee wedding venue. The wedding venue sets the foundation for all other wedding details, and creates a powerful first impression on guests.

Are you a couple who would prefer an elegant wedding with an upscale wedding atmosphere? A celebration in a wedding reception venue with historical details and a story? Or an outdoor wedding with natural elements? Fortunately, there are quite a few Milwaukee venues that fit almost every couple’s style.

Do we have a favorite wedding date? What season works best for our wedding?

For some couples, their wedding date is obvious. It’s the day they met, the date of their first date, or a special family date.

For others, the wedding date isn’t as clear. In these cases, couples don’t have to be as specific about their date. If you fall into this category, you and your fiancé should look at the season or month you would most prefer. Once you have decided on a month or months, ask the Milwaukee wedding venue what dates they have available during that period. In addition to the date, you should also ask potential Milwaukee venues these other wedding venue questions. Once you have the date set, you can select and contact other wedding vendors (if the Milwaukee wedding venue has an open vendor policy).

What is our wedding budget? How are we going to pay for it? Has anyone offered to help us with expenses?

A wedding budget is a vital part of planning a Milwaukee wedding, and your chance to get your marriage off on the right foot. When setting a budget, use a wedding app or wedding budget checklist to decide on a total amount and allocate funds to high-priority wedding details (i.e. Milwaukee wedding venue, food, etc.)

The next step is to break down the budget a step further. This is your chance to discuss your finances and get on the same page about how you are going to pay for the wedding. If any friends or family have offered to help with wedding expenses, discuss who they are and who is going to contact them to see if they are still willing to help. In addition to setting a wedding budget, this conversation eliminates any hard feelings later from surprise credit card balances or overspending.

Do we want a big wedding or smaller affair?

For some couples, your budget or family size dictates the guest list. For others, this topic warrants an in-depth conversation about how many people you want at your ceremony and wedding reception. Have you always pictured a smaller wedding or a huge let’s-invite-everyone affair? Is there room for compromise so you can have a wedding with a somewhere in-between guest list?

The size of the wedding is also a criteria on the wedding venue checklist. Milwaukee wedding venues typically come with a capacity for guest safety and comfort. Once you have decided on an estimated wedding size (it doesn’t have to be exact!), ask each Milwaukee wedding venue for the amount of guests they can accommodate.

Do we have time for wedding planning? Do we need some help?

While wedding planning may sound like an all-or-none proposition, the answer for many couples is somewhere in between. Some couples want to manage every detail, others want to put their vision into the hands of a local Milwaukee wedding planner, while others need help with some of the details so they don’t feel overwhelmed.

This is your chance to decide which category you fall into and who you want to plan your wedding (or help plan parts of your wedding). Wedding planners are either independent contractors or are associated with a venue. The perk of the latter is that they are familiar with the venue and local vendors.

If you decide that you need wedding planning services (either full- or part-time), ask the wedding venue if they offer it as part of their services. If you prefer an independent wedding planner, ask the Milwaukee wedding venue for recommendations.

Is there one thing we really want at our wedding?

Even if you and your fiancé have been together for a long time, their answer might surprise you! This is your chance to discuss what details are really important to you and what you really, really want on your big day—besides your fiancé, of course.

wisconsin wedding venue with beautiful love sign and local flavors

What to include? The Ultimate Wedding Website Checklist for Milwaukee Couples

We love to help Milwaukee couples plan the wedding of their dreams, and a wedding website is an important part of the wedding planning process. A wedding website is an excellent way to keep guests up-to-date on wedding details, give friends and family gift ideas for showers and the wedding, and provide additional wedding information for out-of-town guests. If done well, a wedding website gives guests tons of information that they can get at their convenience (and you won’t have to answer tons of questions!)

Best yet, this part of the planning process should be fun and complete! That’s why we put together these wedding website tips and a checklist for Milwaukee couples who want a stellar and helpful “wed-site.”

Wedding Website Do’s and Don’ts

Do make a wedding website as soon as possible (like right after you are engaged!)

Don’t include too many specific details in your story, which can be a security risk that can be used against you.

Do try to build a website that fits with the theme and look of your wedding.

Don’t forget to include a full schedule of wedding activities (both before, on the day of, and after)

Do share your wedding website address on your shower invitations, save-the-dates, and response cards, plus in individual emails.

Don’t share your wedding website on your formal wedding invitations or on social media, which can create hard feelings from friends who aren’t invited.

Do be careful about including details to wedding events that only certain guests are invited to.

Don’t include any photos that could embarrass you or your family or friends.

Do ask members of your wedding party before you add them to the wedding website (if you want to add them, this is up to you).

Don’t send out the wedding URL until you have it finalized.

Do add a frequently asked questions section, which can be very helpful for guests.

Don’t hesitate to ask your wedding venue staff questions and for recommendations for local vendors.

Do change the website to a “just in case you missed it!” site with photos and information from your wedding day after it is over.

Wedding Website Checklist

___ Your Names

___ Your Story

___ Wedding Date

___ Wedding Party (Planning tip: ask members of your wedding party if this is okay. You don’t have to add this information, this is optional.)

___ Wedding Ceremony Location and Time (Planning tip: include the exact address, which is incredibly helpful for out-of-town guests.)

___ Wedding Venue Information (Planning tip: add pictures, the exact address, and a link to the Milwaukee wedding venue website, which can be incredibly helpful.)

___ Wedding Cocktail Hour Time

___ Wedding Reception Time

___ Wedding Day Dress Code

___ Accessibility (Planning tip: Ask potential wedding venues about handicap accessibility, along with these other wedding venue questions.)

___ Wedding Day Details (i.e. your social media hashtag, if your wedding is unplugged, if you are having a cash bar, etc.)

___ Local Accommodation List or Information about Blocked Hotel Rooms (Planning tip: Trip Advisor also has a helpful list of Milwaukee wedding hotels that you can provide)

___ Local Activity List for Out-of-Town Guests

___ Travel Information (Local airport information, local taxis, public transportation websites, local ride service links, etc.)

___ Gift Registries

___ Photos (Informal and formal photos of the couple—-like engagement photos—plus photos of the ceremony site and venue)

___ Online RSVP

___ Parking Information (Planning tip: look for a wedding venue with convenient parking accommodations.)

___ Attendance Information (Especially important for adults-only wedding)

___ Wedding Email (Planning tip: create an email address specifically for wedding planning.)

bride and groom dancing at summer wedding reception in beautiful wedding venue

25+ Questions to Ask a Milwaukee Wedding Venue

The best Milwaukee wedding venues offer wow factor and check off all the boxes on your wedding venue checklist. While that sounds simple, finding the best wedding venue in Milwaukee for your big day can feel overwhelming—especially when it’s so important to find the “one!”

These wedding venue questions can help you get through the process, and help you find a wedding venue that fits off all the boxes on your wedding venue checklist: location, style, convenient parking, and any other items that are top priority.

Wedding Planning Questions

Determining what items are at the top of your checklist is step one, and can be determined by asking a few simple questions with your fiancé:

  • Where do we want to get married?
  • When do we want to get married? (Pro tip: use these hacks for choosing a wedding date if you don’t have a date in mind.)
  • What is our wedding style (i.e. elegant, rustic, vintage, etc.)?
  • Do we have any wedding vendors we want to use? (Pro tip: if you really want a vendor, look for a wedding venue with an open vendor policy that allows you to bring in vendors.)
  • Do we want to plan our entire wedding or do we need help? (Pro tip: even if you want to plan the entire wedding, look for a venue with a knowledgeable staff that can answer your questions…and answers the phone.)
  • How many guests do we want to invite? (Pro tip: you don’t need to have an exact number in mind, just an estimate will do.)
  • What is our budget?

Once you’ve answered these questions, the fun of finding the right wedding venue can begin! When researching and contacting wedding venues, use this list of “must-ask” wedding questions to narrow down your option to the wedding venue that is the perfect setting for your big day.

Milwaukee Wedding Venue Questions

Wedding Venue Availability

  • Is the wedding venue available on this day? OR Are there any open dates during this month/season? (Pro tip: If you have a tight wedding budget, ask the wedding venue about off-season dates or days of the week.)
  • Does your wedding venue hold more than one event on the same date? Will our wedding be the only event at the venue?
  • How many guests does your venue accommodate?
  • For couples needing a ceremony site: Can your wedding venue accommodate our ceremony and reception? If so, will my guests have to wait for set-up before the reception? (Pro tips: use these tips to find the best ceremony and reception wedding venue.)

Wedding Venue Cost

  • What is your venue rate? How many hours are included in that rate? Is there an overtime fee? Does that fee allow for time for set-up and take-down?
  • Does your wedding venue have a curfew when our reception needs to be over?
  • Do you offer wedding planning services? What is the cost of wedding planning?
  • What staff and services are included in the venue rate (i.e. coat check, venue manager, etc.)?

Wedding Venue Contract Details

  • Does your wedding venue have liability insurance? (Pro tip: while this question may not be the most glamorous, insurance can be important in case of an emergency.)
  • What is the wedding venue cancellation policy?
  • Does your wedding venue allow couples to bring in vendors? What vendors do you require us to use?
  • What is the venue alcohol policy? Do I need to hire a vendor that brings in the alcohol? Are bartenders included in the venue rate?

Wedding Venue Guest Accommodations

  • Is there parking at the wedding venue? Or is there parking near the venue? What is the cost of parking?
  • Is there an entrance for wedding guests with mobility issues? Is the wedding venue handicap accessible?
  • Are there local hotels and accommodations for my out-of-town guests? How far away are these businesses?
  • When can I tour the wedding venue? (Pro tip: always request a wedding venue tour because websites may not show every area of the wedding venue.)
bride above a beautiful wedding reception

Refreshingly Elegant Ideas for a Spring Wedding

Spring in Wisconsin is a time to celebrate—and these beautiful ideas for a spring wedding certainly do that! The snow is gone, the weather is warmer, and you can almost feel the spirits of guests raise with the temperatures. If you’re looking for ideas for a spring wedding that are as sunny as the weather, this list of tips can kickstart your wedding planning.

Choose a venue that makes an impression

The exterior of your wedding venue makes as big of an impression on guests as the weather—-and we can’t control that (especially in Wisconsin!). Couples can control guests’ first impression by choosing a beautiful wedding venue. For an extra elegant spring touch, choose a wedding venue with exterior lighting that gives guests something to talk about even before they step in the door. (Use these tips to choose the Milwaukee venue that’s right for your special day.)

floral centerpiece with tall gold vase and lilies

Look for spring bloom ideas

Floral touches are an expected spring wedding idea, but that doesn’t mean flowers can’t arranged or included in unexpected ways. For a one-of-a-kind presentation, ask your wedding vendors for new and fresh ideas that feel as unique as you are as a couple.

floral bouquet on table with sparkling back drop: outdoor touch for summer wedding

Think green

Spring is a time to celebrate green grass after a long, cold, and white winter. For a new, fresh outlook, couples should look for ways to include greenery in centerpieces or in other décor that spruces up the space—and make guests look forward to the real thing.

couple cutting cake on wedding date

Include fresh tastes in your wedding menu

A spring wedding menu demands fresh ingredients, giving guests a taste of the fresh air and beauty that is to come. This is a time to consider dishes with fresh fruits and vegetables, though couples should be careful to avoid serving too light of a meal that doesn’t fill guests up.

In addition to ingredients, a spring wedding is also the perfect setting for beer and wine tastings. For a truly local feel (along with these other ideas for a wedding with a local flavor), consider adding a tasting station with local ales and wines—ideally with ingredients that are as fresh as spring. Couples can also give guests the same experience by sending home small bottles of their signature drink.

beautiful wedding day after couple organizes wedding planning

Bring the outdoors in

If you truly want your wedding to feel like a celebration of the outdoors, try to bring the outdoors in. Couples can establish this atmosphere with topiaries and beautiful walls of greenery that make guests enjoy the beauty of the outdoors without the chill of a spring night.

outdoor picture of newlyweds at Milwaukee wedding venue

Be open to outdoor photos

Spring weather in Wisconsin can be unpredictable. Some days it snows, while other days the temperature swells—but that doesn’t have to ruin beautiful outdoor photos. When planning a spring wedding, do your extra due diligence by packing for any weather. (Use these tips for preparing an emergency wedding day kit.) A shawl can be a stylish touch in photos or a way to warm up after a stunning outdoor photo. If the weather looks rainy, an umbrella (for just you or for your entire wedding party) can be a perfect part of a one-of-a-kind spring wedding photo.

bride and groom dancing at summer wedding reception in beautiful wedding venue

How to Find THE Milwaukee Wedding Venue of Your Dreams

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.