Category Archives: historic wedding venues

6 Tips for an Elegant Vintage Wedding

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cake with floral arrangement from an elegant vintage weddingThe terms ‘elegant’ and ‘vintage’ are not mutually exclusive; to the contrary, they can be combined into a beautiful and distinctive wedding day. From a Great Gatsby theme to an art deco affair, there are a ton of elegant vintage wedding ideas that can create a unique wedding atmosphere during your ceremony and reception.  Invitations, elegant vintage wedding décor, throwback wedding attire—there are so many different elegant vintage tips that can make your wedding day personal and special.

Start with the invitations.

Select invitations that fit with your elegant vintage touches.  If you are planning an elegant vintage wedding with lace and pearls, look for wedding invitations with those elegant vintage details.  If you are doing a vintage wedding from the early 1900’s, look for aged paper with a historic penned look.

Choose a historic wedding venue that sets the scene.

bride and groom on steps of elegant historic wedding venueNot just any wedding venue can create an elegant vintage atmosphere like a historic venue.  Make sure you still use the same criteria as you would for a modern venue so you don’t make these common mistakes when choosing your wedding venue.  Don’t get so focused on the décor of your historic wedding venue that you overlook important details like parking for your guests, and handicap accessibility.

Incorporate your family history.

If you have any antiques, photos, jewelry or other pieces of family heritage, include them in your elegant vintage wedding décor and attire.  Items such as a antique broach, family photo from your great-grandparents or grandparents, your grandmother’s wedding dress, or an antique chest can make unique and sweet touches at your elegant vintage wedding.

Select a wedding dress and hairpiece that fits with your theme.

So you don’t stand out like a sore thumb in your historic venue filled with elegant vintages décor, choose a wedding dress that plays up your vintage wedding theme.  You can also take this same approach with bridesmaid, groom, and groomsmen attire; consider lace dresses for your girls for a vintage touch, or hairpieces that play up your Great Gatsby theme.  Ask your groom and groomsmen to look for suits that play into your theme as well.

Signs can be elegant and classic.

elegant historic wedding venueIf you think a chalkboard sign is off the list, think again.  With a beautiful frame, or frames, and elegant looking print, any sign can be a beautiful touch of elegant vintage décor—and a function piece that directs guests, gives information, or just says ‘thank you.’

Sweat the details.

Every detail of your wedding should complement your theme, from vintage wedding favors to your lace wedding décor.  To complete the look, choose a historic wedding venue with event planners on staff that can choose the vendors and elegant vintage touches that enhance your wedding atmosphere.  The biggest benefit? They can personalize the wedding to your style, giving you an elegant vintage wedding that is uniquely you.

How to Plan a Wedding Without Luck

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1503913_10152175885746803_1458858279_nIt doesn’t take the luck of the Irish or a lucky wedding charm to plan a wedding, just an organized mind (or organized wedding planner) and careful follow through about each detail. Some couples keep binders of information and pictures depicting what they want; some keep their wedding planner’s number on speed dial. So where do you start your wedding planning?

  • Budget. Why is budget at the top of the list? Because it influences every other detail as you plan. If your parents or other family members have expressed interest in helping paying for your big day, talk to them now and find out how much, or what expenses they want to cover. Don’t forget to say thank you; this is a big gift as you and your fiancé start your lives together. If you and your fiancé are going to be paying for most of the expenses, start your marriage off right by making sure you are on the same page about expenses and who is paying for each cost. Set your budget higher than you expect—incidental costs often come in higher than you anticipate.
  • Venue. If you have your heart set on a particular venue or destination, contact them with a list of dates that would work. With couples planning weddings years in advance, your ideal date may be taken. Choose a venue that fits your style (such as historical and traditional), your expected number of guests and geography. If you have guests coming from out of town, consider a venue close to a hotel where they can stay. For a wedding with a significant amount of out-of-town guests, reserve a block of rooms at a local hotel. If you’re having your ceremony and reception at the same place, consider the location of each event. Is there enough room for each, as there is at 1451 Renaissance Place? Will your guests need to wait for break down and set up?
  • Who you are as a couple. What do you enjoy to do together? Understanding what you both want now, so you can incorporate both of your styles—and your common interests—into a wedding that fits with who you are, and your background.
  • Handicap accessibility. If you have friends or family with mobility issues, choose a venue with handicap accessibility. Thinking about handicap accessibility now can ensure that everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.
  • Event planning. Do you want to plan your wedding? Or are you a busy couple who needs an event planner to coordinate all the details? Consider a venue with wedding planners on site. This set up has two benefits: 1) you have someone keeping track of all the details, and with experience to make recommendations 2) a wedding planner from a venue has extensive experience with your particular venue and means you only have to make one call for everything.

If you have a particular caterer, florist or other vendor in mind for your wedding, select a wedding venue with an open vendor policy, such as 1451 Renaissance Place. This allows you to bring in vendors you prefer at no cost, and on-site wedding planners can work with the vendors to coordinate your perfect wedding day. Remember, it doesn’t take luck to plan a wedding, just finding the right venue, the right people and an organized system or planner to make your wedding day—and planning experience—wonderful.

3 Unique Valentine’s Day Wedding Themes that Fit You

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cake with flower petalsHave your heart set on a Valentine’s Day wedding but want a unique theme to accent your special day? We’ve got some ideas that can really play up your Valentine’s Day wedding with a unique theme that is completely, uniquely you:

Love Dove Valentine’s Day Wedding

Invitations: Think birds, feathers or any play on your love dove theme.

Accents: Use feathers in your centerpieces, wedding dress, bouquets (even your hairpiece!) and décor to show that “birds of a feather flock together.” Create a sign or short video with that title with photos of your time together for display.

Food ideas: Cupcakes that look like birds or a cake with a tree design play up your love bird theme.

Centerpieces: Trees with branches (which you can use to put favors on) for centerpieces decorated with your colors, decorated bird cages or vases with tree branches (either neutral or with sparkle) all play up your love bird theme.

Colors: Though the traditional colors of Valentine’s Day are red, white and pink, your love bird theme gives you a bit of leeway. Consider white doves and gold or silver branch decorations for a neutral palette or a burst of color with a peacock themed reception hall with blues and greens.

cake with windowClassic Love/Vintage Valentine’s Day Wedding

Preparation. For a classic love or vintage theme, think through what specific tone you want to set.  Are you a couple in love with a specific era? Or do you want to give your wedding a classic, elegant (think Jackie Kennedy or Grace Kelly) feel? Would you like to fashion your wedding around an antique or motorcycle? Or do you want a classic theme that demonstrates your love will last throughout time?

Invitations. Depending on what era or specific tone you want to set, consider an invitation that shows your love can last through the ages by finding a vintage invitation. The look of lace on an invitation can give your wedding a classic, elegant feel, or an invitation with a classic car. If your wedding is set in a specific era, find invitations with a faded look for an old-time feel or a peppy sock hop feel that matches your preference. Vintage wedding items are very hot right now, so take your pick from many options.

Centerpieces/table: Choose a reception hall that is traditional and historical or a neutral background for your vintage reception, such as 1451 Renaissance Place. Think lace tablecloths with a touch of a vintage color (for a Valentine’s Day touch use faded red or pink), or a clean, neutral palette for your décor with red or pink accents. Use daisies, small lamps or flowers to really capture the feel of your chosen era. Depending on your chosen era, pearls can give your cake and reception hall a classic feel.

How to bring Valentine’s Day in: Color and hearts will bring your Valentine’s Day date in to your wedding. You can also highlight your Valentine’s Day in your dessert choices and favors.

10632619_10152731218526803_2716563146322134270_nLove that shines

Invitations. Think bling, silver or gold for your invitations and wedding décor. Look for invitations with foil, crystal, diamond and metallic accents to give your guests a preview of the glow of your reception.

Centerpieces. Lighted centerpieces or candles with (red?) crystals can set the lighting with a unique glow your guests appreciate.

Food: Choose a cake or desserts with crystal accents, and place settings that match.

Décor & accents: Choose crystals, candles and uplighting that accents your romantic glow. Use metallic accents to reflect and give your reception a soft shimmer. Highlight your special day with your name in lights, or uplighting behind your names or Mrs. & Mr. letters.

If you want a Valentine’s Day wedding, contact your ideal reception hall as soon as possible. Because of the popularity of the holiday, ceremony sites and reception halls’ calendars fill up fast. Once you have your wedding venue reserved for your Valentine’s Day wedding, use one of these themes to turn your romantic Valentine’s Day theme into a beautiful, elegant Valentine’s Day reality.

Questions Every Couple Should Ask Before Wedding Planning

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10632619_10152731218526803_2716563146322134270_nOnce you get engaged it’s smooth sailing, right? Wedding planning can be IF you have a discussion about the important details before you start the official planning. A short conversation with your fiancé and family can eliminate a lot of drama once the hard core wedding planning starts, and get everyone on the same page. Once you’ve started the discussion, keep asking the hard questions until you have these essential details set:

  • Budget. Why is budget at the top of the list? Because it influences every other detail as you plan. If your parents or other family members have expressed interest in helping paying for your big day, talk to them now and find out how much, or what expenses they want to cover. Don’t forget to say thank you. This is a big gift for you as you and your fiancé start your lives together. If you and your fiancé are going to be paying for most of the expenses, start your marriage off right by making sure you are on the same page about expenses and who is paying for each cost. Set your budget higher than you expect—incidental costs often come in higher than you anticipate.
  • Venue. If you have your heart set on a particular venue or destination, contact them for a list of dates that would work. With couples planning weddings years in advance, your ideal date may be taken.
  • Location, location, location. Setting your wedding venue is in some ways a lot like buying your first house. You need to consider what area suits your guests and you as a couple. Then take your planning a step further. Consider not only the geographical setting of your ceremony and distance to your reception site, but also the geography of your guests. If you have guests coming from out of town, consider a venue close to a hotel. If you’re having your ceremony and reception at the same place, consider the location of each event. Is there enough room for each? Will your guests need to wait for break down and set up? Visit your ideal venue to get your questions answered and a tour of the reception hall, ceremony site and dressing rooms.
  • Who you are as a couple. What is your vision for your wedding?  Your fiance’s?Is it elegant? Historic? Vintage? Understanding what you both want now, so you can incorporate both of your styles—and your common interests—into a wedding that fits with who you are, and your background.
  • Number of guests. Many a bride has shed tears over a guest list. Once you’ve set your budget, and discussed what your ideal wedding would look like with your fiancé, sit down with your family. If you and your fiancé want a small wedding, explain what kind of wedding—and how big of a wedding—you want with your family. If budget is a consideration, talk to your wedding venue coordinator to make sure you have a list of all your expenses, and what the cost per guest is. Remember to include the cost of drinks into your budget planning.
  • Handicap accessibility. If you have friends or family with mobility issues, keep them in mind as you choose your venue. Thinking about handicap accessibility now can ensure that everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.

When your discussion is over, and you agree—or agree to compromise—on the major wedding details, start your wedding planning by contacting venues to visit throughout Milwaukee. The venue is key as you continue planning, playing a major role in your invitations, how much food you need and what caterer you use. If you have a caterer in mind, search for venues with an open vendor policy. An open vendor policy allows you to bring in your caterer (as long as they are a licensed, insured caterer) for your big day.

How to Choose the Right Wedding Venue

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10632619_10152731218526803_2716563146322134270_nYou’re getting married. Congratulations! Before you design the invitations, or plan the flowers, you’ll need to start by choosing the right wedding venue for your special day. While choosing the right venue sounds easy, reserving the perfect site is a lot like Goldilocks in the story about the three bears. You need to find a site that’s not too big and not too small. Fortunately, you don’t have to eat porridge to find the “just right” venue, but finding the place that’s perfect does require a conversation with your fiancé about all the factors you both need to consider when selecting the perfect wedding venue:

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

Once you’ve set your wedding venue criteria, set up appointments to visit the hall. If you can’t personally visit the hall, send someone you trust. Make sure you ask questions and confirm every detail, and enjoy your storybook transformation from Goldilocks finding the right place to one of those fabled princesses or princes who finally finds true love.