Category Archives: reception halls

Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Wedding Reception Hall

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wedding venue Milwaukee WIIn some ways, we’re all beginners in choosing the right wedding reception hall for your big day. Every wedding day is a beautiful, and unique, opportunity to celebrate your union with your family and friends. As the wedding reception hall whose job it is to make your dream day a reality, we know how overwhelming wedding planning can be, and especially how hard it is choosing the right wedding reception hall—the crux of your dream wedding. So what factors should play a part in choosing the right wedding reception hall?

  • Date. There are two ways to use your date to find the right wedding reception hall. First you can have several dates available and contact reception halls about what dates are open. If your heart is set on a reception hall 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 wedding day needs. Do you need a ceremony and reception site? Ask about the size of the wedding reception hall. Do you need accommodations for out-of-town guests? Use a map to make sure the reception hall is close to hotels. Do you need a caterer? Ask the hall 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 wedding reception halls and ask what vendors they allow in to their facility. A few facilities even have an open door policy, and allow any vendor in to their reception hall. Does the reception hall 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 reception hall 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 reception halls that match your tastes and style.
  • Set your budget for your reception hall. 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 the reception hall weekday rates, set your wedding on a Friday or Sunday or use one of these tips to keep your budget intact.
  • How much planning help you need. Are you busy and need help with coordinating your wedding? Ask each reception hall about wedding planning services.
  • Handicap accessibility. If you have friends or family with mobility issues, keep them in mind as you choose your reception hall. Remember you have options. Thinking about handicap accessibility now can ensure that everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.

Here’s a factor that shouldn’t be part of choosing the right wedding reception: procrastination. Since the wedding reception hall is such a vital part of your wedding day, don’t delay contacting local wedding reception halls to set up an appointment (even via social media!) or checking their Facebook pages about open house dates. An open house is a unique opportunity to see the wedding reception hall, get a full tour, talk with vendors and even enjoy refreshments. It’s also the chance of a lifetime to envision your big day, and decide what wedding reception hall is the right location for one of the most important days of your life.

5 Details That Make Your Wedding Venue Elegant

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room w candles rose centerpiecesDisclaimer: the best way to make your wedding venue elegant is to find a Wisconsin wedding venue that is, well, elegant. With that beautiful, elegant wedding backdrop, you have different options and details for elegant wedding decor that can make your Big Day the elegant occasion you’ve always dreamed of. Creating that elegant atmosphere is all cake with windowin the details of your elegant wedding décor:

Cupcakes. Once viewed as a child’s birthday treat, cupcakes have now been taken to a whole new level (just look at our Facebook page for a beautiful example of elegant cupcakes). Cupcakes serve as an elegant detail when decorated properly (perhaps in lace, diamonds or pearls?) and incorporated into your overall wedding decor.

10370832_10152659675701803_7128647646510151268_nLace. From a lace wedding dress to lace table coverings, lace details can serve as an essential part of elegant wedding décor. It’s also a detail that can contribute to a vintage theme, and can complete the look and feel of an elegant wedding venue.

Candles. There are so many different variations of elegant candle table settings. Brides can use flowers, pearls, diamonds, lace or roses to complement the arrangement. Candles are a beautiful part of an evening celebration or ceremony decor. If you choose an elegant wedding venue with space for your wedding ceremony and reception, you can bring the same candle décor and soft light from your ceremony to reception.

UntitledPearls. Pearls have long been associated with weddings, and continue to be an integral part of elegant wedding décor. From cupcakes to centerpieces, pearls are a versatile element of elegant wedding décor. Specifically, in an elegant wedding venue, pearls can wrap around your flower bouquets, drape around vases of flowers and roses on the tables, wrap around candles, be a part of your bridesmaids’ hairpieces, cover the first letter of your last name—the opportunities are endless as part of elegant wedding décor.

Diamonds. “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” take on a whole new meaning—and create a list of endless possibilities—as part of elegant wedding décor. Combined with an elegant wedding venue and the right lighting, diamonds can create an elegant atmosphere at your wedding. Diamonds can wrap your bouquets, shine on your cake, gleam on top of a mirror at your wedding reception—really, diamonds can be used anywhere in your elegant wedding décor.

If you want to choose vendors that can create the elegant wedding décor details (such as the cupcakes or cake), choose an elegant wedding venue in Wisconsin that has an open vendor policy. Elegant wedding venues with open vendor policies, such as 1451 Renaissance Place, allow brides and grooms to select vendors that can create the elegant wedding décor details they want and bring them into the wedding venue (as opposed to wedding venues that only allow certain vendors). This policy allows you to choose vendors that can create the elegant wedding décor in an elegant wedding venue that makes all your wedding day dreams come true.

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.

5 Traditional Valentine’s Day Wedding Ideas

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cake with window
Looking for a traditional Valentine’s Day wedding? Choose one of Milwaukee’s premier historic venues for your wedding.

Whether you got engaged on Valentine’s Day, met on the most romantic holiday of the year or just hold February 14th near and dear in your heart, a Valentine’s Day wedding is a unique opportunity to celebrate the bond that got you there. And though Valentine’s Day is celebrated by millions, your interpretation of Valentine’s Day is entirely your own. If your view of Valentine’s Day is traditional, start your wedding planning process with five traditional elements:

Theme. Valentine’s Day may be your theme, but the tone of the theme is your decision. Though the traditional colors of Valentine’s Day are red, white and pink, it’s your decision how you want to use those colors.  Want a classic look? Think lace accents. A modern, elegant theme? Use silver, gold or crystal accents throughout the hall to make your reception shine.

Invitations. Your invitations can be full of hearts and roses or can be a simple, elegant heart-shaped invite. Don’t feel confined by Valentine’s Day, but feel free to love-dove it up.  It’s expected. If you find an invitation you love, let it set the tone.  Show it to your wedding planner and ask them to plan a wedding similar to the feel of the invitation.

Colors. For a traditional Valentine’s Day wedding, think reds and burgundy—as much as you dare. In a more neutral, traditional hall, such as 1451 Renaissance Place, you can have red table cloths, chair covers and centerpieces. The sky’s the limit. If you prefer neutral décor, choose ivory or white with red accents to create a clean or vintage setting.

Centerpieces. When most people think of a traditional Valentine’s Day wedding, they think red roses. However, any kind of floral centerpieces—white roses, pink and white carnations, even greens—-can create a neutral, elegant or deep palette that sets the theme for your Valentine’s Day wedding.

The “other” decisions. Favors. Food. Cake. Think chocolate and sweets for your traditional Valentine’s Day “other” touches. A candy bar with Valentine’s Day colored-candy, truffles and a heart-shaped cake set the theme. Heart shaped cookies or cupcakes. Chocolate hearts. Lace doilies as accents. Your wedding reception is the time to play up your theme with traditional, sweet Valentine’s Day elements.

For more traditional Valentine’s Day wedding ideas, choose a reception hall with event planning services. These event planners have experience with the venue, and have witnessed thousands of weddings they can draw ideas from—while still helping you develop new ideas for your wedding day. For instance, 1451 Renaissance Place offers event planners for your wedding planning process—and as your main contact on your wedding day. Having one person as your main contact ensures that the only “fire” not put out at your Valentine’s Day wedding is your love as a couple.

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.