Category Archives: wedding ceremony and reception venue

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)

Choosing the Best Wedding Ceremony and Reception Venue

bride above a beautiful wedding receptionHosting a wedding ceremony and reception in the same place can be a matter of convenience or budget; in both cases, it can be beautiful (and not quite as easy as typing in “Milwaukee wedding venues near me.”) However, choosing a wedding venue for both the ceremony and venue does add a few more boxes to your wedding venue checklist.

Search for venues with space for the ceremony and reception without inconveniencing guests.

Hosting a ceremony and reception at the same wedding venue brings continuity to the day and virtually eliminates transportation costs. It’s incredibly convenient for guests as well; they don’t have to leave one venue to head to another or even stop for refreshments on the way.

Instead, guests enjoy a beautiful wedding ceremony, offer their congratulations, and enjoy the amenities of a wonderful cocktail hour—all before sitting down to the start of a wonderful wedding reception. To maintain the flow of the festivities, search for a venue with space for both areas (ask if there is space for a ceremony with these other wedding venue questions) without the inconvenience of a huge breakdown by staff.

Look for a wedding venue with convenient parking.

In addition to enough space, you should also look for a wedding venue with parking. No one wants their guests heading for the exit so they can plug their parking meter. If you’re planning on holding the ceremony and reception at the same site, choose a wedding venue with on-site parking so guests can enjoy the day without worrying.

Consider your less-mobile guests.

A wedding ceremony and reception is a gift to guests who may not be able to get around very easily, unless it is hard to get from one area to another. If you have guests on the list who have mobility issues, consider them as you tour the venue. Is it easy for them to get around? If the ceremony outside, can all your guests get to it? Is the venue handicap-accessible?

Look for wedding venue dressing spaces.

A wedding day comes with a few logistical details that may not be the most fantastic but are incredibly necessary. Dressing spaces and storage are two of those minor details that play a big part in enjoying your special day. When touring the venue, ask to see dressing spaces so you and your attendants can change when needed and store items without worry.

Find the décor that sets the stage for the ceremony and reception.

Another huge (and budget-saving) benefit of planning a wedding ceremony and reception at the same place is that wedding décor can be used for both events. Keep this in mind as you plan your wedding day; look for décor that works for both the ceremony and reception.

Plan a fantastic cocktail hour.

The cocktail hour is the core of a seamless wedding day (especially when the ceremony and reception are in the same place). Talk to the wedding venue about ways to make the cocktail hour a fantastic and seamless part of the day. Look for ways to integrate every detail of the cocktail hour with the ceremony and reception details so the transition feels smooth and flawless.