Category Archives: wedding ceremony sites

15 Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding Venue

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wedding day venueA wedding venue is one of the most significant parts, and one of the biggest decisions, of your wedding day. Your wedding venue provides the inspiration to plan the rest of your details—the cake, event décor, lighting, table coverings, wedding favors, even your dress. Think about it; you’d choose different décor for a barn wedding than for an elegant reception hall. That’s why it’s so important to ask every wedding venue you are considering these 15 questions; the answers help you choose the perfect venue for your big day, and give you a base to work off of as you set all your other wedding details in stone. A little bit of knowledge now can also save you from a big mistake later, when you didn’t know a key detail that costs you your hard-earned funds, or your wedding planning sanity.

  1. What dates are available during the month/season I am considering? OR Is the date I am considering available?
  2. What are your venue rates? What length of time does that rate cover? What is included in the rate?
  3. How many events are held at your venue at the same time?
  4. How many people can your venue accommodate? How many can be seated at dinner?
  5. Do you offer event/wedding planning services?
  6. Do you have preferred vendors I have to use? Or does your venue have an open vendor policy (which means you can bring in whatever vendors you want)?
  7. Can I have my wedding ceremony and reception there?
  8. What is your alcohol policy? Is it provided or do I have to bring it in?
  9. Do you offer free parking?
  10. Are you wheelchair accessible?
  11. What type of staff will be in attendance during my event? Will there be an on-site coordinator?
  12. Do you have liability insurance? (Covers you in case of an on-site injury.)
  13. What is the cancellation policy?
  14. Are there on-site or nearby rooms for my out-of-town guests?
  15. When can I see your venue in person?

wedding venue questionsIf you have any other questions, or you want to see 1451 Renaissance Place, an elegant, historic reception hall in Milwaukee, contact us or ask us on our Facebook page. We have experienced staff members that can answer questions about our wedding venue and your big day. This is one time in your life when you can’t ask too many questions; you need to make a serious inquiry to ensure that you’ve selected the right wedding venue for your once-in-a-lifetime day.

6 Ways to De-stress Your Wedding Planning

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wedding planningWedding planning is stressful. There, we’ve said it. You could elope to Vegas like our cousin did…even then, her wedding planning turned stressful when her mother had a fit about the secret wedding ceremony. Once her mom calmed down, she insisted upon a proper wedding reception to celebrate, which led to…stressful wedding planning. It seems no matter what you do, you can’t get away from the stress that comes with trying to turn your vision into a beautiful reality.

However, there are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of stress associated with your big day. While you can’t force your bridesmaids to stop squabbling or your DIY wedding favors to turn out exactly like the Pinterest pics, you can take a few steps to simplify your wedding planning, and take some stress out of preparing for your big day:

  1. Hold your ceremony and reception at the same venue. Choose a wedding venue that can do both, so you can minimize costs and eliminate the need for arranging for transportation for your wedding party.
  2. Choose a wedding venue with an on-site wedding planner. If you’ve got a busy professional schedule, or just feel that you need as much assistance as possible from an experienced expert, search for a wedding venue with an on-site event or wedding planner. The added bonus of this arrangement is that the wedding planner is from the venue, meaning they know everything there is to know about the venue—as well as knowledge of local vendors and recommendations from what they’ve seen at previous weddings.
  3. Get as much done ahead of schedule. Try to do as much of the wedding planning as early as possible. Another idea: make sure you put payments for vendors, such as officiants and accompanists, in envelopes with their names on it so you’re prepared.
  4. View your wedding as a team event. Ask trusted friends or family members to help with preparations and final details on the day of the wedding. If you choose a wedding venue with a wedding planner on-site, you also have a dedicated assistant on your wedding day.
  5. Stay within your budget, and adjust accordingly. Set a budget amount ahead of time, and keep careful records so you stay under that number. If you choose a wedding venue that gives you an estimate of costs before your wedding, you can also make changes before your wedding that keep you on track with your budget.
  6. Plan some time away from wedding planning. Starting to feel burned out? Don’t be afraid to take some time away from your wedding planning. Take an occasional day at the spa, or out with your friends, as a chance to unwind—away from the wedding planning.

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. If you feel lost, don’t hesitate to reach out to friends or family. Once you’ve chosen your beautiful wedding venue, contact staff members at the wedding venue for ideas and assistance via email or on Facebook. They’ve got experience with event planning and can recommend local vendors that fit your needs. With their help, you can make your vision of a beautiful wedding day a reality—hopefully without added stress and drama.

5 Budget Friendly Wedding Venue Ideas

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budget-friendly weddingPlanning a wedding on a budget? You’re not alone. Even though you’re planning a budget-friendly wedding, don’t feel you have to compromise your special day, or that you have to settle for anything less than elegance. An affordable wedding is possible on a reasonable wedding budget if you keep your goal in mind. From wedding invitations to the honeymoon, a couple can save money if they think strategically, starting with these five budget-friendly wedding venue ideas:

Shop around for a budget friendly wedding venue. Choose a beautiful, affordable, and budget friendly wedding venue. They do exist in the city limits of Milwaukee, such as 1451 Renaissance Place, which is located near hotels for guests and is an elegant, affordable wedding venue.

Hold your wedding off-season. If you want to stay within your wedding budget, select a wedding date during late fall, winter or early spring. These times is considered off-season, which translates into a budget-friendly wedding venue expense that is less than during the peak wedding months.

Plan a Friday evening wedding or a Sunday brunch. Just as off-season wedding venue rates are reduced, so are dates outside of Saturday. If you want a beautiful, evening wedding with elegant lighting, hold your wedding on a Friday night during the off-season. For a completely different, bright morning affair, plan your elegant wedding on a Sunday morning with a Sunday brunch to follow.

Hold your ceremony and reception in the same wedding venue. If you want to eliminate costs associated with transportation from the ceremony to reception, choose an elegant, budget-friendly wedding venue that has space for your wedding ceremony and reception.

Choose a wedding venue where you can bring in vendors that give you the most for your money. Not every wedding venue has an open vendor policy, so do your homework. A budget-friendly wedding venue with an open vendor policy allows you to choose vendors that fit within your wedding budget.

Don’t be afraid to ask for budget-friendly wedding venue ideas from your venue staff. Staff members can make recommendations that help you make budget-friendly wedding decisions that keep you on track and give you the day of your dreams. Some wedding venues, such as 1451 Renaissance Place, even offer a final wedding planning meeting that allows you to see the wedding venue costs before your wedding day, allowing you to make changes to fit your budget—and to make your budget-friendly dream wedding a reality.

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.

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.

Should you plan your wedding?

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10632619_10152731218526803_2716563146322134270_nWhether you’ve been planning your wedding day since you were five, or have a low-key approach to wedding planning, you undoubtedly have some ideas about the ceremony, reception and dinner. But should you plan your wedding? Though it may seem odd to put your big day in someone else’s hands, hiring a wedding planner to manage the details does have some definite benefits. So why should you hire a wedding planner?

  • Wedding planners bring expertise & experience to your wedding. Feel overwhelmed? Don’t know where to start? Or do you need help bringing your ideas to life? A wedding planner can give you ideas, get your wedding planning started and make recommendations for vendors and style based on past experience.
  • Wedding planners are there through the process and on your big day. Working with a wedding planner gives you one person to contact from the beginning of your wedding planning until you’ve collapsed at the end of your wedding day (and even after).
  • Your wedding planning continues even when you travel and work. If you have a busy personal and professional life, a wedding planner can continue to work on setting details and following up with vendors while you are away.
  • Wedding planners can manage as many details as you need, and you can plan the rest. Hiring a wedding planner doesn’t mean you have to hand over every detail of your big day. You can still participate in the planning, and coordinate as many details of your wedding day as you want.

Located in scenic downtown Milwaukee, 1451 Renaissance Place offers on-site wedding planners, giving you the benefit of having a wedding planner that is familiar with your venue. And with 1451 Renaissance Place’s open vendor policy—allowing you to bring in any licensed caterer or vendor—your wedding can be as unique as you are with details that fit your style. If you feel you can’t bring that unique wedding to life, consider hiring a wedding planner. Contact 1451 Renaissance Place for details, and get your wedding planning process started so you can bring your special day, and unique ideas, to life.

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.