Category Archives: wedding planning tips

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.)

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

When to Start Wedding Planning (and Where to Start)

“When do I start wedding planning?” is a wedding planning question that inevitably pops into your head—sometimes even before you’ve uttered yes! Even if you don’t ask the question, get ready for a barrage of questions from friends and family.

When to Start Wedding Planning

The best answer to the when question is when you’re ready—but with the disclaimer that if you wait too long you may not get your ideal date, wedding venue, or vendors. Planning your big day starts—surprisingly!—with a conversation with your fiancé.

Do we have a special date we want to get married on? Or a time of year?

The good news: you don’t need to have a set date before you start contacting venues and vendors. Some couples have a date in mind for months or years before they get married, while others set the date based on venue and vendor availability. If you’re in the latter camp (no date), you can use these tips for setting a wedding date or contact wedding venues and ask for open dates.

Either way, this is your time to discuss not only the date but how long you want to be engaged. There are some advantages to a long or short engagement. A long engagement gives you plenty of time for wedding planning, while a short engagement gets you down the aisle and into wedding bliss quickly (use these tips if you’re getting married in six months or less).  

Where should we get married?

Just as important as the date is the where of your wedding; this question can start as broad as choosing between a destination or hometown wedding. Once you’ve narrowed down the city, it’s time to start thinking about wedding venues in your desired location.

What is our wedding budget? How are we going to pay for our wedding?

A wedding budget gets your wedding planning kickstarted off on the right foot, giving you and your fiancé the chance to discuss your finances and financial means. This is also your chance to make sure you are allocating money for big-ticket items that make a big impact on guests (i.e. venue, food, entertainment); a wedding budget checklist can be a big help during your discussion.

Do we want a large or small wedding?

Your guest list count doesn’t need to be final, but an estimated guest count is big part of choosing the right wedding venue and setting a wedding budget. Because of the implications on budget, it’s okay to flip flop these questions and decide on how many funds you have first—and how much you want to spend on each guest.

Do we want to plan the wedding ourselves? Or do we need help?

There is no doubt that wedding planning is a big undertaking, so it’s a good idea to decide on how much of it you want to tackle yourselves. This is an opportunity to review your available time and support system, and decide if you need a full- or part-time wedding planner or can take the wedding planning checklist on yourselves. If you decide you want wedding planning help, it’s time to decide if you want to hire a wedding planner from your wedding venue or a professional with an independent business.

What is our style? What do we really want from our big day?

Your style as a couple gives you direction as you plan—and your discussion gives you the chance to get on the same page about it! In addition to the wedding style (i.e. elegant, traditional, rustic, casual, natural), this is your opportunity to voice any preferences you really want on your big day. Your fiance’s answer may surprise you!

First Wedding Planning Steps

Once you’ve discussed the important details, decide if you want to start wedding planning now or in the future. If you’ve decided on a long-term engagement, start booking the big details now (i.e. venue, caterer, entertainment). You can get to the rest of the checklist later!

Get organized.

The very first step is to get organized, with a binder or paper-free. Either way, take a few minutes to kickstart your wedding planning with the app, wedding checklist, deadlines, and tips that keep you organized as you plan your big day.

Set a date.

Your wedding date is a core detail that is going to be brought up with almost every vendor, so it makes sense to set a date as soon as possible. This can be done by using a special date (i.e. when you met, a signature family date, your first kiss, etc.) or contacting venues to see what dates are available.

Research and choose a wedding venue.

The process for choosing a wedding venue is worthy of a full multi-step venue guide, especially because the wedding venue is the foundation of all your other details. Once you’ve decided on a location, it’s time to search for wedding venues near you (or in your chosen location) and narrow down the options based on style and the venue’s answers to your wedding venue questions.

Start interviewing vendors.

Some wedding venues require that you use certain vendors, while others have an open vendor policy that allows you to choose your favorite caterer and vendors. If you need recommendations for vendors, don’t hesitate to ask the venue staff and start contacting them with vendor questions.

wedding reception with MR & MRS letters in front of a shiny background at a rainy wedding

10 BIG Wedding Planning Questions Answered

Wedding planning is an effort that comes with a million questions. What kind of dress are you going to buy? Who’s going to stand up in your wedding party? While we can’t help you with those details, we have put together a list of the most common wedding planning questions that we hear time and time again as we help couples plan their big day. These answers can get you started planning the day of your dreams—and enjoying the process!

What is the first step in wedding planning?

Congratulations on your engagement! The first step of wedding planning is surprising to many couples, because it doesn’t involve shopping or scheduling a wedding venue tour (those important steps come later).

The first step of wedding planning is a discussion with your fiancé. This is your time to voice any preferences you have for the big day, and to ask these important questions (i.e. location, finances, style, date, etc.)

Should we hire a wedding planner?

Contrary to popular opinion, there are three answers to this question: yes, no, and a little bit. The first answer (yes) is perfect for couples who don’t have time to plan. The second answer (no) is typical for couples who feel they have it covered—either alone or with friends or family. The third answer is perfect for couples who need part-time help with details, either with an independent planner or a convenient venue wedding planner.

How can I keep my wedding planning organized?

Every couple has a different system for wedding planning. Some couples use wedding apps, while others use a wedding binder filled with free wedding printables. No matter what the method, the key to organized wedding planning is to have a great wedding planning checklist, wedding budget spreadsheet, and the time to track your progress and expenses. (Other tips for efficient wedding planning can be found here.)

What questions should I ask wedding venues? How should I book a wedding venue?

The wedding venue is the crux of wedding planning—after all, that’s where most of your big day takes place! The wedding venue is the background of your big day, so choose the site carefully! Because the decision is so important, it’s important to interview each wedding venue to find out the availability, cost (including additional fees), venue capacity, and any other important details (such as parking!)

Because this contact is so important, it’s important to ask 20+ questions that get you the answers that help you decide whether to schedule a venue tour.

Never book a wedding venue without seeing it in-person. Unfortunately, online pictures don’t always tell the whole story. When touring, couples should ask to see every space, including the restrooms, changing areas, and parking spaces (which are incredibly important to guests!) From there, couples can use this step-by-step venue booking guide.

When should I book my wedding venue?

Because the wedding venue is so important, it should be one of the first reservations you make. A wedding venue should be chosen and confirmed AT LEAST 12-14 months before the big day. If time is tight, you may still be able to find an open date, especially if you consider a weekday or Friday night (these dates may be more affordable as well). If you would prefer to hold your ceremony and reception at the venue, ask if there is space for both.

When should I hire a wedding caterer?

Once your wedding venue is booked, it’s time to choose key wedding vendors, including the wedding caterer. Some wedding venues have an in-house caterer that they require couples use, while others have an open vendor policy. This policy allows couples to use any wedding caterer as long as they are licensed and carry insurance.

When should I send out invites? What information should I put on my wedding website?

Typically, a save-the-date wedding invite should be sent out six months before your big day, but the actual invitations don’t go out until a couple of months before. Any additional information about the wedding day can be published on a wedding website, such as local hotels and parking information. More wedding website tips can get you from start to publish.

How long is a wedding reception?

This is one of the common wedding planning questions. Most wedding receptions last 4-5 hours, and revolve around a few simple wedding reception planning steps.

bride and groom at wedding reception planned in short time

12 of the Very Best Wedding Planning Posts of 2019

We could all use some help with wedding planning—especially with such a long wedding planning checklist to tackle. Even the small wedding planning tip (or idea) can be a big help!

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best wedding planning tips of 2019. These “how to” tips can get you through every stage of planning your big day (including keeping you sane throughout the process!)

How to start planning the day of your dreams…

How to organize your wedding planning…

How to avoid some of the worst wedding planning mistakes…

How to decide if you need help…

How to make sure your wedding venue checks off all the boxes (and how to reserve it)…

How to make sure you’ve found the right “one” during your wedding venue tour…

How to have fun even when you’re stressed…

How to choose the best vendors to add to your wedding team…

How to add a local Wisconsin flavor your guests’ll savor…

How to add a little fun to your wedding reception…

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

How long is a wedding reception?

Planning a wedding reception timeline is about piecing together all those wonderful details into the perfect wedding day timeline. It starts with “how long should our wedding reception be?” (a reception should last 4-5 hours) and ends with an amazingly coordinated wedding reception that fits your unique style.

How to plan a wedding reception

Choose the right wedding venue

A spectacular wedding reception starts with an amazing backdrop, though the amazing shouldn’t end there. The right location comes with a wedding venue checklist that should be checked off. You should plan on asking wedding venue questions about:

  • Availability (use these tips to get a wedding venue if you don’t have your heart set on a particular wedding date)
  • Location (city and area)
  • Style (that matches who you are as a couple)
  • Parking/access to parking (for guest convenience)
  • Interior space for the estimated guest list
  • Spaces for wedding day (restrooms, wedding party suites, etc.)
  • Venue staff availability (for pre-planning and managing activities night of)
  • Cost (ask about amount of time included, overtime fees, and extra charges)
  • Insurance (just in case of an emergency on the wedding day)
  • Vendors (whether there are required vendors or if the couple can bring in their favorites)

If you need wedding planning services (either full or part-time), this is the time to ask if the service is offered and the cost. Remember to always ask about the best way to contact the venue. Wedding planning is full of pre-wedding day calls and e-mails; it’s important to choose a wedding venue that responds quickly to your routine—and emergency—calls.

Start with a wedding day timeline

Every wedding day is different, but there is a general wedding day schedule you can use to start planning your big day:

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

Select the right vendors

The next step in planning a wedding reception is to start selecting the wedding vendors that can make every part of the reception come to life (and capture every moment of it!) Typically, you should book the following vendors:

  • Décor
  • Equipment Rental (such as tables and chairs if the venue does not provide it)
  • Florist
  • Caterer
  • Photographer (and videographer, if desired)
  • Bakery (for cake, if caterer does not provide)
  • Entertainer (band or DJ)

Selecting the right vendors is process; as tempting as it may be to Google and hire vendors, resist the urge. Choosing and hiring wedding vendors requires research and an in-person contacts. As you look for wedding vendors, always be diligent about watching for these red flags:

  • No business address
  • Delay in responding to calls or e-mails
  • Asking for full payment up front (when the charges are substantial)
  • Reluctance to provide customer testimonials or proof of satisfied customers

Be cautious about hiring wedding vendors that you don’t have experience with, such as friends of friends or family members. As well meaning as your friends may be, “my brother can cut you a deal” is a risk that often results in sub-par service.

Contact every potential vendor with a list of questions:

  • What services do you offer?
  • What is included in the quoted cost?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • What is your business’ back-up plan in case of an emergency?
  • Do you carry insurance?
  • How should we contact you in the future?
  • Are there any deadline we should be aware of?

If you need assistance finding local vendors, don’t hesitate to contact your wedding venue. An experienced wedding staff member can recommend local wedding vendors that have delivered fantastic services to other couples in the past.

Coordinate the details

Once you have hired your vendors, it’s time to coordinate the details that turn your vision into the wedding reception of your dreams. This is the wedding planning step where you start setting a wedding day schedule, checking off steps on your wedding planning checklist, and looking forward to a very special and spectacular big day.

wedding pictures from beautiful wedding done by wedding vendors

7 Must-Have Free Wedding Planning Printables

A wedding planning binder can be a powerful tool—and an organized one too, with these free wedding planning printables. If you want to tackle every part of your wedding planning—or just select parts with the help of a part-time wedding planner—these sheets are the perfect way to start turning ideas into the day of your dreams.

In addition to these wedding planning printables, couples should also add pockets to the binder for ideas (i.e. pictures of dresses, cakes, etc.), wedding vendor contracts, receipts, and contact information. This is where organization counts! Every item should be arranged so that everything is easy-to-find when needed.

Wedding Discussion Questions

Always use this list of questions FIRST! These questions are the perfect first step that can guide every wedding planning decision. Print out this blog post and write down you and your fiance’s answers (some of those answers might surprise you!); you’ll love to have those answers on-hand as you navigate through the wedding planning process.

Wedding Planning Checklist

A wedding planning checklist is the ultimate step-by-step guide that gives you an idea of when to contact vendors. This can be incredibly helpful as you decide what needs to be done next. If you use a part-time wedding planner, this checklist can help you divvy up tasks and assign deadlines.

Wedding Planning Checklist from Real Simple

Wedding Budget Worksheet

A wedding budget is often one of the most overlooked steps of wedding planning (which is why couples tend to make these wedding budget mistakes). It doesn’t have to be, especially with this wedding budget worksheet that helps you track expenses and stay within your wedding budget.

Wedding Venue Checklist, Tour Checklist & Questions

One of the most important first wedding planning decisions is choosing a venue and ceremony site. In some cases, this location may be one venue (use these tips for choosing the perfect ceremony and reception venue). The wedding venue is the foundation of all those other wedding details, which is why it’s important to select the perfect backdrop for your big day.

As you contact wedding venues, use this list of venue questions that can help you select the sites that fits your timeline, style, budget, and vision for the day.

Never choose a wedding venue without touring the site. This Wedding Venue Tour Checklist is a great aid to make sure you have found a venue that checks off all the boxes.

Wedding Reception Timelines

These wedding reception timelines can be a great start to setting a wedding reception timeline. You can use any of these wedding reception timelines, or customize it into the wedding day of your dreams.

3 Sample Wedding Reception Timelines from Lover.ly

simple elegant wedding centerpieces with silver vases and purple roses

8 Pros and Cons of Hiring a Wedding Planner

If you’re not sure about taking on that long wedding planning checklist, this list of the pros and cons of hiring a wedding planner is for you. A wedding planner can be a huge asset during wedding planning OR take away all the fun of planning your day you’ve always dreamed about.

If you’re a list-maker (and if you’re planning a wedding, you have to be), this list can help you decide whether to add a wedding planner to your team or organize your wedding planning and get ready for the next step.

Pro: A wedding planner can take on as much of the planning—or as little—as you want.

It’s one of the most common wedding planning myths—and misunderstandings—that can get in the way of hiring a wedding planner. Many couples believe that hiring a wedding planner is an all-or-none proposition; the truth is that many wedding planners can take on as much or as little as the couple wants. To make sure that your preferred wedding planner is willing to take on the task on a part-time basis, ask them if they provide full- and part-time services during your first meeting.

Con: Not everyone wants to let go of the planning.

Before hiring a wedding planner, ask yourself, “Do I enjoy planning events? Have I been looking forward to wedding planning?” The answer is different for everyone. Some couples love to dive into every detail of wedding planning while others prefer to dabble in the process.

If your answer is somewhere in the middle, the answer might be a part-time wedding planner. If this is your choice, make sure that your lines of communication are open and that everyone is on the same page. You can find a part-time wedding planner through your venue or at your venue; many venues offer wedding planning services. The benefit of utilizing venue services is that the staff are intimately familiar with every aspect of the building.

Pro: Wedding planners know local vendors that can turn your ideas into reality.

One of the biggest advantages of a wedding planner is their network. Because wedding planners work within the community, they know who to go to for every kind of task: catering, lighting, décor, etc. Wedding planners can take on researching and making out-of-the-box requests reality, saving you time and adding their expertise to the process.   

Con: You may feel detached from the process.

If you’ve always dreamed of planning your big day, hiring a wedding planner might be a let-down. While wedding planners coordinate every detail, couples can feel like it’s someone else’s event. This can be especially true if couples aren’t in touch with wedding planner on a regular basis.

This con can also show up when a friend or family member offers to plan the wedding. While this may seem like an ideal arrangement, sometimes even the most well-meaning acquaintance can start planning their day—and not yours.

Pro: You can still enjoy the parts of wedding planning you want to do.

For couples that want to handle their favorite details, hiring a part-time wedding planner can be ideal. It’s a chance to handle the details you really want to do. If you and your partner are foodies, you can enjoy caterer tastings and traveling around to find the best food favors. For those who love to dance, you can scout wedding entertainers and plan a really spectacular first dance.

Con: Wedding planning adds another expense to the wedding budget list.

Obviously, hiring a wedding planner does come with a cost. If your wedding budget is tight, you may not want to stretch it any farther (though you may want to use these wedding budget tips). In these cases, it makes cents (literally) to hire a part-time wedding planner for only the most essential wedding planning tasks or to take on the task yourself. If the latter is your only choice, these tips can kickstart your wedding planning and help keep you organized as you plan your wedding.

Pro: A wedding planner can troubleshoot any wedding planning problems.

This is where the experience of a wedding planner can be a huge advantage. In addition to having connections to local vendors, an experienced wedding planner has usually been there and fixed that. Their experience allows them to solve even the most unusual problems and fix the most common problems quickly and efficiently.

Pro: You have more time!

Most married couples can attest to the fact that wedding planning is like a second job (which is why a date night is essential!) Hiring a wedding planner makes that job seem more part-time, allowing couples to enjoy the process and have more free time.

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

(Fun!) Ways to Enjoy Your Milwaukee Wedding Planning

Planning your wedding in Milwaukee can feel adventurous or overwhelming. These cool ways can make it feel more adventurous than overwhelming—and give you and your partner a chance to enjoy the site of your big day.

Plan a date night at one our fantastic Milwaukee breweries or wineries.

Milwaukee is known for its distinctive ales and unique breweries. If you’re a lover of an occasional brew (or fanatical about your ales), a night out at one of Milwaukee’s breweries can be a great way to choose ales for an interactive tasting station at your wedding reception. A night out at a brewery can also give you the clues you need to decide if it would be a good stop for a toast after your ceremony—or for the big wedding dinner toast.

If you have a palette more for a delectable wine produced at one of our Wisconsin vineyard, schedule a field trip with your fiancé—or your wedding party—to find a wine that was suitable for your big day. A local wine can be the perfect wedding favor (with customized labels) or addition to welcome baskets for out-of-town guests.

Enjoy your time visiting Milwaukee wedding venues and caterers.

Your wedding venue and menu are the highlights of your big day—so why shouldn’t you enjoy the selection process? Once you’ve narrowed down the options for your wedding venue, plan a fun night visiting venues (through a scheduled visit or at an open house) with your significant other. (If you don’t have a lot of time for lots of visits, choose a wedding venue with an on-site planner that can turn your vision into reality.) Caterer tastings can be just as fun—especially if you choose a venue that gives you the option to bring in your favorite.

Scout your favorite photo opp locations.

In Wisconsin, couples typically take two different approaches to photos. The first approach is to head to a favorite location for photos after the ceremony (and to a few local bars or eateries for a wedding party toast). The second approach is to choose a wedding venue for every part of your big day: ceremony, photos, cocktail hour, and the reception.

Whatever approach you take, one of the best wedding planning outings can involve scouting unique locations that make the best sites for unique wedding shots. There are so many options in Milwaukee and around: state parks on Lake Michigan, along the Milwaukee River, at a local museum (think the Milwaukee Public Museum, Harley Davidson Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum, etc.), the Milwaukee County Zoo, or at one of our cool historic sites. The possibilities are endless, and picturing your wedding day during a pre-wedding visit can be just as fun.

Make an adventure out of finding local tastes to include in your big day.

Local tastes can add a one-of-a-kind flavor to any wedding day—and the search for those tastes can be the perfect pre-wedding adventure! In addition to breweries and wineries, enjoy sampling and choosing your local favorites at local Farmer’s Markets, farms, restaurants, and diners. The search can be as fun as incorporating them into your menu, in interactive tables, as favors, or in welcome baskets for special guests who choose to be part of your big day.

Enjoy planning the perfect surprise.

If you love secrets, this wedding planning task—a wedding reception surprise—is the perfect addition to your wedding planning list. The possibilities for a wedding surprise are endless: a choreographed dance, a surprise visit by a favorite Wisconsin mascot, a pop-in from a local entertainer, or one of these fantastic wedding reception ideas.