Category Archives: wedding reception Milwaukee WI

24 Wedding Venue Questions You Shouldn’t Forget to Ask


milwaukee wedding venue with dramatic uplightingIt’s not unusual to be so completely awestruck by a wedding venue that you completely forget to ask about the logistical details. It’s even completely understandable; after all, there are some beautiful wedding venues in Milwaukee!

Try to avoid the trap “it’s so beautiful, where do I sign?” whenever possible. Those small details can play an important role in coordinating all those other details (use this convenient wedding planning checklist), such as a volume curfew that puts a real damper on a fantastic wedding dance or a lack of parking for wedding guests. A wedding venue is the foundation of all that wedding planning; it makes sense (both for your wedding budget and wedding planning) to sweat the small details before you reserve the site for your big day.

This advice comes with a wedding tip: never reserve a wedding venue without asking the logistical details and touring the venue (and we can help!). Use this list of wedding venue questions to make sure the venue is the right one AND this link to tour a beautiful Milwaukee wedding venue as you plan your special day.


Venue Cost

  • How much is your venue rate? How many hours are covered by that rate? What is the overtime fee if my wedding goes beyond that length of time?
  • What services are covered by the venue rate?
  • Do you offer wedding planning services?
  • What staff is included in the venue rate (i.e. coat check, venue manager, etc.)?

Fine Print

  • Does your venue carry liability insurance? (This can be important in case a guest is injured.)
  • What is the wedding venue cancellation policy?
  • Do I have to use a preferred vendor from a list? Do you have an open vendor policy? (The latter policy means you can bring in the vendor of your choice.)
  • What is the venue alcohol policy? Do I need to hire a vendor bring it in? Are bartenders included in the venue rate?


  • Where do my guests have to park? Is it close to the wedding venue?
  • Is the wedding venue handicap accessible?
  • Are there local accommodations for my guests (i.e. hotels, inns, etc.)? How far away are these businesses?
  • When can I tour the wedding venue?

21 (Fun!) Wedding Reception Surprise Ideas


bride above a beautiful wedding receptionEveryone loves a surprise—especially when you include a surprise into plans for your big day.  Suddenly, your big day becomes bigger (or at least your guests’ eyes do when they see your surprise!) and different. As an added benefit, you can customize your wedding day surprise to something entirely you.

So without further ado, here are a list of fun wedding reception surprise ideas that you can customize into an amazement that fits your personality and your big day:

chalk sign on sidewalk to welcome wedding guests

  1. Surprise them at the door with a fun mural, backdrop, or drawing
  2. Have the happy couple arrive in an unusual vehicle (i.e. in an old car, in a carriage, etc.)
  3. Host a beer (this is Milwaukee, after all!) or wine tasting
  4. Serve a surprise dish
  5. Schedule an appearance by a celebrity impersonator
  6. Have an unexpected friend or family (that you didn’t expect) appear on the dance floor (or on a video call!)
  7. Break out a fun (well-practiced) dance routine by the bride and groom (or father-daughter or mother-son dance)
  8. Have a favorite sports mascot crash the party
  9. Include surprise entertainers in the night that reflect your heritage
  10. Make your awesome dessert part of your décor (i.e. donut wall, interactive dessert food station)
  11. Have one of the newlyweds appear unexpectedly during the reception (coordinate the appearance with the DJ or band)
  12. Add sparklers or fireworks to the night’s festivities (ask your venue about limitations first!)
  13. Give your guests dinner and a surprise show (hire entertainers to make it happen!)
  14. Make a (cool!) wardrobe statement with an unusual dress or dress change
  15. Turn your reception into a trivia night
  16. Confetti drop (outside or on the dance floor-ask your venue to ensure it is allowed)mandap with floral garland
  17. Make a statement with décor in a big way
  18. Give your guests unexpected wedding favors
  19. Host a (surprise) game show
  20. Play dance floor games
  21. Tell your guests thank you with a unique sign or message (i.e. in fortune cookies, with elegant cards set up with each word, etc.)

9 Reasons to Choose Your Wedding Venue


1451 Rennaissance Place in Milwaukee with dramatic uplighting and crystal candlesChoosing a wedding venue is simple, right?  You just walk in, fall in love, and sign on the dotted line.  In reality, choosing the right venue for your wedding is a bit more complex—but well worth the effort.  Your wedding venue dictates so many other details: décor, style, even the wedding vendors you use.  You’d be crazy not to think through one of the most important details of your big day.  Here are some factors to help you make the big decision about the right wedding venue for your wedding.


Where do you want to be married?  Think beyond just the city.  Consider your options carefully.  Choose a wedding venue in a prime location with nearby hotels for out-of-town guests (and guests that don’t want to drive home).


There are two ways to use your date to find the right wedding venue. First, have a list of several dates and contact wedding venues to see what dates are available. The second option is to set your date and contact halls about the availability of that date.


bride and groom dancing at summer wedding reception in beautiful wedding venueNo matter how beautiful the venue is, it’s not the right venue if it is too large or small for your guest list.  Put together a guest list with your fiance and any important family members.  You may find out that your mother wants to include every one of her sewing club pals or that your father-in-law has a list of business associates that may significantly increase your guest list.  Use the final guest list count to compile a list of potentially perfect wedding venues.

Your needs

Do you need a ceremony and reception site?  Or do you need assistance with wedding planning? Do you have a special idea that only some venues can accommodate?  Sit down and think about all of your needs before you contact wedding venues for potential visit dates.


wedding reception hall with uplighting with bride and groom namesWhen you picture your wedding day, are you dreaming of an elegant, traditional wedding? Are you planning a vintage day with historic details?  Your wedding venue is the backdrop for all the other important details, so make sure you choose a venue that fits with your style.  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.


Ah yes, we said the ‘b’ word: budget.  Your budget is a key part of your decision process, but you need to be careful to make sure you choose a venue that fits your budget.  Ask each venue for a full list of fees that could be incurred so you have a full idea of cost.  You don’t want to book a venue that you think is within your budget, and end up with fees you didn’t anticipate on what is supposed to be the best day of your life.


wedding venue with dramatic backlighting and candlesWhen you wedding plan, you need to think about what you want and also what’s best for your guests.  As much as you want that venue with absolutely no parking, think about what is best for those joining you for your big day.  Ultimately, that means parking for them (who wants to walk block after block in heels?).  Ask each venue for parking options, and if your guests need to pay for it so you can include the information on your invitations or wedding website.


If you have a specific caterer in mind, add “do you allow outside caterers to come in?” to your list of questions.  Some wedding venues only allow you use a specific vendor, while other venues have an open door policy that allows you to bring in the vendor you want to use.  Ask the question up front so you don’t waste your time visiting venues that won’t let you use your preferred vendor.

Your visit

Don’t book a wedding venue without seeing it first.  As great as a venue’s Facebook page or website looks, make sure you contact them to schedule a date to see the venue (and location) in person.