Category Archives: wedding venues wi

Wedding Reception Ideas: How to Add Local Flavor to Your Big Day

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wisconsin wedding venue with beautiful love sign and local flavors

We may be a little biased, but we love Wisconsin weddings. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of wedding reception ideas for couples who love getting married in Wisconsin as much as we do. These traditional and modern ideas are sure to add a bit of local flavor to a wedding day (without being cheesy).

Select a Wisconsin wedding venue

Planning your special day starts with the biggest decision: choosing the right Wisconsin wedding venue. Because our weather can be incredibly unpredictable (no matter the season), make sure the wedding venue is temperature-controlled and covered. Make a list of wedding venues in the right location and with the right amenities. For guest comfort, choose a wedding venue with parking nearby so guests don’t have to trudge through the cold, snow, rain, and wind.

Serve appetizers and dishes with a local flair

For an upscale flair and decidedly local flavor, select dishes with fresh ingredients from local lakes, farms, and fields. There are quite a few ideas, such as summer wedding dishes with fresh cherries, a cheese platter, or a fresh fish fry. The flavor doesn’t have to end with wedding cuisine. Select wedding drinks that your out-of-town guests want to take home.

Host a wine or ale tasting station

Wisconsin is known for its local wineries and breweries. Incorporate those tastes into your wedding by adding a wine or ale tasting station to your wedding entertainment line-up. (Plus, you can plan a fun outing with your partner so you can choose the right wines and ales together.) Before planning a tasting station, ask your venue staff if outside alcohol is allowed in the venue.

Serve a delectable Wisconsin dessert instead of cake

Wisconsinites love their desserts, and out-of-town guests love to enjoy sweet local dishes. The list of dessert ideas with a local flavor are endless: ice cream, Kringles, cream puffs, cherry desserts. (Ask your caterer for fun ways to display the desserts, such as with a dessert wall or interactive food station.) You’ll know this wedding reception idea was a hit when your out-of-town guests beg for the recipes (or a local retailer) at the reception.

Personalize your Old Fashioned recipe

Wisconsin is known for its cocktails, especially a good Old Fashioned. If you want to make a favorable impression, add an Old Fashioned to the menu and advertise it with appropriate décor and signage. For a fun twist, add other local cocktails to your wedding bar and give each one a unique name.

Mix up your wedding dance music

Wedding entertainment makes a big impression on guests, which is why couples should add dance music to their list of wedding reception ideas. To bring a local flavor to the event, hire a local, well-known band or add Wisconsin favorites to your dance play list.

Surprise guests with a local celebrity

This wedding reception idea is sure to get guests talking, but does require secrecy and advanced planning. For the ultimate surprise, hire a local celebrity to make a surprise appearance during the wedding reception. The celebrity can be a local, well-known chef, band, or mascot. To pull this wedding reception idea off without a hitch, keep the appearance is a secret and let the entertainment knows about the surprise so they can help make the moment a memorable one.

Choose wedding favors your guests can’t get anywhere else

The cherry on top of a fantastic Wisconsin wedding is the one-of-a-kind local favors that guests appreciate. These unique local favors can be found at local shops, on local vendors’ websites, and at local restaurants. (Ask your wedding venue staff for other fine favor ideas.)

10 Amazing Wedding Decor Ideas

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A gorgeous wedding venue is the perfect start to creating a beautiful wedding reception that leaves your guests in awe. These stunning wedding décor ideas are the next step to a wow-worthy big day.

beautiful Milwaukee wedding venue with uplighting

Lighting

Nothing captures the attention of guests like uplighting. And nothing illuminates the wonderful features of the wedding venue that made you choose it as the site of your special day.

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

Shimmering Backdrops

A bit of sparkle can dazzle and delight. A shimmering backdrop attracts and draws guests when needed.

red carpet in lobby at 1451 Renaissance Place

Red Carpet Entrance

After a beautiful wedding venue exterior, a red carpet makes your guests feel like royalty.

mandap with floral garland

Over-the-Top Décor

Don’t let any part of your wedding feel neglected. Follow the old saying, “go big or go home.”

simple elegant wedding centerpieces with silver vases and purple roses

Understated Elegance

Understated does need to mean unnoticed. These stunning vases contribute to a wonderful formal wedding atmosphere.

wedding decor with soft candles at milwaukee wedding venue

Beautiful Glow

The right wedding lighting doesn’t always need to be bright.

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Sweet Presentation

The smallest details can make the biggest impact.

wedding table with tall vase with neutral flowers, lavendar printed table covering and lavendar chair covers

Unique Linens

One-of-a-kind table linens can add interest and personality to a formal affair.

couple cutting cake on wedding date

Romantic Flare

Small hints of romance can go a long toward setting the mood.

milwaukee wedding venue with tall dramatic centerpiece with greenery, black napkins and silver chairs

Dramatic Decor

Dramatic décor makes guests gasp. Make sure your combination of wedding décor details coordinate wonderfully (or use an event specialist that can choose the right décor and vendors).

Best Wedding Planning Posts of 2018

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bride above a beautiful wedding receptionAny engaged couple can tell you that wedding planning is a multi-step process. From the proposal to the final wedding vendor contract, the wedding planning process can be full of twists, turns, and an occasional yearning to elope. As wedding planners, we’ve seen it all—and helped couples navigate through every step of the wedding planning process.

We’ve put together the best wedding planning blog posts that can help you through planning your big day from the start to the end. (Contact us if you want more info. We can make your dream day a reality.)

Get started wedding planning…

Wedding Planning Guide: What is the first step in planning a wedding?

Tap into these tricks as you dive into wedding planning…

Tips from the Pros: 15 Tips (and Tricks!) that’ll Kick Start Your Wedding Planning

Setting a wedding budget…

How can I keep my wedding within budget?

Use these questions to screen wedding venues and find the right ‘one’…

24 Wedding Venue Questions You Shouldn’t Forget to Ask

This wedding venue tour checklist makes sure your wedding venue has all those ‘must-have’ spaces…

What should I look for in my wedding venue tour?

Deciding whether to host an adults-only wedding…

Should you host an adults-only wedding?

Keeping the wedding drama (with friends and family) to a minimum…

7 Ways to Minimize the Wedding Planning Drama

Choosing and hiring wedding vendors…

Complete Wedding Vendor List

And for when the urge to elope strikes…

25 Ways to De-Stress Wedding Planning in Milwaukee

Planning an epic wedding reception dance…

7 Tips for an AWESOME Wedding Dance

Deciding on a fun wedding reception surprise…

21 (Fun!) Wedding Reception Surprise Ideas

Setting up a stellar wedding website…

10 Musts of a Stellar Wedding Website

Dealing with any wedding day emergencies that might come up…

7 Wedding Day Curve Balls (& How to Deal with Them)

Complete Wedding Vendor List

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unique spring wedding idea: patterned black and white table coverings with purple pastel chair bowsThat old adage about taking a village to raise a child also applies to a wedding; any bride or groom can tell you that it took a city (or at least it felt like it!) to turn their wedding day vision into reality. Before you start searching for and contacting your city of wedding vendors, confirm the most vital details like your ceremony site and venue (after all, you have to give the caterer and photographer your location!).

Start by having a conversation with your fiancée (and any family contributing to the big day). Set a budget, estimated guest list (at least, a number), and an idea of the time of year. None of these details need to be final; an estimate is a good start. For the date, for example, have a season or month that you prefer. As you contact wedding venues and ceremony sites (which can be one and the same), give them the season or month and ask for open dates in that period. Tour wedding venues with open dates that fit your criteria, style, and budget. Ask if the venue has an open vendor policy or if the venue has a list of preferred vendors to choose from. Book the venue that checks off all the important boxes, and get ready for the next step: finding vendors that can make the perfect wedding dessert, take fantastic photos and video, serve a scrumptious wedding meal, provide wonderful wedding reception decor…

How to find the right wedding vendors

There are quite a few wedding vendors out there, and just as many different ways to find them. Be cautious about who you hire. Even though your friend or family member might recommend a vendor or the website looks great doesn’t mean they can provide the high-quality service you want. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to ask your venue staff for recommendations (or ask them to coordinate all the vendors as your wedding planner).

As you search for wedding vendors, be concerned about common red flags such as bad business reviews, no business address, or any hint that the company has a lack of experience (and back-ups, just in case!). Instead, look for favorable reviews, photos, videos, and satisfactory business ratings and customers (it doesn’t help if they are excellent at what they do if they can’t manage their appointments and finances).

Once you compile a list of prospective vendors for your big day, schedule face-to-face meetings. Be prepared to walk away from vendors who don’t have a business location to meet, seem inexperienced, don’t listen to you, have hidden fees that push the cost over budget, or want you to sign a contract with fine print that makes you uncomfortable.

Ask your vendors how you should communicate with them in the future. This is important so you don’t feel ignored and get the responsiveness you need as you plan your big day. Make sure they have a line of communication you’re comfortable with; you don’t want to choose a vendor who’s only comfortable with electronic communication and ignores your phone calls (or vice versa).

Wedding vendors to contact

___Wedding Attire (Dress & Tux)

___Invitation Printer (& online invites if applicable)

___Photographer

___Videographer

___Caterer

___Baker

___Entertainer (DJ or Band)

___Florist

___Table Décor