Monthly Archives: August 2016

Wedding Planning Tips from the Pros: Ways to Save Money on Your Big Day

wedding day at a reception hall with bride and groom dancingCall it experience, call it history.  We guess it’s fitting that the staff of a historical wedding venue would give out tips on how to save funds during wedding planning; we’ve been part of the planning of a wedding or two (or three or 40 or…) and can give you tips on how to stay within your wedding budget while still planning the day of your dreams (we’ve done it before!).

Look for beauty and budget-friendly when choosing your wedding venue.

When you start planning your wedding, sit down with your fiance and create a wedding day budget.  This helps you fall into the trap of 1) spending without a plan; 2) paying too much for one area of your wedding, such as your wedding venue, and not having enough funds for other areas.  That doesn’t mean you have to hold your wedding in a dirty wedding hall; don’t make assumptions about the cost of a beautiful wedding venue before you contact the wedding hall.  Believe it or not, beautiful, budget-friendly wedding venues do exist.  There are several in Milwaukee, such as 1451 Renaissance Place, which is located near hotels for guests and is an elegant, affordable wedding venue.

Set a unique wedding date when other couples don’t.

wedding planningLate fall, winter, or early spring are considered off-season, which means that many wedding venues and vendors give discounts to couples who choose a wedding date during these times of year.

Choose a wedding venue where you can choose your vendors—and your savings.

If you want to add up all the savings from an off-season wedding date, or just want to choose the vendors that can give you the biggest savings, look for a wedding venue that lets you select the vendors (called an open vendor policy).  Not every wedding venue has an open vendor policy, so add this to your list of questions to ask your wedding venue.

Plan a Friday evening, Sunday brunch or holiday date for your wedding date.

If you want to hold your wedding during “peak season,” but want to shave dollars off your wedding budget, ask your wedding venue if there are discounts for holding your wedding on a holiday, weekday, or Sunday. Again, these non-typical days are often open because they are less popular wedding dates.

Hold your ceremony and reception in the same wedding venue.

cookies for wedding guestsIf you want to eliminate costs associated with transportation from the ceremony to reception, choose a wedding venue with space for both.  Make sure you ask about specific spaces for each part of your wedding day so your guests don’t have to stand in the middle of the clean-up being done by venue employees.

Take it easy with wedding favors.

As wonderful as wedding favors are (we’ve even given you 50 ideas for the perfect wedding favor for your big day), resist the temptation to order too many.  It’s one of the most common mistakes made by couples: ordering way too many favors and wasting money that doesn’t get used.

Ask for ideas.

Many wedding venue and vendors have had experience with helping couples stay within their wedding budget.  Don’t be afraid to ask them for ideas.  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 final changes that keep you within your wedding budget.

7 Ways to Choose the Perfect Wedding Date

couple cutting cake on wedding dateEvery bride and groom’s path to choosing their big day is different.  For a friend of ours, it was a fall wedding she stood up in—and loved the colors and weather.  After she got engaged, she called venues to determine their open fall dates.  Once she chose her ideal venue, the date was set, and all the fun wedding planning began.

We’ve seen many wedding dates set at our venue (and many weddings and wedding receptions happen!) so we thought we’d give you some tips on how to set the perfect wedding date.


If you’ve had visions of a soft sparkling white winter wedding reception with hints of cranberry and evergreen, or need to set a summer wedding date because of your busy season at work, you have some flexibility when choosing your wedding date.  Open up your calendar to choose one or two months during your ideal season, and use your second—and incredibly important—decision, your wedding venue, to narrow your pool of wedding dates.

Venue Availability

Found a venue that you just can’t wait to get married in? Have you been dreaming of a venue you saw online?  Once you’ve visited the wedding site to confirm it’s as beautiful in person as it is online (this is a must)—and you’ve gotten engaged—contact the venue for a list of available dates.  Choose an open date that fits you and your fiancé’s schedule and—boom!—you’ve got two items checked off on your wedding planning checklist: date and venue. (If you don’t have a venue for your wedding in mind, use these tips to find the right site for your wedding.)

Special Dates

Your grandparents’ wedding date.  The day you met.  The day of your first date.  Your parents’ wedding date.  The day you became engaged.  If you have a specific date with sentimental meaning, try to book your wedding venue as soon as possible to make sure your ideal date at the perfect venue is available.


We’ll just say it: weddings are expensive (that’s why we’ve given you tips on how to save money while planning your wedding while planning your wedding).  If you want to save money with numerous vendors, choose a wedding date that is considered off-season (ask your vendors what they consider off-season) or on a day other than a Saturday (again this varies between vendors so ask them for what days they consider off season).

Wedding Vendors

Do you have a wedding photographer or caterer you really, really want to use?  Contact them for available dates, and choose an open date for your wedding day.  If you have a wedding caterer you’ve always wanted, you are going to need to coordinate two schedules: the caterer and a venue with an open vendor policy.  Many venues require you to use their caterer, so this should be one of the first questions (of many-a full list of questions to ask your wedding venue is here) when you contact your venues.

Work Schedule

If you want to have lots of time to take care of last minute wedding planning tasks, your wedding, and a honeymoon—without rushing into the office during and after—contact prospective wedding venues for dates during your professional “off time.”  For example, if you are a teacher, a summer wedding gives you time to “get away” for your wedding (use these tips for keeping your guests cool at your summer nuptials).  Landscapers, farmers, builders, and any other professionals dependent on the weather: this tip for choosing a wedding date may apply to you.


Is there just one thing that could make your big day the most special day of your life—having a very important family member at your wedding ceremony and reception?  Ask your VIP family member for their availability and use that date to book a wedding venue on a date that works for you, your fiance, and your special family member.