Monthly Archives: November 2017

When should I book my wedding venue?

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

Once you’re engaged (congrats!), it’s the logical question in wedding planning: “What is the first step in wedding planning? When does it need to be done?” The answer: find and book your wedding venue. Finding the right wedding venue is an important part of the process, and a step that determines many other steps of the wedding process. After all, you can’t send out wedding invites or hire a wedding caterer until you book a wedding venue.

When should I book my wedding venue?

When it comes to booking the right wedding venue, the sooner the better. At the very least, try to book your wedding venue for your date 9-12 months in advance. If you have less time before your big day, there is still hope. Use these tips to plan a wedding quickly. If your chosen wedding date isn’t available at your wedding venue, ask if another date around your chosen day is open (such as a Friday or Sunday).

How do I choose a wedding date?

Deciding on the right wedding date is also a process; it isn’t always as easy as opening your calendar and pointing. When you’re trying to coordinate your wedding date and wedding venue, you can use several different strategies to decide on the perfect special date:

  • Choose a season. If you have a strong affinity for a certain time of the year, this is your chance to enjoy every aspect of it (in your décor, photo opps, invites, every themed detail!). Another advantage of choosing a wedding date during your season is that you have a long list of wedding dates to choose from. Contact your wedding venue and ask them what dates are available during your favorite time of the year.
  • Ask your wedding venue what dates are available. A really special wedding venue can be a huge part of deciding on the right wedding date. If you want to hold your wedding at the venue, ask your venue what dates are open for your big day.
  • Zero in on a special date. The day of your first date. Your grandparent’s wedding anniversary. If you want to hold your wedding on a special day, add this question (“do you have this date available?”) to your list of wedding venue questions and use it as a deciding factor whether to tour the wedding venue.
  • Schedule your wedding date when you’re not scheduled. If you have a busy season at work, schedule your wedding for a time of year when life isn’t as stressful.

What do I do if my wedding venue is already booked on the date I want?

It happens. You contact a wedding venue you love about your chosen wedding date and they’re booked. If you have any flexibility, ask about days surrounding your favorite date (such as a Friday evening, Sunday brunch, or another weekend). A little bit of flexibility can guarantee you the venue you crave—and the first step of your wedding planning checked off (and booked so you can move on to the next detail!).

Wedding Décor on a Budget: Decoration Tips that Save Funds

wedding reception with MR & MRS letters after wedding planning has started

Budgeting for the right wedding venue, dress, catering, photographer, videographer…it can seem like you don’t have any funds left after you’ve made all the big wedding planning decisions (like wedding décor!). Use these decisions to make the most of those wedding décor dollars and put together a beautiful wedding reception (on a budget!).

Choose a venue that doesn’t need a lot of décor.

If you want to make a statement at your wedding without dropping a lot of moola, make a concerted effort to find a wedding venue that doesn’t need a lot of décor. Depending on your vision, look for a building with the architectural details that make an impact. For an elegant wedding, look for sophisticated and stylish building details. If you’re planning a vintage wedding, search for history in every corner (a historical story, architecture, etc.)

Allocate your budget dollars accordingly.

As much as you might enjoy purchasing items for all those little touches, setting a wedding budget now can help you keep a lot of perspective later. Put simply, make sure you spend your dollars on the items that mean the most (i.e. wedding dress, centerpieces, etc.) so you have money for the items you need the most (and make the biggest impact).

Ask the pros for money-saving options.

You hired the experts. Use them. Ask your wedding planner (for a one-stop, hire the event planner at your venue) for recommendations of décor that can make a big impact without a big price tag. Your wedding planner may be able to make suggestions, such as high impact centerpieces or a way to minimize the amount of décor needed.

Look for deals.

Packaged deals, sale items, repurposed items from a local sale site. There are a lot of ways to save money on wedding décor—if you look for them. Keep your eyes peeled for items that other brides and grooms don’t need any more that you can use (i.e. chalkboards, centerpiece items, wedding games, etc.) and deals from your favorite wedding vendors.

Don’t assume that DIY is always the cheapest.

It’s natural to assume that do-it-yourself projects are easier on the budget than bought items, but proceed with caution. Sometimes you can find vendors that can do the project more affordably (tips for your search for wedding vendors here). With a little bit of research and some strategic choices (like the venue), you can coordinate the wedding of your dreams.

Beautiful Wedding Entrance Décor Ideas that Are Sure to Impress

bride above a beautiful wedding reception

One of the most important parts of planning any event is the entrance; it’s your chance to make a statement about what’s to come and draw your guests in to the atmosphere (and fun) of your wedding reception!

wedding venue Milwaukee WI

Give them a beautiful scene.

The feeling of awe creates a powerful first impression. Watch your guests’ jaws hit the ground by choosing a beautiful venue, and use lighting and décor to leave their heads spinning. Look for wedding venues with distinct architectural details and lighting that accents those details and catches your guests’ eye.

place cards made after guest list is finalizedGive them direction.

If you want your guests to feel welcome, don’t leave them wondering what to do next. Use a sign to direct your guests where to go with a beautiful sign that welcomes and inspires. For a more subtle hint, set up a focal point for your guests: a creative arrangement of place cards that leads your guests to their table—and to your breath-taking reception.

welcoming wedding venue foyer with warm fireplace

Warm them up.

This is Wisconsin. It gets cold outside, which is why your guests’ll appreciate coming in to a warm and welcoming lobby. A roaring fire in the foyer, warm lighting, and the right décor makes your guests feel grateful to come in from the cold.

chalk sign on sidewalk to welcome wedding guests

Draw them in.

Exterior touches can be just as meaningful as your foyer. Use outside decorations (make sure it’s okay with your wedding venue) to make your guests look forward to your wedding reception.s

Be tasteful.

If you want to give your guests a taste of what’s to come, greet them with a delicious taste of what’s to come. Appetizers, interactive food stations, delectable comfort foods all create a scrumptious taste that leaves your guests hungry for more.

company holiday party entrance after using company holiday party checklistSet the mood.

A striking archway, gorgeous floral décor, or over-the-top décor touches make your guests feel like they have arrived, and are ready to be impressed by what’s coming next (your wedding reception!).