Category Archives: wedding planning wi

elegant historic wedding venue

7 “Wedding Reception Only” Ideas and Tips

These wedding reception only ideas are the perfect inspiration for any couple who wanted (or had to have!) an intimate ceremony together. Whether you eloped (just because) or had a small ceremony because of the pandemic, this guide for planning the perfect wedding reception only and reception only ideas and tips can put your celebration over-the-top.

Have two separate guest lists.

This is a practical wedding planning tip: have two separate guests list for invites. When setting guest lists, always invite the same guests to the ceremony and reception. For reception only guests, create a wedding website with details about the wedding reception (i.e. venue address, parking details, and this other important wedding website information).

You can schedule the ceremony and reception as far apart as you want. When you word the invitation wording for the wedding reception only invites, consider phrases like “Celebrate with us” or “We’re married! Come join us.”

Decide on your wedding reception attire.

There are quite a few “you don’t have to…” tips associated with planning a wedding reception only. One of those is “you don’t have to wear your wedding dress or tux” to your wedding reception only. Instead, couples can opt for comfortable formal attire, such as a dancing gown or comfortable suit at an elegant wedding venue.

Don’t feel like you have to connect the dots…and the décor.

When holding a wedding ceremony and reception separately, don’t feel like you have to create the same atmosphere at both events. Your wedding ceremony can be as small and intimate as you want, while your wedding reception can be a big dance party, formal dinner party, or large picnic. If you need guidance, hire a wedding planner at your venue to bring your vision to life.

Include a special ceremony moment in your wedding reception.

If you want your guests to feel like they are part of your wedding ceremony, add a special moment to your wedding reception schedule of events. You can recite your vows together, sign your wedding license in front of your guests, or include other wedding reception only ideas that make your guests feel like they were there when you said, “I do.”

Find a creative way to share your ceremony.

At the top of the list of wedding reception only ideas is finding a way to tell your story (including your wedding ceremony). You can do so with photos or videos, either in one key area or scattered around your venue. This is your chance to give guests a glimpse of your wedding ceremony, and gives you the opportunity to relive your wonderful wedding day.  

Have fun with your menu.

A wedding reception only lends itself to creativity. It can be a gathering with light dishes, a sweet night of desserts, or a reception with delicious food stations with your favorite dishes. There are so many possibilities! You can plan a menu that coordinates with the theme or select dishes that surprise and delight guests (including non-traditional desserts). If you need inspiration, don’t hesitate to ask a venue event planner for ideas. As long as you’re having fun with your menu, don’t be afraid to choose unique seating arrangements and mingling areas.

Entertain your guests with trivia, speeches, and fun.

A full line-up of wedding reception entertainment is a ‘must’ on the list of wedding reception only ideas. Guests love to play table trivia about the couple (or the shoe game!), tour a beautiful venue during a scavenger hunt, hear fun speeches, take goofy photos in a photo booth, play yard games, and dance the night away!

elegant lighted globe centerpieces

Adults-Only Wedding? 6 Essential Wedding Planning Tips and Ideas

Milwaukee couples, we know that planning an adults-only wedding can be very simple—and very hard. There are so many pros and cons of a wedding sans kids, and so many questions from potential guests. On one hand, an adults-only wedding can be a great party with your friends and family without any worry about kids. Plus, an adults-only wedding is an easy way to trim your wedding guest list when you want to hold a smaller wedding or your budget is tight. An adults-only wedding also lends itself to more formal wedding themes and ideas. On the flip side, an adults-only wedding can be offensive to some—especially friends or family members who might be upset that they have to hire a babysitter.

There’s a lot to consider. When an adults-only wedding is right for you, it’s full speed ahead with wedding planning—and these tips for a wonderfully grown-up wedding ceremony and reception.  

Choose your invitation wording carefully.

One of the trickiest parts of planning an adults-only wedding is making it clear that only adults are invited. Couples should never use the terms “no kids,” which is considered a major faux pas, on their invitations. Instead, use some of these adults-only wedding invite phrases when you finalize invite wording.

Have an answer ready for questions about your adults-only wedding.

The decision to hold an adults-only wedding is going to come with questions from guests. You can answer these questions on your wedding website (use this guide for creating a complete wedding website) or social media site. When you get questions, be direct and clear about your wishes. It’s also a good idea to reach out to friends and family affected by your decision. While you may have some good conversations, don’t be offended if some guests choose not to attend the wedding.

Don’t make exceptions to your adults only rule.

When you decide to hold adults-only wedding, you have to stick to it. Don’t make exceptions for some guests and not others, which can stir up hard feelings. (It is normal to allow children in the wedding party to attend the wedding reception.) If you want to accommodate the parents on your guest list, you can provide a room with experienced babysitters near the wedding.

Always tour your wedding venue before signing on the bottom line.

This wedding planning tip is for any couple, but couples hosting an adults-only wedding should add a few more items to their wedding venue tour checklist. First of all, if you are hosting a special sampling bar, it’s important to look for a wonderful cocktail area. Secondly, if you are providing a room with childcare, make sure to look for an adequate space.

Consider adding an ale or wine sampling bar.

There are so many options for wedding entertainment, but a favorite for adults-only wedding is an ale or wine sampling bar. This adults-only wedding idea is also a great way to bring a local flavor to your wedding (check out these other ideas for adding a local flavor to your wedding), because you can offer drinks from local wineries or breweries. For a special twist, you can also offer a cocktail with a custom recipe.

Don’t be afraid to ask for wedding planning assistance.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by wedding planning! If you need help navigating through planning a wedding sans kids, look for a local wedding planner or a wedding venue with experienced event planners that can help you pull it all together. It can be incredibly helpful a wedding planner who knows local wedding vendors that can make your vision of an adults-only wedding a reality.

bride and groom at wedding reception planned in short time

Milwaukee Couples: How to Plan an Amazing Wedding in 3 Months

There are so many reasons why Milwaukee couples need to plan a wedding in 3 months. They want to tie the knot before deployment. Local Health Department regulations have raised wedding venue capacity (ahem, couples wedding planning during COVID-19). They want to schedule a wedding reception only as soon as they can after a more intimate wedding ceremony. Some couples just want to get married and don’t want to wait.

However, the reason doesn’t matter now. You need to plan a wedding in 3 months (or less)! But don’t stress. These steps, lists, and tips are here to help you get started—and finished—planning the wedding of your dreams in Milwaukee.

Where to Start Planning Your Wedding

Sit down with your fiancé and answer key questions.

With a tight wedding planning timeline, this important first step needs to happen right away. Sit down with your fiancé and discuss some key questions:

  • Do we have a wedding date in mind?
  • What is our style (i.e. elegant, rustic, casual, etc.)?
  • What is our wedding budget? How are we going to pay for it?
  • Is there anyone who has expressed interest in helping out with our big day (financially or with their time)?
  • Do we want a big or small wedding?
  • Who do we want in our wedding party?
  • Do we want to hire a wedding planner? (Professional tip: some Milwaukee wedding venues have wedding planners on staff that are familiar with the site and local wedding vendors.)
  • Is there anything we really want at our wedding? (You’d be surprised at the answers that can come from asking this wedding planning question!)

Get organized.

It’s easy to just jump in and start making calls and sending emails—especially when you feel like you are on a time crunch! Before you get too far, take a step back and get organized. This simple step keeps you on track and ensures that you don’t miss a single step. You don’t want to realize that you didn’t get a key vendor at the last minute.

The good news is this step doesn’t have to take long at all. You can do so with a wedding binder with wedding planning checklists, budget checklists, and a folder for receipts or a helpful wedding planning app. A good wedding planning system helps you track deadlines and expenses.

Contact wedding venues and set a date.

These two wedding planning steps are listed together because they are interchangeable. Some couples set a date and contact wedding venues to see what sites are available on the date. Other couples contact wedding venues to see what dates are available.

If you need any help with these steps, use these tips for choosing the perfect wedding date and these wedding venue questions. The latter is a list of questions you should ask every wedding venue so you can determine which venue is right for you. Once you’ve narrowed down the list of potential wedding venues, schedule a tour so you can see every space. (This wedding venue tour checklist is very helpful for tours.)

The last step of the process is to sign the contract with the wedding venue and confirm your wedding venue. You now have one of the biggest wedding planning details finalized, and are well on your way to planning a wedding in 3 months.

Contact wedding caterers.

Some wedding venues have an in-house caterer, while others have you choose from a list of local caterers. Other wedding venues have an open vendor policy.

If your wedding venue is one of the last two, you should start contacting wedding caterers as soon as possible. This list of Milwaukee wedding caterers can help, as can this list of wedding caterer questions you need to ask as you contact them. Make sure you have a clear understanding of their pricing, cancellation policy, and deadlines.

Place dress and tux orders.

Since you’re in a time crunch, visit your wedding attire stores and rental companies as soon as you have your wedding venue confirmed. By this time, you should know if you need formal attire or are planning a semi-formal or casual event. This is also the time to confirm your wedding party so you can include them in your visits. Make sure you ask if your dress and tuxes can be in before your wedding date; avoid attire that is shipped in right before your wedding date just in case there are delays in shipping.

Start working down the list of vendors.

Now it’s time to start working down your wedding planning checklist and contacting vendors. You can ask your wedding venue staff for recommendations of local vendors or search online for local professionals. As you contact them, be careful about hiring vendors without a business address, experience, good reviews, or testimonials. Here is a list of vendors to contact:

  • Ceremony Musicians & Officiant
  • Entertainment (band or DJ)
  • Florist (for bouquets, centerpieces, boutonnieres, etc.)
  • Makeup & Styling Professionals
  • Photographer & Videographer
  • Bakery (if the caterer doesn’t provide the cake or wedding dessert)
  • Limo/Cars/Transportation

Start a wedding website and mail invites.

Once you’ve nailed down all the big details, it’s time to go public! You can create a wedding website and order invites as soon as you’ve confirmed the venue and set a schedule for the day. (Typically, this is done after you’ve confirmed the venue, caterer, and entertainment.) This guide to creating an excellent wedding website gives you a list of details to include on social media or on a website.

From there, it’s time to look into getting a marriage license and confirm details with all your vendors. You’ll also need to plan your rehearsal dinner and honeymoon. While the wedding planning process may seem long, keep your eye on the prize: a wonderful marriage and wedding day.

Wedding Planning Tips

  • Consider choosing a weekday or less popular day for your wedding (i.e. Thursday, Friday, Sunday, etc.) You have a better chance of finding an available wedding venue and wedding vendors on short notice.
  • If you divide up the items on your wedding planning checklist, give your friend or family members set deadlines to ensure that every item is completed.
  • Always let wedding venues know if you need the space for the wedding ceremony and reception. Look for venues with multiple spaces so guests don’t need to wait too long for take-down and set-up between the ceremony and reception.
  • If shipping is a concern, purchase wedding attire straight off the rack so you don’t have to wait. Contact seamstresses right away if alterations are needed.
  • Consider choosing a Milwaukee wedding venue with an event planner on staff. These planners know the venue intimately and are familiar with local vendors, making planning smooth and easy when you’re wedding planning in a hurry.
bride above a beautiful wedding reception

How to Plan an Amazing “Wedding Reception Only”

This guide is for couples who want a small wedding ceremony and are planning a “wedding reception only.” While the “only” part may make the planning sound easier, it’s still an overwhelming wedding planning task (but it doesn’t have to be!) We’ve broken down the task of planning a wedding reception only into a few easy steps, plus provided a few checklists and apps that keep you on track.

Where to Start Planning a Wedding Reception Only

It doesn’t matter why you decided to plan a wedding reception only or where your wedding ceremony was (though plan on answering a LOT of questions about it at the reception). The steps for planning a wedding reception only are the same, though they can get mixed around. (Except for the first step!)

Talk with your fiancé.

The first step of planning a wedding reception only is to have a conversation with your fiancé. Discuss with your fiancé key details, such as the location, wedding style, wedding budget, size of wedding reception, and other key wedding details. (Here is a complete list of questions to ask before planning your wedding reception.) This discussion is your chance to have an honest talk about your finances and anything else you or your fiancé really want at the wedding.

Choose your wedding date and venue.

The next steps are to set a wedding date and choose a wedding venue—and these steps are totally interchangeable! Some couples have their heart set on a wedding date and make a list of wedding venues that are available (plus fit their estimated guest count and budget) on their wedding date. Other couples contact their favorite wedding venues and ask what dates are open, then choose one of the available dates. The exact sequence is up to you; if you’re stuck, here is a complete guide for choosing the best wedding venue and selecting the right wedding date.

Set a schedule.

Do you want a wedding reception with a cocktail hour and dinner? Or a dance only? The answer to these questions can help you set a schedule for your wedding reception, which you can relay to your wedding vendors when you hire them. (Professional tip: always leave plenty of time for photos. Your wedding photographer can give you an exact estimate of the amount of time needed.) Typically, the wedding reception schedule is something like this: cocktail hour, meal, dance (with cutting of cake). (Click here for a more detailed breakdown of the wedding reception order of events.)

Hire the best vendors and entertainment.

The next step is to start hiring vendors and entertainment. Typically, this list includes a caterer, photographer, videographer (optional), entertainment (i.e. DJ, band, DIY), bakery (for cake), florist (if applicable), and reception décor vendor. Some couples might also need to hire staff (i.e. bartender, coat check, etc.) if staffing is not provided by the wedding venue. (Use this guide to hire the best wedding vendors for your big day.) If this checklist feels overwhelming, it’s okay to hire a wedding planner. Some wedding venues even have planners on staff, which is a big help because they are already familiar with the venue and local vendors.

Wedding Reception Only Tips

  • Organize, organize, organize! Make a binder with all your paperwork (i.e. contracts, receipts, wedding planning checklist, etc.) or establish an electronic storage system. You can also use a wedding planning app to stay on top of deadlines and details.
  • Be creative about telling your story, including your wedding ceremony, at the wedding reception. There are so many options, such as a video or photo board.
  • Plan on wording your wedding invites just a bit differently than a ceremony plus reception invitation. (Use these tips for wedding reception only invite wording.)
  • Set up a wedding website with helpful information for your guests, such as the cost of parking, directions to the venue, etc. (Here is a complete list of items you should include in your wedding website.)
  • Spice up your wedding entertainment with table trivia, lighting, photo booth, dance floor games, or one of these other fun wedding entertainment ideas for an enjoyable evening.

Wedding Planning Apps & Checklists

Wedding Planning Checklist

Best Wedding Planning Apps/Websites

Wedding Budget Worksheet

Wedding Budget Tips and Tricks

couple cutting cake on wedding date

12 BIG Milwaukee Wedding Budget Tips for Trimming and Tracking

A wedding budget is an integral part of planning a Milwaukee wedding—but it doesn’t have to be a complicated part! These wedding budgets tips are just the ticket for any Milwaukee couple serious about setting, trimming, and tracking their wedding costs.

Setting a Wedding Budget

Talk with your fiancé.

The first step of setting a wedding budget—a chat with your fiancé!—may surprise you, but it’s one of the most important parts of wedding planning. Your discussion can focus on the wedding budget or be an opportunity to ask key wedding planning questions (including the budget). Either way, you need to discuss:

  • how much you have available for the wedding,
  • how you are planning to pay for it,
  • if there are any friends or family that have expressed an interest in helping financially,
  • your current finances (i.e. savings, credit card debt, student loans, etc.)

This is your chance to discuss your finances! Once you are on the same page about the total wedding budget, it’s time to choose a wedding budget checklist or wedding planning app that you can use to divvy up your budget into columns where the funds are needed. (More than 40% of your budget should be allocated for the venue, food, and other hospitality.)

Have key discussions with family members.

If any friends or family members have offered to help financially, talk to them about their gift before you start wedding planning. Your discussion should include the specific amount of the gift (not just “food” or “wedding favors”) so there are no misunderstandings later about the gift (and to keep your wedding budget on track).

Use a cost per guests as a guide.

Once you have set a total wedding budget (including friends and family gifts), determine the cost-per-guest. You can do this by adding together your estimated venue, caterer, and entertainment costs. (You can get an estimate of charges by contacting a potential wedding venue.) Once you have an estimated cost-per-guest, multiply that number by your estimated guest count. The estimated cost-per-guest helps you settle on a guest count that fits within your total hospitality budget (i.e. venue, entertainment, food). Remember, there are going to be other costs, such as your attire and wedding favors, so your total hospitality budget should be less than your total wedding budget.

Ways to Trim Your Wedding Budget

Choose a wedding venue that’s stunning.

This may sound like an odd way to keep wedding costs down. Simply, a stunning wedding venue can keep décor costs down because it doesn’t need extensive lighting and wedding décor. These wedding venues may be within budget, so don’t count a venue out until you’ve inquired about the price.

Trim your guest list.

This wedding budget tip seems obvious, but does come with a caveat. If you need to trim your wedding budget, consider trimming your guest list. (Use these tips for a less stressful guest list trim.) The caveat is that some wedding vendors offer discounts for larger guest counts. In these cases, it may make sense to add a few more guests to the list. (Use these tips for crafting the perfect guest list for your Milwaukee wedding.)

Hold your wedding on an “off day.”

Wedding venues and vendors often give discounts for non-weekend days and during months that aren’t popular with couples. Basically, it’s often less expensive to hold your wedding from Monday to Thursday, or in a month like January or August. You can get an estimate by contacting the venue with potential dates and few key wedding venue questions.

Consider a wedding venue with an open vendor policy.

Some wedding venues require couples to use certain catering and photography/videography services, while other venues allow couples to bring in vendors of their choice (an “open vendor policy“). The latter policy gives couples the chance to bring in favorite vendors and to choose a vendor that fits within their wedding budget.

Choose in-season flowers.

Bouquets and floral arrangement costs can add up quickly—especially if those flowers are considered off-season. For example, lilies are typically more expensive in early spring than during summer. Often, a simple change to in-season flowers can trim the price tag, while still creating an absolutely beautiful effect.

Select a less-expensive dinner service.

Another easy way to trim costs from a Milwaukee wedding is to change to a less-expensive dinner service. There are typically three kinds of dinner service: sit-down, buffet, and food stations. The sit-down option is usually the most expensive, and a change to a buffet or other food service can lessen wedding costs.

Be smart about wedding favors.

Wedding favors are a sweet gift from couples to guests, but the cost-per-item can quickly add up. If you need to trim the budget, consider a less expensive wedding favor or simply order less. The latter can be an easy way to cut costs and keep you from having to find a home for extra favors.

Tips for Tracking Your Wedding Budget

Set up a solid tracking system.

Just like wedding planning, a wedding budget is a marathon and not a sprint. It’s important to set up a system that not only sets the budget but tracks it before and after the wedding day. Couples who prefer paper can use a wedding budget worksheet and a folder or binder to keep receipts. Another option is to use an awesome wedding planning app that you can enter the budget and expenses in. Either way, it’s important to continually add expenses as you plan.

Ask for final quotes before your big day.

Wedding expenses add up very quickly. It can be easy to get an unpleasant surprise—a huge bill or additional fee—after your wedding day. Whenever possible, choose a wedding venue or vendor who can give you a final quote with all your costs before your wedding. This simple step makes it easy to cut expenses so you can stay within budget and still enjoy the Milwaukee wedding of your dreams.

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4 BIG ‘Wedding Planning During COVID-19’ Questions (And Answers) for Milwaukee Couples

Wedding planning normally comes with a thousand questions. Wedding planning during COVID-19 comes with a million! We understand that this is an extremely uncertain time for Milwaukee couples, and that the situation is always evolving. That’s why we’ve put together some answers to questions we hear, but with the disclaimer that it’s always best to check with your Milwaukee wedding venue and the local health departments for the latest information and guidelines.

What wedding planning can we do during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Fortunately, couples can do quite a bit of wedding planning during this time, because many Milwaukee venues, caterers, and vendor staff are available for meetings and venue tours. Plus, you may have extra down time!

The first step of wedding planning is to start by asking these important wedding planning questions with your fiancé. Your answers give direction to your wedding planning, and ensure that you are the same page about style, guest count, and budget.  

Fortunately, it’s also fairly easy and safe to contact wedding vendors during the pandemic. Many vendors are available for meetings, either in-person or virtually. You can also use any extra down time to research vendors online, or ask friends and family for recommendations for the best Milwaukee venues, caterers, and photographers.

You can also organize your wedding planning, and decide whether you’re going to use one of these wedding apps or wedding planning printables. It may seem like a small step in the wedding planning process, but it’s an important part of planning the wedding day of your dreams.

Are Milwaukee wedding venues scheduling tours?

Some of them are! 1451 Renaissance Place is currently scheduling tours, with certain precautions. This answer may change, depending on local regulations and guidelines. When touring a wedding venue, always ask to see these areas and ask these wedding venue questions.

Can we still hold our wedding?

The answer to this question can only come after a discussion with your fiancé and family. Many Milwaukee wedding venues are open for weddings; however, the venues may have limited capacities and may ask the couple and guests to sanitize, wear a mask, and follow social distancing guidelines. (Think of this as an opportunity to add stylish signage, beautiful masks, and sanitizing stations to your wedding plans.) If you need live streaming, many Milwaukee companies offer the service and can ensure that all your guests can witness your special day. (Ask your wedding venue for a list of local vendors.)

If you would rather wait, ask your wedding venue and vendors about postponing your wedding. Most Milwaukee wedding venues are working with couples to re-schedule their wedding. Unfortunately, this doesn’t guarantee that all your vendors are available on your new date. (Ask your wedding venue for recommendations for new vendors if needed. Use these tips to find and choose new vendors.) If you took out insurance on your wedding, you may want to check your policy to see if the insurance covers the situation.

How do we postpone our wedding?

If you decide to postpone your wedding, make sure you make the decision early enough to notify your venue, vendors, and all your guests. (Contact vendors for their specific rescheduling and cancellation policies.) Your venue and vendors are the easiest to contact, and should easily be reached by phone. If you reserved a block of room for guests, contact the hotel and ask them about policies and the process to follow for changing your reservation.

For your guests, make sure you notify them in multiple ways. Your wedding website is the ideal place to notify guests, and even include a list of frequently asked questions about the postponement. (Use this guide to build the ultimate wedding website that guests love.) In addition to your website, also notify guests via e-mail and snail mail.

While postponing might be the best decision, expect to feel a mix of emotions on your original date. There may be some sadness, but there are also ways to celebrate your original wedding date—and look forward to the wedding day that is coming.

unique spring wedding idea: patterned black and white table coverings with purple pastel chair bows

Milwaukee Wedding Planning: How to Create the Perfect Wedding Guest List

Compiling the perfect wedding guest list is a key part of wedding planning. This step-by-step guide can guide you through the process (and help you choose the perfect Milwaukee wedding venue!).

Step 1: Decide whether you would like to host a family event or adults-only wedding.

For some Milwaukee couples, this can be the first step or final step when the budget is tight or guest count is higher than the venue capacity (which should be a top question on your list of Milwaukee wedding venue interview questions).

The good news is that there is no disadvantage to hosting a wedding with kids or adult-only event. If planning a wedding for kids and parents, plan on adding children-friendly foods and entertainment options to your reception (such as coloring tables, bubbles, movie room, etc.) For an adult-only wedding, clearly categorize where you are drawing the line, such as “16 and over” or “18 and over.” (You can also use these tips for planning an adults-only wedding.)

Step 2: Make your own version of the 70-15-15 rule.

The 70-15-15 rule is different for every couple, but the premise is the same. Basically, this rule divides up the guest list into three separate lists. The largest portion (70% in this case) are guests of the couple, while the remaining 30% is divided between the bride’s and groom’s parents. For a complete breakdown, a 200-person guest list would be divided into 140 guests chosen by the couple, and 30 guests chosen by each of the parents.

This step should be accompanied by a conversation about the wedding guest list with any family members or friends contributing to the wedding (either with effort or financially). Be very clear about your numbers and rationale for your final guest number when you discuss the guest list with family members. It can eliminate a lot of drama and hurt feelings later!

Step 3: Compare your guest count to the venue capacity.

When crafting a guest list for your Milwaukee wedding, always make sure your final guest invite list is within the venue capacity. (You should ask about the venue capacity when first contacting a Milwaukee wedding venue.) The venue capacity is not an arbitrary number; instead, it is chosen to ensure the safety of guests.

When considering your Milwaukee wedding venue capacity, don’t feel like you have to cut the guest list down to the exact number. Typically, couples should plan on 80-90% of guests attending the wedding. This means that couples can plan on setting a list that is above the venue capacity, but should be careful not to sky rocket over that magic number (and remember that more guests equate to a higher budget as well).

Step 4: Divide up the guest list.

If you are worried about your guest list being too long, start divvying up the guest list. There are two ways to do this.

The first way is to separate guests into categories, such as “friends,” “family,” “co-workers,” etc. As you divide up the list, put guests at the top of the list that you’d really love to attend. The “maybes” can go on the bottom. This simple wedding planning step makes it a lot easier to trim down the guest list.

The second way is to divide the master guest list into circles of separation. The first list would be those closest to you, the second would be a step further from you…and the degrees of separation would continue. When trimming, cut the guests on the last lists (those not the closest to you). Once you’ve got the list trimmed to your final number, it’s time to move on to the next step and enjoy planning your Milwaukee wedding!

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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.)