We are lucky to have so many amazing wedding venues in Milwaukee! From beautiful lakefront venues like The Milwaukee Art Museum to funky warehouse buildings like South Second, you have a lot of great places to consider for your wedding day. But how to pick the right wedding venue for your wedding?
When we talk to our couples about their ideal wedding venue during wedding planning, we lead them through a series of questions to help refine the list. There’s so much more to choosing the right venue than location or seating capacity.
We recommend you start considering venues as soon as you pick your date. Popular Milwaukee venues book quickly, especially on summer Saturdays.
Here are our top things we think you need to consider to pick the right-fit venue for your wedding day.
If you’re looking for a place to host your ceremony and reception, you’ll want to know that before you start looking for venues. Some venues do multiple weddings per day, so you need to ensure they have availability for both.
Suppose you do want to have both events in the same venue in the same room. In that case, we can help you with event coordination and the logistics of the “room flip”. The “room flip” is what happens when the ceremony site is transformed into the reception area while everyone is enjoying cocktail hour in a different location at the venue.
If you’re planning on getting married at a private location like your parent’s backyard, then you’ll first need to find out if that’s allowed, and if you need permits in order to do so. While these weddings are often very personal and lovely, they do take extra planning! We highly suggest that if you are having a wedding in a non-traditional venue that you have full event coordination. This ensures every single thing is checked off the list and that all contingencies are prepared and planned.
Pro tip: If you love our beautiful lakefront here in Milwaukee, you are not alone. The lakefront venues book quickly, so make sure you contact them right away for availability!
The most popular months to get married in Wisconsin are May through October. If that’s the timeframe you have in mind, you’re not going to want to delay in contacting your first-pick venues.
November-April is considered the “off-season” for weddings and can sometimes mean a discounted rate. But even in the winter months, a venue might still be booked for your desired date. Other date considerations are when Easter falls (some religious centers and churches don’t do wedding ceremonies during Holy Week) and the holidays, when you could be competing with holiday parties booking venues.
Don’t forget about your picture opportunities, too! Some people love fall photos; others love the idea of photos in a winter wonderland. When we coordinate wedding planning, we like to bring up the things you might not have considered!
You might not have a final headcount when you begin looking for a venue, but have a general number. This is important not only for budgeting but for understanding which wedding venue will be the right pick for you.
You don’t want guests to be crowded into a venue, and you don’t want something so big it feels like your wedding is sparsely attended! We are always happy to make venue suggestions based on the aesthetic you are going for that we know are a good fit for your guest list.
Trust us; you do not want to plan a Lakefront wedding during the Festival of the Arts or a Marquette wedding during Al’s Run. When Harley-Davidson had its last anniversary venues and hotels were booked to Madison and beyond. Make sure you peek at the calendar to see what is going on the weekend you want to get married.
If there is an event, it may not necessarily affect your venue, but it could affect travel time for you and your wedding party. We consider all these things when we help build a custom timeline for our clients for wedding planning and coordination.
Navigating rates at venues can be really confusing. We often help people understand that a rate is a starting rate, not the final amount you could be spending. There are lots of little line items you may not have considered and hidden charges you do not want to be surprised about on your wedding day.
For example, many warehouse-style venues here in town rent the venue itself, but that does not include anything you need to host your reception. So that means all the tables, chairs, linens, etc., need to be brought in by other vendors. Don’t assume that things are included in the room rate; you always need to ask!
Bottom line? We can help you compare apples to oranges! Venues that appear to have lower rates doesn’t mean they are less expensive than others at the end of the day.
While this may seem to be an odd thing to consider, Milwaukee is not Chicago, and we don’t like parking surprises! Some venues may charge parking fees, especially those located downtown or on the east side where parking is more scarce.
Knowing this in advance can help you negotiate the rates with the venue or find alternate parking for your guests nearby that you can let them know about.
Hiring a valet service to park the cars in another spot may be advantageous if you have your event at a private location. This is not only for guest comfort but also because many residential areas have rules on parking that you don’t want to break.
If you’re having out-of-town guests, we recommend having hotel room blocks reserved upfront as a nice gesture. We have many great hotels in Milwaukee, from boutique hotels downtown to larger hotels and conference centers. Most hotels have fabulous amenities like pools and restaurants.
Providing your guests with Airbnb listings in the area is a nice touch for those wanting a more local experience. We can help you choose the right locations, and assist you with coordination for your wedding. We offer either our full planning services or our day of coordination packages. See all of our wedding planning packages here.
Wedding planning can feel like a full-time job! We help take the stress out of planning and put the fun back into your engagement. We’ve helped hundreds of Milwaukee couples plan the wedding of their dreams without the drama, stress, or tears. As we like to say, there are only happy tears around here at Events to a T!
Let’s talk about the different wedding venues here in Milwaukee, and how we can help you with your wedding planning. At Events to a T, we are your go-to gals who will help you get your wedding planning done, and we’ll have a blast along the way. We’ll help you pick the wedding venue that’s right for you!
Get in touch, and we’ll show you how fun planning a wedding can be when you have trusted experts by your side!