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Selecting the Perfect Venue for Your Wedding with Michelle Anderson

As part of our Wedding Expert Series, we asked our Saz’s Catering team to share some insight and helpful tips about how to ensure your wedding is a complete success without the stress of wondering if you’ve covered every angle. In this edition, we go over a few important things to consider when choosing the perfect venue for your wedding with our Sales & Event Manager, Michelle Anderson.

Things to Consider

Finding a great venue shouldn’t be based on looks alone. You’ll want to have an estimate of your guest count to ensure plenty of space and think of a location that is accessible for the majority of those attending.

You’ll also want to inquire about what is included and not included with regard to furniture and linens. Is there an on-site caterer or kitchen facility that will allow the caterer you choose to provide excellent food?

Saz’s Catering is a preferred venue for many locations in Southeastern Wisconsin. These partnerships give us a great understanding of each venue’s specific nuances with regard to planning and preparation. For example, some venues have restrictions that affect how a menu can be prepared.

Does the venue allow food to be cooked on an open flame? Can a fryer be used? Depending on what kind of menu you have in mind, these limitations will have an impact.

Being a preferred caterer at many venues not only gives us familiarity with each location but an understanding of the unique requirements that exist for catering events. Even if a venue you really love has a few conditions, we can offer many great alternatives to ensure your menu exceeds your expectations.

A Traditional Ballroom vs. An Unconventional Space

It’s all about your personal style; there really aren’t any pros or cons to either space. If your dream is a traditional wedding with over-the-top flowers and formal plated dinner service, then a traditional ballroom is perfect.

The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts with its multiple event spaces, elegant décor, and gorgeous downtown views is a great place to start. If you are looking for something unconventional with non-traditional services, like a vintage-inspired or whimsical barn wedding, then a ballroom is probably not the right fit.

There are a number of fresh, contemporary spaces, like South Second in Walker’s Point or Jan Serr Studio on Milwaukee’s East Side, that are perfect for couples with a modern sensibility. If you’re looking for something rustic, The Farm at Dover or Rustic Manor 1848 are fantastic options. See our venues page for a great place to begin your search.

What You’d be Most Surprised to Learn about the Venue You Choose

Many clients are surprised to find out their preferred venues have a great list of local vendors that can help with ensuring your event lives up to your dreams and expectations.

While there are many special amenities that can come standard when booking a venue, like ample parking and a great vendor list, sometimes a great space might lack certain features that can make planning simple and stress-free.

Does the venue offer a PA system and have audio/visual capabilities? What about tables, chairs and linens? If these are included, you’ll spend less time trying to acquire everything you need for your big day.

If you’re interested in a particular venue, ask them about vendors they’ve worked with that might be suitable for your specific needs and vision.

South Second provides many unique amenities, like floor-to-ceiling garage doors, a mezzanine lounge, on-site kitchen, and it’s located right across the street from Saz’s Catering facility, giving us plenty of room for culinary flexibility and making the whole experience much more convenient for our client.

If your looking to really wow your guests with incredible views of Downtown Milwaukee and Lake Michigan, and have plenty of space to customize, Jan Serr Studio is the perfect place!

This 6th-floor industrial-meets-modern private events and performance space on Milwaukee’s East Side can accommodate up to 450 guests and comes complete with plenty of unique amenities, like a spacious terrace, floor-to-ceiling windows and a first-floor gallery to welcome guests.

As one of our newest exclusive venues through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts, you’ll also be treated to exclusive catering and event planning support from Saz’s Catering from day one.

Being Prepared for Unexpected Surprises

I always tell my client when planning something as important as your wedding, it’s important to do your homework before going to visit a venue, especially when a large investment might be necessary.

It’s easy to fall in love with a space based on looks alone, but often times couples can overlook a venue’s features as a result and find themselves having to pay more because of lack of features and support. For instance, not all venues include cleanup and breakdown services in their standard rental fee.

While a full-service venue won’t typically charge for these things, if you’re paying a flat fee to rent just the space, expect additional charges for trash removal and clean up at the end of the night.

Be sure to look over the venue contract carefully and ask about their labor charges, if any.

Takeaways for Prospective Clients

Ultimately, I tell the couples I work with to go with their gut. Many times that initial feeling is right. Just like choosing your fiancé, your bridal party or your wedding dress, when you find the right one, you will know!

If you have any questions about finding the perfect venue for your big day or you already have a venue locked in and are ready to start crafting a great menu, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by calling 414.256.8765. Happy hunting!  – Michelle