Planning a Wedding? ~ Checklist numero uno ~ Choosing your Venue

Are you Planning a Wedding? Checklist – Choosing the Right Venue

It is no hidden surprise as a wedding photographer, I’ve been there, seen that; so I thought it would be nice to highlight a few venues that I have had amazing experiences at.  My hope is to give those planning events a little background information of what’s out there.  Let me do the leg work and help make your planning process a little easier.

Looking for some rustic charm with a bit of whimsy?

Check out the Brick House Getaway located just outside of Centuria WI.

Julie is the coordinator of this amazing location.  She is undeniably wonderful & accommodating to work with, here is just a sampling of what is to offer, but it’s a must-see-it-for-yourself kinda place.

Meet Julie

Q: When did you start operating your locations for weddings?
A: “Our first wedding was our neighbors daughter in 2010.  In 2011 my daughter had her wedding reception in our barn.

Q: What is your most memorable moment while hosting an event?
A: “Each and every wedding is memorable and different.  It’s fun to see how they incorporate their different styles.  I think one of the most memorable moments is when I was showing a recently engaged woman the hayloft and the minute she walked upstairs she started to cry and said it was everything she ever dreamed her wedding would be.
Laura Becker from KARE11 TV was married at the Brickhouse in 2013 and Belinda and Jarred were there so that was pretty amazing.

Our goats and llamas are always a hit with the guests.  I have a playhouse for the children & one wedding there were 5 kids lined up outside the playhouse playing different instruments, but the instruments were pots, pans, spoons they called themselves “From the Kitchen Band”.  I have vintage dresses in the house and one of the bridesmaids ended up liking one from the closet better than the one she brought so she ended up wearing it for the wedding.  Another guest found a wedding dress I had in the closet and loved it so much and wanted to buy it so she could wear it at her wedding, I couldn’t refuse that!
Q: How many guest will your venue seat?
A: Seating in the hayloft for dinner will hold 150 and the ceremony will seat 200.  Some have the ceremony outside and dinner in the hayloft.  Others have had the dinner on the lower level of the barn and ceremony in the hayloft.  Some have the dance outside, sometimes it’s in the hayloft.  There are so many different scenarios to hold your wedding here.  There is room for tents to be set up outside, the Brickhouse does not provide these.”
Q: What other amenities are offered?
A: I have a lot of vintage decor that can be used.  The entire home comes with the rental.  We have a campfire and offer the wood.  We are on-site to help and make sure everything goes smoothly.  We offer hay bales for ceremony seating if they want to have that look.
Q: Are there any limitations on what brides/grooms can not do while hosting a wedding with you?
A: So far we haven’t run into any limitations

Q: What sets you apart from other venues?
A: I would say offering the home for the wedding party and family to stay in for the weekend.  Many have had their rehearsal dinner on Friday night and gift opening on Sunday.  Another thing that sets us apart is the vintage decor, decorations and centerpieces that they are able to use.  We have 5 huge chandeliers in the hayloft, a bar made out of old doors and hay bales.  And we have no mosquitoes!!

There you have it, a little more insight to the most magical wedding location inside Polk County WI!

Stay tuned….. I have a few more Q/A’s up my sleeve.


Wedding Fairs & Bridal Shows

Wedding Fairs & Bridal Shows….

The season of expo’s and shows are upon us.  I urge any new, or in the midst of planning, brides to stop in and take in a show.  Meet the vendors that will make or break your day.  Gather idea’s that can be re-created to your own style.   You’re bound to walk away with some good information!!  Before you go — check this out.


GPS  ~ Get Prepared for {Bridal} Shows


shows are a great way to sample catering and see floral arrangements
but they can make for a long day and information overload if you are not prepared.

Pre-register if the show offers that option
Shows may have entrance lines. and preregistering eliminates the need to fill out paperwork while a plethora of other brides are doing so.


Create Labels
Be sure to include your name, address, email, phone number and wedding date. This will save you time and keep your hand from hurting.

Keep your Purse Light
Normally you will receive a bridal bag. If not you may want to bring an extra empty tote for collecting information. Save your shoulder and only bring the essentials.

Bridal Show Swag Bag

Have a friend tag along {not an entourage}
Having key people come with you is a lifesaver. They can help you with ideas and gracefully guide your timetable with vendors.
Be careful not to bring too many as trying to move through with a group of ten can be difficult.

Bring Water
Most bridal shows are very heavy on the food, yet beverages are scarce. Bring water or at least scope out the water fountains so you can stay hydrated.

Wedding Bridal Show

Go Hungry {but bring snacks}
Shows have caterers and cake artists who are waiting to tempt your taste buds. Go with an appetite. If there are less sampling stations than expected, a snack with offer sustenance.

Bridal Show Sweet Treats  _DSC9955

Have an open mind
Services that may not top your list could make your life easier {or wedding more fun!} in the end. Look for trends, color combinations, unique flowers, and other things you can view in person rather than in a magazine. You may leave with a few new ideas

_DSC9980 Wedding Cake

Bring a manila envelop
Placing information from vendors you are serious about in a separate envelope will ensure that the florist that impressed you isn’t forgotten about in the shuffle of papers you take home.

Take information & regroup at home
Collect information for the vendors that interest you. Once home, you can spread out the paperwork and sort through it

Be prepared for emails & follow-ups
Expect for vendors to follow up with you after the show via email or even a phone call if you expressed that you were interested in their services.

Wedding Bridal Show Lets chat s'more


Siren Destination Wedding Fair January 25, 2015 Siren WI
For more information

Stillwater Bridal Affair: February 22, 2015 Stillwater MN
Click here for More information

River Valley Bridal Expo Oakdale Prom Center, February 8, 2015

Dancing Dragon Fly Winery March 22, 2015 ~ Saint Croix Falls WI
For more information