The Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide

Your love finally popped the question (or maybe you did) – so let the wedding planning begin. But where, oh where, to start? Lucky for you, we’ve gathered some of Milwaukee’s finest wedding pros and put them in this easy-to-reference guide. Whether you need to plan the entire day from start to finish or just fill in a few key details, the perfect wedding is at your fingertips.

Wedding Planners

This is your moment to be the bride, not a project manager. Pass o the to-do list and keep stress levels in check by enlisting the help of a planner. These gurus know the ins and outs of weddings better than anyone, and with their help, the only tears you’ll cry are tears of joy.

Planning Tip: Be clear about roles and expectations. At your initial meeting, ask what your responsibilities will be and what your wedding planner will handle. Knowing who is supposed to do what before you start the heavy planning will keep miscommunications at bay later in the process.

Blissful Events & Weddings
414-405-5463 |

Blue Fancy Events
414-305-8435 |

Dynamic Events
414-283-0051 |

Events to a T
262-914-9661 |

Golden Chic Events & Consulting, Port Washington
414-534-6943 |

Rain or Shine Events
414-870-0664 |

Timeless Events, Waukesha
262-751-6355 |

Weddings with a Twist
414-403-1376 |

Cheri Denise Events
414-339-7478 |

Tailored Engagements
414-380-3799 |

Amanda Jennings, owner of MinkMaids, in a sequined bridal gown of her own creation. She also designed the silk bridesmaid dresses.

Attire (His & Hers)

Let’s face it. The dress gets all the attention. But that’s not to say you don’t want your mate to turn some heads. Whether you want a look that is dressed to the nines or casually cool, you can both say “I do” in style with help from these formalwear specialists.

Planning Tip: Just as you want your bridesmaid dresses to coordinate with the look and style of your dress, your groom’s attire should – ahem – follow suit. So if you’re wearing a light, beachy dress, the classic black tux might be too heavy. Instead, opt for a custom or tailored suit in a lighter shade, such as gray.

Amelishan Bridal, Hubertus
262-628-1217 |

The Black Tux
888-717-1588 |

Bliss Bridal, Brookfield
262-781-0211 |

Eva’s Bridal Center
414-570-3800 |

Gigi of Mequon
262-241-1123 |

LaSposa Bridal, Kenosha
262-694-7537 |

Mark Berman & Son, Mequon
262-241-8010 |


Miss Ruby Boutique
414-339-7478 |

Tailored Engagements
414-755-2900 |

NL Suits
414-748-7848 |

Squire Fine Men’s Apparel, Brookfield
262-754-2801 |

Tom James
414-277-8185 |

White Dress Bridal Boutique
414-897-7208 |

Zita Bridal Salon
414-332-9482 |

Amy and Matt on their big day, just a few blocks south of their Pritzlaff building wedding. The magic was captured by Studio 29 Photography+Design. Photo by Studio 29 Photography


These local photographers know Southeastern Wisconsin and all its good angles. Let one of the talented local wedding photographers below (featuring a wide variety of styles and specialties) help you express every single moment of the big day for years to come.

Planning Tip: Choosing a photographer is a little like conducting a job interview. After you narrow down your choices to a handful of finalists who meet your basic needs (date available, number of photographers, price), consider how well each meets your specific requirements. For example, if you’re getting married outdoors, you want a photographer who has plenty of experience (or even specializes) in outdoor photography. Or, if the venue is particularly dark, go with the pro who has some serious skill in low-light environments.

Autumn Silva Photography
414-531-1886 |

C.Mae Design, Burlington
262-510-0632 |

Ellagraph Studios
414-238-5316 |

Front Room Photography
414-294-0080 |

Happy Gnome Photography
414-550-0846 |

JBE Photography
414-217-9014 |

Joe Hang
920-242-3552 |

June & Jae
612-746-9842 |

Laurelyn Savannah

Little Giant Photography
414-916-1481 |

Matt Haas
414-534-5855 |

The Paper Elephant
262-923-8343 |

Robyn Vining Photography
414-581-0700 |

Studio 29 Photography + Design
414-335-4031 |

Uttke Photography + Design
414-928-5068 |

Valo Photography
414-207-8256 |

Most Romantic Photo Locations

Love abounds in Milwaukee’s nooks and crannies, according to some of the area’s best shutterbugs.

“Milwaukee is virtual goldmine of beautiful photo locations, so how on earth do you choose? What makes a location romantic is what it means to you. Do you spend mornings running together at McKinley Marina? Did you get engaged at Lake Park? When you look back at your beautiful wedding album in 50 years, you won’t wonder where the images were taken. You’ll talk about all the romantic memories you’ve had there, and why it was so special to you both.”
– Jennifer Brindley Ubl, JBE Photography

“[Our] favorite place would be the slightly dirty, off-the-beaten-path locations in the old industry park areas of the Fifth Ward. People assume photos need to be taken in beautiful spaces, but sometimes the nitty-gritty brings people closer together and creates an interesting dynamic between the beautiful and the disheveled.”
– Studio 29 Photography + Design

“We love photographing at Villa Terrace. We also think it’s one of the most romantic locations, but because every couple is so different, they may have their own ideas of what’s romantic.”
– Uttke Photography + Design

“My favorite outdoor locations would be Schlitz Audubon Center, Doctors Park or the Riverwalk. My favorite romantic locations are Villa Terrace and the Wisconsin Club.”
– Tegan Jae, The Paper Elephant

“Our favorite locations include the Third Ward’s alleyways. It’s that feeling of something new with something old. The bride in the beautiful white dress and the contrast of the historical brick adds great interest to the shot. There’s this factor of, ‘We shouldn’t be here’ that is super sexy and exciting.”
– The C.Mae Design Team

Photo by Getty Images


At first blush, hiring a wedding videographer can seem like an unnecessary expense. After all, your photographer will capture every memorable moment, right? Yes and no. Your wedding day goes by in a flash (we had to), and that’s where a skilled videographer who has the camera rolling and a keen eye for catching those in-between moments can quickly become one of your best wedding investments.

Planning Tip: Match your personal style with the filming style of the videographers. Before booking, clarify your style and then ask about theirs. Is it documentary? Journalistic? Cinematic? View samples to ensure how they shoot is what you want.

Aerodef Productions, Brookfield
262-510-3125 |

Artist Group Photography & Video
262-387-1001 |

Champagne Studios
414-272-3377 |

Character D Films
262-765-0100 |

Cream City Weddings
414-214-7312 |

Honeycomb Productions
414-243-8246 |

Langley Videography
262-492-5328 |

Once Upon a Time Video Productions, Hartford
262-370-3622 |

Moore Memories Videography
414-708-0564 |

414-939-3399 |

Steve White Films
414-628-0800 |

Sweet Pea Cinema
262-227-6134 |

Video Verite Productions LLC
414-588-2662 |

Wedding Films
(414) 964-9414 |

Boogieing to Sound by Design tunes. Photo by Kat Schleicher/Ellagraph Studios

Music, Sound & Lighting

Set the stage for a wedding to remember. Create a sound that lures guests to the dance floor, add uplighting to your venue to create a customized ambiance, or get technical to make sure everyone hears you say “I do.” Whatever you need, these music, lighting and sound pros have you covered.

Planning Tip: Before booking your music, lighting and sound experts, ask to see their work in action. Better yet – ask to see their work in the same or similar venue.

Element 13 performing at The Wisconsin Club for the wedding of Brian and Julie Gingrass. Photo by Ari Rosenthal Photography

Accent Events
414-750-4504 |

Bill Sargent Band
414-777-0100 |

Brew City DJs
414-305-1462 |

Double Platinum DJ
414-732-1979 |

Dream City Music
414-209-4102 |

Element 13

Midwest Sound & Light Shows, Waukesha
262-751-2900 |

Milwaukee Airwaves
414-306-8273 |

Milwaukee Soul
414-975-5023 |

The Milwaukee Wedding DJ Company, Pewaukee
414-202-6938 |

Musicbox Entertainment, Mukwonago
414-460-6938 |

Rhythm in Motion
262-719-2137 |

Sound by Design
262-968-9586 |

Smoov Music, Sound & Lighting Services, Mukwonago
262-893-5085 |

Vital Image Entertainment, Muskego
262-292-9000 |

Photo courtesy of flower & bee


Flowers and weddings have gone hand in hand since the time of the Greeks. Make sure your wedding is one to remember with eye-catching blooms, stunning bouquets and show-stopping centerpieces created but these area florists and floral designers.

Planning Tip: To cut costs, choose flowers that are in season. Have your heart set on a specific out-of-season bloom? Work with your florist. He or she is likely to have suggestions of stems that bring a similar color, texture and appearance to your bouquet and arrangements – for a fraction of the cost.

Belle Fiori
414-272-2234 |

Designs Etc., Muskego
414-526-4888 |

Feisty Flowers
414-526-5202 |

The Flower Lady
414-259-0999 |

flower & bee
262-204-7818 |

Jane Kelly Floral
414-650-0204 |

Jaimer’s Floral
414-243-0197 |

Lamm Gardens, Jackson
262-677-3010 |

Lovelight Flower, East Troy
414-510-5505 |

Milwaukee Flower Co.
414-899-1395 |

Urban Sense
414-257-0434 |

Waukesha Floral & Greenhouse
262-542-8152 |

Willoway Farm, Fredonia
262-692-9691 |


Next to the dress and the photos, a good chunk of your wedding budget will go to feeding your guests. Spend it wisely by choosing a caterer Milwaukee newlyweds recommend time and time again.

Planning Tip: About 50 percent of every wedding budget goes to the reception, and much of that is designated for food. To get the most value, be sure to ask prospective caterers if there are any extra costs above and beyond the per plate or package fee. For example, does the service include tables, chairs and linens? Are serving ware and cutlery included? And is there a charge per waiter?

Ball ‘n Biscuit Catering
414-962-9779 |

Bartolotta Catering
414-935-5014 |

Chef Jack’s Catering, Waukesha
262-549-5558 |

Emerald City Catering
414-762-8866 |

From Scratch Catering, Cedarburg
262-618-4661 |

Gracious Events
414-777-0440 |

Irene’s Catering Service
414-645-4469 |

Lee John’s Catering, Waukesha
414-645-4469 |

Saz’s Catering
414-256-8765 |

Shully’s Cuisine & Events, Thiensville
262-242-6633 |

Smoke Shack Catering
414-431-1119 |

Tall Guy & a Grill Catering
414-777-0770 |

Zilli’s Catering
262-547-9447 |


There’s as lot that goes into a wedding (as these pages evidence). But remember, between choosing the dress, the venue and the DJ, the entire day is built around the ceremony. Make sure the person you choose to lead you to “you may kiss the bride” is a perfect match.

Planning Tip: What’s the difference between a minister and a wedding officiant? A minister (also sometimes called a reverend, pastor, preacher, priest, etc.) is someone who studied theology at a seminary, church or religious-affiliated college and is ordained in a specific faith denomination. Not he other hand, an officiant can be someone who has completed a course of study from an online company or college for the sole purpose of performing weddings. The latter option can be a good choice for couples who are not religious or who come from two different religious backgrounds.

Brad Schnell
414-477-8785 |

Creative Ministry Center, Brookfield
262-787-4200 |

Family Connect Weddings
262-384-8873 |

Heart Centered Weddings by Susan Bartel

Rev. Jennifer Miller
414-232-7997 |

Rev. Jewel Olson
414-397-1379 |

Judith Kubish
414-731-6340 |

Marry Me, LLC
262-719-1098 |

New Beginnings Ministries, Mequon
414-531-0503 |

Stationery & Invitations

You’ve chosen your closest friends, you’ve eliminated the third cousins. Parents on all sides are nodding approvingly. Congratulations – you’ve finished the guest list! Now it’s time to put it in  print and let everyone know where to be and when to help you celebrate your special day. These stationary and invitation experts can help you and your honey make a great first impression.

Planning Tip: As a rule of thumb, your save-the-date announcements should be sent out six to nine months in advance, and your invitations should be mailed six to nine weeks before the big day.

All About You Designs, New Berlin
262-679-6970 |

Bay View Printing Company
414-744-0844 |

The Blooming Quill, Jackson
262-258-0525 |

Broadway Paper
414-277-7699 |

Centennial Press + Design
262-339-9126 |

Coqui Paperie & Gifts, Brookfield
414-369-2589 |

Cracked Designs, Muskego
414-687-8803 |

Design That Flies
920-265-8397 |

For Now and Forever Wedding Invitations and Accessories
414-202-6099 |

Mint & Lovely Studios
262-528-6468 |

Paperwhites, Hales Corners
262-224-1134 |

Paper Envy, Elm Grove
262-780-0850 |

Paper Pleasers, LLC
414-301-1751 |

QBCheck Designs, Kenosha
262-358-6417 |

The Cake Lady. Photo by Valo Photography

Cakes & Sweet Treats

Let them eat cake! Or cupcakes. Or cookies. You can even dress your dessert table with gourmet Rice Krispie treats if that’s your thing. The metro area is filled with tempting treats that will make sure you end your day on a sweet note.

Planning Tip: If you’re having treats with multiple flavor options, help guests make their decision by labelling the sweets with artful name tags. Consider leaving baggies or boxes on the table for guests to take a treat (or two) home.

Angie’s Bakery & Cake Shop
414-482-1288 |

Amy’s Gourmet Apples, Cedarburg
262-376-0884 |

The Cake Lady
414-294-4220 |

Carrie’s Crispies
414-858-8228 |

Classy Girl Cupcakes
414-270-1877 |

Eat Cake
414-344-3119 |

Mrs. Wonn-derful’s Cake Ball Company, Oconomowoc
262-354-2882 |

National Bakery & Deli

O&H Danish Bakery, Racine
262-554-1311 |

Peter Sciortino’s Bakery
414-272-4623 |

Red Elephant Chocolate
855-733-3574 |

Regina’s Bay Bakery
414-332-5340 |

Simma’s Bakery, Wauwatosa
414-301-1751 |

Sweet Perfections Bake Shoppe, Waukesha
262-446-2253 |

Yield Bakehouse

Additional Reporting by Emily Burton, Tom Conroy, Adam Rogan, Nyesha Stone

‘The Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide’ appears in Milwaukee Weddings.

Find Milwaukee Weddings on newsstands beginning Jan. 2.

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