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Winter Wedding in WISCONSIN?!

Hey all,

My FI and I are seriously considering a winter wedding in Madison, Wisconsin.  We are looking into a few venues around downtown, and are hoping to have the wedding in early December 2012.  My questions is:  are we CRAZY or not?  Has anyone out there had - or been to - a winter wedding in downtown Madison?  I guess our main concerns are obviously weather, but also travel conditions for our guests.  If anyone has any pictures I would sure appreciate it!  Thanks for your help knotties! Laughing

Re: Winter Wedding in WISCONSIN?!

  • edited December 2011
    One of my co-workers got married in Jan last year and she wedding went good. She loved the winter wedding. If you have a lot of guest coming to town, I might stay away from the heavy snow months. 

    GL and I hope other knotties have more advice. 
  • edited December 2011
    My fiance and I are planning a wedding for this January, and couldnt be more excited. We are in the Milwaukee area, not the Madison area. But one thing we splurged on was getting a shuttle/limo bus that goes from the 2 closest hotels, and back to the reception venue...that way no matter what the weather is like, our out of town guests wont have to drive if they don't want to. We also attended a friends wedding last January in Oshkosh, WI and it was gorgeous.

    Hope this helps!
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  • edited December 2011
    If you are concerned about travel for guests maybe it would be nice to have the ceremony and reception in the same venue or very close to each other. 

    I got married at the Monona Terrace (in the fall) and was very happy with all of their services.  I've also been to weddings and the Concourse Hotel which were lovely. 

    The Best Western and the Edgewater may also be locations you could consider.  You can also get married inside the Capitol - for free! 
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  • katiebakakatiebaka member
    edited December 2011
    I'm getting married this coming January in Milwaukee and couldn't be more excited. I don't see why people think it's crazy--winter's always been my favorite season!

    I agree with PP about transportation, that's a good idea. 

    Our ceremony and reception venues are at different sites since we're getting married in our church, but we allowed plenty of time between the ceremony and reception to allow people to make it there safely (plus, they're only about a 10 minute drive apart to begin with.)

    Our reception venue (a hotel) is right off the freeway that is quite often cleared very quickly. We did mention our concerns about weather. I definitely recommend asking at each of the places you talk to what to expect in January--the hotel we ended up going with does their own snow plowing (instead of waiting for a plow removal service to get to them), they have a covered conference center entrance and heated sidewalks. (The other two places we toured didn't give us very much info or make us feel very comfortable about our guests' comfort or safety).

    The other thing about our venue is that they're literally across the street from the airport (not as loud as you'd think :P) so they're used to having to pull out all the stops if bad weather grounds a bunch of planes and people need to stay overnight.

    After our first tour with them (when we asked about their winter weather-preparedness) they called us back and offered us a nicely reduced room rate for our guests, with the hope that guests would feel more comfortable coming in (none are from very far away, but some are coming from a half hour or 45 minute drive) if they didn't have to drive home in the dark and ice and snow. Obviously they're going to book way more rooms due to it in a slower season, so it's a win-win :)

    Sorry this was so long, just wanted to give my two cents about planning a winter wedding :) I really don't think it's that much harder...in general we're all used to driving in snow haha. I just highly recommend bringing up any thoughts and concerns when you tour venues and seeing what they have to say...they might surprise you!
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  • edited December 2011
    I love all of the advice!  Thank you so much for your input.  The winter is a beautiful time for a wedding, but it can also be very stressful logistically... so I appreciate the help and kind words!
  • kathleenkmmkathleenkmm member
    edited December 2011
    One of my sorority sisters got married in Madison on New Year's Eve and it was beautiful. We all had a blast! If most of your guests are from the Midwest the weather won't be a surprise to them.
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  • edited December 2011
    If you have a lot of out of town guests, I'd think twice.  If most of the guests are nearby, it wouldn't be as much of an issue.

    Although I will say that a friend of mine had a December wedding, and they had a HUGE snowstorm the day/night before.  My friends and I all carpooled in my boat of a car to the wedding.  If it hadn't been nearby we wouldn't have been able to go, and I know some of her guests weren't able to attend.  Just the risk you take, I guess =]
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  • girasol989girasol989 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    My FI and I are getting married this upcoming February in Elkhart Lake, WI.  His family is from the Sheboygan County area and my entire family is from Iowa.  So what we decided to do was to have the ceremony AND reception at the same location so that we don't have people driving in between the two events.  On top of that you don't want to have people driving after drinking (especially with snow) so we made sure that the site has a hotel.  Another thing that we have decided to do for many of the out of town guests is to hold a separate reception that even out Sheboygan family and friends can attend in Iowa in May 2012.  I would highly recommend the ceremony and reception at the same site... or at least make sure the reception is at a hotel so that guests don't have to drive.

    One thing that you will definitely want to discuss with whatever venue you choose is insurance.  Dependent on what the venue has, you may need/want to get wedding insurance especially with a Wisconsin Winter Wedding.  Our venue is checking on their insurance and the owner's policies  because what would happen if we got 2-3 feet of snow that day and would need to reschedule the entire event?  I got this idea right from a blog post.  So keep that in mind.
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