Milwaukee is the city of festivals and we love our summers, cramming fun events into every possible day. But summer is also a very popular time for weddings, which makes finding an open day with nothing going on virtually impossible.
From festivals that can make guest parking a challenge, to marathons and fireworks that close major streets, to events that book up hotels, here’s a list of 8 dates/events to consider when planning your wedding day in Milwaukee.
Note that for some of these events, only the 2013 dates were available. However, many of them take place on an annual basis around the same time period as listed, so contact the organization in-charge for more info.
Summerfest draws hundreds of thousands of people to its front gates over eleven awesome days. Starting the last Wednesday in June and lasting through the following week and a half into July, be aware of potential parking issues for your guests if your wedding is near the festival grounds.
Also be aware that hotels may be more expensive than usual and wedding room block reservations could pose additional challenges.
2. Downtown Fireworks
Speaking of Summerfest, the Big Bang Fireworks (first night of Summerfest) and the lakefront 3rd of July fireworks can create a few logistical challenges when getting in and out of downtown and around the lakefront.
Many streets and freeway off ramps around the area close later afternoon and open up after the fireworks are over. The bright side? Fireworks make for some awesome photos if you time it right.
3. Northwestern Mutual Annual Meeting
In later July, Northwestern Mutual, one of Milwaukee’s largest companies, hosts their annual meeting in Milwaukee. Agents and visitors from all over the world descend on Milwaukee causing 10,000 out of town guests to stay in area hotels, in particular in downtown Milwaukee.
Be cautious when attempting to reserve room blocks during this time frame, it can be a challenge. The 2013 meeting takes place from July 20 – 24, 2013 with 2014’s meeting being held from July 19 – 23, 2014.
4. USA Triathlon
Milwaukee has been selected to host the 2013 and 2014 USA Triathlon. The activities will be taking place in and around the lakefront and downtown Milwaukee.
According to Margaret Casey, PR Coordinator for Visit Milwaukee, be prepared for 10,000 race participants and spectators to visit and stay in surrounding hotels. The USA Triathlon takes place August 9 – 11, 2013 and August 8 – 10, 2014.
5. Lakefront Festival of the Arts
On their wedding day, so many couples plan on having their pictures taken in front of, arguably, the most iconic building in Milwaukee, The Milwaukee Art Museum. Be aware that every mid-June, the Lakefront Festival of the Arts takes place.
Tents fill the open spaces of the grounds making traditional photo ops impossible. While there are many other spectacular photo spots around our awesome city, The MAM, in its traditional form, will not be on the itinerary for this weekend. 2013’s festivities happened June 21-23.
6. Milwaukee Air and Water Show
For couples having an outdoor wedding near the lakefront in downtown Milwaukee, in particular an outdoor ceremony, be aware of the Milwaukee Air and Water Show.
While car traffic by the lakefront will be increased for this event, the more significant inconvenience lies with the air traffic. The jets breaking the sound barrier can be difficult to overcome while saying your vows. August 3 & 4, 2013 is the scheduled date for this event.
7. Street Festivals & Parades
Street festivals like Bastille Days and parades can cause logistical challenges when getting in and out of the areas of your ceremony and reception locations, as well as parking.
While this shouldn’t necessarily deter you from dates and locations, it can be a good thing to be aware of for timing of off-site photos, instructions to your guests, and an overall heads up to those involved in your wedding day. Don’t hesitate to ask your venue questions about events going on around their facilities.
We simply have to make mention though, where challenges exist, some really fun memories can result. This couple made the best of having Bastille Days right outside their wedding location:
8. Harley Davidson 110th
When talking with Visit Milwaukee, it has been estimated that 130,000 Harley enthusiasts and supporters will descend on Milwaukee during the Harley Davidson 110th anniversary celebration between August 29 – September 1, 2013, and likely a little before and after.
If your wedding is planned around this date, you likely are already aware of the buzz going on for this event. With that many people coming into our city, hotel room blocks are almost impossible to get, or are extremely expensive. You may want to plan on having out of town guests stay with family members and friends.
Events will be happening at the Summerfest grounds, the Harley Davidson Museum as well as dealerships throughout the city. Also be aware of planned block parties including Brady Street (dubbed mini Sturgis), Water Street and Milwaukee Street where roads are closed and fun ensues.
Researching your Wedding Date
When deciding your wedding day, consult various online local resources for specific dates and times that may affect your day. www.Milwaukee365.com is an invaluable resource that lists local events and allows you to sort by date.
Simply googling Milwaukee and your full wedding date may uncover additional logistics when considering potential dates for your wedding.
Bottom line, Milwaukee summers rock! The chances of something fun and exciting going on the same day as your wedding is likely, but it is much better to be prepared than not. Just make the best of it and enjoy your day.