Decisions, decisions...

Decisions, decisions...

When it comes to planning your wedding, you have so many decisions to make. Before allowing frustration or exhaustion to knock on your door, allow yourself a moment in time to reset by reflecting on any of these precious experiences:

- Sit back and recall your first date. The nervousness you felt, butterflies in your stomach when you smiled at one another, the way you hoped a call would come again soon...

- The proposal. Perhaps it was of grand design, or just simply a whisper in your ear. Whatever that experience was like, it is worth remembering and really letting yourself feel that same wave of emotion that completely consumed you in that moment.

After you go to that special place where any of these experiences took place, take the next step and travel forward to your big day. There may be pressure for all of the details to be perfect, but all that you really need is the opportunity to gather those you love to share the moment when you tell your fiance you want to be with them for the rest of your life. That's the purest and most special moment to look forward to, so keep that reminder wrapped up like a little imaginary gift you keep in your pocket to pull out and reflect on anytime you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with decisions. Your wedding will be amazing, it will be beautiful, and it will be a moment in time you'll cherish sweetly forever.

And if at any point along your planning journey you find that you need an extra serving of help with any decisions or execution, simply call your team at Merc Hall. Our seasoned wedding planners are available for hire to do the heavy lifting for you. From organizing your vendors, to helping you create your timeline to distribute to all of your vendors, to handling your clean-up after hours -- you hand off only what you need help with. We're here for you and ready if you need us.

For more information, please call 262.758.6280 or email your Mercantile Hall contact. 

Happy planning! XO

 

 

Wednesday Nights at The Merc

Wednesday Nights at The Merc

Teen Night officially kicks off next Wednesday June 14th and we're thrilled to be opening our doors to the community for this weekly event! This is our way to give back to the community and share the #smalltownlove. 

What's it all about? It's all about fun in a safe environment. Events will range from Trivia Night (Kahoot) to Silent Disco (fan favorite) to Lip Sync Battles and more. We've had a few hundred teens through already and we got some pretty amazing ideas for even more events.

For more information on our upcoming schedule, or to stay informed about future events, please let us know how to reach you: http://www.mercantilehall.com/teens/

Wednesday Nights at The Merc this Summer - tell your friends!

Trending Now... Thursday, Friday + Sunday Weddings

Trending Now... Thursday, Friday + Sunday Weddings

Those who have caught this trend train for a ride have been able to quickly realize there are oodles of benefits to be had.

When it comes down to it, it's just a bit of a mind shift to go from the traditional Saturday wedding to another day of the week. With guests traveling from out of town, some tend to take Friday off anyway to accommodate a rehearsal dinner and/or travel so it's not too far flung to consider a Sunday wedding. Even more so, the industry is seeing a trend spike with Thursday and Friday weddings allowing families and friends from across the country to have an extended period of time together. This shift is being credited to the family-tight millennials where bringing all loved ones together for a fantastic multi-day celebration (rehearsal, wedding, brunch & gift-opening) is at the top of their list.

Benefits that are realized include reduced venue cost, reduced cost with other wedding industry vendors, easier access to lodging (especially nice when you have several out of town guests), more set-up flexibility at your venue, and less stress (vendors aren't rushing around to serve several of their clients on one day and instead have more time to devote to you). 

We think couples are really on to something here... When we spend so much energy, time and money bringing all of our favorite people together, why not have time to enjoy them?

Just love everything about this. 

Cheers!

Wendy

 

Warm Welcome to Mercantile Hall's First Guests

Warm Welcome to Mercantile Hall's First Guests

We are ecstatic to announce the arrival of Mercantile Hall!

Last night we welcomed and celebrated our first wedding, a couple from Madison, Wisconsin who have brought their families and friends together from Minneapolis to Chicago and beyond. They brought in handmade touches (the bride has amazing calligraphy skills!), gorgeous floral arrangements, and wedding coordinators who executed elegant elements throughout the space. Our hearts bursted with pride as we saw them use Mercantile Hall in a capacity of love + joy. Just like theirs, each event is going to have amazing uniqueness, and we are giddy to be the backdrop for family traditions and memories in the making.

Music was flowing, champagne was toasted, and Burlington's #smalltownlove was there to cheer them on as Mr. & Mrs.

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Brooks!

And before I sign off, I cannot part without saying a gigantic great job to the team who made that happen - Stephanie (your style, vision, and partnership humbles me, seriously Steph - you're insanely talented), Rachel (ready for absolutely anything thrown your way, you are a total rock for all of us and I'm so happy the hands of fate were twisted ever so gently to allow our paths to cross), and Laurel (you are such an amazing addition to our team and like a puzzle piece - you plugged in to the team and suddenly the whole picture came together) along with our amazing husbands/fiance, in-laws, parents, siblings, and all of our family + friends who traded your time for being a part of this amazing journey, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

We did it. You're simply amazing.

Much love, Wendy

 

 

 

 

 

5 Personal Touches for An Epic Graduation Bash

5 Personal Touches for An Epic Graduation Bash

The countdown to graduation is on and we can practically hear the “Pomp and Circumstance” already. Graduation season is upon us and that means an entire summer of graduation parties will follow. With the restoration of the Merc in the home stretch, we can’t wait to help you celebrate! If you’re getting a jump on planning an epic graduation bash, you definitely need to incorporate these fun ideas to personalize your party.

Home Stretch

Home Stretch

Took a moment early one morning last week before the construction crew arrived, and sat down against the dusty wall in Merc Hall (drywall tape sanded ever so recently left a little bit of love for me to take home with me on my coat) and it struck me for the hundredth time how cool this building is. I'm sure those who have worked in the building can attest to the memories, stories, customers, and life that these walls have seen. Without getting too sappy or emotional, let me leave it at ...she is just so super cool. 

Looking up at the new windows - that alone - with the light now streaming through - has utterly transformed the energy inside these walls. Joseph Heindel, light = joy, so thank you. Over the past several weeks, we've had an electrician named Mike give his heart and soul to this building. Floor by floor he has carefully woven conduit and electrical wiring that will eventually make this place shine and gorgeous. Woody & Woody from Drywall Plus have been here putting up the walls that are giving shape and dimension to the building, allowing our brides to have those moments when their eyes light up because they can see what this baby is going to be when it grows up. To all of the people working tirelessly on this project, we - the Staff at Mercantile Hall, the customers of Mercantile Hall, and the community of Burlington - all thank you for helping bring this dream to life.

So these final few weeks, as you stroll by you'll hear the buzz of abundant activity continue as we make our way toward the finish line. Behind the covered windows we'll be adding last coats of paint, completing the elevator, kitchen and bar installation, column treatments, lights -- lots and lots of excitement. We are on our way through the final restoration phase of this amazing historic building, and we can't wait to share her with you.

XO,

Wendy

Bridal Shower 101

Bridal Shower 101

Shower Her with Love:

You are the chosen one! Whether you are the handpicked Maid (or Matron) of Honor, Mom, Sister, or Auntie - you have decided to Shower the Bride with love, which is an honor in and of itself.  Our team at Merc Hall has put together a little Shower-how-to that you can use as a reference guide, complete with some basic etiquette rules thrown in for good measure. 

Why a Shower?

First and foremost it's important to remember the point of the gathering. The bridal shower is a way to honor the bride-to-be by “showering” her with gifts for the couple’s new life together. Typically you will find that showers follow a simple recipe of great food, awesome vibe, fun activities for the group, and gift opening.

When should the Shower take place?

Showers are typically thrown 2-6 months in advance of the wedding to kick off the road to their nuptials as well as not time it too close to the big day, thereby avoiding having back to back wedding events. Always start with the Bride to seek a convenient time, and then work through the guest list, checking schedules as you go. 

Timeline:

Showers can be thrown right here at Mercantile Hall - such a fun backdrop for a fun event! They usually last about 3 to 4 hours, and can be thrown at any time of day or evening (there is no traditional rule here). Guests should arrive in advance of the bride, welcoming her as the Guest of Honor. The timeline usually starts off with greetings between the bride and her guests followed by the Host(s) ensuring everyone has a beverage in hand. If light appetizers are served (fine for a shorter Shower), then the Host invites guests to partake in refreshments while they socialize. Otherwise once ready, the Host calls guests ovto the designated area to enjoy a meal as a group.

Once finished eating, everyone moves to an area where they can be by the Bride's side while she unwraps gifts, with the Host or designated guest recording gifts + names as she unwraps (for photos later). One cute idea that one of our brides did was take a quick photo of the bride unwrapping each of her gifts that the Bride was then able to enclose in her thank you card. Sweet touch.

After the gift opening, coffee and desserts are traditionally served and the party guests begin to depart, taking a party favor along with them. Party favors can range from pretty good-smelling soaps to photo frames, to candles. Nothing extravagant, but a beautiful finish to an awesome day.

Cost:

If the Maid of Honor is hosting, the bridal shower is usually planned and paid for by the maid of honor and the bridesmaids, close friends, or family members. It is not unusual for the bride’s parents to help with some of the costs and alleviate the financial burden for the bridal party. Please note that the host should not ask for any monetary contributions from guests, since they will be bringing gifts to the shower.

Guest List:

It's important to consult the Bride, but most often the party guests include the bridal party, close girlfriends and relatives. The size of the Guest List depends on the wishes of the Bride and her host. It's important that you do not invite anyone whom won’t be invited to the actual wedding. The only exception to this rule extends to teenage girls who are close to the Bride. They are welcome guests at a Bridal Shower if requested by the Bride even when children are not invited to the wedding.

Invitations & RSVPs:

Invitations for the bridal shower need to be sent out 4-6 weeks prior to the shower date. The invitations should include the following information:

  • Bride's name
  • Date, time and location
  • Host(s) name(s)
  • RSVP contact name along with their phone number and email 
  • Gift registry information

Invitations should be addressed to Gusts only and it is the responsibility of the host and bridesmaids to circulate to the Guests whether or not children are welcome to attend.

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

38 couples have already booked their weddings at Mercantile Hall and we are so honored to host each and every one of them! But what about life’s other important moments, you ask? You bet! 

Mercantile Hall is a great spot for celebrations of all kinds. To those of you who have booked your graduation parties, bridal showers, quinceaneras, and meetings – we’re sharing your love!

We still have availability this Spring and Summer, so whether you’re looking to throw a retirement party, host a birthday extravaganza, or celebrate a new baby, come check us out!  We have event packages that can be customized to suit any gathering. We will bring you some serious WOW factor with our stylish, historic space and polish it off with the exceptional service you deserve.

So if you’ve been nominated by the party committee to find a spot to celebrate, we'll partner with you to make you a party-panning-superhero. We've got your graduations, celebrations of life, retirement parties, and birthday extravaganzas covered.

Just complete the form below. We'll get the punch bowl ready!

#BurlingtonLove

#BurlingtonLove

Burlington, Wisconsin (for those of you who are not from here or do not know us well) feels like one of the last great all-American small towns. Sure, we were put on the map by one of our homegrown, Tony Romo (yep, he graduated from Burlington High School), so we are kind of a big deal, but we still operate like a friendly and warm small, awesome town. We may not know everyone in town, but quite often it feels like we do. "Oh, hey - will we see you at the parade?" can be heard footsteps away from "Can you ask John to leave my mail at my store instead of my house?"  It is really a beautiful, and dare-I-say 'rare' thing to experience on a daily basis. Growing up in larger urban towns, I can tell you that I personally have never experienced anything like it, which is what makes it such a flame for the little moth inside me. Ok...ok...what does all of this have to do with you?  Let me bring it on home...

Our team (ever growing - yay!!) is made up of locals and near-locals. When you have a question, if we don't know right away, we get on our bat phones to help you get an answer. And if the first person we phone doesn't know, she or he knows someone who does. It is this perfect little safety net of love and solution-getters, gettin' after it - for you. It's really what you want, need, crave when it's your wedding day. Low stressssssssssss.... brought to you by the good people of this All-American small town, Burlington, Wisconsin.

#smalltownlove  #mercanstyle

20 Couples + counting!

20 Couples + counting!

Shout out to the 20 couples who have toured + booked Mercantile Hall already!

Love inspired @ Bon Bon Belle Bridal

Love inspired @ Bon Bon Belle Bridal

Book a private bridal suite for you & your guests at Bon Bon Belle Bridal.

Book a private bridal suite for you & your guests at Bon Bon Belle Bridal.

Our venue is historic, urban, and just super cool. If we were to create the perfect partner in a science lab, we could do no better than Bon Bon Belle and the gown collections they have in store. They are the ying to our yang featuring a specific Mercantile Hall Gown Collection that is like the one fantastic little puzzle piece you find that brings the whole picture together. 

Here's how we really try to blow your mind... If you haven't perused the Wedding District page yet - mosey on over and delight in all of the partners you'll need for your perfect day - wrapping Mercantile Hall in an envelope of love. They are literally all within walking distance from our front door, including of course Bon Bon Belle. Located right upstairs from Mercantile Hall come March 1st, you can visit both your gown and venue anytime you need to. Want a quick steam for all of your bridesmaids who are popping in at the last minute from out of town? No worries! We've got you covered. Need last minute items like a bridal garter or wrap for your Mom who might get chilly? No problemo! We aim to be a one stop shop for you here in Burlington. That is what we call "love inspired". Bring you and your fiance a team of wedding professionals, aiming to provide you with everything you need.

Here's a panoramic snapshot of what that might be like for you and your guests...

After you book Mercantile Hall, stroll upstairs to Bon Bon Belle for your bridal attire needs. Bridal gowns & bridesmaid dresses, Mom's gown, flower girl dresses, bridal accessories. Happily check all of those off your list and rest assured that they are just right upstairs from your venue. Next door to Bon Bon Belle is C. Mae Design - a full service wedding photographer offering wedding packages and boudoir gifts. Walk a few feet to your choice of florists, and just a few steps more you'll land at the front door of a few tuxedo & suit rental companies. We have rehearsal dinner fabulousness (that look like they are straight out of New York) located across the street and the other just a block away. Hampton Inn is one block away, as is a 200 spot parking structure (**free parking that is**). And when your big day arrives, we have oodles of salons to do hair + make up for you and your girls. Those are also within walking distance. Whaaa? Yep, that's our fantastic Wedding District. Yep, that's little ol' us. Ah, Burlington. Love inspired.

Small town love.

Small town love.

Small town love. 

#mercantstyle

#burlingtonlove

Our belief: Always give a little more than you promise

Our belief: Always give a little more than you promise

Isn't that refreshing? In a world where every little thing is a nickel here and a dime there, we believe that just shouldn't be the case. When we got feedback regarding our policy document that our clients felt like there may be a little of that, we took a scalpel to the policies. Are we going to give everything away? No. We want to stay in business because we love what we do and we hope to serve many. But are we going to give you a little more than you expected? We intend to do just that. 

In the restaurant industry, it's called having a 'servant's heart'. Fortunately, there are many people in my life who embody that and I therefore had the opportunity to observe the power of service on oodles of levels. Spoiler alert: it's about to get sappy up in here... My brother Steve, is a great example of having a servant's heart. He is an attorney out on the west coast and he has served as an amazing example to me, his four kids, and others. There just is no other way but to put others' needs first. Moving? He'll be there. He doesn't even have to know you well. In a bind? How can he help? It's an amazing thing to watch over and over and over again. The reactions of friends and strangers alike. It's just pure awesome sauce because it's authentic. He is not a door mat. He just happens to know that kindness is sometimes exactly what someone needs. (don't we all?)

So as you make your way doing what you do and being you, I hope you find yourself giving a little more to someone who does not expect it. It'll make you giddy. Pinky swear. And to all of our future clients, we look forward to serving you with a servant's heart.

XO, Wendy

#mercanstyle #burlingtonlove

Very Special Guests

Very Special Guests

We had such an amazing surprise last weekend. As we were wrapping up an evening tour with an awesome couple from Lake Geneva, we saw a white Cadillac pull up curbside. Out of the driver's door popped a gentleman beaming with a smile and asking if they could come inside the building. I approached the car to open the passenger door to find Rich & Doris Daniels along with their son, Mitch. Rich and Doris Daniels owned Schuette Daniels Furniture until it was destroyed by a fire in 2014.

We were honored and giddy to have these amazing people in our midst. Stephanie and I ushered them inside to tell them all about what we are doing and our plans for what the town will see street-side. They had just visited their first storefront (now Rugan's) and stopped by hoping they could continue their memory lane tour. We were delighted. They walked in, talked with us about our plans, and in an instant we all became caught up in the emotion of the moment. 

We are eager to make Rich and Doris proud - along their kids, family, friends, and peers they brought into the Schuette Daniels family, and we cannot wait to invite all of them in for an official grand tour of the space.

With love, Wendy

 

Additional Information: John Schuette founded the funeral and furniture businesses in Burlington in 1929. He was then joined by staff members Marvin Werth and Richard Daniels in 1948 and they incorporated as a partnership in 1954. Rich and his wife Doris, and many of their 13 children and their spouses were involved in the businesses, which served as tremendous assets for the city.
 

Can you feel it?

Can you feel it?

The space is raw, imperfect and gorgeous. It doesn't require much of anything which is what makes it so special. You feel the elements - brick and wood, metal and iron - in their current state, and they are already giving off an incredibly warm vibe. We met with lighting experts and the ideas they have to create unique events are well, on a scale of 1-10, they are an absolutely wow at the highest level. In the event you don't want to customize, you'll find that the lighting we will feature will be amazing, too. Either way, we want you to be covered by providing you with a backdrop of awesome.

So you're with me so far - the room is hip. Hundo p. But now lets layer on the table 'dressings'. We provide you with light linens, and understated fruitwood chairs with light cushions, neither will compete nor distract from how you dress your tables. From simple candles to breathtaking flowers to vintage accessories, you will be able to create a room that complements your style. And if you do want a tad more customization, the opportunities are endless and we have you covered there, too. Hang industrial pendant lights over each table, or hang cascading greenery trailing from vintage ladders. We have access to reclaimed windows painted with table numbers and specialty cafe/globe lights that when criss-crossed over the room add the most amazing glow. 

So whatever your vision may be, we will work tirelessly to bring it to life. And we can't wait to hear about it, exploring the many options this space can become.

Živeli! (Cheers!), Wendy

True inspiration, a dash of what-if, and now....magic.

True inspiration, a dash of what-if, and now....magic.

We officially kick off construction shortly. And as we gear up for what is surely going to be an exciting time, I want to take a moment to share my thanks and thoughts with the family who came to this building to serve our town every day from 1929 - 2014.

The Daniels family, former (multi-generational) owners of the building and Schuette Daniels Furniture Store, gave so much love and time to the city of Burlington. Your service and commitment to the community inspires me, and I intend to do the same for many years to come.

And so it was, when looking at 425 N. Pine Street and wondering "what if"... What if we take this amazing building and create an exciting place where the community can celebrate? What if we share the love and foster a deep sense of community by shining a light on our wedding district of talented vendors? Well, what if turned into why not, and so began our story.

And now as we turn the page, a little magic is about to occur. Bringing a building ravaged by fire back to life won't be an easy task for our partners, but we've got an amazing crew lined up to - brick by brick, wood plank by wood plank - make Mercantile Hall an absolutely fabulous place. Below is a short list of those who have already come on board through advice, accessibility to beat up ideas, and/or brainpower. Hoping this list grows...

Cheers! (and here we go...!)

Wendy 

Shout out of Thanks to:

Stephanie Heft (Mercantile Hall & all-round Superwoman), Cassandra Spiegelhoff (C. Mae Design), Barb Bakshis (Fox River State Bank), Jackie Zach (Action Coach International), Shad & Kristine Branen (WIN Media), Chef Mike Lavin + Dave Spiegelhoff (Gooseberries), Tom Stelling (Stelling Architects), Nicole Hayes (Rugan's), Amanda Kowalski (Platinum Hair Salon), Ashley Ptak (Bon Bon Belle), Johnell Overgaauw and Ashley French (Wow Event Design), Rob Schenk (Attorney), Mary Lynch (LDV), Shelly Leverenz (Burlington Menswear), Mike Spiegelhoff (Drink, Inc.), Peter Jurgens (Geneva Bay Construction), Becky Erwin (Event Manager, CDW), Jan Ludtke (Burlington Chamber of Commerce), Michelle Petersen (MPC Property Management), Christine Binagi (Vrakas), Erin Ramczyk (Digital Strategist), Devin Ohlsen (ABT Electronics), Scottie Peterson (Ideal Impressions), Jen Sincero (Author), Rose Dolatowski (Burlington Area School District + Coach), Eric Erickson (Klean Keepers), Fred Biasello (Build Corps.), Phil Procter (Procter Insurance), Bob Henney (Henney Construction), and Andrew Lynch and Ryan Heft (husbands extraordinaire).

#mercanstyle #burlingtonlove

The phones are buzzing...

The phones are buzzing...

Wow!

We have quietly begun spreading the word about Merc Hall and the response we are getting already is amazing! While we tell each bride that we are on the eve of our construction phase, that we are super-dee-duper in the beginning stages, AND that they might need a hard hat to tour, not one brave girl has flinched! The excitement tends to overtake us, too as we make our way through this adventure -- so we totally get it. So come on out for a tour and lets totally rock those hard hats!

I thought I'd share some answers to the questions we have started to receive, so that as you build your vision, you can start to see & feel the space in your mind's eye.

So first, we want to provide information about our tables and chairs. We are excited to share that we will have a mixture of custom made industrial farm tables (utilizing local reclaimed barn wood) and traditional round tables that seat 8-10 (for maximum social interaction!). When we let our imaginations run, we see the industrial farm tables used as a head table, or perhaps a statement piece to hold your guest cards or favors in the reception area. They can be used as a gift table, or possibly even a wedding memory table to honor those who aren't able to join you on your special day. They are currently being handmade by a very talented local artisan and renaissance man, and we will publish photos as soon as we can lay our eyes on them. 

Our beautiful chairs work with both table styles seamlessly. They are fruit-wood folding chairs, which subtly blend right into your room without commanding the center of attention. We will provide you with soft ivory linens and chair seat pads, both which can be swapped out for an additional cost should you want to bring in your own color, metallic, or print. There are oodles of combinations and choices out there - lots of fun to be had!

Keep those questions and awesome ideas coming. We love what we're hearing from you and are excited to have your input!

XO, Wendy

#mercanstyle #burlingtonlove