April 2020 Booking Special!

April 2020 Booking Special!

Happy Monday from Mercantile Hall!

I wanted to share with you that we are offering special pricing for all April 2020 couples! Receive $500 off venue pricing for all of April ✨ snag this sweet deal & give me a call at 262.758.6280 or send me an email: at meghan@mercantilehall.com ♥️

Have a great week ahead and we can’t wait to celebrate with you,

Meghan

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The Greatest Climb: The view from the rooftop

The Greatest Climb: The view from the rooftop

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As we celebrate more and more weddings, we’ve realized that the little things about Burlington truly make it a dream to get married here. Things like taking your wedding photos to new heights (literally) from our sweet rooftop spot. It’s perfect for escaping the busy activities of such an important day, and allow our couples to let go, have fun, and dance on the rooftop!

This photo from Megan Swederski Photography featuring Merc Couple Amber & Wyatt shows some of the sweetest moments of them celebrating their new marriage on the rooftop in our historic downtown. Ater all, you just married the love of your life, you should SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS! 

A First for Us: She Said Yes!

A First for Us: She Said Yes!

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A very exciting thing happened here at Merc last week- we got to experience our very first proposal! Blake and Leah had already booked their wedding date and joined the Merc Hall family, but they still had a special proposal ahead . When Blake contacted us about proposing here, we couldn’t have been more excited to help him.

He surprised Leah under the guise that she was headed out for a birthday brunch with family, and instead blindfolded her and brought her to the gates of the Urb Garden, where candles, a sign and letters spelling out “Marry Me” were waiting for her. He got down on one knee, asked her to marry him, and she SAID YES while “When I Fall In Love” by Nat King Cole played in the background.

Their parents were waiting, hidden behind the building, for the couple to have their special moment and then joined them in celebrating. Congratulations, Blake and Leah! We were so happy to be a part of your beautiful proposal and we can’t wait to continue the celebration next July!

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The Burlington Effect: Love Around Every Corner

The Burlington Effect: Love Around Every Corner

Photograph by: Dhani Lane Photography

There’s no doubt that there is something magical about historic downtown Burlington, Wisconsin. Something that is felt by locals and travelers alike. With unique architecture, beautiful vines and flowers, and a place where authentic connections and relationships are not only made, but truly blossom!

Lyndsey & Joe tied the knot at Mercantile Hall on Saturday, August 10th during the popular Tall Tales Music Festival. The streets were shut down and full of fun and friendly faces, vendors and musicians when the couple ventured out to capture a picture and moment that would forever be unforgettable. As the newlywed couple walked the block, musicians Roscoe and Etta, began to smile and stopped in their tracks at what a beautiful sight it was. The band halted their music and in awe, exclaimed that this had never happened to them before. The crowd’s excitement started to build and they slowly started making a standing ovation for the newlyweds, cheering for love! The band drifted from their rehearsed set and started playing a love song dedicated to the couple and their new life together.

Such a moving moment took place in those few minutes of walking down the street- but a memorable one for Lyndsey & Joe and all of the people that witnessed it as well. It is so amazing to be apart of something so extraordinary and we are so lucky and grateful to live in place where love grows around every corner.

 

Don't Miss More Hot August Nights!

Don't Miss More Hot August Nights!

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Happy Monday from Mercantile Hall! Thank you so much to everyone who came by to see us at The Urb Garden for the first Hot August Nights event. We had such a great time talking with all of you and are so overwhelmed by the amazing response from you about our new outdoor space. We are so lucky to have had 95 people come through!Our hearts are so full knowing that our local community is just as in love with The Urb Garden as we are.

If you missed the first Hot August Night, no worries! We have three more for you:

HOT AUGUST NIGHTS

Every Sunday in August

5-9 PM

BYO food and snacks and we’ll provide the bag boards! The bar is open to purchase beer, wine or cocktails, too

Attending a Ton of Weddings this Summer?

Attending a Ton of Weddings this Summer?

Cover Photography by C.Mae Design

Happy Monday from Mercantile Hall! It’s crazy how fast summer is flying by! It always seems that our warm months pass so quickly, especially with all of the showers, weddings, barbecues and parties we are invited to during this season. Are you attending a ton weddings this summer?

If you are getting married, attending other weddings is a great way to get some good inspiration for your own wedding day. Take some mental notes of things that you absolutely loved or remember a few of the logistical challenges the couple faced so that you can better plan for your own wedding day.

Even better- if you are close to someone who is getting married this summer, they might have some helpful resources you can use. Maybe your BFF can share her day of timeline with you so that you can adapt it for your own day or maybe she has a ton of extra candles leftover that she’d be happy to give you. If someone in your family is getting married (or has gotten married fairly recently), ask if they still have their guestlist addresses handy as it can save you time when you go to create your own! Wedding planning is a busy season, so always use the resources you have available to make your process go more smoothly.

Have a great week ahead and enjoy every bit of the summer days ahead,

Meghan

Celebrating The Urb Garden!

Celebrating The Urb Garden!

Photography by C. Mae Design

Welcome to the start of the new week, Merc Hall family! We are still glowing after a lovely weekend and the amazing event we had on Friday night in The Urb Garden.

As many of our Merc couples had toured our space before construction on The Urb Garden was even begun, we thought it would be WONDERFUL to invite them all to an evening out in the garden. It was the perfect night- the sun was out, the breeze was blowing, music was playing, the grill was going and the herb-infused cocktails were flowing.

THANK YOU to all of our Merc brides and grooms and their families for spending time with us in our special space. We loved talking with you and we hope you all enjoyed every minute of your experience!

Thank you also to the vendors who made the evening look and taste amazing: Model’s dress from Bon Bon Belle Bridal, Event Photography by C. Mae Design, Calligraphy and design by Euphloria Studio, Vintage rentals by Gertrude & Evelyn, Model’s hair by Hair by Lexi Lee , Dessert by Madame Macaron Mke, Food by Tall Guy and a Grill Floral design by Impressions by Esther Fleming, Tattered Leaf and Willow Design , linens by Windy City Linens.

Summer Wedding Tips

Summer Wedding Tips

Cover Photography by C.Mae Design

Hey Merc family! Welcome back to the blog after a wonderful holiday weekend.

We’ve officially into the swing of the summer weather, and I am thinking of all of the couples out there hosting weddings in the next few weeks. Here’s some tips for handling the summer heat for your wedding day:

Hydrate- Brides and grooms, this means YOU! And your wedding party. And your guests. Before the big day, buy some cases of water bottles and make sure you keep them close by while you are getting ready, while you are taking pictures and make sure to snag a glass or two in between your drinks at the reception. For your guests, you could put out a basket of water at the ceremony and encourage them to enjoy one.

Here Comes the Sun- If you will be spending any significant amount of time outside on wedding day, you may want to do what you can to prevent sunburn. While traditional sunscreens may cause a flashback with photography (check with your photographer) some cosmetics offer foundations or primers with sunscreen included which can help anyone prone to sunburn.

Bug Off- As your summer day turns to evening, outdoor areas, especially areas near water or with lots of grass are prone to mosquitos. Scatter a few bug sprays around for you and your guests so everyone is comfortable long into the evening.

Beat the Heat When You Eat- When choosing your menu, stick to light and cool foods and flavors, like fruits, salads, and cold appetizers that will feel like real refreshment from weather.

Happy planning and we will see you next week!

Meghan

Have You Met Suesanna?

Have You Met Suesanna?

Happy Monday from Mercantile Hall! We are coming off of a wonderful weekend here in the heart of Burlington. We celebrated our first wedding out in The Urb Garden and it was absolutely beautiful.

We were also so excited to introduce Suesanna to the world this past week! If you haven’t met her yet, Suesanna is our new outdoor bar that will be featured in The Urb Garden. She’s a little happy camper and will be serving up cocktails in the garden for weddings, social events, local events and more.

Stephanie and Wendy, our co-founders, dreamt Suesanna into life and her name holds a special meaning, as it is a combination of their middle names. We love her already and we so hope you all will too.

Cheers!

Meghan

Honoring Memorial Day

Honoring Memorial Day

Hello Merc family! I just wanted to send a quick message to you all that I hope you and your families are enjoying some time together over this holiday weekend.

We honor all of those who have lost their lives serving our country and sincerely thank all of our current military members and their families for their work to protect us all. You are heroes, today and always.

Lots of love from Mercantile Hall!

Until next week,

Meghan

Herb Infused Summer Garden Cocktails

Herb Infused Summer Garden Cocktails

Happy Monday from Mercantile Hall! The nicer weather has me dreaming of sunshine, outdoor celebrations and refreshing beverages. As our Urb Garden is coming together, I was inspired to make a collection of fun and fruity drinks you can incorporate into the shower, party or wedding you are planning this summer. Cheers!

Why You Should Follow Us on Instagram

Why You Should Follow Us on Instagram

Hey Merc friends! Happy Monday to you!

After an exciting day here at Merc, I have one question for you, and one question only—

Do you follow us on Instagram?

‘Cause if you don’t you are missing out on a TON of great stuff. We are full into the swing of construction on our new outdoor patio space, Urb Garden, and HOLY CATS are we making progress! Today, our 60-foot pergola went up and we lost our minds at how amazing it looks. You can see sneak peeks at our custom iron gate, the pergola, and be the first to know about all of the other cool, super secret surprises that we have in store for you.

What are you waiting for?!?! Go check it out and join in on all of the fun- https://www.instagram.com/mercantile_hall/

What to Ask Your Wedding Venue

What to Ask Your Wedding Venue

Cover Photography by : Larissa Marie Photography Inside Photo by: East Elm Photography

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Happy Monday! Though we work with weddings everyday, we know that most people don’t plan a party of this scale on a regular basis (and thank goodness for that!) When I’m meeting couples for the first time, they can be unsure of what to ask at their tour, especially if we are one of the first sites that they are visiting. Have no fear! Your Merc team is here! Here’s some questions you should be asking your wedding venue before you book:

  1. How long is my rental time? Rental hours can vary widely between venues and it could be a deciding factor in where you’d like to book. At Merc, you get twelve hours of rental time plus a one-hour cleanup, but every venue has their own rules so be sure to ask.

  2. What is included in the rental fee? A venue may include their tables and chairs in the venue rental, and some do not. We include all the chairs and tables for our guests, but sometimes you have options and they may come with additional fees. Double checking on this will make sure there’s no surprises later.

  3. What are your rules on caterer selection? Some venues have only one choice of caterer that their couples must use. Some venues, like us, have a list of preferred partners to choose from and some venues have no caterer and you have to find your own. Decide how important the food is to you and if your perspective venue’s catering rules suit your taste.

  4. Do I need to supply my own alcohol and bar staff? Here at the Merc, we include the price of bar staff into our bar packages and all of your alcohol is supplied right here. When you tour a venue, ask about their rules around the bar to be sure your party is well taken care of!

  5. What is your service fee? You may not be familiar with this industry standard charge, but every venue will charge you a service fee to cover the team of people that help plan, set up, run and clean up from your event. We are so proud to say that ours is the lowest in our area for our couples! This rate can range from 18-25% of your rental and can have a big impact on your budget.

We sure hope that helps you as you tour wedding venues, but please feel free to reach out to me at meghan@mercantilehall.com if we can be of more assistance! Happy venue hunting!

Burlington: What Small Town Love Really Means

Burlington: What Small Town Love Really Means

Cover Photography: Photos by Ashley Renee Photo below: Kyle Schroder

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“Urban Feel. Small Town Love.”

You may have seen our tagline here and there on our pages and in our information- but what does it really mean? As someone new to Burlington, but also from a small town, let me tell you- it really is something special.

Small town love means that people in the area still visit our building to reminisce about when the space was home to the Schuette-Daniels Furniture Store and that we even had a couple bring in a pair of rocking chairs from that store to display at their wedding.

It means that the people who work here grew up here, live here, and chances are that if you are from here, they know you - or at least know one of your relatives. It means that you’ll find our Hall hosting community events, such as Hug a Husky, the Winter Farmer’s Market or the Artisan Craft Fair.

When you visit our Hall, we’ll tell you about how our local fire department saved this building when the one next door caught fire in 2014, and we’ll surely tell you about how we are now turning that damaged structure next door into a beautiful outdoor space that all of our guests can enjoy.

We’ll send you down to The Coffee House on Chestnut and Pine for a coffee, down to Fred’s for great burgers or to our local Italian restaurants for great pizza and pasta after your tour. We’ll tell you to walk our streets and spend some time visiting all of the shops in downtown, especially all of the great wedding-related businesses that just happen to be SO close to our Hall.

Small town love means that you’ll not only get free parking (Yes, seriously, free parking!) but the warmth and hospitality that the best of the Midwest is known for. We’ll get to know you, ask how we can help you and be here for you every step of the way.

When you are looking for a place that matches the uniqueness and sincerity of your own story, you don’t have to go too far to find it here in Burlington.

Have a great week ahead and we hope to welcome you in soon! Meghan

Merc Monday 3/25: Planning Long-Distance

Merc Monday 3/25: Planning Long-Distance

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It’s another beautiful Monday here at Mercantile Hall! As I write this, I am hearing the beautiful sounds of construction happening in our new UrbGarden, and it’s beautiful music to our ears.

Recently, I’ve been working with couples who are planning their weddings from out of the area or even out of the country. I can totally relate to the hurdles that this can create when trying to plan a wedding as I planned my very own wedding long distance up in Door County. While it’s certainly a logistic challenge, we are always here to help our long distance couples plan their dream day, no matter where they’re from.

During one of my favorite tours I’ve given, we actually FaceTimed in the bride so she could walk though the space “with” us! We could see each other, have a conversation and answer each other’s questions virtually. While there’s no substitute for experiencing a venue in person, technology makes it so much easier to connect from afar.

When we were planning our local destination wedding, I did my best to consolidate all of our meetings and appointments into one trip up to make the most of the time we did have in the area. When a couple lets me know that they are planning a trip to our vicinity, I make every accommodation to get them a tour and a meeting while they’re here. I plan in a little extra time for them so I can be sure all of their needs are taken care of while they’re here.

It’s a great idea for non-local couples to incorporate their family members into the planning as well. It’s nice for us to meet family members before the big day, and especially when you’re planning long-distance, it’s so helpful to keep a local contact in the loop of everything that’s being planned for the big day. Asking the help of local family members is a huge way to keep all of the planning on track.

We also offer coordinator packages that provide extra help to couples that go above and beyond our normal services. Especially when planning long distance, we can provide suggestions for and reach out to local vendors, run your rehearsal for you and even set up and take down all of your décor on wedding day so you (and your friends and family) can relax and be in the moment. Planning from afar doesn’t have to be tough and overwhelming; with the right team by your side, it can actually be a ton of fun.

Have a great rest of your week, and we will see you next week!

Meghan

Merc Monday 3/18: Exciting Updates From the Hall

Merc Monday 3/18: Exciting Updates From the Hall

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Cover photo photography by Studio 99. Photo at left by Kyle Schroder.

Hey guys!

So many exciting things have been happening here over the last two weeks and of course I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

FIRST! Construction officially started on our Urb Garden and we could NOT be more excited about it! Opening this summer, our patio space will be perfect for outdoor ceremonies or a fresh garden space for your guests to enjoy cocktails! We will keep you posted as construction progresses, but you can also follow along on our Instagram to see for yourself!

We worked hard last week to share TONS of images from our past Merc Hall couples! Make sure you check out our Wedding Gallery to see all of the prettiness that comes with getting married at Mercantile Hall.

Also now on our website, we have created a brand new page for you to learn more about the amazing people who work here. Get to know us before you meet us- we can’t wait to work with you!

If you are considering a Mercantile Hall wedding, now is a great time to come and experience what we are all about. We have some awesome promotions for March Madness and we even have a few prime season 2019 Saturdays left- whaaaaat?!?!

Shoot me a message at meghan@mercantilehall.com and I’d be more than happy to help celebrate you. Have a great one,

Meghan

Merc Monday 3/4: Wedding Decor That Reflects You

Merc Monday 3/4: Wedding Decor That Reflects You

Hey, Merc Hall family!

I hope you had a great weekend! We were having fun celebrating another awesome couple this weekend at the Hall. No matter how many weddings we have in our space over time, each and every one is personal to the people who are being celebrated. While weddings obviously differ in color scheme and style, I love it when a couple’s décor reflects who they are as people, who they are as a partnership and who they are as an entire family unit.

Merc Hall couple Katie and Mike used antique liquor bottles and cigar boxes as table décor to reflect Mike’s line of work and favorite ways to celebrate. Nicole and Stephen had a special cake made that displayed what they do in their line of work as well. Emily and Michael featured his love for hunting by placing deer antlers in their centerpieces.

Kerstin and Erik gave guests beautiful cookies that matched the rest of their décor and featured their initials. Hannah and Rob brought in their own dining room chairs to give them a special spot to sit and celebrate with their guests. Special signage, like Becca and Andrew displayed, told the story of their relationship from the beginning until the day of their marriage.

If you are planning your wedding and struggling with choosing décor, look no further than your own home! What do you have at home, like picture frames or a special piece of furniture, could you incorporate. Do you have an antique platter in the family that you could use as a cake stand? Do you have any personalized signs that could be displayed behind your head table? All of these personal details will ring true to who you are and they will be things that you will remember as you look back on your wedding day.

Have a great week ahead and talk to you next week,

Meghan

Merc Monday 2/25: Managing the Planning To-Dos

Merc Monday 2/25: Managing the Planning To-Dos

Cover Photography: Parisi Photography Flowers: Gia Bella

Hello from Mercantile Hall and welcome back to the MH blog!

While planning for a marriage is fun and exciting, planning a wedding is a big project and a busy season of life for most couples. Each individual planning task on their list isn’t difficult or complicated, but the sheer number of tasks on the list can be so overwhelming. Here’s what advice I have for couples on what to do when they have A LOT to do:

Wedding planning is shaped like a funnel- it’s big at the top and then narrows down at the end. Start with all of the BIG things first and check those off before getting to the details. And this can be hard! A couple’s Pinterest board is likely full to the brim with ideas for the details, but an article about color scheme isn’t going to find your officiant or a venue for you- and those are the things that actually have to get done first before anything else. Start with the big pieces of the planning first, and leave the details until later.

Prioritize! When you have a long list of things to do, go through the list and decide on the things that need to get done first. A great strategy for this is to mark things as urgent or important. Getting your marriage license, for example, is a very important task, since you can’t get married without it. Ordering your invitations could be an urgent item, to keep you on your RSVP timeline. Some items will be both urgent and important, and some will be neither. Those would fall to the top and to the bottom of your list, respectively. This will help break a big list into smaller pieces and let you focus on the ones that are truly the most critical.

Don’t worry about things that aren’t important to you- As you go through the planning process, you’ll come across things that don’t mean anything to you as a couple, like chair covers or having fresh flowers or a designer gown and fancy shoes. If an item doesn’t interest you, don’t spend a lot of time or budget on it, even if other people tell you it’s important. It’s your day! Focus your time and attention on the things that mean something to you.

Ask for help! There are a lot of wedding-related tasks that have to be done by the couple themselves, but take note of any task that could be done by someone else and delegate it out to someone you trust. I asked my maids of honor to help assemble and fold programs and stuff favor bags as my day approached. It was something that had to get done, but I personally didn’t have to do it. Chances are, you have several people offering to help. Take them up on it!

All of the wedding planning work is worth it in the end, I promise! Best of luck to everyone planning a wedding- you can do it! See you next week,

Meghan

Merc Monday 2/18: Next-Level Wedding Cakes

Welcome back to the MG blog for another week of wedding tips, stories and advice.. Around here, we’ve seen our fair share of weddings and events, but It’s always fun to what each one of our couples choose to bring in for their weddings. Every time, something unique comes in that I haven’t seen before, even down the food they serve. in the spirit of uniqueness and personalization, check out these ingenious cake alternatives:

At left: PANCAKES Yup. That’s a pancake cake. If you’re opting for a brunch style wedding or serving breakfast for dinner, this sweet treat will pair perfectly with your menu. With a little syrup drizzled over the top or sprinkled powdered sugar and berries, the cake will be as beautiful to look at as it is to eat!

COOKIES: If you prefer cookies to cake, make a cake out of cookies! Large, flatter cookies mimic the layers of a cake and you can layer them with frosting for an extra sweet bonus.

BROWNIES: Brownies are a simple treat that still feels decadent because of all of the chocolate. An assortment of fruit on top provides a pop of color and a different dash of sweetness in each bite.

DONUTS; Who doesn’t love donuts? Adults and kids alike will be excited to have one at your wedding! It coordinates perfectly with an after dinner coffee bar as well.

ICE CREAM: Instead of the traditional cake and ice cream, give a cold treat with an ice cream cake. A fun idea would be to have an assortment of toppings by the cake so guests could customize their own!

Sweet dreams until next week, Meghan

Merc Monday 2/11: Here For You

Merc Monday 2/11: Here For You

Cover Photo by Melissa Justine Photography

Hey there,

Happy Monday to you- I hope you are starting your week out on a great note! As I wrote a few blogs ago, we are riding high out of “tour season”, when we see a huge number of inquiries a from couples getting engaged over the holidays.

I have to say that I’ve really loved this season because I’ve met SO many brides, grooms, and their family members. Working with them, showcasing our space, answering their questions and offering advice on planning their wedding makes me feel happy! And, of course, there’s always a big surge of excitement for a couple when they choose Mercantile Hall for their celebration.

The venue is usually one of the first things a couple decides on, as the date impacts so many other pieces of the planning. What we often see is that our couples feel a huge sigh of relief once they’ve set a date and can take a break from planning for a little while. On our end, though, our work sets in motion immediately. From the second that a couple books with us, we are working on their wedding.

We start to set out the timeline that will keep all of our planning on track, we start arranging staffing for their day and helping couples with their initial needs. We are setting reminders for us and for them of important deadlines and due dates. As the date approaches, we are meeting with them to talk through their entire day-of timeline, the room layout, bar options and linen choices. We are making sure all of their vendors know who to contact with questions, confirm their schedule and support any last minute questions. In the months, weeks and days leading up to every wedding, we are working hard for our Merc couples.

As brides and grooms know, so much work goes into making every event run smoothly, and we are constantly busy behind the scenes, eagerly getting ready for each and every special day. As a matter of fact, I’m off to do more of that now; so I’ll see you next week!

Meghan