Cost Breakdown: A $20K Pabst Best Place Wedding

Pabst Best Place Wedding

This couple and their wedding planner put together an awesome wedding for $20K.
All photos by Type A Image Photography

We are so excited to feature this cost breakdown of an awesome wedding at the historic Pabst Brewery! First, the wedding was planned by Dare to Dream Weddings and the DJ was Milwaukee Airwaves, both Married In Milwaukee Family Members. If that isn’t cool enough, it’s a brew-themed wedding at Pabst Best Place, one of our favorite venues.

The couple spent a little over $20,000, but for that amount they created a very cool Milwaukee wedding with some awesome features such as a late night food cart. Read on for their cost breakdown and don’t miss the “Note from the Bride and Groom” at the bottom of the article.

Comparing Wedding Budgets

Remember that not all budgets are not created equal, so use caution when comparing them. For example, this wedding got some discounts though their wedding planner. Also, their honeymoon and rings aren’t included in their budget and they saved money by printing their own invitations.

Quick Facts:

Pabst Brewery Wedding Flowers

The flowers for this wedding came from a local farm and look great with vintage Pabst accessories.

Wedding Essentials ($5,699):

  • Invitations/Stationery:$420 (all printed by the couple, includes invites, postage, and chalkboards in lieu of ceremony programs)
  • Cupcakes/Cake: $500
  • Wedding Photographer: $2,835
  • Wedding Planner: $1,350 (Dare to Dream Weddings customized package)
  • Flowers: $594 (used a local floral farm. Had four bridesmaid bouquets, brides bouquet, flower girl petals, 2 boutonnieres and six corsages)
Best Place Pabst Brewery Wedding

Left: wine bottle centerpieces with bride and groom kid photos and vintage Pabst coasters;
Right: Cupcakes and cutting cake.

Reception and Ceremony Costs ($13,269):

  • Ceremony Tent Rental: $850
  • Reception Venue Rental: $2,640
  • Chair/Table Rentals: $400
  • Drinks: $1,500 (house beer, wine and soda)
  • Food: $4,475 (food stations)
  • Catering Service Charge/Tax: $1,318
  • Food Cart: $500 (late night snacks)
  • DJ: $931 (received a discount by using Dare to Dream Weddings as the planner)
  • Officiant: $495
  • Marriage Licence: $110
  • Centerpieces: $50 (decorative wine bottles surrounded by vintage Pabst coasters)
Pabst Brewery Wedding

Eat, Drink and be Married!

Bride and Groom Attire ($560):

  • Dress: $60 (bride wore her mom’s dress, cost was for her veil and extra lace)
  • Groom’s Attire: $200 (purchased dress pants, shirt and vest)
  • Bride’s Shoes $300
Wedding Dress and Shoes

The bride used her mom’s dress, but purchased a veil, lace and shoes. The groom purchased dress pants, a shirt and vest.

Other Costs ($480):

  • Donations: $200 (in place of favors, a donation was made to charity)
  • Hotel Rooms: $280 (rooms at Brewhouse Inn & Suites)

A Note from the Bride and Groom

We asked the bride and groom to tell us about their planning and budgeting process, and this is what they had to say:

We wanted our wedding to be a real expression of who we are as a couple and showcase our love for Milwaukee, our hometown. For us, it was important to support local businesses and find ways to be eco-conscious; this included selecting a venue like Best Place that showcased the revival of a true Milwaukee icon, reducing paper products like programs and using chalkboards instead, seeking out flowers grown locally by Stems Cut Flowers and reconditioning my mother’s wedding dress instead of purchasing new.

Generally speaking, food is an important part of our lives, especially when enjoying it in the company of family and friends. So for the most important party we’d ever planned, a large portion of our budget went toward the phenomenal catering by Saz’s. We also agreed that the photography needed to be something special and took great care in the process of selecting Amanda Reseburg with Type A Images who met (actually exceeded!) our requirements.

Today we can truly say we have no regrets and only fantastic memories from the planning process to the day of our beautiful wedding. Something that surpassed expectations was the use of Dare to Dream wedding planning services who really took the stress out of organizing, planning, and pulling off our vision.

– Jennifer and Patrick Killeen/Married on May 18, 2013

A BIG thanks to the bride and groom, Jennifer and Patrick, for sharing their very cool Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery wedding! Also thanks to Type A Images for the photos and Megan at Dare To Dream Weddings for sending us this one!

If you’re currently working on your wedding budget, make sure to read through our previous articles featuring real Milwaukee wedding cost breakdowns of $60,000$56,000, $50,000, $25,000, $19,00013,000 and $5,000.

Pabst Brewery Wedding Kiss

The happy couple showcased their love for Milwaukee, used local vendors and stayed eco-conscious. How cool is that?



  1. Nice! Congrats to the couple! Love the photos. We had our wedding @ the Pabst last September for around $15,000, also using Milwaukee Airwaves and they were fantastic! For the Venue, it’s so affordable compared to some other places in Milwaukee. You can’t beat the layers of history!! They are super fun to work with, too. Can’t wait to see how their second ballroom turns out….

    • Greg Quigley says:

      Awesome, thanks for sharing Jamie! We can’t wait to see their new ballroom too, it should be a great addition.

  2. Angie Nikolas says:

    out of curiosity – what food truck did they have for the late night snacks?