A DIY Wedding at the Milwaukee Public Museum for $16K

Milwaukee Public Museum Wedding

This wedding at the Milwaukee Public Museum and the Marsupial Bridge cost $16,000.
All photos by Ellagraph Studios

This couple wanted a wedding that represented them – and the Milwaukee Public Museum, combined with some do-it-yourself (DIY) aspects fit them perfectly. For just over $16,000, this couple enjoyed all the details of their day without too much wedding-related stress.

We were excited to see the couple used two Married In Milwaukee Family Members: Miss Ruby Bridal Boutique for the bride’s dress and Milwaukee Airwaves for their DJ. We also loved their non-traditional ceremony location – right on the Marsupial Bridge (the Swing Park is located on the eastern end of the bridge)! Note that they did get a permit from the City of Milwaukee to use the bridge.

Quick Facts – Milwaukee Public Museum Wedding:

Milwaukee Public Museum Wedding

The bride made the flowers out of old book pages and yellow paper that had their favorite song lyrics printed on them

Wedding Essentials ($2,350):

  • Invitations/Stationery: $0 (gift from friend of family)
  • Cupcakes: $400
  • Photographer: $1,850 (half day)
  • Flowers: $100 (DIY)

Milwaukee Public Museum Wedding

Top: Cupcakes cost the couple $400; Bottom: Invitations and stationery were DIYed by a friend

Milwaukee Wedding Ceremony on the Marsupial Bridge

We love this couples’ ceremony on the Marsupial Bridge! Milwaukee’s Swing Park is located on the eastern end and makes for some great photos.

Reception and Ceremony Costs ($10,700)

  • Ceremony Fee: $0 (with permit from the city)
  • Venue Rental Fee: $2,200
  • Drinks: $960
  • Food: $6,490
  • DJ: $800 (discounted)
  • Rentals: $250 (ceremony chairs)
  • Officiant: $0 (friend of bride and groom)
Streets of Old Milwaukee Wedding Reception

The Streets of Old Milwaukee at the Milwaukee Public Museum wedding reception

Attire, Jewelry and Beauty ($2,845):

  • Dress: $2,000
  • Bride’s Shoes: $40
  • Groom’s Attire: $100
  • Rings: $620
  • Hair and Make-up: $85 (hair was a gift to bride)
Wedding at the Milwaukee Public Museum

The bride’s dress cost $2,000 while the groom’s attire came in at $100

Other Costs ($629):

  • Rehearsal Dinner Food: $150 (Speed Queen BBQ)
  • Rehearsal Dinner Venue: $0 (Valentine Coffee Roasters – Gift from groom’s employer)
  • Wedding Party Gifts: $300 (Etsy for bridesmaids & Aldo Shoes for groomsmen)
  • Wedding Favors: $0 (Valentine Coffee – Gift from groom’s employer)
  • Hotel Suite $159 (Downtown Hyatt)
  • Transportation: $20 (took cabs)
Milwaukee Public Museum Wedding

Top: We love using Valentine Coffee as wedding favors! Bottom: Other DIY projects done for the wedding

Honeymoon ($1,700 – Not included in total)

  • Long weekend in Riviera Maya: $1,700

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:

It was important to us that our wedding represented us as a couple. Therefore, a DIY wedding seemed like the best fit. We also didn’t want to go over the top in costs, so going DIY really helped in that department.

The DIY Flowers:
I recruited my maid of honor and mother to help me create all of the flowers. They were made out of old books pages and yellow pieces of paper that had our favorite song lyrics printed them. Each flower took a just under an hour to make, and we had to make about 200 in order to create the bouquets, centerpieces, boutonnieres, and corsages.

The DIY Invites and More:
I delegated out the job of invitations to a friend’s mom, creating an arch to my father and stepmother, and the card box to my mother and stepfather. I wanted it to be made from the heart, so I gave them little direction on what they should look like. Everything turned out better than I could have ever dreamed of.

The Dress:
As a little girl, I didn’t have my wedding planned out; however, I always had an idea of what I wanted my dress to look like. So when my mom, maid of honor, and I were out dress shopping, I had the look of my dress in mind. When we found it, there was no question that it was perfect! It was more than I had planned to spend, but my mom insisted that she was going to buy that dress for me.

The Venue:
For years we had dreamed about having our reception in the Streets of Old Milwaukee, at the Milwaukee Public Museum. To our surprise, it ended up being a possibility. This was a place both of us had frequented as children and adults, that evoked so many memories for us and our guests. Therefore, it was worth paying a little more money than other venues we had looked at.

The Vendors:
The day went just as relaxed as I had hoped. We were both able enjoy all the details of the day without any of the wedding stress. Our vendors helped immensely in that regard. Zilli Hospitality Group catered and put the reception together perfectly. The cupcakes we had from Milwaukee Cupcake Company were beautiful and delicious. Milwaukee Airwaves kept myself and our guests on the dance floor all night long. And we were lucky enough to have Ellagraph Studios for our photography. Kat and Dylan documented our day beautifully, and caught our love and happiness in the perfect light.

– April and Aaron, The Bride and Groom

A BIG thanks to the bride and groom for sharing their awesome Milwaukee Public Museum wedding and to Ellagraph Studios for the photos! If you’re currently working on your wedding budget, make sure to read through our previous articles featuring real Milwaukee wedding cost breakdowns.

Milwaukee Wedding on the Marsupial Bridge

The happy couple, April and Aaron