An Awesomely Intimate Wedding at Swig for $14K

Swig Milwaukee Wedding

Angela and John held an intimate wedding at Swig in Milwaukee’s Third Ward for $14,000
All photos by Simple Soul Photographs

We are REALLY excited about this wedding! Angela and John are friends of ours and they planned the perfect intimate wedding at one of our favorite small venues – Swig in the Third Ward. While this article gives their cost breakdown, we’ll also go into the tips they provided to help plan an intimate Milwaukee wedding.

Tips for a Non-Traditional, Intimate Wedding

When we met over dinner (at Swig of course), Angela and John told us they knew right away they didn’t want a big, traditional wedding. To help them plan, they made a list of everything they didn’t want to do at their wedding. This led them to two of the most non-traditional things they did: skipping dinner and starting late. Here’s a few other tips they offered up:

1. Get Help From Friends

Angela and John received a lot of help from their friends, which lowered their total wedding budget. They received “friend discounts” on their officiant, music, photographer, invitations and more. Without these discounts, their budget most-likely would of been higher than $14,000.

2. Skip Dinner and Keep Guests to a Minimum

In general, at an intimate wedding you’ll want to limit your guest list. Angela and John did this and more. They only had 105 guests made up of close friends, family and a bridal party of four.

They also didn’t serve dinner, just light appetizers and desserts. Not serving dinner let them spend more money in other places, such as a premium open bar. They also served AJ Bombers Burgers as a late-night snack – how cool is that?

Late Night Wedding Snacks from AJ Bombers

Swig and AJ Bombers are owned by the same folks, so there was no problem getting Bombers Burgers for a late-night snack

3. Spend Money Where You and Your Guests will Enjoy it the Most

They are both big craft beer lovers, so it makes sense they put some money into a premium open bar for their guests. This gave them the party they wanted without wasting time and money on a sit down meal.

4. Non-Traditional Unity Beer

A very cool thing they did at their wedding was skipping the traditional unity candle and instead pouring a unity beer. I think most beer-loving couples would agree that this is an awesome idea and very unique!

Non-Traditional Unity Beer Pouring

A very cool and unique unity beer pouring in place of a unity candle

Quick Facts:

  • Number of Guests: 105
  • Ceremony/Reception: Swig
  • Total Costs: $14,072

Wedding Essentials ($3,400):

  • Invitations/Postage:$300 (Received a friend discount for their invitations, wedding signs and thank you cards)
  • Cake: $0 (Didn’t have a cake, but had desserts provided by Swig)
  • Wedding Photographer: $1,500 (Received a friend discount)
  • Wedding Videographer: $1,000
  • Flowers: $600 (Included: bride’s bouquet, 2 bridesmaid’s bouquets, 6 boutonnieres, 5 corsages and 3 arrangements)
Swig Milwaukee Wedding

The lovely flowers and desserts at this intimate Third Ward wedding

Reception and Ceremony Costs ($6,485):

  • Officiant: $0 (A friend was ordained and officiated their wedding)
  • Reception Venue Rental: $500
  • Venue Decor: $125 (A friend made napkins to put on tables, picture frames for signs)
  • Food: $1,520 (Included desserts and apps from Swig and late-night burgers from AJ Bombers)
  • Drinks: $3,250 (Included open bar with premium beer & wine package, 2 infused vodkas for his & hers signature drinks)
  • Band: $1,000 (Received a friend discount)
  • Rentals: $90 (Additional cocktail tables)
Swig Milwaukee Wedding Ceremony and Reception

The ceremony was very short and started later at 7 pm. Appetizers and desserts were served for the reception, with burgers from AJ Bombers served late-night

Swig Milwaukee Wedding

This couple skipped providing dinner and instead put that money toward a premium open bar and appetizers for their guests

Beauty and Attire ($2,467):

  • Dress and Alterations: $1,832
  • Bride’s Shoes and Jewelry: $180
  • Groom’s Attire: $200 (Included pants and vest; tie was made by a friend and he wore his own shoes/shirt)
  • Hair, Makeup and Nails: $255 (Received a friend discount)
Third Ward Wedding

The bride received a friend discount on her makeup, hair and nails, but paid full price for her beautiful dress

Other Costs ($1,720):

  • Rehearsal Dinner: $845 (Private room at Spin for 3 hours, slider buffet, snacks, & 2 drinks for 13 people)
  • Gifts for Wedding Party and Officiant: $600
  • Wedding Favors: $275 (Personalized koozies)

Honeymoon ($4,000 – Not Included in Total)

  • 7 Nights at the Excellence Riviera Cancun: $4,000

A BIG thanks to the bride and groom, Angela and John, for sharing their beautiful intimate wedding at Swig! Also thanks to Simple Soul Photographs for all the photos. See more of Angela and John’s amazing wedding in their highlight video:

If you’re currently working on your wedding budget, make sure to read through our previous articles featuring real Milwaukee wedding cost breakdowns.

Third Ward Milwaukee Wedding

The happy couple hanging out in Milwaukee’s Third Ward


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