These Third Ward Venues Will Make Your Wedding Awesome

Third Ward Wedding Venues

Onesto, Swig and Water Buffalo are perfect Third Ward wedding spots for your city wedding.
Photo by Nikki Winter Photography

If you are looking to host your wedding events in one of Milwaukee’s hottest neighborhoods, Hospitality Democracy are masters of the Third Ward. Owners of several Third Ward event spaces, as well as catering and dessert options, they’ve got your wedding covered.

A big thanks goes out to Hospitality Democracy for sponsoring this article and creating some awesome Third Ward wedding venues. Read on to learn more about their venues: Onesto, Swig and Water Buffalo.

1. Onesto – A NYC Style Loft Event Space

In mid-2014, Onesto was opened in the old Palms Bistro space. Updates were made to create a cozy, inviting loft space that serves a modern twist on Italian fare with an emphasis on fresh, handmade flavorful cuisine.

Milwaukee wedding venue Third Ward Onesto

Onesto is located in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward neighborhood and is designed in a NYC loft style aesthetic. Photos by Nikki Winter Photography

The event space has been a favorite of many couples, but with its recent updates and enhancements, it’s becoming even more popular for those looking for that urban yet historic vibe for their wedding.

Onesto has quite a few great advantages of the space. It is open and airy with beautiful skylights, yet the layout allows for distinct, identifiable spaces.

Onesto Milwaukee - Wedding - Third Ward

Onesto is an open space with a beautiful skylight perfect for a cocktail wedding reception of 150 / sit down 100 max. Photo by Nikki Winter Photography

Onesto has three working fireplaces which can be used at your event to create cozy spaces to relax. Or enjoy drinks on high tables nestled up to tall windows overlooking the hustle and bustle of the Third Ward.

Onesto Milwaukee - Palms Milwaukee Wedding

Onesto has three working fireplaces in its 2nd floor private event space.
Photo by Nikki Winter Photography

A space towards the back of the room works great for a dance floor, yet allows for guests to relax in other spaces of the room or cozy up to Onesto’s expansive and fully stocked bar.

Onesto Quick Facts:

  • Style: NYC Loft; Skylights; Brick Walls; Wood Floors
  • Capacity: Seated Dinner: 100 Max / 72 Sweet Spot
  • Capacity: Cocktail Reception: 175 Max / 150 Sweet Spot
  • Food: Modern Italian, with options to utilize Smoke Shack Catering

Learn more about Onesto and contact them via their Onesto website.

2. Swig – Intimate Cream City Brick Space

Swig has been a long time favorite for their delicious food. Many people are surprised to hear they have an amazing, intimate private event space on the second level.

Swig Milwaukee Wedding - Third Ward

Located in the heart of Milwaukee’s Third Ward, Swig is perfect for an intimate wedding up to 80 for seated dinner and 125 for cocktail receptions. Photos by Nikki Winter Photography

Renovations of Swig have revealed a cozy space, with cream city brick walls and a private service bar that pays homage to its former days as a coffee roasting facility. Swig works great for intimate weddings and rehearsal dinners too.

Also part of the space is a front room that can be put to perfect use as a kids area, coffee and dessert lounge (Holey Moley Coffee + Doughnuts anyone?), or even a whiskey tasting lounge.

Swig Milwaukee - Historic Third Ward Wedding

Swig’s private upstairs space has a lot of Milwaukee character. Top photo features the bar that pays homage to its roots as a coffee roasting facility. Photos by Nikki Winter Photography

Swig’s food menu boasts of expansive small plate options perfect for a fun cocktail reception, as well as a wide array of plated dinners. Many vegetarian couples love their unique and tasty options that satisfy even the biggest meat lover. Swig’s meat options are fantastic as well and remember Smoke Shack catering options are available too.

Swig Milwaukee Wedding - Milwaukee Event Space

Swig has a sectioned off front room (pictured top right) perfect for a kids room or dessert / beverage lounge. Photos by Nikki Winter Photography

Swig Quick Facts:

  • Style: Intimate; Cream City Brick Walls; Wood Floors
  • Capacity: Seated Dinner: 80 Max / 60 Sweet Spot
  • Capacity: Cocktail Reception: 125 Max / 100 Sweet Spot
  • Food: Small Plates, Vegetarian, Meat and Seafood Entrees, with options to utilize Smoke Shack Catering

Learn more about Swig and contact them via their Swig webiste.

3. Water Buffalo – Private Cocktail Party on Milwaukee’s Riverwalk

Located off Water Street on Buffalo in the Third Ward, Water Buffalo is perfect for a casual celebration and for bridal showers and rehearsal dinners. While a small sit down dinner (40 people max) is an option at Water Buffalo, the space is much more suited to host a party with passed and buffet appetizers.

Small Event Space - Water Buffalo - Downtown Milwaukee

Water Buffalo, located next to Milwaukee’s Riverwalk, is a perfect space for an intimate party.
Photo by Nikki Winter Photography

Water Buffalo’s private space is located downstairs from the main restaurant level via an open stairway, allowing for the energy and vibe of the restaurant to flow in. The space has a large, fully stocked private bar and easily accessible restrooms.

Milwaukee Small Event Space

Water Buffalo’s event space is open air to the restaurant for a lively event vibe.
Photo by Nikki Winter Photography

One of the biggest advantages of the Water Buffalo space is its direct access to the patio on the Riverwalk. The views are amazing and your guests will love it.

A fun food option to consider is a Water Buffalo Champagne Fish Fry bringing an upscale twist to this traditional Milwaukee dish.

Water Buffalo Quick Facts:

  • Style: Intimate, Semi-Private, Open Air Concept; Riverwalk Patio; Small Cocktail Party
  • Capacity: Seated Dinner: 40 Max / 24 Sweet Spot
  • Capacity: Cocktail Reception: 70 Max / 50 Sweet Spot
  • Food: Casual Upscale Entrees, Small Plates

Learn more about Water Buffalo and contact them via their Water Buffalo website.

Bonus: Holey Moley & Smoke Shack Catering

Since its opening in mid-2014, Holey Moley doughnuts have been flying off the shelves. The great news is they cater weddings and special events with these delicious treats.

Located in the Third Ward, they are Milwaukee’s first craft doughnut shop and offer a wide range of uniquely delicious flavors from peanut butter chocolate bacon, to passion fruit coconut, as well as your basic cake and yeast doughnuts. These yummy treats can be easily displayed as a doughnut wedding cake!

Holey Moley - Doughnut wedding cake

Holey Moley offers a wide range of tasty doughnuts that can even be made into a doughnut wedding cake!
Right photos by Nikki Winter Photography / Left Photo Champagne Studios

Your guests will love you for offering these delicious treats at your Milwaukee wedding. Surprisingly tasty gluten free and vegan options are available too. And remember, a great doughnut deserves amazing coffee so be sure to inquire about the coffee options available from Hawthorne Coffee , roasted locally here in Milwaukee.

Learn more about Holey Moley and contact them via their Holey Moley website.

Holey Moley Coffee and Doughnuts Milwaukee Weddings

Consider offering quality coffee to pair with your yummy Holey Moley Doughnuts. Through their partnership with Hawthorne Coffee, this locally roasted coffee can be served at your wedding too.
Photo by Nikki Winter Photography

And don’t forget about Smoke Shack Catering! Smoke Shack also provides off site catering to venues and private events. Their event specialists will work with you to offer the tastiest of BBQ for your wedding, rehearsal dinners and other small events.

One Group – Many Options

When hosting an event at a Hospitality Democracy space or utilizing their catering options, you work with an events coordinator to ensure things go smoothly. Having so many options, while working with the same group, also provides advantages when using them for your Milwaukee wedding and events from a cost and coordination perspective.

Be sure to inquire the options available to combine service and food offerings among the brands. Hawthorne Coffee, Holey Moley Doughnuts and Smoke Shack BBQ anyone?

Visit the Hospitality Democracy site for more info and be sure to follow them on social media! Special thanks to Nikki Winter Photography for the majority of the beautiful photos featured in this article.

Connect With Hospitality Democracy on Pinterest

Visit Downtown Event Planning MKE’s profile on Pinterest.



  1. Thanks Angela & Greg! We are so honored that couples choose us to host their special day. We are a lucky bunch!

  2. I’ve worked for Hospitality Democracy for more than 5 years and I really like it (I use the word love sparingly)! I recommend our catering and spaces to my own family often because I believe in the product and service so much. Thanks for the article Angela & the Married In Milwaukee Team!