A Kid-Friendly Wedding at the War Memorial for $20K

War Memorial Wedding

This couple spent $20K on their War Memorial Wedding. All photos by Heidi Joy Photography

The War Memorial was the spot of this couples’ first date – so it was the perfect choice for their wedding! They wanted a fun, kid-friendly event and did exactly that.

For just over $20,000 they had an amazing wedding at the War Memorial Center. In addition, they brought in some great vendors to make the whole day come together perfectly.

MIM Family Used

As always, we were excited to hear they used several Married In Milwaukee Family Members, including:

Quick Facts – War Memorial Wedding:

  • Number of Guests: 180
  • Ceremony/Reception: War Memorial
  • Total Costs: $20,325
War Memorial Wedding

The beautiful flowers from Alfa Flower & Wedding Shop cost $1,480 while their Star Wars themed cakes cost $210. Photos by Heidi Joy Photography

Wedding Essentials ($4,225):

  • Invitations/Stationery: $330
  • Cake: $215
  • Flowers: $1,480
  • Photography: $2,200
War Memorial Wedding Ceremony

This couple held their ceremony on the first floor indoor space. Note that weather permitting Fitch Plaza overlooking Lake Michigan can be used. Photos by Heidi Joy Photography

Reception and Ceremony Costs ($11,800):

  • Ceremony/Reception: $2,000
  • DJ/Photo Booth: $1,900
  • Officiant: $0 (friend)
  • Drinks: $2,000
  • Food: 5,900
War Memorial Wedding

The reception took place in Memorial Hall with DJ and Photo Booth services provided by Rhythm In Motion. Photos by Heidi Joy Photography

Attire, Jewelry and Beauty ($1,525):

  • Dress: $250
  • Groom’s Attire: $400
  • Rings: $375
  • Hair and Make-up: $500
Wedding at the Milwaukee War Memorial

The bride’s dress cost $250 and the groom’s attire was $400. Photos by Heidi Joy Photography

Other Costs ($2,775):

  • Transportation: $150 (Hilton shuttle for guests)
  • Rehearsal Dinner: $1,000
  • Wedding Party Gifts: $275
  • Favors: $400
  • Hotel Suite $150
  • Engagement Party: $800

Honeymoon ($1,350 – Not Included in Total)

  • Jeeping and Hiking in Utah and Colorado: $1,350
War Memorial Wedding Photos

A few of the amazing photos taken on the War Memorial grounds by Heidi Joy Photography.

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:

The Kid-Friendly Theme:
Overall, Miller and I wanted to have a fun wedding. Having invited many families, there were going to be many children. We choose a Star Wars theme after we found light sabers as wedding favors. We incorporated Star Wars music in our ceremony and reception, and even had Star Wars themed cakes!

The dance floor was ablaze with the excitement of the children and colorful light sabers! Thankfully, there were no injuries with all the running around, just tired children (and parents) at the end of the night!

The Vendors:
I was impressed with all my vendors coordinating amongst themselves. Once a change was made, it was quickly shared with the entire group! Jennifer from the War Memorial, Jessica from All Occasions Catering, Heidi the Photographer and Bill from Rhythm in Motion were all communicating, which made it really simple for us! Thank you all!

The Venue:
We choose the Milwaukee War Memorial for a few reasons, the first being this is where we went during our first date. Miller and I are both in the Army Reserve, so the War Memorial had a significance to us.

We also loved the fact that we could have the Ceremony and Reception in one location. Ideally we wanted to have the ceremony outside to showcase Lake Michigan, but the weather did not cooperate. Jennifer Wallner, the Event Coordinator from the War Memorial, had Plan A, B, and C for Ceremony Locations, which we would decide on the day of. We went with Plan C, Inside.

The Photos:
Planning from a distance, I used online searches to find Heidi Joy Photography. Her website had great pictures, including one with a Bride and her dog. Having two dogs myself, I loved that.

When talking with Heidi, I mentioned that particular picture, and she said that her package included a free engagement photoshoot. Trouble was, I had moved to Colorado Springs, and not in Milwaukee any longer. She said no worries…she was coming to Denver, and we could meet out there!

Heidi found a great location and took amazing pictures of Miller and his two sons, Elijah and Tyler, and my two dogs, Luna and Dakota. We used the pictures for the wedding invitations.

The DJ and Photo Booth:
I found Rhythm in Motion from an online search as well. Again, his website had pictures of other events, with the kind of celebration we were looking for, fun and exciting. Bill and I coordinated music and planning prior to the event, he even worked with Heidi Joy Photography as well, so it made the event run seamlessly.

I didn’t have to worry about anything, Bill kept the day flowing. From ceremony, to reception, and finally the dancing, he reacted before I even knew there was an issue. I had many people ask for the play list after the event. His research process prior to the event brought to life the party I envisioned.

The Catering:
When celebrating at the War Memorial, there is a list of vetted caterers allowed. We were extremely excited to see that All Occasions Catering topped the list. I had worked with them when coordinating work picnics and holiday luncheons, and was always impressed with their food and service. The food was fantastic; no one went home hungry!

– The Bride and Groom

A BIG thanks to the bride and groom for sharing their awesome War Memorial Wedding wedding and to Heidi Joy Photography for the photos!

Heidi Joy Wedding Photos

Top: The happy couple in their Colorado engagement shoot; Bottom: The couple with their bridal party at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Photos by Heidi Joy Photography

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



  1. Thank you for choosing Julia and Miller Belmont for your featured wedding! We are Julia’s parents and we had a great day even tho the weather was not the warmest! Again….thank you.

  2. Kathleen Doherty says:

    I am Julia Mary’s Mom and Miller’s best Mother-in-Law. The two of then did a great job in choosing the location, transportation to and from the reception. The photographer was great. She managed taking a beautiful photo of my greeting Julia Mary before turning to Miller. My family from New York enjoyed every minute of the music, food and the dancing.
    Greg I would like to speak with you.