We are super excited to feature this fun, kid-friendly wedding! We love how the couple incorporated the groom’s 4-year-old son into the wedding by using a “Where The Wild Things Are” theme. They also wanted to show off Milwaukee to their family and friends (yes, we love that too), so they picked Downtown Milwaukee’s Aloft Hotel for their reception.
As an added bonus, they used Married In Milwaukee Family Member, Classy Girl Cupcakes, for their desserts! Read on for this kid-friendly Milwaukee wedding cost breakdown at the Aloft Hotel.
Comparing Wedding Costs
Not all weddings are created equal and this wedding is no exception. For example, this couple received several wedding items as gifts from friends and family, otherwise their costs would of been higher. Keep this in mind with your comparisons.
- Number of Guests: 130
- Ceremony: Parents’ Backyard
- Reception: Aloft Hotel
- Total Costs: $18,020
Wedding Essentials ($6,600):
- Invitations/Stationery: $250 (diy)
- Desserts: $350 (included: cupcakes, cutting cake and stand)
- Photographer: $3,000
- Flowers: $3,000 (included: 20 Table Centerpieces, 1 Large Bouquet, 7 Bouquets, 10 Boutonnieres. Note this was a gift and we are including the estimated value)
Reception and Ceremony Costs ($9,925)
- Blankets and Pillows for Ceremony: $200
- Ceremony Music: $500 (gift from parents)
- Champagne for Ceremony: $500 (gift from parents)
- Reception: $500 (venue rental)
- Catering: $6,300 (included passed appetizers and a plated dinner)
- Drinks: $1,525 (included beer, house wine, coffee and bartenders)
- Reception Entertainment: $0 (friend made playlist)
- Officiant: $0 (gift from friend)
- Rentals: $400 (included: speakers and white chairs)
Attire, Jewelry and Beauty ($820):
- Dress: $450 (included: dress and alterations)
- Groom’s Attire: $285 (included: suit, tie, shoes and alterations)
- Bride’s Shoes $25
- Rings: $60 (grooms ring was a gift from family)
- Hair and Make-up: $0 (free for bride with bridesmaids purchases)
Other Costs ($675):
- Rehearsal Dinner: $300 (gift from family)
- Wedding Party Gifts: $150 (photo mugs)
- Favors: $0 (gift from family)
- Hotel Suite: $0 (included from Aloft)
- Other Costs: $225
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:
Shannon has a 4-year-old son named Parker and we wanted him to be a huge part of our wedding, so we planned our wedding to be about us coming together as a family, not just as a couple. In fact, we wanted everyone at our wedding to feel like a part of our large extended family, and to know how grateful we are to them for being in our lives.
We chose a Where the Wild Things are theme because it’s been a long time favorite in Chelsea’s family – years ago, Chelsea’s sister painted giant wild things for our dad’s backyard – and Parker loves/has grown up with the book. We had always wanted to get married in the backyard – it’s beautifully landscaped with native prairie plants – so the wild things theme seemed to fall into place pretty seamlessly.
Our other priority was to show off Milwaukee to our family and friends. We’re really proud to call this city our home, so we wanted to incorporate as much “local Milwaukee” as we could in the wedding. We chose Aloft Downtown Milwaukee because it’s right on the Milwaukee River, and has a great view of downtown through the floor to ceiling ballroom windows. It also has a fantastic outdoor space with access to the riverwalk.
We didn’t want to break the bank so we picked our most important spending areas –photos and food, and kept everything else pretty low cost. We chose Katie Berg Photography who produced absolutely amazing photos for us. Our food and drinks were from some of our favorite Milwaukee companies – cupcakes from Classy Girl Cupcakes, dinner from Louise’s Milwaukee (Chelsea’s favorite restaurant), and we hosted our two favorite beers from the Milwaukee Brewing Company – Booyah and Louis’ Demise.
Our wedding was amazing because of all of our family and friends that went out of their way to create beautiful things for us. Chelsea’s older sister and brother-in-law built a stunning wild things Chuppah, and my aunt made the awesome name cards, crowns, table numbers, and card box for the reception. Our friends did a fantastic job helping us put together a beautiful ceremony program and a super fun reception. And our family friend Michael Gaffney (founder, School of Flower Design) gifted us the most amazing flowers I have ever seen.
– Chelsea and Shannon, The Bride and Groom
A BIG thanks to the bride and groom, Chelsea and Shannon, for sharing their awesome kid-friendly wedding and to Kate Berg Photography 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.