This couple got engaged at the beginning of April 2020 and quickly realized they couldn’t have a large wedding until 2021. So, they did what many couples are doing in the time of COVID – they opted for a smaller wedding now with plans for a larger event in the future.
Planning a Wedding During COVID
COIVD-19 obviously played a role in the planning for this intimate wedding. The couples’ wedding consisted only of their immediate family (17 people total) and both the ceremony and reception were held outside. In addition, they only had five wedding vendors in attendance and all of them wore masks.
The couple stated it was hard on them not being able to invite friends and extended family. However, the good part was that all of the guests in attendance got to interact so closely and felt equally important. In addition, they were able to add special touches (like unique turquoise ceramic plates for dinner) that wouldn’t of be possible with a large event.
We think they did a great job and threw an amazing, intimate wedding at the beautiful Sanger House Gardens. Read on to learn about their vendors, planning process and cost.
Married In Milwaukee Family Used:
We were excited to see that this couple used several Married In Milwaukee Family Members!! Here are the MIM Family Members involved in this wedding at the Sanger House Gardens:
Quick Facts – Sanger House Gardens Wedding:
- Guests: 17
- Ceremony/Reception: Sanger House Gardens
- Total Costs: $8,610
Wedding Essentials ($2,230):
- Invitations/Stationery: $30 (DIY)
- Photographer: $1,050
- Cake: $150
- Flowers: $1,000 (included: bouquet, loose greenery, artificial greenery for DIY hanging centerpiece)
Reception and Ceremony Costs ($4,280):
- Venue Rental: $2,500
- Food: $1,300
- Drinks: $400
- DJ: $0 (family member)
- Officiant: $0 (family member)
- Chair Rental: $80
Attire, Jewelry and Beauty ($1,650):
- Bride’s Dress: $725
- Bride’s Shoes: $0 (family gift)
- Groom’s Attire: $700
- Hair and Makeup: $225
Other Costs ($450):
- Hotel Suite: $150
- Other: $300 (plates, table cloths, table runner, charcuterie board, vases, hanging centerpiece)
A Note From The Couple
We asked the couple to tell us about their planning and budgeting process, and this is what they had to say:
Planning During COVID:
When Ben and I got engaged on April 4th, 2020, we quickly realized that we would not be able to gather for a wedding due to COVID until at least 2021, and we didn’t want to wait that long. We still plan on doing a larger wedding/reception with all of our friends and family in the future, but we are not sure when that will be yet.
Seeing as I am an artist and designer and we also own a Bar together called Pourman’s on Water St., we wanted to find a venue that allowed some DIY aspects to save money. Most of the venues we found were either too big, too expensive, wouldn’t let us bring in our own alcohol or diy décor, or were still closed because of COVID. We wanted to find a venue that we could bring our own alcohol to because we own a bar, we didn’t want to waste money on that.
We decided July 2nd was the day and told all of our family who traveled in from the East Coast, but we still hadn’t found a venue. A week and a half before the wedding we found Sanger House Gardens and everything turned out perfectly. We could bring in our own bartender and caterer and Steve the owner let me completely customize the space and bring in all of our own décor and chairs and everything.
I designed the whole King’s table with the hanging centerpiece with greenery and globes, and designed the table runner and greenery and bought unique turquoise dinner plates since it was only 17 people. I had Belle Fiori give me lots of loose greenery and flowers because it was cheaper and I wanted to the flexibility to design whatever I wanted.
I went to White Dress off the Rack because I knew a custom dress wouldn’t arrive in time. I fell in love with a $500 dress and it had a strap broken which was why it was so cheap. The alterations were very cheap to fix that and the dress was my dream dress.
We wanted a unique family style caterer because we were all family and with one long table I thought family style would give people more options and a fun intimate setting to share. Antigua’s Latin-inspired cuisine was perfect and many people said it was the best wedding food they had ever had. My husband custom designed my ring which was the most expensive part of the whole thing. Because I am a graphic designer I was able to do all the menus / programs / invitations myself.
We did splurge on a photographer (Double You Photography) because with none of our friends able to attend, we felt it was important to document the wedding to share with all of our friends and extended family. She did give us a good deal however since it was a lot less to manage than a typical wedding and a lot less hours.
Since it didn’t quite feel like a real wedding with only 17 people there including us, we wanted to keep some traditional aspects such as a cake, a first dance, a makeup and hair artist, writing our own vows, photographer etc. to make sure we felt it was the real wedding we had at least somewhat always imagined.
– The Bride and Groom
A BIG thanks to the couple for sharing the Cost Breakdown of their awesome Sanger House Gardens wedding and to Double You Photography for the amazing photos!
If you’re currently working on your wedding budget, make sure to read through our previous Cost Breakdown articles featuring real Milwaukee wedding cost breakdowns.