This couple was looking for a magical space to host their wedding. The moment they walked out of their tour of Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, they knew it was the spot for them.
For $29,000 they had some amazing vendors and from the photos it looks like they had an awesome time! Read on to see their photos and a budget breakdown, and don’t miss the “note from the bride and groom” at the bottom.
Married In Milwaukee Family Used
This couple used a ton of MIM Family which we always love to see!! Here’s the MIM Family Members involved in this Schlitz Audubon wedding:
- Photography: Brian Slawson Photography
- Venue: Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
- Catering: Saz’s Catering
Wedding Quick Facts – Schlitz Audubon Wedding:
- Guests: 172
- Ceremony/Reception: Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
- Total Costs: $29,032
Wedding Essentials ($5,177):
- Invitations: $300
- Cupcakes: $787
- Photographer: $2,640
- Flowers: $1,450 (included: bridal bouquet, 2 bridesmaid bouquets, 10 boutonnieres, 7 corsages, 2 tall arrangements by altar, 4 centerpiece arrangements, 3 buckets of DIY flowers)
Reception and Ceremony Costs ($20,280):
- Ceremony/Reception: $2,650 (facility rental and damage deposit)
- Food: $9,330
- Drinks: $4,520 (full service bar + taxes & fees)
- Rentals: $1,930 (chairs and tables)
- Officiant: $300
- DJ: $1,550 (live music for ceremony & dinner + DJ services for cocktail hour & reception)
Attire, Jewelry and Beauty ($1,775):
- Bride’s Dress: $700
- Dress Alterations: $500
- Groom’s Attire: $300
- Brides’ Shoes: $75
- Rings: $200
Other Costs ($1,800):
- Wedding Party Gifts: $300
- Favors: $400
- Tips: 1,100
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:
Brian Slawson is literally everything you could ever want in a wedding photographer: organized, laid back, creative (drones & other unique ideas), prompt with answering your questions despite his hectic schedule, comes early & stays late and receptive to exactly what you are looking for. You never feel like you are on the clock with him. He strives for each shot to be the perfect shot.
He was practically the last one to leave Schlitz along with us, insisting we go down by the lake (in pure darkness) to take some final pictures which turned out to be some of the most amazing shots of all! We did our engagement and trash the dress (highly recommend this) sessions with him as well. On top of it all, he is just a genuinely nice guy who truly cares about his craft, about people and about capturing those memories.
We visited and looked into a handful of venues before deciding on Schlitz Audubon. We knew the minute we left our initial meeting that something about the place just felt right: the nature, being by the lake, the greenery. It was absolutely magical! We also lucked out on a mid-70’s, sunny day in the middle of August.
The other clincher for us with the venue was Jessica Buehler, the wedding event coordinator at Schlitz. She is the absolute real deal! She laid all of our options out and asked questions to understand our true vision. She took care of meeting with and directing all of the vendors when they arrived at the venue on our wedding day (one less thing on our plate to worry about). We were extremely thankful of how she guided us through the whole process with no pressure.
We wanted the food served at our wedding to come from a place we regularly enjoy, as opposed to your standardized wedding meal. We knew this would be an expense where we were willing to spend a bit more. Saz’s Catering did not disappoint! 3 different entrees buffet style (chicken parmesan, baby back ribs & carved sirloin) with a bunch of different sides and mozzarella sticks as an appetizer. The food got rave reviews from our guests.
We wanted someone who was a musician as well as a DJ since we were looking for live music in various parts of the day. Kyle Feerick did it all: performed live music during the ceremony & dinner and DJ’ed during cocktail hour & the reception.
He was entertaining, solid at his craft and personable. We had explained for the ceremony we were hoping to also have a cellist accompany him on acoustic guitar. Kyle knew of a guy (Pat Reinholz) he had played with before. They were absolutely amazing, even learning a few songs specifically requested by us. Kyle seamlessly transitioned through the night and we were incredibly grateful to have picked him.
Ways We Saved:
- Sunday wedding
- No wedding cake (wasn’t a priority for us)
- Table numbers ($1 per; we painted and put the number on ourselves)
- Frames (some we already had)
- Centerpiece boxes (built these from scratch)
- Card box (my wife’s grandpa built from scratch)
- DIY flowers from Wood Violet (cheaper than finished arrangements and gave my wife the chance to create exactly what she wanted for a few arrangements)
– The Bride and Groom
A BIG thanks to the couple for sharing their awesome Schlitz Audubon wedding and to Brian Slawson 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.