This couple wanted to get married at Milwaukee’s South Shore Pavilion before they were even engaged and we can see why. South Shore Pavilion is a beautiful, historic building that’s part of the Milwaukee County Parks system. It boasts an amazing lakefront location and even a beer garden!
The other great thing is that it’s a budget-friendly option. However, this means there is no on-site staff to help you out on your big day. So if you’re considering South Shore Pavilion for your wedding, think about hiring a wedding planner (like this couple did) to make it look amazing and go off without a hitch.
This awesome wedding was done for $22,000 and we think they did an fantastic job! Read on to learn all about their wedding, their vendors and their budgeting process.
As always, we were excited to hear they used several of the Married In Milwaukee Family of wedding vendors, including:
Quick Facts – South Shore Pavilion Wedding:
- Guests: 140
- Ceremony/Reception: South Shore Pavilion
- Total Costs: $21,978
Wedding Essentials ($7,944):
- Invitations: $270 (invites, save the dates)
- Cake: $534
- Photographer: $4,500
- Planner: $1,840
- Flowers: $800 (included: greenery for 15 tables, floral arrangements for bathrooms, bar, gift table and cake. 5 bridesmaid’s bouquets, 4 mothers/grandmothers corsages, 5 boutonnieres for groomsmen, 2 boutonnieres for fathers, 1 groom boutonniere and bridal bouquet)
Reception and Ceremony Costs ($11,533):
- Ceremony/Reception: $2,883
- Food: $4,650
- Bartenders: $2,500
- Officiant: $300
- DJ: $1,200
Attire, Jewelry and Beauty ($292):
- Dress: $0 (family gift)
- Bride’s Shoes: $12 (clearance sale)
- Groom’s Attire: $0 (free with groomsmen rentals)
- Hair and Make-up: $280
Other Costs ($2,209):
- Transportation: $600 (party bus)
- Wedding Party Gifts: $500 (girls: earrings and bracelets; guys: watches and personalized golf kit)
- Hotel Suite: $109
- Rehearsal Dinner: $0 (family gift)
- Other Costs: $1,000+ (lanterns, chalkboards, old windows, archway, linens and other decor)
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:
When we lived in Bay View, we used to always take walks by the lake and one night we were by South Shore park pavilion while a wedding was going on. We were too scared to go in but we could tell it was a beautiful wedding with the lights strung from the ceiling, tall windows facing lake Michigan and the beautiful brick walls.
I said I wanted to get married there but at that time we weren’t even engaged. We also didn’t think such a beautiful building and location would even be in our budget. When we got engaged and were looking into venues the first place I looked at was South Shore Park.
We were pleasantly surprised that it was much more cost effective compared to other venues that fit our style and it was a Milwaukee County Park. Another thing that South Shore drew us in by was that you were able to bring in all your own vendors unlike most places in Milwaukee who have a set list of vendors.
When planning the wedding, we knew that we wanted to be as cost effective for everything as we possibly could. Weddings are very expensive even when you do the bare minimum and we didn’t want to stretch ourselves too thin or our families. But a photographer was the one thing that we agreed to splurge on.
We knew that we would be looking at these photos for the rest of our lives and couldn’t settle with just anyone. We spent a lot of time doing research on photographers through Instagram, Married in Milwaukee and on the Knot. We were quickly drawn to Autumn Silva’s photography style with a lot of natural sun light and you could feel the love from the couples just from looking at the photos.
We instantly booked Autumn before we even had a wedding date set in stone. We are unbelievably happy about the way that our special day had turned out and Autumn and her second shooter did a perfect job capturing the fun that we and our guests had! Our photos are absolutely breath taking and we are constantly receiving complements over them. We are so grateful that we have such beautiful photos to share with our families and future children.
I am a very organized person who is constantly on a schedule. I didn’t think as a bride I would ever need a wedding planner because planning and scheduling is something I am very good at. With South Shore park being a building with just tables and chairs provided with no staff to assist we quickly knew we would need some help.
Throughout our engagement Elizabeth from Evenement Planning was always on point with her suggestions and contact with our vendors to keep everything organized. She provided all of the vendors and the wedding party a schedule of the wedding day planned to 15 minute increments. It was extremely helpful to keep everyone on the same page and knowing where they needed to be at what time.
We had our ceremony and reception in the same room at South Shore park. As soon as the ceremony was over, Elizabeth and her team quickly went to work while all of the guests were outside or at the bar. The arch way and ceremony chairs were taken down and tables and chairs were put up for the reception. They completely flipped the room in about an hour while the wedding party was on the party bus taking pictures.
The reception was set up exactly how I envisioned as well as extra beautiful details that I would have never thought of. We are amazed by Elizabeth and how she kept everything moving so seamlessly, while 7 months pregnant!
We are not a very religious couple and don’t have a very close tie to churches. We wanted our ceremony to be unique and fun while also acknowledging the spiritual commitment of a marriage.
Our wedding planner had recommended Judge Derek Mosely. Judge Mosely did a beautiful ceremony for us that was the most unique ceremony that any of our guests had been to. He honored the commitment of marriage in front of friends and families in the most beautiful and fun way.
He completely customized our ceremony to our taste which made it so fun. Many of our guests had complimented how amazing the ceremony was and how interactive he was. We were also honored to have Jon’s uncle do a reading of Corinthians 13: 4- 13.
We are not fancy people and knew from the start that we did not want your stereotypical wedding food. Our wedding planner, Elizabeth, recommended Tall Guy and a Grill to us. We had our tasting and knew that we didn’t want to even bother with looking at different vendors because it was so good!
Tall Guy and a Grill had a very large menu we could choose from for our buffet style dinner and they were so accommodating to any of our requests even if it wasn’t on the menu. The meatball sliders were everyone’s favorite!
– The Bride and Groom
A BIG thanks to the bride and groom for sharing their awesome South Shore Pavilion wedding and to Autumn Silva Photography for the amazing photos!
If you’re currently working on your wedding budget, make sure to read through our previous articles featuring real Milwaukee wedding cost breakdowns.