This couple wanted a fun wedding in a convenient, walkable location that showed their love of Milwaukee. We’re happy to say that they did this and did it well.
For just under $21,000 they had an amazing wedding at the The Box Milwaukee with their church and hotel in walking distance. We also love that they did a cocktail reception with food stations to keep the party fun and casual.
MIM Family Used
As always, we were excited to hear they used several Married In Milwaukee Family Members, including:
Quick Facts – The Box Wedding:
- Number of Guests: 120
- Ceremony: Old St. Mary Perish
- Reception: The Box Milwaukee
- Total Costs: $20,800
Wedding Essentials ($2,005):
- Invitations/Save The Dates: $205 (DIY and postage)
- Cupcakes: $500
- Flowers: $300 (bride’s bouquet, 2 boutonnieres, flower girl flowers)
- Photography: $1,000
Reception and Ceremony Costs ($13,989):
- Ceremony: $550
- Reception: $1,785
- Dueling Pianos: $2,700
- Drinks: $2,054 (open bar all night)
- Food: $6,900 (food stations, passed apps, coffee bar, linens and dinnerware)
Attire, Jewelry and Beauty ($1,980):
- Dress: $1,120
- Bride’s Shoes: $50
- Groom’s Attire: $500 (purchased suit)
- Rings: $100 (groom’s ring)
- Hair and Make-up: $210 (bride’s hair and makeup)
Other Costs ($3,095):
- Rehearsal Dinner: $1,000
- Wedding Day Brunch: $230
- Wedding Party Gifts: $1,100 (Includes clutches and bracelets that bridesmaids used in lieu of bouquets, ties & pockets squares for groomsmen)
- Favors: $115 (donated to charity in lieu of favors)
- Hotel Suite $250
- Hotel Gift Boxes: $100 (home-brewed beer, assorted Milwaukee items)
- Props: $20
- Other: $280 (engagement class, marriage license, decor)
Honeymoon ($6,000 – Not Included in Total)
- Iceland and Amsterdam: $6,000
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:
We had a few goals when planning our wedding: convenient for all of our guests, simple yet elegant, a reflection of our personalities and love of Milwaukee, and most importantly, it had to be fun!
The Walkable Location:
The best way to achieve all of these things was to find a church and venue downtown that would allow people to explore our beautiful city and also make it easy for people to get around. Our church, venue, and hotel were all within 4 blocks of each other, and coupled with an unusually mild April day, our special day couldn’t have worked out any better.
In between the ceremony and the reception, the bridal party bar hopped to a couple of places – something that would not have been possible if our wedding were not in an urban setting – and the candid and unplanned photos we got during this time were some of our favorites from the entire day.
The Cocktail Reception:
Our wedding was unique in that probably at least 75% of our guests were from out of town, and many would be meeting each other for the first time. So we knew that we wanted a reception that was casual and encouraged people to mix and mingle.
We went with a cocktail-style reception with high-top tables and food stations, in a space that stood on its own and didn’t require a lot of formal decoration, and The Box was absolutely perfect for that.
The owners always made us feel like we were their top priority and did everything they could to help us achieve our vision. Had we known that some of our friends would arrange to have the Brewers Racing Sausages arrive at our reception and nearly knock the chandeliers down while dancing, they might have reconsidered letting us rent the space!
Besides a perfect venue, keeping people fed and entertained were our main priorities and the areas where we broke our original budget a little bit. Tall Guy & a Grill provided a delicious menu for our style of reception that made it easy for people to grab a bite whenever they chose to take a break from the dance floor.
And speaking of dancing, the thing we still get the most compliments on about our wedding was the dueling pianos from Felix & Fingers. They brought the house down and were interactive with the crowd literally the entire time – even my 90-year old grandmother stayed til the end! We loved that our entertainment was able to combine all the best elements of live music and a DJ, but at a much more affordable price than a typical wedding band.
Cost Saving Tips:
Some key ways that we tried to save money were designing our own invitations, hiring a student photographer, keeping the flowers and decoration down to a minimum, and not going crazy with the rehearsal dinner.
– The Bride and Groom
A BIG thanks to the bride and groom for sharing their awesome wedding at The Box Milwaukee and to Katelyn Winski Photography & Design 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.