After attending several weddings together, this couple developed priorities for an awesome wedding: a great photographer, open bar and amazing entertainment that keeps the dance floor full. We think their Urban Ecology Center wedding accomplished all of these and made for one awesome, memorable day!
Wedding Quick Facts:
- Guests: 150
- Ceremony/Reception: Urban Ecology Center
- Total Costs: $28,027
Wedding Essentials ($5,150):
- Invitations: $200
- Desserts: $465 (doughnut holes)
- Photographer: $3,900
- Flowers: $585 (included: 2 bouquets, 2 mother’s corsages, 4 boutonnieres, flower arrangement over wedding arch, and table arrangements)
Reception and Ceremony Costs ($16,392):
- Ceremony/Reception: $3,000
- Food: $5,255 (Tall Guy and a Grill provided sliders, mac and cheese, raspberry goat cheese and pistachio salad, assorted roasted veggies)
- Drinks: $1,400 (beer was free for the couple and Gilbert’s Liquor did an open bar for wine and mixed drinks)
- Officiant: $0 (friend donated)
- DJ: $1,990 (Accent Events)
- Photo Booth/Videography: $4,747
Attire, Jewelry and Beauty ($5,735):
- Dress: $2,900 (two dresses, two belts)
- Brides’ Shoes: $135 (three pairs of shoes)
- Rings: $ 2,400 (handmade matching wedding bands and engagement rings)
- Hair and Make-up: $300
Other Costs ($750):
- Wedding Party Gifts: $120 (personalized watches)
- Hotel Suite: $0 (gift from a friend)
- Rehearsal Dinner: $300
- Other Costs: $330
Honeymoon (Not Included in Total – $2,000):
- Honeymoon: $2,000 (trip to Seattle, Portland and Vancouver BC )
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:
What Makes a Good Wedding:
Before getting married, we had been to dozens of weddings together and always agreed that the same few things made a wedding memorable: a great photographer (to capture the whirlwind of the day), an open bar, and fun music to create a full dance floor.
While planning our wedding, we made sure to keep those top priorities in mind and knew we’d likely spend a little extra in those areas to make sure it was a great experience for us and our family and friends. Our parents very generously paid for two thirds of the total wedding cost, and it allowed us to make the day exactly what we both wanted it to be.
Lucky for us, Mel’s friend Jenna married a very talented photographer, Jason Worrell! We love his energy, and the shots he got of us, our guests, and all the little details of that day are priceless. Had we not known him already, I know how important it would have been to meet in person prior to making a final decision. Having a photographer we felt comfortable around was key – and bonus points if they can get you to laugh all day and really enjoy the moment!
Since we got such a great deal on beer, wine and liquor for our open bar, we were able to spend more on our caterer. We did a tasting with Tall Guy and a Grill because they were literally three blocks from our house, and the tasting blew us away!
We still get compliments on how delicious the food was. And the team they had in place did a fantastic job. At one point we were about to run out of vodka and ice, and the owner of Tall Guy was on-site to calmly ask what we wanted to do and even took our credit card to the store to buy more of both. We loved that they took all the stress out of the night for us!
We’ve danced at a lot of other weddings, but there was only one where we could remember dancing our FACES off, and that was with The Scottish DJ of Accent Events – so we knew he was the DJ for us.
Alan set up all his equipment to be used outside for the ceremony music and officiant’s microphone without any power at the ceremony site, and transitioned everything back inside once it was time for speeches and dancing. That guy knows how to keep people on a dance floor! His song choices kept the party atmosphere going until the last song, and even then I don’t think our guests wanted to stop.
If we had to do it all over again, I don’t think we would change a thing! We didn’t miss any expensive details we’ve seen at some other weddings, and we were very intentional about spending money only on things that felt authentic to us as a couple.
– The Happy Couple, Rachel and Mel
A BIG thanks to the couple for sharing their awesome Urban Ecology Center wedding and to Jason Worrell 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.