Well folks, this is the type of Cost Breakdown that only 2020 could have delivered. With their plans postponed due to the pandemic, this couple decided to stay true to their original date and have a small, outdoor ceremony in Lakeshore State Park alongside their parents.
When the time came to throw their large wedding they did it up in style – a ceremony at the brand new Vista and an amazingly gorgeous reception at Turner Hall Ballroom – you can’t get more Milwaukee than that! Read on to learn more about this unique Vista and Turner Hall wedding, along with some of the COVID considerations they incorporated into their day.
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 Vista & Turner Hall Ballroom:
- Ceremony: Vista
- Reception: Turner Hall Ballroom
- Catering: Saz’s
- Planner: Events to a T
- Stationery: Paperwhites
- DJ/Lighting: Sound By Design
- Ceremony Dress: Miss Ruby Bridal Boutique
Quick Facts – Vista and Turner Hall Wedding:
- Guests: 5 (first ceremony)
- Guests : 150 (second ceremony/reception)
- Ceremonies: Lakeshore State Park and Vista
- Reception: Turner Hall Ballroom
- Total Costs: $50,640
First Ceremony – Lakeshore State Park ($660):
- Cake: $35
- Flowers: $110 (included: bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere)
- Champagne: $60
- Dress: $40
- Bridal Jean Jacket: $175
- Shoes: $20
- Groom’s Attire: $145
- Beauty: $75
Wedding Essentials ($14,769):
- Invitations/Save the Dates: $464
- Day of Stationery: $430 (menus, signs)
- Photographer: $2,700
- Videographer: $3,050
- Wedding Planner: $4,000
- Cake: $250
- Desserts: $625 (Pete’s Pops and Classy Girl Cupcakes)
- Flowers: $3,250 (included: bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, centerpieces, card box, cupcake stands, ceremony aisle/altar florals and stage arrangements)
Reception and Ceremony Costs ($26,522):
- Venue Rental: $5,500 (with uplighting add-on)
- Ceremony Fee: $1,056
- Food: $10,611
- Drinks: $4,862
- DJ: $1,795
- Linen Rentals: $2,698
- Officiant: $0 (friend)
Attire, Jewelry and Beauty ($6,384):
- Bride’s Dresses: $3,250 (ceremony dress and reception dress)
- Bride’s Shoes: $225
- Groom’s Attire: $260
- Hair and Makeup: $435
- Rings: $2,214
Other Costs ($2,305):
- Marquee Letters: $605
- Transportation: $0 (gift from family)
- Favors: $200
- Wedding Party Gifts: $650
- Rehearsal Dinner: $0 (gift from family)
- Hotel Suite: $650 (two nights)
- Other: $200 (bobble head cake topper)
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:
Picking the right vendors to help us achieve the wedding of our dreams was huge – we never wanted our vision to be compromised by budget. Having a longer engagement (2 yrs) allowed us to keep sacrifices minimal. The longer window meant more time to stash our savings and not feel panicked by various expenses.
Also, part of my (bride’s) degree is in new media design, so it was really rewarding to design some of our stationery and save money in the process!
Planner + Covid:
We can’t begin to describe how helpful a wedding planner is – especially when a pandemic hits and forces you to postpone your wedding AND reschedule vendors only a month out! We are so thankful we had Emily (Events to a T) to take the lead on coordinating a plan B so that we could gather ourselves emotionally and fully process the reality of our situation. It was one less stressor (huge stressor) that made all the difference in such an unforeseen circumstance.
Milwaukee is such an underrated city with so much to offer! It was important to us to highlight the city’s charm by choosing venues that screamed “Milwaukee” – especially to our many out-of-town guests. The skyline at Vista is breathtaking and such a memorable backdrop. And Turner Hall is nothing short of iconic and historic – it was truly love at first sight when we toured!
Everyone remembers the food so this vendor was a big deal! Going into our search, we knew two things – 1) mouth-watering comfort foods were a must and 2) we needed stations (hello, aesthetics!).
We explored a few options, but NONE compared to Saz’s. They were able to provide all the classics like fried chicken and mac-n-cheese to signatures like baby back ribs and late-night sliders at an affordable price. We’ve never experienced such rich cuisine at a wedding and still have guests raving about how delicious the food was!
Photographer + Videographer:
The big day comes and goes, but the memories captured last forever. Knowing these vendors would be responsible for cementing our day in history meant it was essential we pick the perfect photographer and videographer to get the job done. Finding someone personable, talented, and creative who also matched our aesthetic had its challenges, but we couldn’t have been happier with the results.
P.S. Videographers are just as essential as photographers and in our case, a must-have! Plan to have them in your budget from the start. You won’t regret it.
Flowers + Linens + Decor:
Our personalities are fun and bright so we really wanted our wedding to reflect that energy. We knew we wanted to stray away from classic white linens and pastel florals for that very reason. Emily helped us build off our wedding party palette of marsala and navy to create an even more rich and beautifully bold jewel toned reception. The colors juxtaposed with the moody setting of Turner Hall was absolute perfection.
One of our favorite decor choices was the use of marquee letters. They complemented the string lights flawlessly and made the perfect backdrop for our head table and dancefloor. Did I mention they also make the ultimate photo op? They’re a must have to fill the stage at Turner (if you don’t have a band)!
Baseball/Summer Tailgate Accents:
Summer nights at Miller Park have become tradition in our relationship. It was at Brewer games where we shared our first date (and many others), cultivated our love for craft beer, and got engaged. It felt important to include subtle nods to our love story without compromising aesthetics and appearing over the top.
In lieu of the traditional candle and flame, we celebrated our marriage with a unity beer. During cocktail hour, guests were able to autograph our home plate guest book and play cornhole. We also commissioned a bobblehead cake topper of us as the bride and groom in Brewers jerseys. After dinner, guests were welcome to enjoy popsicles served from Pete’s Pops’ iconic cart. To drive home the theme, we gave bags of peanuts and Cracker Jacks as favors.
Covid Wedding Advice:
Wedding planning during a pandemic is a humbling experience that not only taught us to be flexible, but challenged us to find power in how we respond to matters out of our control.
Like any wedding, things will go wrong and the unexpected will happen. Remember to respect your guests’ choice to attend or not (no matter how late they decide). Partner and build relationships with quality vendors who will be understanding and accommodate your needs (we lost out on significant cash and two of our vendors because they were unwilling to work with us as restrictions forced our hand to postpone). Don’t feel pressured to scrap all of your plans – explore ALL of your options.
Finally, don’t get caught up in the little details that might change. The day will still be every bit of magical – be present and enjoy your hard work!
– The Bride and Groom
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.