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My 5 Favorite Wedding Venues in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

There are a LOT of fantastic wedding venues throughout the state of Wisconsin, something I’ve actually talked about in a previous article that you should definitely check out! Today though we’re taking a more focused approach to this topic, and looking at 5 of my favorite wedding venues in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. These 5 venues by no means cover every option that Milwaukee has to offer, but they are some of THE best in the city, and my personal favorites. Before we take a look at them though we first need to talk about what to be on the lookout for when choosing your wedding venue !

What to Look for in a Milwaukee Wedding Venue

The Spaces Available

First and foremost you’ll want to take notice of the different spaces available for use at each potential Milwaukee wedding venue. If you plan on having your ceremony at a separate location such as a church this may be less important for you, but if you do want to have your wedding day all at one location then this is easily one of the most important aspects to consider. Does the venue have a separate ceremony and reception space? Is it a shared space with a turnover between the two events? Do they have a designated cocktail hour space? What about getting ready spaces? An area for portrait photos? The more options the better as any travel time you can cut from your wedding day will make it all the more enjoyable and stress free !

The Look and Feel of the Venue

Another huge factor in making the decision for which wedding venue you choose for your Milwaukee wedding is the look and feel of the venue itself. Are you looking for something historic, or something modern? A cozy outdoor space or a sleek indoor space to dance the night away at? There’s no set right or wrong answer here, only what is right for you and your partner ! Be open and honest with one another about the vision you have for your day and choose a wedding venue that can provide a space perfectly fit for that vision.

The Vendor Requirements

Each and every wedding venue has a different approach to the vendors they allow to work in their space. Some have a preferred vendor list which you must choose from for your day, others have a list of preferred vendors but allow you to choose vendors outside of said list. Some venues handle parts of the day such as décor or catering in house, others are completely hands off and give you complete control over all the vendor decisions for your day. If you have some vendors in mind for your wedding day that you MUST have, just make sure that the venue you intend to book allows you to have said vendors as a part of your wedding day.

The Amenities Offered

When choosing a venue for your Milwaukee wedding you’ll also want to take into account the different amenities each venue offers before making your decision. What is included in your package? Do they offer different packages with additional amenities included? Do they have separate add-ons for different amenities so that you can pick and choose the ones that best fit your needs?

The Minimum and Maximum Guest Count

Of course you’ll also want to find a venue that can host all the guests you plan on inviting to your wedding ! Every wedding venue has a maximum guest count, but for those of you planning a more intimate wedding there are also venues that have a minimum guest count in order to book the space. You’ll want to know your rough total guest count before booking so that you can be sure the number falls in between both the minimum and maximum set by your potential venue.

The Cost

Last but definitely not least is the cost of booking your Milwaukee wedding venue ! It’s no secret that weddings can be a pretty serious investment, and a large portion of that investment often comes back to the venue you choose. There are different factors that affect the venue's cost such as how much time you book, whether or not your catering is included, and more. As you begin your search for your dream wedding venue it’s important to already know the budget you’re working with so that you can choose the space that you can actually afford. Otherwise you’ll have to be prepared to minimize costs in other areas of your wedding.

My 5 Fav Wedding Venues in Milwaukee

First on our list is none other than Riverwalk by Black Swan MKE! What was formerly known as Black Swan MKE has now become one of three separate wedding venues in Milwaukee under the Black Swan MKE name. All three locations are spectacular, but it didn’t feel right to give 3 of the 5 spots to Black Swan MKE, so we’re instead looking at Riverwalk alone, my favorite of the three.

Riverwalk as the name suggests is found on the Milwaukee River, and features both indoor and outdoor spaces for couples to enjoy on their wedding day. The outdoor space is perfect for a ceremony, cocktail hour, and of course beautiful portraits along the river. The indoor space also is a fantastic option for a ceremony space and is the go to space for your reception. With getting ready spaces on site, a chic rustic feel, and space for up to 300 guests, the venue really has it all !

Our next wedding venue is the incredible Pilot Project Brewing in Milwaukee. This brewery acts as an incubator for big and small brewers, meaning there’s always something new to try here. This is THE perfect venue for any couple that loves a good beer, but the space has more to offer than just their tasty brews. A LOT more ! From the 5 different spaces available for rent, to the fact that you can take your wedding portraits touring the stunning brewery, a wedding at Pilot Project Brewing is a one of a kind experience. They’re able to host intimate weddings of 25 all the way up to massive gatherings of over 300 guests, so practically anyone is able to have their wedding here. 

Next is one for the couples looking for something a bit more historic, but also want a sophisticated, almost regal feel to their day ! The Milwaukee County Historical Society is a wedding venue with an incredibly unique setting. The venue itself is a restored bank, and has the most gorgeous marble pillars and gold detailing, making the space truly jaw dropping.

It can host up to 250 guests, making it perfect for larger gatherings. They have a preferred vendors list, though you may choose vendors outside of this list other than for the entertainment and lighting. Having this list is great for couples that aren’t quite sure who to book for their day as you can trust each and every vendor on this list to perform at the highest level. With a beautiful mezzanine, an outdoor patio, and of course the classic bank vault door portrait opportunities here are practically endless.

Here’s one for the couples looking for a more nature focused wedding venue, but who still want to stay nice and close to Milwaukee ! The Schlitz Audubon Nature Center is found just around 15 minutes north of the heart of Milwaukee, right on the shores of Lake Michigan. The venue is naturally beautiful thanks to the 185 acres of land surrounding it, though the indoor spaces here are just as wonderful. There are 6 venue spaces to choose from with capacities ranging from 125 to 220. These spaces include the Great Hall, Pavilion Courtyard, Ravine Deck, and Outdoor Inclement Weather Space, Indoor Auditorium, and the Indoor Hearth.

Beverages are handled on site here, and catering is reserved only for businesses approved by the center. Other than that your choice of vendors is wide open! The Schlitz Audubon Nature Center also features some of THE best add-ons for your wedding day, such as having hawks, eagles, or owls attend your cocktail hour, or planting your own oak tree on the grounds of the nature center, among others!

Our final Milwaukee wedding venue is none other than the immaculate Villa Terrace. This stunning art museum can become a one of a kind wedding venue. Its historic feel and dramatic beauty combine to create a space that is hard to pass up for couples looking for a wedding venue in Milwaukee. With a capacity of up to 135 the venue is capable of hosting relatively large weddings, and is equally suited to host smaller gatherings as well. The venue has in house beverage service and an approved caterers list for you to choose from, you are free to choose all of your other vendors though. With stunning architecture, views of Lake Michigan, and service staff that make your day as simple and seamless as possible, it’s hard to pass up Villa Terrace when searching for a wedding venue !

Now that we’ve checked out 5 of my favorite Milwaukee wedding venues, and taken a look at the criteria to keep in mind when choosing the right venue for you, it’s time for you to start your search ! I recommend booking your venue as early as possible, especially if you plan on having your wedding day during peak season. Once you have a venue you’ll need to begin booking your other vendors, such as a photographer ! If you like the look of my work and think we’d be a good fit head to my contact page to send over an inquiry. Finally for more wedding planning tips be sure to check out some of my other blogs


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