There are so many amazing Milwaukee wedding venues to choose from. When you start your search it can be very overwhelming. After all, there are so many “Top Milwaukee Wedding Venue” lists out there and you can’t possibly tour them all. So where do you start? I personally recommend selecting a type of feel or look you are going for and from there narrowing down your options.
This article is going to be dedicated to my favorite Milwaukee wedding venues that are elegant and bright. As a wedding photographer, I absolutely love wedding venues with a ton of natural light. Most wedding photographers are able to photograph any type of venue beautifully, but optimal lighting is still something you should consider when deciding on a wedding venue. The weddings I am going to list below all have neutral, bright walls which allow for plenty of natural light. All of these wedding venues are absolutely gorgeous and I don’t think you can go wrong!
1. The Milwaukee Art Museum
I’m not sure what type of list this would be without mentioning a Milwaukee icon – The Milwaukee Art Museum. With world-renowned architecture and breathtaking views of Lake Michigan, the Milwaukee Art Museum provides a beautiful backdrop to any large celebration or intimate gathering.
With its soaring white walls and marble floors, the Museum’s iconic Quadracci Pavilion can easily be transformed to fit your own unique style. Add personal touches and custom wedding décor; the possibilities are endless!
Most popular Windhover Hall Capacity – 800 people; up to 450 seated
Learn more about the Milwaukee Art Museum Venue Spaces here
2. Discovery World
Just next to the Milwaukee Art Museum is the gorgeous Discovery World. Discovery World offers 4 different event spaces -The Roger & Judy Smith Family Pilot House, The Pavillion, Great Lakes, and The Aquarium.
The Roger & Judy Smith Family Pilot House is their 360-degree circular ballroom which boasts panoramic views of both Lake Michigan and Milwaukee’s skyline. The Pavilion is their newest event space and offers over 9,000 square feet of event space both indoors and on a large patio. Great Lakes and The Aquarium are for smaller weddings.
Capacity: The Roger & Judy Smith Family Pilot House (500 guests or 400 seated guests), The Pavillion (800 guests or 700 seated guests), Great Lakes (200 guests or 60 seated guests), The Aquarium (100 guests or 50 seated guests)
Bartolotta Catering & Events is the exclusive caterer for Discovery World
To learn more about hosting your wedding at Discovery World, visit their website.
3. The Carriage House
This wedding venue is not technically in Milwaukee, but it’s relatively close (Oconomowoc, WI).
The Carriage House is an almost brand new venue (completed 2019) and is set on the recently renovated Club at Lac La Belle golf course in Oconomowoc. The Club actually offers two spaces – The Carriage House and the 1896 Room. The 1896 room is inside a separate building so it can be used as a separate event space or the room can be an add on to the Carriage House for a higher occupancy wedding (The Carriage House seats up to 240 guests inside).
Seats up to 240 guests inside with additional enclosed patio space for more
Gorgeous Prep Suite, located in the lower level of the Carriage House. You have access to this space for the entire day
Outdoor Space (Large 3-season patio with additional bar, fire pits, yard games, comfortable outdoor seating and more)
Tables (circular and round), Chairs, Linens (basic white and a napkin color of choice), China, Flatware, & Glassware are all included in your rental
Staff to handle basic room set up and turnover
Permanent indoor bar and portable bar with bartenders
I actually wrote a full venue feature post on The Carriage House. Check it out here.
4. Milwaukee Historical Society
Though historic, I feel this wedding venue is a lesser known gem. The Historical Society offers a unique setting featuring an elegant main hall, a cozy mezzanine level, and a patio with a spectacular view of Pere Marquette Park that is perfect for weddings.
Accommodates up to 250 guests
Offers getting ready spaces
Select from approved catering list
Learn more about the Milwaukee Historical Society here.
5. Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
Villa Terrace is a Mediterranean country house dropped into an urban setting. As a result, the house and garden contrast dramatically with neighboring structures. The home is low in profile, set back behind a walled forecourt. It speaks of intimacy and subdued elegance quite unlike anything else along Terrace Avenue. The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum offers options for ceremony rental blocks in addition to full celebration rentals.
Museum Combo Package | 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (ceremony block at the Villa Terrace Art Museum) & 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. (reception at the Charles Allis Art Museum)
Discounts are available for events that are scheduled during off-peak times of the year and days of the week.
Peak Season – May through October | 25% discount on Monday through Thursday Off-Peak Season – November through April | 50% discount from Peak Season pricing
Reception capacity is 120 guests
Using an approved caterer is required
Amplified music only allowed until 10:30pm inside museum.
6. St. James 1868
Located in downtown Milwaukee, St. James 1869 features 2 historic wedding and event venues; the HYDE and the ABBEY. Each of the venues boasts its own interpretation of European elegance, inviting guests to take their vision to new heights.
The Abbey is a former church with original Tiffany stained-glass windows, 15th Century hand-carved monastery panels, original hardwood floors, and antique light fixtures. The church has been updated for a contemporary take on English-designed interiors. The Abbey is the larger space that St. James 1868 offers and can host up to 250 guests. The Abbey has absolutely gorgeous designed bride and groom suites and a dedicated outdoor courtyard.
The Hyde is the former parish house and features a two-story vaulted loft space with expansive windows, filtered natural light and original hardwood floors. The Hyde can host up to 150 guests. This space also has a dedicated bridal suite, grooms suite, and outdoor terrace.
From my perspective, the St. James 1868 has some of the most gorgeous getting ready suites in town (& I have photographed at quite a few venues).
Tables and chairs are included in the rental for either space
Utilize exclusive catering vendors
Learn more about St. James 1868 by visiting their website.
7. Plant N° 4
The outside of this venue is definitely not the most beautiful, but the inside space is historic yet modern, and offers a bright and airy space. Plant N° 4 is centrally located in the Historic Third Ward. With roots dating back to 1917, the building was originally home to the Phoenix Knitting Co. Plant #4’s knitting operations. Plant N° 4’s elegant industrial design merges raw materials and metals in an open and airy space.
I feel you could do a lot with the space to dec it out and make it gorgeous. The location is also great (walkable to the Riverwalk, The Public Market area, and potentially your favorite bar!).
The final wedding venue on my list is Greenhouse No.7. For a memorable event in a one-of-a-kind setting, treat your guests to the unique experience of dining and dancing in a “glass house” under the stars! Greenhouse No. 7, located in the historic Mitchell Park, provides the perfect backdrop during any season by way of the breathtaking bright glass structure. Greenhouse No. 7 features over-sized amber globe chandeliers, an entryway adorned with shiplap, birch columns and cascading LED accent lights. The 7,600 square foot space allows for versatility and creativity with accommodations for wedding ceremonies, receptions and corporate events alike.
400 seated guests
600 cocktail guests
This is a Zilli’s wedding venue, so Zilli’s Catering
Learn more about Greenhouse No.7 on the Zilli’s website.