Yesterday, Mr. Groomy and I went on three venue visits in one hour! We hit up three hotels in the area we are looking for. We had a great time visiting each place and I think we’ve narrowed down where we are going to end up…but first, a recap of all the venues we have visited thus far.
First up, The Grain Exchange Room. This is located downtown on Michigan Avenue, in a the Mackie Building, which is an office building during the week. The GE is really beautiful and elegant, and the catering company is fantastic. We would be the only event and people in the entire building on the day of our wedding! The space is huge and also has a loft area, kitchens, mens and womens bathrooms, and a bonus room, which could be used to store the bridal party’s and parents’ things during the reception. Bartolotta Catering is the company that runs this room, and they are well known in the area for their delicious food. A con of this venue would be the location, as its not very close to the church (but it’s still not too far). Another con of this venue would be that a lot of their packages are piece-meal, meaning sure, there is a room rental and food and beverage minimum, but that doesn’t include silverware and china, which is $5 per person additional, as well as bartender fees, etc. Therefore, the costs could add up. Another con might be that they don’t have distinct area for cocktails–it would all be in the same room…I sort of like the idea of a separate space, but that’s a concession I could make. That being said, the GE is a great space and the company is reputable. You can see pictures and information on the GE Room here: http://www.bartolottacatering.com/ge_home.htm
Next up, The Intercontinental. This hotel is located downtown, about two blocks from the church. Immediate bonus–it’s a hotel! Which means accomodations are easy to get home to! This space is pretty modern, but really elegant–think brushed suede walls. We would be the only event taking place in the ballroom area. They have complimentary coat check, a GORGEOUS pre-dinner space for cocktails and pictures (really open and airy, it looks out over the building’s atrium) and really great food as well. This place is great because pretty much everything is included in your package, so there wouldn’t be a lot of hidden or extra fees. A con of this building would be the parking situation. Although there is a structure onsite, it is a PAID parking structure, so guests would either have to pay parking or we could pick up the tab after the event. The hotel is pretty modern and its layout is too, so it might be confusing to a few old school guests, but overall, we really loved this place. You can see pictures of the Intercontinental here: http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/en/gb/locations/overview/mkewi?rpb=hotel&crUrl=/h/d/6c/1/en/hotelsearchresults
Next, The Hilton Milwaukee City Center. Also downtown, this venue is the farthest from the Church…however, they are KNOWN for their weddings. We would have our reception in their famous Crystal Ballroom, which is a really popular wedding venue in Milwaukee. The feel of the space is VERY traditional, and has a similar feel to the Grain Exchange. It’s a pretty old hotel, so it kind of looks that way (think red draperies, etc). However, the catering manager who gave us our tour said that the hotel is set to start renovations and improvements this May and finish in October of this year. The package works very similar to the Intercontinental (they are run by the same company), so the same things apply–most everything is included. Parking would again be the only con, as again, it is paid. The Hilton had the least food and beverage minimum of the HOTELS we looked at, but it’s also the oldest building, which it does kind of show. Regardless, it’s another nice venue. See pictures of the Crystal Ballroom and the Hilton Milwaukee City Center here: http://www.hiltonmilwaukee.com/wedding.html
Last up, The Pfister Hotel. You can’t get married in Milwaukee and not look at this hotel, even if it’s just for fun–this is THE premier hotel in the Milwaukee area. This is the most expensive of the venues we looked at, but it’s also probably the most elegant–it really is a beautiful space, and the staff is really great at giving five star service round the clock (even their parking structure has elegant piano music piped into it!). The feel of this space is more modern than the Hilton, but still more traditional than the Intercontinental. It really is gorgeous and the food and design of the event would be fantastic. The huge con of this place is that it really is leaps and bounds more expensive than the others. Plus, since the Pfister is known for weddings, there’s a good chance we’d be sharing the space with another wedding (in a different ballroom, obviously, but on the same floor). See pictures of the Pfister here: http://www.pfisterhotel.com/wedding_events/wedding.asp
You can see pictures of weddings at ALL three hotels we toured here: http://www.marcusweddings.com/
I am so excited! My parents have already given their opinions, so we’re just waiting to hear from Mr. Groomy’s parents…then I can call the venue we want and make an appointment to book! Hooray! I am so relieved.
So, what venue are we choosing? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see…