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Has anyone been to or used the black swan in grafton? Also the botantical gardens in whitnall parkway? I'm doing an early march wedding so everything needs to be inside. Caterers? With one of the spaces I'm allowed to choose my own caterer, sounds amazing to me! Any recommendations?

Re: Vendors

  • bridejlbridejl member
    edited December 2011
    Before we got engaged my heart was set on the botanical gardens in Whitnall Park, but when it got down to actually looking at venues it wasn't a good option becuase of the price (Bartolotta catering tends to be quite pricey). Good food, but pricey. We are inviting 300 people so the gardens just weren't in the cards for us. Would potentially be a good option for a smaller wedding, however.

    I don't know anything about Black Swan, sorry I can't help you there. But good luck!
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  • edited December 2011

    My fiance and I looked at the Black Swan a month or two ago.  It has great ambience, but it is very SMALL.  The owners told us that we could easily fit 200 people in there for a buffet dinner.  Unfortunately, I have no idea how.  There would not be very much room to move around in between the tables.  The other issue I was concerned with was parking.  There is public parking, but it is shared with the Milwaukee Ale House next door and two or three other bars  and businesses in the area, which are all busy on Saturday nights.  I also found their rental rate to be very pricey ($2,000) and they would not negotiate a reduced rate for an off season wedding.  Since our guest list total is going to be 200, we had to pass. 

    If we had a smaller guest list, the Black Swan might have stayed on our list.  There are a bunch of great things about the space-great ambience, great tables and chairs, a dedicated elevator to the space, screen and projector and a full kitchen for your caterer.  The owners are very hands-on and told me that they would be checking in on the event every hour or so (I think one of them lives next door to the venue).  I believe they let you bring your own caterer, but they will give you a suggested list which contains caterers who have done events in the space already. 

    Just like anything else in wedding planning, you'll have to weigh the pros and cons of this space.  If you have a smaller guest space, this might work for you. 

    On a side note, if you are interested in staying in the Ozaukee/Washington county area, check out the Quilted Bear on Mequon Rd.  That is where we decided to have our reception.  Easy travel access and extremely reasonable prices.  I realize you were looking for a venue where you can bring a caterer, but this place may be worth checking out too.

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  • filmsnouveaufilmsnouveau member
    edited December 2011
    I filmed a wedding at the Botanical Gardens..... it was GORGEOUS! But since it's a March wedding, you wont be able to take advantage of their beautiful grounds as much. Choosing your own caterer is definate plus.
  • edited December 2011
    My guest list can sit at 100 for all I'm concerned, and the option of supplying my own liquor beer and what not and my own caterer sounds awesome, I feel I'd save more then the extra I'd be paying for the price tag on the black swan. I'm going to check it out over the holidays while I'm in town...one of the venues I'm in love with downtown...DOESN'T have any refrigeration, can you believe that...I was going to DIY my flowers but don't think Itd be possible without that
  • robamrobam member
    Fifth Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Check out the Pritzlaff Building in the 3rd Ward of Milwaukee. It's a new venue space and allows you to pick from a list of caterers. The space is gorgeous!
  • edited December 2011
    I actually loved the pritzlaff...couldn't find a rental rate or direct page for the building..just sent an email hoping I get a reply back soon, thanks for the heads up on that place it's beautiful
  • edited December 2011
    We actually looked at the Black Swan but found the same inflexibility on rates for an offseason wedding. Our friends got married there this July for the same price. They had about 125 people for a plated dinner, mmmmm Chef Jacks was so good. The space was just right for them and I loved the ambiance. They only had to move a few tables for dancing and my fiancé likes how the bar is right next to where the dancing was. Ultimately it was good for them, bt it would have been much too small for my 150-175 guest list, so it was a blessing in disguise they would not budge on pricing. We ended up changing our date so we could get the venue I really wanted, Lakefront Brewery. The food at our tasting was delicious, the price for open bar and food was very good when you consider no rental rate and Carson has been awesome to work with. I would say at 100 people Black Swan should be great for you.
  • I checked out Pritzlaff when looking for a spot. The space was a little too un-finished for my liking. (floors looked worse than my parent's garage,) but it has potential. 

    I ended up going with Turner Hall Ballrrom which is rustic, huge, and beautiful!
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