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Wisconsin Average Cost?


So I'm in a debate between having my wedding where I live now (near DC in Virginia) or near some of my family in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. It's a big toss up with what family/friends etc from both sides would be able to travel and if traveling to WI would really save us any money.

Anyway, my question is- does anyone mind throwing out an approximate amount that their wedding cost in Wisconsin or near Lake Geneva WI? I tried to find some numbers on the internet but its hard to tell if any of them are accurate/esp with some of them being from 2002/etc.

Re: Wisconsin Average Cost?

  • chelseamb11chelseamb11 member
    2500 Comments Third Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Oh gosh it can really range.  People can throw a wedding around here for under $5k, but your cost possibilities are endless.  It depends on what you are looking for.  My wedding budget is $13,000 and I"m from central Wisconsin.  The reception and the photographer are usually the highest costs.
  • edited December 2011
    Lake Geneva is a pretty pricey area, so I don't know...
    In general I would guess that a wedding in WI would cost less than one in DC. 

    Like Chelsea said, weddings really vary in price depending on what you want.  I'd look into a few venues in both areas and compare those prices since that will be a large portion of your budget... and likely indicative of the prices of other vendors (cake, photography, flowers, etc). 
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  • edited December 2011
    With travel it is hard to say which would work the best. Here is a link I found about the average cost of a wedding by zip codes: http://costofwedding.com/

    It's an estimate but might give you a better idea.

    My wedding is very DIY and we are between 8 and 10K. But we are not having a seated dinner, DJ is a friend and found photographer on CL.

  • jberg134jberg134 member
    edited December 2011
    I'm spending about 11-12 K total in Milwaukee, with trying to be a budget bride.
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  • aimee58aimee58 member
    edited December 2011
    We're in Racine, which is east of Lake Geneva and trying to do it around $10-12 K. Lake Geneva is a tourist town though and probably a decent amount pricier.
  • KatieD212KatieD212 member
    edited December 2011
    I spent about $13 K in Green Bay.  We had over 300 guests. I think it panned out well!
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  • edited December 2011
    I actually went through the exact thing!  I live in Arlington, VA right outside of DC and we debated having the wedding here vs WI.  This site was very helpful: http://costofwedding.com/.

    As has been stated, budgets differ dramatically, but this gives a detailed breakdown on the avg amount people spend on various things (venue, catering, flowers, etc.) in different locations.  For example, the avg Arlington budget was 22K-37K and avg Madison budget was 17K to 28K, but the site gives a lot of additional detail.

    Hope this help!
  • vtsmurfvtsmurf member
    Fourth Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    cclemer- thanks!! Yea, i looked at that site and the ranges cross over so much its hard to guess. It basically comes down to if we do it here we will spend quite  a bit more/everyone will come, if we do it there we may save some (depending on travel/shipping/adding on destination type stuff costs) & save some because less people (approx 1/2) will probably be able to make the trip. Which makes me lean towards spending more to have the people there I want there. so, we'll see..

    Which place did you end up choosing?
  • edited December 2011
    No problem! 

    We wound up going with Madison, WI.  We have more people there who would be able to come (basically we think fewer of our friends who live in WI would travel than our friends who live in DC since people in DC seem to have more family/friends spread out all over and so are more used to traveling for weddings, etc.). 

    I will say it's been a little bit stressful to plan from far away - it's definitely doable if you have a lot of time to plan, but you just have to do a lot more research before meeting with vendors since you'll have limited time to actually meet with people.  I think it also depends on the style/atmosphere you want since the two places are obviously pretty different.  We wanted sort of a rustic feel, so WI works well for us.  Also, since we will have a lot of people traveling, we decided to do a three day weekend (Labor Day next year) so that more people would be able to come without missing work.

    Hope that helps!!
  • vtsmurfvtsmurf member
    Fourth Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    that really does, it gives me a good perspective. Thanks so much! :)
  • edited December 2011
    No problem, good luck!!
  • JennaNicole84JennaNicole84 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Like everyone said, I think it depends on what you all are looking to have/do at your wedding.  I'd imagine DC is more expensive than here in general, but then again there are places here that can be extremely pricey.  It also depends on what time of year you plan to get married.  Off seasons are usually discounted. 

    We're getting married June 2012 downtown Milwaukee.  We tried to budget our wedding at about 15k and we're already wayyy over that.  We're at least at 20k now.  We have about 200-220 guests and we had a hard time finding a venue, because we wanted a June 2012 wedding and started looking this July.  So a lot of the less expensive places or more popular places were already completely booked.  Our caterer is on the more expensive end, but we have to use them with the place we rented.  We're doing a buffet and beer,wine and sode at about $56 a person.  We also have to use their DJ which starts at about $900.  Our photographer is mid to low range at about $1500 for 8 hours.  I'm having my mom do my flowers (she's a florist) so that will cut down on cost and I'm having peonies, so we're going to get as many out of people's yards/gardens as we can.  I also am doing my own invitations and any stationary which will be between $200 to $300.  It's amazing how fast stuff really adds up and how expensive things are just because the word "wedding" is involved in it. 

  • edited December 2011
    I agree with Jenna that it is crazy how fast things add up! 

    My fiance and I are living in NYC, and knew that we couldn't afford a party out east.  We're getting married back home, and chose a venue in Lake Geneva.  Our budget is $12K. 

    Gooseberries is our caterer, and we're paying about $55 (food and drinks) a person, but you could easily do it for $20-$30 using a different caterer.  It just depends on what you are looking for. 

    Lilypots is our florist.  Bridesmaid flowers are around $35-$45; bride $75-$100; groomsman $10; mother's wrist corsage $23...

    As for lodging, The Grand offers a group rate of $139; Comfort Suites $90. 

    Although Lake Geneva is a pricier town, you can choose vendors from Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, or Chicago.  Having so many options can help you find deals - i.e. my photo booth is coming from Chicago ($630) but I received quotes from Milwaukee companies for around $1K.

    Best of luck!
  • vtsmurfvtsmurf member
    Fourth Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks so much ladies!!
    It looks like WI wil ldef save us at least some money. Now we just have to decide if it's worth it to not have as many friends there...

    thanks again!
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