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Choosing a venue for a wedding can be a tough decision. It has to be special in some way, whether it reflects the bride and groom’s values and beliefs or just offers a great view. Many newly engaged couples find the process exhausting. Fortunately, Milwaukee is loaded with amazing museums, hotels and clubs that are perfect for hosting weddings. So before you give up on a local place and go with a Caribbean destination, take a look at some of these memorable wedding locations that are uniquely Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, on the shores of Lake Michigan, offers stunning views of the water as well as the city. Given the location (1450 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive), your photographer will have no trouble finding picturesque places for your wedding photos. Up to 120 people can be accommodated for a sit-down dinner. Access to a large outdoor deck allows your guests space to spread out, before or after the meal, and enjoy the lake vista. Call 414-277-9094 or visit for more information.

For couples looking for a sophisticated setting in a historic building, The Hamilton (823 E. Hamilton St.) may fit the bill. Once part of the Gallun Tannery buildings, this repurposed building has been recast as a luxurious wine salon and private event hall with vaulted ceilings and skylights. A wide selection of wines and champagnes, local microbrews and cocktails will complement your chosen menu and please your guests. Call 414-223-1020 or visit thehamiltonmke. com for more information.

Champagne and hors d’oeuvres may not be the first things that come to mind when you think of motorcycles, but the staff at the Harley-Davidson Museum knows how to make it work. Just south of Downtown (400 W. Canal St.), the museum offers indoor and outdoor spaces that take advantage of its beautiful grounds with views of the Menomonee River. Whether you dress your wedding up or down, the elegant quality that embodies Harley-Davidson will translate well for your event. Call 1-877-436-8738 or visit for more information.

Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro (3133 E. Newberry Blvd.) on Milwaukee’s East Side has long been synonymous with fine dining and spectacular lake views. The on-site catering director will work with couples to plan exactly the right food and location to make a special day truly spectacular. The Grand Staircase and East Balcony overlooking the lake can be used for wedding ceremonies or cocktail receptions, though a permit is required from the Milwaukee County Parks Department. Call 414-962- 6300 or visit for more information.

Brew Crew fans will love invitations that read “Miller Park, 1 Brewers Way.” The stadium can accommodate as many as 300 guests for a sit-down dinner in the Home Plate Lounge, or as few as 70 in the Gehl Club. For a fun and active reception, consider renting Helfaer Field, the site of the former County Stadium. You and your guests can join in a softball or kickball game. For an additional fee, you can exchange vows at home plate to “hit it out of the park” as you begin your married life. Call 414-902-4452 or visit ballpark/brewersenterprises/weddings. jsp for more information.

The Mitchell Park Conservatory Domes (524 S. Layton Blvd.) are guaranteed to provide perfect weather any time of the year— a garden wedding is possible even with a foot of snow outside. Plenty of photo ops are available as you and your guests explore the Show, Arid and Tropical domes.

Up to 325 people can be accommodated for a sit-down dinner. Call 262-547-9447 or visit htm for more information.

Though it’s enjoyed for quick Downtown lunches, specialty ingredients and gourmet cooking classes, the Milwaukee Public Market is also a great spot for a wedding. Situated in the Third Ward (400 N. Water St.), the market is centrally located. The market’s second-floor Palm Garden can be turned into a stylish and inviting place for cocktails, dinner and dancing. Call 414-336- 1111 or visit www.milwaukeepublicmarket. org for more information.

Sweet Water Organics (2151 S. Robinson Ave.), based in a reclaimed factory in Bay View, is known for its innovative aquaponics setup that allows it to grow fresh greens and cultivate live fish year round. Less known is that Sweet Water rents out a special event space with a quirky rustic urbanfarm ambiance. Couples with a concern for sustainability can embrace the opportunity to celebrate and send a message at the same time. Tours of the facility can be arranged for your group. If you choose to cater your wedding with one of Sweet Water’s partners, your guests can sample some of the fish or produce grown in the facility. Call 414-489-0425 or visit sweetwater-organic. com for more information.

In an architecturally interesting “green” building, the Urban Ecology Center (1500 E. Park Place) in Riverside Park is well situated in a beautiful setting. The grounds are lovely, and the building’s deck and tower afford your guests outstanding views of the city. Couples can choose any caterer, or select one of the center’s Earth Friendly Caterers. Plus, you’ll be supporting a great cause, as profits go back into the Urban Ecology Center to further promote environmental education. Call 414-964-8505 or visit for more information.

Susan Harpt Grimes is a freelance writer working in the Milwaukee area. She believes bowling alleys are for bowling, and weddings deserve to be someplace extraordinary.

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