When looking for wedding reception spaces in downtown Milwaukee there are some venues that I find to be so fantastic but for one reason or another couples they are never on most couples short list of places to check out. One of these venues is the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Many times when I mention this space as an option couples are surprised to learn that the space hosts more than Broadway shows.Located on Water Street across from Red Arrow Park, the Marcus Center is a truly unique and versatile space.
Wedding guests enter through the Marcus Center’s main doors that are normally reserved for theater goers which creates a feeling that the entire building is reserved for them. Making your way up the main staircase, you then proceed down a curved hallway that keeps you wondering what is just around the bend until finally you enter through an exclusive set of doors and find yourself in a spectacular space that allows for cocktails before entering the grand ballroom. Remember how you are on the second floor? You’ll quickly forget as just outside the doors of your cocktail hour is a private patio with greenery and a small fountain. The outdoor space can be an extension of the room for cocktails or can even double as a site for your ceremony. One of the great perks of this space is that use of this private outdoor area is included with your rental of the ballroom!
After cocktails, the lights are lowered and the double doors open to reveal an expansive room ready for dinner and dancing. The entire western wall is floor to ceiling windows that look out over the Milwaukee River, the Historical Society, Pere Marquette Park and downtown. (My suggestions is to leave the drapery closed until after dinner and then do a grand reveal of the night time city lights.) Another added bonus is that along this wall of windows is a large balcony where guests can get a breath of fresh air and watch the boats float down the river. The ceilings in this room are spectacularly high and highlighted with deep reds and crown molding which look even more spectacular with popular uplighting techniques.
Another great feature of this room is that you can truly transform it into whatever type of vibe you want to have. Looking for a more formal setting? No problem. Just use fantastic linens and tall, elegant centerpieces. Working on a hip vibe? Sure thing. Bring in some couches to create a trendy lounge area on one side of the room.
What about the food you ask? Delicious, guaranteed. Catered by Sazama’s Fine Catering their menu selections offer anything from Saz’s Famous BBQ Baby Back Ribs to Ahi Tuna. Chef Goerres will work with you to create a menu that is personalized to you and is not afraid to go off of their standard menu. Lucky are you to have a chef who has studied at the Cordon Bleu and worked with renowned chefs like Alain Ducasse and Bobby Flay!
As a disclaimer for my rave review of the Marcus Center, I did have my own wedding reception here a few years ago. Regardless of my slight bias, I would still consider this to be one of the premier locations in Milwaukee for wedding receptions that continues to improve upon itself. As far as reception spaces go, the Marcus Center has the ultimate trifecta with a prime downtown location, a spacious and unique venue, and mouth watering menu items.
To learn more, take a look at their website HERE.