Amidst the recent explosion of venues in Milwaukee, The Cooperage stands out as a space with its own voice. They are a dedicated event space and specialize in weddings, corporate events, and music concerts. We had a chance to sit down with Director of Operations, Emily Dell Revord to hear more about what makes The Cooperage such a unique space.
Adult beverage of choice? I am a beer girl. I love all kinds of beer. But every once in a while I like Tom Collins or a light refreshing cocktail
Junk food of choice/guilty pleasure? I love Cheez-Its and Puppy Chow.
Favorite animal? I love dogs! I always loved zebras growing up because they are cute!
Best trip you ever went on and why? I studied abroad in Paris for a few months. I felt like I lived there and got to really immerse myself in the culture.
What music makes up your favorite playlist? Best concert you’ve ever been to?
I love soft indy music playing in the background. The best concert I’ve been to is Bon Iver at The Pabst
Tell me about your family & friends – what do you like to do together?
My family lives all over the place. Thus, we usually just get together for lunches or dinners. With my friends, we like to go to concerts, dinner, or have a few drinks.
How many people are on your team?
There are 30 employees at the Cooperage. I am the only one who does weddings however, I have an assistant on the day of a wedding.
Tell me about the history of the venue.
The building itself was built in late 1800. It was The Cooperage which is a barrel maker. After that, when prohibition happened the business shut down and a race car frame manufacturer moved in. It was closed down from the 60’s on. Then recently the building became a salsa dancing night club. After that, we bought it a year ago and did some decor change.
Why are couples drawn to your space?
I think the couples really like us because we are a little bit different. We are an industrial-style warehouse venue. Therefore, though it may sound funny, we are kind of the barn house of the city. Thus we attract couples that are more laid back. Because they want something different and unique and on the water, they come to us!
What is a fab feature couples might not know about?
We are on the water with a view of the Hoan Bridge! Because of this you can take photos on our roof with the Bridge as a backdrop. Couples have done a first look on our roof, which is very cute. In addition, we have a ton of outdoor space as well as indoor space.
What services are available in-house?
We are kind of an all-inclusive venue and try to make everything easy for our couples. For instance, with the rental, you get your tables and chairs and linens. We provide all the plates and the glassware. We have a full bar, we provide all the alcohol and bar packages. In addition, we have our own in-house catering by Mitch, who is an owner of Taco Moto and Snack Boys. He came up with the menu. A lot of our appetizers come from the Snack Boys. Therefore, our food is not the typical wedding banquet style, it’s pretty different!
What is your favorite dish on the in-house catering menu?
One thing that we do, which is super popular, is called Moto Waterfall. It’s a really big charcuterie board. We put it up along the bar area. There are different cheeses, meats, pickles, fruits, spreads, and shrimp. Just all great stuff. People love it!
Can couples bring in their own caterers?
We do also allow couples to bring your own catering, however, there is a fee for that.
What is your favorite thing about weddings at your space?
I just love having weddings here. To see the couple, their interactions and everybody being so excited about it… My favorite thing is definitely the people that are there, having such a great time and celebrating love.
What important question do couples forget to ask you?
One thing that people don’t realize is that we have a bridal suite. We have an Airbnb in our building above Boone and Crocket. It sleeps up to 8 people – it has a full kitchen, and full bathroom. Because it’s so beautiful most couples use it for the whole weekend as getting ready space. It’s so pretty!
What us a favorite trend you are seeing for weddings this year?
My favorite trend is more unique dessert options that people come up with. Instead of doing a formal cake, there is a donut wall, Purple Door ice cream, etc. I also enjoy to see what kind of activities people do: a photobooth, two separate couples are bringing a tattoo artist! There is going to be live tattooing on-site at the wedding!
Before picking a venue, I suggest…
I’d suggest knowing your number of guests because it really determines which venues may work for you. Because the details can vary from venue to venue tremendously, it’s important check what’s included to the price.
What is one thing every bride and groom should know before their wedding?
I’m sure everybody will tell them this, but: it goes by so fast, just enjoy. And don’t worry about the small stuff! Everything is going to work out. Even when something doesn’t, nobody will notice. Also, if you can have a wedding planner that day or have somebody helping you on the day of, a family member or a friend, please do.
To see more of our wedding work, please check out our portfolio!
To see so much more about The Cooperage, please check out their website!