Featured: A Bayfield Intimate Wedding
So, you are looking to propose… congratulations! Bayfield, Wisconsin is the perfect place to get away and have a romantic weekend. Many couples choose Bayfield to be their destination for their wedding, elopement, honeymoon or proposal!
We have put together a really great list of ways to make your Bayfield winter proposal extra special! We hope you enjoy!
You’ve decided the “when” now you need to think of the “how”! First off, we recommend booking your overnight accommodations. Bayfield has a beautiful array of hotels, bed and breakfasts, condos and cabins to choose from! Old Rittenhouse Inn is known for their romance, and they even have a special proposal package for you! Centrally located right in town, you’ll be able to walk to the restaurants and shops.
If you’re looking for more seclusion we recommend renting a cabin in the woods. Hauser’s Bayfield Cabin, Brickyard Cottage 41 and Whispering Pines on Lake Superior are just a couple of options for your woodland getaway. Curl up next to a cozy fire, spend time hiking outside the snowy woods and don’t forget to pick up wine from Bayfield Wine and Spirits!
See all the lodging Bayfield has to offer and the availability by clicking here.
What to Do During Your Stay
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing trip spent curled up by the fire or for a weekend adventuring the outdoors, Bayfield has all of this and then some. Spend some time at Seven Ponds Winery, which also features select wine from Bayfield Winery. Superior Body Massage and Spa is located right in town, and they even have couples packages. Bayfield offers outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, snowshoeing and dog sledding. See our Get Active this Winter post for more ideas. If the ice caves are open, those are a must-see as well!
Peruse shops and galleries downtown like Eckels Pottery and Fine Craft Gallery, Howl Clothing & Adventure , Silverwaves Jewelry, Sweet Sailing and Bates Art Gallery. Make sure to get something special to take home!
Depending on the time of the year and ice conditions, you can take the Madeline Island Ferry Line or drive on the ice road over to Madeline Island. Make sure to stop over at Madeline Island Candles and Woods Hall Gallery and Studios.
Where to Dine
From fine dining to pubs, Bayfield has many dining options that will surely delight you. We recommend Old Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant and Lakeside Dining Room at The Bayfield Inn if you are looking for a delicious and romantic dinner. The Fat Radish is a must-stop if you are looking for cuisine made with local ingredients and many vegan + gluten-free options.
Making your Proposal Special
We can’t tell you exactly how to propose, because that comes from you! We recommend reflecting back on your relationship and thinking about the special moments that come to mind. Do something meaningful and memorable! Whether you propose over dinner, in the snowy woods or out in the ice caves- make it unique and special for both of you.
Photo Credit: Ps 139 Photography
A relaxing, romantic and adventurous honeymoon is exactly what Bayfield can offer newlyweds looking to get away! Pinehurst Inn is one of many beautiful Inns here in the Bayfield area- a perfect place to honeymoon! We interviewed with Becky Haller to hear all about their honeymooners and what Pinehurst Inn has to offer. Enjoy!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and Pinehurst Inn.
Mike and I purchased Pinehurst Inn in March of 2016. We made the move from Chicago to Bayfield to enjoy a slower paced life and the beauty of Lake Superior and the Bayfield area. Owning an inn allows me to cook and bake for guests, which I love to do. The Inn is comprised of 2 buildings—the original home built in the late 1800s, which includes 5 guest rooms, and the garden house built in 2003, which includes 3 guest rooms. A 3 course breakfast and an afternoon snack is provided each day.
What makes Pinehurst Inn special for honeymooners?
The Pinehurst Inn is located 3 miles south of downtown Bayfield on 3 ½ acres, surrounded by soaring pines and adjacent to Pike’s Creek. Couples can enjoy the peace, beauty and tranquility that the property offers, yet be just minutes away from Lake Superior and the many activities the Bayfield area has to offer. Many of our rooms have large jetted tubs and fireplaces, and some have private decks—some of the favorite amenities of our honeymooners. We have a number of porches, a patio, and other sitting areas on the property allowing couples to find their own special spot.
What time of the year is busiest for honeymooners?
The summer is the busiest for honeymooners, which is a great time of the year for enjoying Lake Superior, Madeline Island, and all the many hiking and biking trails in the area.
What activities do you typically recommend to honeymooners who stay with you?
It all depends on the couple’s interest. Many of our honeymooners have enjoyed kayaking to the sea caves, exploring Madeline Island, taking a private boat tour to some of the Apostle Islands, hiking the nearby trails, and visiting the local wineries, orchards and farms.
What recommendations do you have for couples looking to honeymoon in Bayfield?
Make sure they schedule any kayaking or small boat tours ahead of time so they are not disappointed if they cannot take the tour they want, but don’t over schedule your trip. Most couples enjoy some down time and the Pinehurst Inn is ideal for rest, relaxation and connecting with one another.
One of the biggest components of your wedding reception is the food! The caterer and menu you choose should reflect both your style and palate. Bayfield, Wisconsin and the surrounding Chequamegon region is home to a vibrant community of local farmers and producers, offering a variety of fresh fish, fruits and vegetables. This allows local caterers to provide you the best of the best!
We asked three local caterers to describe a favorite appetizer, entree or dessert that they commonly provide for weddings. Along with their favorite dish, they each offered up a catering recommendation for couples planning a Bayfield Wedding! Get ready for your mouth to water. Enjoy!
Cafe Coco- Artisan Bakery and Good Eats
Located in the neighboring town of Washburn, Cafe Coco serves breakfast and lunch along with a delicious deli and bakery. They pride themselves on using local ingredients and offering a variety of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. In addition to offering catering services, they can also make your wedding cake!
We spoke with Noreen, the owner of Cafe Coco, about her favorite dishes to cater. A favorite appetizer is Veggies and Dip, local vegetables with a basil and pesto cream. A favorite dessert is a pastry assortment, cheesecake danish, chocolate focaccia, raspberry kolache, baklava, hazelnut cream tarts and local blueberry bobka.
Noreen’s catering recommendation? Book your caterer early and discuss all details and charges with them.
Cafe Coco: Pastry Assortment + Veggies and Dip
Good Thyme Catering, Events and Lodging
Good Thyme is a well-established catering company that provides artisan, house-made cuisine for weddings and events in the Chequamegon Bay area. They have a fully licensed mobile kitchen, which enables them to prepare your food on site.
One of Good Thyme’s favorite dishes to cater is Wisconsin Cheese Curds with Dipping Sauce. A local favorite- no matter where you’re from! They dip fresh Wisconsin cheese curds in a signature batter and fry them until they’re golden brown with just a hint of crisp on the outside, with all the melty, cheesy goodness you could hope for on the inside. The cheese curds are excellent on their own, but they are happy to help you choose one or two of their scratch-made dipping sauces to serve them with.
Good Thyme: Wisconsin Cheese Curds with Dipping Sauce
Good Thyme’s favorite entree is Lake Superior Whitefish Provencal. Unbeatably fresh, local whitefish is poached in white wine, shallots and butter, then plated with Israeli couscous and topped with a colorful ensemble of cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers and herbs. It’s wonderfully elegant without being fussy, and it’s absolutely delicious. This dish also works wonderfully with tender chicken breasts, and makes a lovely family-style presentation as well!
One of Good Thyme’s top catering recommendations is to let the seasons help you choose your menu! It’s always best to start with what’s in season. Bayfield’s local fruits and vegetables are fresher and more flavorful than the store bought varieties, so they suggest including them whenever possible. From there, start thinking about your favorite dishes and determine a theme for your menu. One small little detail- like a specific herb, or a dish enjoyed while traveling- can provide inspiration for everything from starters to desserts.
Good Thyme: Lake Superior Whitefish Provencal
Landmark Restaurant at Old Rittenhouse Inn
Located inside the Old Rittenhouse Inn, Landmark Restaurant offers upscale American and French cuisine all year long in Bayfield, Wisconsin. Open for breakfast, lunch (by appointment) and dinner, Landmark Restaurant offers elegant ambiance with a casual feel. Landmark Restaurant offers many dining options for small weddings and intimate celebrations.
We spoke with the owners of Old Rittenhouse Inn about their favorite dish to cater, and their answer? Champagne Chicken. Their champagne chicken dish is marinated chicken breast char grilled and served with roasted mushrooms, a champagne-Gran Marinier cream sauce and julienne sliced fried prosciutto. Yum!
Landmark Restaurant’s catering recommendation is: Don’t try to please everyone! Go with what you like best, or go with locally sourced fare for the best, freshest experience.
Old Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant: Champagne Chicken
Nothing is as beautiful as the never ending white snow and pine trees here in Bayfield during the winter. You can incorporate both pine trees and branches throughout your entire wedding, really embracing the winter forest theme. We have gathered some of our favorite ideas to help inspire your winter wedding!
Bring the outdoors in for your ceremony; pine trees and branches make a beautiful addition to your space! Feeling adventurous? Bundle up in a fur shawl and have your ceremony outdoors in the snow!
Photo Credit: Alison Conklin Photography
Set the mood for your winter wedding by sending stationery that reflects your theme!
Keep the forest theme strong by incorporating the outdoors into your centerpieces! Pine branches, tree slices, and birch bark are just a few ideas to go along with a winter forest wedding. Add candles or fairy lights to make the mood very warm and cozy!
Photo Credit: JoPhoto
Photo Credit: Erin Kate Photo
Although favors are becoming optional these days, if you do decide to give your guests a favor choose an eco-friendly gift like pine tree plants!
Also known as a rehearsal dinner, a groom’s dinner is a smaller, more intimate event typically held the night before the bride and groom’s wedding. Here in the Bayfield area, many couples get pretty creative with their groom’s dinners!
Read ahead to learn how to plan your groom’s dinner, especially if you’d like it to be done Bayfield style!
Groom’s Dinner at Good Thyme Restaurant
Typically a groom’s dinner’s attendees are the bride and groom’s immediate families along with their wedding party. Spouses/dates of any immediate family and wedding party members should be invited, along with your officiant and their spouse. Of course, the guest list can fluctuate to include any out of town guests, family members or anybody else for that matter!
Groom’s dinners are intended to be a celebratory night where the families and wedding party can spend more intimate time together. A relaxed setting with your closest family and friends allows your wedding weekend to kick off to a really great start. You will be able to loosen up some of the anticipation you have been building up for your wedding weekend!
Cheese Curds Catered by Good Thyme Catering
What is the difference between a groom’s dinner and rehearsal dinner? Traditionally this event is hosted by the groom’s family, in this case it would be referred to as the groom’s dinner. If the couple, bride’s parents or mix of all three are hosting the event then it would be referred to as the rehearsal dinner. Groom’s dinners can be anything from a backyard BBQ to a formal banquet dinner.
The Bayfield Style
Here in Bayfield we see a wide array of groom’s dinners. Good Thyme Restaurant had a groom’s dinner under a tent on the restaurant’s property where they served a fresh crab boil! The tables were covered with kraft paper, boots filled with succulents and wood crab mallets!
Lace & Brass Events had clients looking for a fun and relaxed meal for their rehearsal dinner. They recommended fish fry and beer! Having Lake Superior at our doorstep allows many local restaurants and caterers to serve fresh fish caught that morning.
Whether you are going to a restaurant for your groom’s dinner, hiring a caterer or doing the DIY approach the biggest tip we have is to relax and enjoy this intimate time with your closest family and friends!
Do you have a love for the water, especially Lake Superior? Does a small, intimate ceremony sound perfect to you? Are you looking for a very unique wedding and experience for you and your guests?
The Bayfield area offers a number of charter businesses that can take you and a small group out on Lake Superior for your ceremony, and even officiate it themselves! This is exactly what Steve and Rhea did this inAugust through Dreamcatcher Sailing. Read about their Bayfield Wedding, and how they went about planning a ceremony on Lake Superior.
Photo Credit- Colin Schye
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you met.
We met in Lowertown, St. Paul at a gallery show. Steve is a graphic designer and art director and I am a photographer. We first became best friends before realizing we were actually in love with each other. We had been best friends for 2 years and together for 5 before marrying. When Steve proposed to me, we were on the sailboat along the north shore from Duluth to Silver Bay. It was the same place we ended up getting married, on the bow of my dad’s boat.
Where and when was your wedding? Tell us a little bit about it.
We had our grooms dinner on August 12th at Maggie’s in Bayfield, early on in the day and then had desserts and drinks at Wild Rice later that evening. Our wedding was August 13th at Presque Isle Bay on Stockton Island. When we arrived and put anchors down, the morning storms cleared and skies opened up into a bright blue and sunny sky. Both of our mothers decorated the front of the boat with yellow Gladiolus flowers (Rhea’s favorite). Then we had our ceremony on the bow of the boat with our fathers officiating. Once the ceremony was over, we grilled some Romocky brats (a local farmer in MN) and ate a late lunch. Next we went swimming and played water frisbee on the beach for hours. After that I made greek pasta salad, we drank and chatted till night fall. 2/3’s of us stayed over night on the island. The rest went back to hotels and stayed overnight in Bayfield. We had just under 20 people with us for the wedding.
How did you decide on Bayfield for your destination wedding?
Well, I (Rhea) grew up sailing Lake Superior with my father. I spent most spring, summers, falls and some winters in Bayfield working on the boat and sailing with my dad. When Steve was introduced to sailing and Lake Superior, he immediately fell in love with it, which was kind of a deal breaker if he didn’t. It seemed to just fit into place.
Photo Credit- Colin Schye
What made you decide to get married on a sailboat on Lake Superior?
When we were looking to plan our wedding, we wanted it to be on a boat, and neither one of us wanted it to be in a fantasy location (i.e. Bahamas, Hawaii, etc.) We felt it was important to get married in a location that had meaning to us. A place that was based in our reality. So when thinking about our favorite places, Lake Superior, and Bayfield was the undeniable choice.
How did you choose Dreamcatcher Sailing?
When we were looking for help getting some of our family members to the island, we couldn’t find any large motor sailboats for rent. It was actually a little frustrating. We were looking for overnight motorboats for our friends and family that were not comfortable the way we were with sailing. But by not finding this, it allowed us to take our family and friends on an even greater adventure and sailing trip. We looked into some boat rentals, but at the end of the day, really settled on a captained trip. The people from Dreamcatcher were the most receptive, accommodating and helpful that we could find. We are so glad we chose them to help us make our wedding a reality, it was perfect.
Anything you would recommend for other couples getting married in Bayfield?
I think our top recommendations are:
- Get married in the way you want to in a place that has sentimental value to you. It’s a game changer.
- Double, triple, quadruple check in with everyone you have hired, even when they say you don’t need to. Give them your number when they say they don’t need it. Always take theirs.
- Make sure you are not alienating anyone. It’s a small town and when you leave, they have a life after you.
- Book everything FAR in advance to make sure you have everything you need to make your special day happen.
Photo Credit – Kiah Brasch
It is no surprise to us that Bayfield, Wisconsin is an absolutely beautiful place to say your “I-Do’s”. Elopements, small intimate weddings and large destination weddings are frequently hosted by our little town. Between Lake Superior and the beautiful outdoors, there are many gorgeous backdrops for your wedding, especially a tent wedding.
We’ve put together a list of some of the local options for tent weddings, and what makes each and every one of them unique!
Known for its location right on Lake Superior, Superior Rentals is a beautiful venue that hosts tent weddings all summer long. With an on-property array of rental cottages, rooms and boat houses, up to 75 of your guests can stay right here! This is such a great benefit, and allows you and your guests to make a whole weekend out of your wedding together. Superior Rentals even boasts its own private, sandy beach, giving you the option to have a lakeside ceremony right on the property too!
Good Thyme Restaurant
“Settled on 5 acres with trees, gardens, & beautiful sunset view”, Good Thyme Restaurant is a very unique venue due to its versatility. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday night for dinner to the public, with space upstairs for parties/weddings up to 40 people. Use the entire restaurant for a day-wedding or the beautiful property for your ceremony and/or tent wedding! Perfect for smaller, intimate weddings of 100 guests or less, your tent wedding would capture the beautiful outdoors while dining on delicious, local food!
Photo Taken at Good Thyme Restaurant
Madeline Island Museum
How unique would your tent wedding be if it was next to the oldest structure on Madeline Island? Madeline Island Museum is located right in the heart of downtown LaPointe, the town on Madeline Island. Their property offers the opportunity for you and your guests to view Lake Superior while celebrating the start of your marriage. With space for both an outdoor ceremony and tent, everything for your wedding could be in one space.
Photo Taken at Madeline Island Museum
The famous Old Rittenhouse Inn is an appealing venue for many brides and grooms who want to incorporate the historic charm of Bayfield into their special day. Whether looking for a place for guests to stay, a location for the rehearsal/groom’s dinner or a special venue for the wedding itself (or all of the above!) – The Old Rittenhouse Inn provides an ideal backdrop for your Bayfield wedding.
We spoke with Wendy Phillips, the Wedding and Event Director at Old Rittenhouse Inn, to learn more about their venue and everything it has to offer.
Wendy prides herself in being an organized and detailed person when planning your wedding from afar. Read ahead to hear what advice she offers and what she can do for you and your wedding, elopement or honeymoon!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and Old Rittenhouse Inn.
Old Rittenhouse Inn was started by my in-laws 41 years ago. Interestingly enough, I started my first job here when I was 16, met my husband and ended up getting married here! I have been the Wedding & Events Director for the last 13 years. Old Rittenhouse Inn was the first bed and breakfast in Wisconsin 41 years ago. Now it is comprised of 2 Victorian mansions and a guest cottage. We offer 20 rooms all year around along with gourmet dining.
What services does Old Rittenhouse Inn provide for weddings and honeymoons?
For weddings we offer full service, wedding and event planning. We can do as little or as much as desired. We can refer officiants, photographers, florists, musicians, and bakeries and provide music, chairs, all of the setup and cleanup of the event, catering services, full wine and liquor, and lodging services. For smaller elopements we can even provide witnesses!
For honeymoons we offer a special Honeymoon Package, which includes a room of your choice, a candlelight dinner at Landmark Restaurant, homemade sweets, cookies & bottle of champagne for your room, a keepsake Old Rittenhouse Inn ornament, a hand-crafted mug with glazed Old Rittenhouse Inn, and a choice of two Bayfield preserves.
How many weddings to date have taken place at your venues?
In the last 13 years since I have been the Wedding & Event Director we have done more than 300 weddings. Weddings have been taking place at Old Rittenhouse Inn since opening 41 years ago, so that number would be much larger!
Tell us a little bit about the process of hiring you to plan a wedding.
We offer a free consultation and tour for anyone who is interested. After determining the clients needs we provide them with a general proposal. Once someone has determined they want the Old Rittenhouse Inn for their wedding, we require a deposit and signed contract. After receiving the deposit and signed contract, we start the planning process! I do a majority of the planning during the winter time, which couples appreciate having most of the details worked out far in advance.
Tell us about elopements.
Elopements have become very popular in the last 4-5 years, this may be due to the fact that we began heavily marketing elopements around that time. We have an elopement package that is basically a one-stop-shop. We cover all of the major things people would be looking for in an elopement. Typically elopements are for 2-10 people, and we can provide witnesses if needed.
Do you have many couples who were married there return in the years to follow?
Many couples return every year for anniversaries. It is really sweet to see people come back year after year and eventually come with babies in tow. I have couples come back that were married by my in-laws years ago.
Do you have any recommendations for brides looking to get married in Bayfield?
I highly recommend you plan in advance, especially for the larger weddings. There are a limited amount of venues that can cater to larger groups, and they book up quickly. Keep in mind lodging can book up quickly too. All in all, Bayfield is gorgeous. There are so many neat things that people do these days with their weddings. I say do it! Bayfield is more natural to me, orchards, woods, and gardens offer many pretty and unique experiences.
What is a piece of advice you tell all of your clients?
The biggest thing I stress to all of my clients is don’t forget your marriage license! One time I had someone show up with a Minnesota license. You need to be very careful with marriage licenses. Couples can overlook it, leave it until last minute or just not prepare for it as they should be. Educate yourselves on the laws as far as which state/county you live in and what documents you need to bring with you.
When most people think of beach weddings, they imagine a beautiful lake, sand between their toes and a quick, simple ceremony. Although all of these statements can be true, there is much more that goes into having your ceremony on a beach, a Lake Superior beach especially! We have spoken with local photographer Jamey Ritter of Bemused Design & Photography to hear her perspective on beach weddings – Enjoy!
Photo Taken By Bemused Design & Photography
From a photographer’s standpoint, what are a few great reasons to have a beach wedding?
Beaches don’t need any decoration. The setting itself is gorgeous. Sunshine and a light lake breeze are a great combination May-October on Lake Superior. It also gives you many different options for photos. Trees, the lake, docks, boathouses, are all fair game for couples and wedding party group photos.
What are some obstacles you have seen that come with having a beach wedding?
Nearly every beach wedding I’ve shot has been in full sun. “Great!” you say. Full sun makes everyone squint, lots of shadows, not to mention a beautiful bride typically in a white dress that is now as easy to look at as it is to stare at the sun. Do your photographer a favor and make a mental note of some shady and beautiful sites nearby.
Photo Taken by Bemused Design & Photography
Have a back up site
Rain seems to be especially difficult to predict here. A light mist is tolerable, but our summer storms can bring lots of rain, wind and big surf. Always have a backup plan.
Do you have any recommendations for couples planning a beach wedding?
The beach is a beautiful, romantic place to get hitched. Just plan for the contingencies and have a wonderful wedding day!