Bachelor + Bachelorette Parties: Bayfield Style
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
Let’s be honest, if you are getting married in the Bayfield area you have a love for Lake Superior and the beautiful outdoors! What better way to celebrate her beauty than by incoporating Lake Superior throughout your wedding!
We have gathered some of our favorite ways to do just that. Whether you are getting married in Bayfield or on Madeline Island, or up on the north shore of Lake Superior, you can take advantage of the beauty of the lake! Read ahead to hear and see our ideas.
One of the many things visitors love about Bayfield is the fresh fish you can enjoy at every restaurant in the area. Many couples choose to include fresh whitefish or trout somewhere on their menu- whether it’s smoked trout as an appetizer or whitefish tacos for dinner.
Lake Superior Whitefish Provençal made by Good Thyme Catering, Events & Lodging
Getting married on the shores of Lake Superior offers many possibilities. Whether you’d like sand under your toes, to be in a grassy area beneath a stand of willow trees or standing on a cliff overlooking the water, we have all these options right here. Or, you could even get married on Lake Superior in a sailboat!
Take a look at our Bayfield Weddings Venue Chart to find all of the traditional venues along with beach/ primitive spots!
Rocks and driftwood gathered from the shores of Lake Superior make perfect decorations for your lakeside wedding! Whether you are going for a more natural look or getting crafty, you can gather materials right here where you are getting married.
Spend some time on the shores of Lake Superior for your engagement session. Not only will it provide a gorgeous setting for your photos but you could use them for your Save the Dates. Your Bayfield wedding will mean that much more to you and your guests when they see your beautiful photos inviting them to join in on the fun.
Looking for jewelry or rings that are a little different than the norm? Bayfield is home to a number of incredibly talented artists who could custom make your wedding day jewelry and/or wedding rings! How beautiful would it be to have have your earrings, necklace or ring be made with a Lake Superior agate?!
Lake Superior Agate Ring made by Silverwaves Jewelry
How do you plan a surprise proposal without your sweetheart catching on? Pop the question on vacation, of course! It seems that every year we hear about a handful of lucky couples who get engaged over Apple Festival weekend here in Bayfield. It is, after all, the perfect opportunity to come visit this beautiful area with your significant other, family and friends. What better time to get down on one knee than on a crisp fall day with apple orchards, wineries, and the beautiful Lake Superior all around you?
Read all about Tyler and Delaney’s proposal that happened while they were visiting Bayfield and Madeline Island the weekend of Apple Festival!
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you met.
My fiance, Tyler and I met a long time ago in middle school. We started dating during our junior year of high school, and were fortunate enough to both decide to go to the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities campus after we graduated. We continued dating throughout our college careers. We both graduated in 2015, and he accepted a job as an engineer while I moved on to attend the College of Pharmacy at the U.
What made Tyler choose this area?
My parents have gone camping on Madeline Island during Apple Fest weekend with some of their friends and family every year since before I was born- I think it’s been about 28 years. I had never been to Bayfield or Madeline Island, so Tyler and I thought it would be fun to go with them one year. Although I was a bit hesitant about going due to the weather (it’s cold in October!), Tyler was adamant we go so I gladly followed. He had been to Madeline Island before as his relatives have a cabin on it, so he knew it would be a wonderful spot for a proposal.
Tell us about your Bayfield/Madeline Island trip and your proposal!
We went to Bayfield on the Saturday of Apple Fest weekend and wandered the festival during the day, eating, drinking, and seeing the sights with my family and friends. After a bit, we decided to get on the ferry and head over to the island. We made a stop by Tom’s Burned Down Cafe and then Tyler and I went off on our own to explore the island.
After walking a while, we came across a beach and went and sat on a bench to watch the setting sun. He reached into his pocket, got down on one knee, and said the words I’d been waiting to hear for about 6 years: “Delaney, will you marry me?”
We then went to our campsite to celebrate with my family. Tyler had told my parents of his plan a few weeks earlier, so they were prepared with champagne to pop as we celebrated our engagement all night!
Are there any recommendations you have for someone looking to propose in the Bayfield area?
I certainly recommend proposing by the water, it’s so beautiful and adds that “special something” to a proposal. It also adds a little extra romance to have plans as a getaway, so that some time can be spent just the two of you before the overwhelming amount of well wishes are sent from friends and family once you make your announcement. Of course, I’m partial to planning a camping trip for the proposal, but that’s just because it was my fairytale come true!
We know we don’t have to tell you how important photography is for your wedding day!
Your photographer should be one of the very first vendors that you hire for your wedding, because they book up very quickly! And no two photographers are the same, each with their own style and personality, so be sure to do your research.
We love all the great advice that Jen Jensen of Ps 139 Photography gave us during her interview! Read ahead to hear more about her photography business, what her services include and her recommendations for those getting married in the Bayfield area!
Photo Credit: Ps 139 Photography
Tell us a little bit about yourself and Ps 139 Photography.
So what is there to know? Well, I love people! Especially one certain man named Josh who has been my best friend and hero…I mean, husband for going on 21 years now and the four beautiful children we have been blessed with! I love being able to photograph the connection between people and the beauty that they have inside and out! The time in a student’s life before the end of their High School year, finally a senior! The awkward years for a child when they are about to be a teen and not really a kid anymore…helping that “tween” really gain confidence in who they are by seeing beautiful photographs of themselves. The wedding day of two people crazy in love who can’t wait to get to the honeymoon (oh man, I remember that like it was yesterday, not 21 years ago!). Kids running around crazy with parents who think they aren’t cooperating…I live that everyday…so that doesn’t phase me and I love to capture the realness of your children and family on camera so you can look back and remember how crazy and fun that stage of life is! This is what I love!
If I could choose one place to have a gift card or to win a shopping spree it would be an office supply store! Yep, that’s what I said, office supplies…the wonder of gel pens in medium or fine blue, pinks, purples, and black and mechanical pencils, Sharpee markers and highlighters and oh, the joy of sticky notes, all colors and shapes and sizes of sticky notes…makes me think of how God made you and me…wonderfully and joyfully and different, in all different shapes and sizes! That’s what Psalm 139 talks about and why my business is named what it is–because God made each of us fearfully and wonderfully and I want to showcase that amazing, beautiful creative creation to the world!
Photo of Jen Jensen taken by Luke and Cat Photography
How did you get into wedding photography?
I first started photography with families and then a friend of my sister asked me to do their wedding. I was SOOOO nervous! I rented gear I didn’t have yet, charged so little that it cost me money to do the wedding (oops!), found another photographer to shoot with me (insurance of two getting shots I might otherwise miss on my own, plus it’s someone to freak out with and rejoice with!), and we did the wedding day. There were tornado sirens going off in a nearby town close enough to hear them and a piece of my gear blew out of my hands in the wind and instantly sunk in the Fox River! I look back at those photos and some I’m impressed by and others I wish I could go back and edit them all over again!
I was told in my training that you’ll either love or hate weddings as a photographer. It actually took me a while to decide and when I started doing weddings the way I do I now LOVE wedding photography the most! I enjoy so much getting to know the bride and often the groom as well or the bride’s mom. I love traveling the journey with her, helping her to navigate through the months before the wedding. I love coaching the bride and groom along during their engagement session to know how to pose and not feel awkward. I absolutely love making the bride, groom, their wedding party and their family laugh and feel comfortable and not dread the photos of the day! I love the excitement and often tears of joy and gratitude when they see the first wedding photos I show them! I love how by the end of the day I feel like I’m a part of their family and they seem to feel the same about me!
What is the most challenging thing about wedding photography?
Wedding photography has many many challenges from the difficult family members, posing the different shapes and sizes of the couples, sometimes the drama of the day, the varied lighting and new locations but those things don’t bother me too much — this is a quote from my website and I mean it: “Crabby people? Let me help with that. Chaos? I won’t stress out. Wardrobe malfunction? We’ll be patient and make the most of the time. Big noisy family? Got that too, so no problem!
I think the most challenging part is the weather—something I can’t control but we just have to make the best of it and relax and have fun while getting the shots that we need! Patience and baby powder has always paid off with weather that isn’t ideal! Oh and clear umbrellas—what a genius idea!!
I would say that my style is clean, bright and timeless. I love to have fun and see natural laughter and I love romance, intimacy and tender moments as well! Connection between people in a photo is very important to me as well!
I like to have a complete experience for my couples. I don’t want them to miss out on what I know makes that experience memorable, enjoyable and worthwhile! I include an engagement session so that we can get to know one another and how we all work around the camera. The first wedding I shot, the groom never smiled for the camera! If I had done an engagement session ahead of that I would have been prepared for the wedding day with tricks up my sleeve. I also include personal consultations to see the wedding album options, get to know each other to see if we’re a good fit and to plan the schedule for the day so we don’t miss any essential photos and care for the couple and the wedding party well throughout the day. A 2nd photographer is included as well—this allows for more photos, more coverage and more fun! Also included is an amazing mega album that looks and feels incredible! One of my grooms ended up booking with me because he was so impressed with the album and said they had to have it! All of the digital images that I edit (generally 70-100 per hour of coverage) are also included and shared on an easy to use and beautiful to look at online gallery that can be shared with family and friends around the world! I like to spoil my couples so some super gifts and surprises are also a part of my most commonly selected wedding collection!
Photo Credit: Ps 139 Photography
Advice I would give and always given when a bride or groom inquires with me is:
- Find a photographer that you connect with, that you know has reputable work both inside and outdoors, has great reviews and includes a CONTRACT. Book early and talk with him/her about the timeline of the day and when the best light is to have the ceremony and the majority of the photos. Be willing to be flexible to get what they say is the best light!
- Book a wedding coordinator to help you with the day, especially if you are coming to Bayfield as a destination wedding. She will help you take a lot of stress off and make the day even more special!
- Ask your coordinator or your photographer for recommendations for videographers, venues and caterers, booking those next.
- Real flowers and bigger more colorful flowers photograph better than artificial and small.
- Remember that what lasts after the day is the photography, videography and your vows! Don’t skimp on those areas and you will have no regrets!
We love hearing love stories, especially those that take place here in Bayfield, WI! When we first heard about Stephen and Melissa’s proposal that happened Apple Festival weekend we knew how special it was.
From the couple, “Our Bayfield trip is something we always look forward to and 2016 proved to be yet another great year! Great people and great memories sure to last a lifetime!” Read ahead to hear their story, and how Stephen pulled off his beautiful surprise proposal!
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you met.
Stephen does sales for a Life Safety company and I work at a dental office and have my own Pure Romance business. I have a daughter and found it difficult to meet other people looking to date. Stephen and I met on OkCupid and had our first date at a Mexican restaurant. We had so much fun that night, he even escorted me to Walmart where I had to pick up a pair of fuzzy socks for a friend’s birthday- talk about a keeper!
What made you choose Bayfield?
Stephen’s parents own a place up in Montreal and he had been to Bayfield before, telling me how gorgeous it was. In 2015 we made our first trip up to Apple Festival where we shopped, ate and drank our way through the day and it was perfect! It was only fitting to go back for 2016. Little did I know, he had MANY more tricks up his sleeve for this year!
Tell us about your Bayfield trip and the proposal!
Stephen had a lot of help from Manitou Sailing when it came to the proposal. We were supposed to take a sailboat out that day for a nice sail, but it was pretty cloudy and there were some strong winds making about 6-8 foot waves. Kat with Manitou Sailing brought us a bottle of wine and champange to make it all come together. We were able to sit there to chat have a glass or two of wine and before I knew it, Stephen asked me to be his wife! After that we spent the day shopping, drinking, and eating our way through Apple Festival. The last surprise he had up his sleeve was Old Rittenhouse Inn!! He acted like we were going to have to drive home and when we got back to the car he opened the trunk and took out our bags. The service at Old Rittenhouse Inn was AMAZING. They went above and beyond and made our weekend one we will never forget. It was an incredibly memorable experience.
Are there any recommendations you have for someone looking to propose in Bayfield?
If you are planning on getting engaged in Bayfield don’t wait! It’s a hidden gem that I am so happy to have apart our lives forever!