Featured: A Bayfield Destination Wedding
Apostle Islands Cruises is a local business in Bayfield, Wisconsin that offers the opportunity for visitors to tour the Apostle Islands in style!
With daily scheduled tours, visitors are able to board the cruise ship right in town and cruise Lake Superior to tour the Islands. Apostle Islands Cruises can also be booked to take you and your wedding guests to one of the Islands for your ceremony. Keep reading to learn more about what they can offer you and your wedding guests!
Tell us about yourself and Apostle Islands Cruises.
My name is Bryce, I am the Assistant Manager at Apostle Islands Cruises. I’m a Bayfield native who left here for big cities and returned to this paradise about 6 years ago. I’m happy to say my daily commute is 2 blocks! Apostle Islands Cruises offers tours this year from May 12 – October 21. We have non-stop, fully-narrated tours viewing the lighthouses, sea caves, historical sites, and shipwrecks in the Apostle Islands. We also offer camping and hiking shuttles, and lighthouse tours. Also, be sure to come check out our brand new boat arriving this year! Our 2018 schedule and rates can be found online.
What services does Apostle Islands Cruises provide for weddings?
We have boats for charter mid-May to mid-October for capacities ranging from 6 to 150 passengers. We’ve had both wedding ceremonies and receptions aboard our vessels. We’ve transported entire wedding parties to specific islands for beach ceremonies. One of my favorites was a wedding that took place under the spectacular starry skies and northern lights while cruising among the Apostle Islands at night.
Photo Credit: Ps 139 Photography
Tell us a little bit about the planning process for those wanting to use your services for their wedding.
The first few pieces of information I always ask a potential wedding charter are: date, number of passengers, how long they’d like to be on board for, and departure time. Once we have all of those details we can select an available boat and discuss the finer details. The best way to get this process going is to call our office at 715-779-3925.
What other ways do couples use Apostle Islands Cruises aside from their actual wedding day?
We’ve actually had a lot of (adventurous) couples aboard our camping shuttles after their wedding festivities have concluded, which is a great way to just spend time with your groom or bride. Also, our scenic tours are a nice activity for families and friends to do in Bayfield in the days surrounding the wedding.
Photo Credit: Ps 139 Photography
Do you have any recommendations for couples looking to get married in Bayfield?
Yes! Make sure you carve out some time in your plans to explore the amazing activities and sights in the area.
What is a piece of advice you tell all of your clients?
Plan early, and just have fun on your wedding day.
Most of the couples that get married in Bayfield fully embrace everything we have to offer! One way of doing this is by making a whole weekend out of your wedding, instead of just one quick day. With many guests coming here for the first time, show them around and recommend your favorite things to do! This is exactly what David and Efrie did for their wedding!
With just 24 guests, David and Efrie had an incredibly memorable wedding weekend spending time with family, taking in the Apostle Islands and even giving beautiful local gifts in gift bags to each guest. Read all about their wedding and how it came together so beautifully!
Photographer: Ps 139 Photography
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you met.
David is a computer programmer, originally from North Carolina, and Elizabeth (nickname: Efrie) is an architect, originally from Milwaukee. We met almost 10 years ago through Match.com while living in New York. Since then, we’ve lived in Connecticut, Michigan, and Philadelphia (where we live now).
Our first date was a concert in New York, but the most memorable part was playing several very competitive rounds of Connect 4 at a dive bar, where we went for drinks before the concert.
What made you choose Bayfield for your wedding?
David grew up spending his summers at his grandfather’s lake house in the Poconos, which is a place that is very special and important to his family. He proposed while we were hiking around the lake.
Efrie’s family has a similarly special place: her grandmother’s cabin on the Brule River. It made sense to us that in officially merging our families, each of these very special places would be a part of the festivities. One of the highlights of trips to Brule for the last 16 years has been a night in Bayfield for dinner at Wild Rice Restaurant (we missed their first year they were open), and Efrie and her mom started talking about how beautiful the location would be for a wedding from the very first time they saw the restaurant, so it sprang to mind immediately when we were brainstorming possible wedding locations.
Photographer: Ps 139 Photography
Tell us about your your wedding!
Our weather was fairy-tale perfect, and we were so excited to be able to share our wedding with our very small party of 24 guests, for most of whom it was their first time to Bayfield. They all left stunned at how beautiful the area is (which is why we picked Bayfield for our location!) We kicked off the weekend with a champagne cruise around the Apostle Islands, giving all our guests an intro to the local history, with delicious appetizers from Ashland Baking Co. We followed the cruise with a dinner at Ethel’s, teaching everyone about the very important food group of cheese curds.
The day of our wedding, we spent the morning eating a luxurious breakfast from Pinehurst Inn, and then Efrie was whisked away to get ready. Our guests spent the morning and afternoon enjoying all that Bayfield has to offer – some went sailing, others went hiking, and some just strolled around town browsing the shops. Our wedding ceremony took place in the evening on the back deck of Wild Rice, and we were thrilled to find out that Mary Rice was actually having dinner at the restaurant that night!
Efrie’s brother Dave and his wife Megan conducted our ceremony. One of the most touching parts was a piece we adopted from the Quaker tradition (which has a very important place in the history of our current home state, Pennsylvania), where everyone attending is given the opportunity to impart blessings and words of wisdom to the couple. Hearing the best wishes and love from everyone was definitely a highlight of the night!
After we were introduced for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Escott, we celebrated with a delicious meal at Wild Rice. We also had each of our guests write us notes to put into boxes with bottles of wine that we will open and drink at each of our milestone anniversaries, so that we can experience their words of wisdom and blessings at our first year, fifth year, tenth year, and twenty-fifth year of marriage.
Photographer: Ps 139 Photography
Are there any recommendations you have for someone looking to get married in the Bayfield area?
Start your planning early! Everyone is incredibly helpful and excited about making all your dreams for your big day come true, but it’s important to have enough time for all the plans to come to fruition (and to have the time to work in all the extra ideas once they start popping up). Also, it’s a really good idea to talk to people at all the restaurants and B&Bs for recommendations on who to use for what — we never would have found our amazing florist (Kelly) if we had only looked at business listings.
Photographer: Ps 139 Photography
Flowers: Kelly & Crew Designs
Groom’s party lodging: Rittenhouse Inn
Bride’s party lodging: Pinehurst Inn
Dinner and ceremony: Wild Rice Restaurant (Closed)
Rehearsal dinner: Ethel’s Restaurant
Rehearsal cruise: Apostle Island Cruises
Catering for cruise: Ashland Baking Company
Goodies in guest gift bags: Erickson Orchards and Country Store (bottle of cider), The Fat Radish (voucher for a cup of coffee), The Candy Shoppe (voucher for an ice cream cone), Apostle Islands Booksellers (souvenir photo books)
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
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
Applying for your marriage license can seem like a complicated and scary process.
But we’ve got some great news for you – it really isn’t!
And to make it even easier, we have put together all of the information you need to know to get your license in Bayfield County, along with tips and recommendations!
Are you planning a wedding on Madeline Island or one of the other Apostle Islands? Read ahead for some very important information.
Photo Taken by Ps 139 Photography
Where are you getting married?
This might seem like a simple question – the Bayfield area of course! Sometimes the answer is not quite as simple as it seems.
Madeline Island and several of the other Apostle Islands are actually in Ashland County, not Bayfield County. So, the first thing you need to do is determine which county you are actually getting married in. If you plan on getting married on a boat, your captain will be able to advise you about which county from which you should secure your marriage license.
If you are a Wisconsin resident, you must apply for your marriage license in the county in which one you reside (for at least 30 days.) If neither of you reside in Wisconsin, then you apply for your marriage license in the county that your ceremony will be in. Remember, all of this information pertains to where your ceremony will be.
Where to apply?
If you are applying in Bayfield County it means that either: one of you live in Bayfield County or neither of you live in Wisconsin. To apply, you will both go to the County Clerk’s office which is located in Washburn, Wisconsin. Here you can find a map to this location. The office is open Monday- Friday from 8am- 4pm. They recommend you arrive no later than 3:15 pm if applying for a marriage license.
What do you need to apply in Bayfield County?
1. You will need $60 for your marriage license either by check, cash or credit card. You will need an additional $10 if you are waiving the waiting period (see below).
2. If previously married, you must show proof that the marriage has ended. According to the Bayfield County Clerk’s Office, “This document will be either a Judgment of Divorce or an Annulment, it must be signed and stamped by the Judge of that Circuit Court.” If either applicant has a spouse that is deceased, you must provide a certified copy of the death certificate.
3. A valid drivers license or government issued ID card showing each applicant’s (current) address.
4. A certified copy of each applicant’s birth certificate. The County Clerk says many couples get this confused with a hospital record. Make sure both of your birth certificates are certified copies from the state (not hospital). There should be a raised seal and photocopies are not acceptable.
5. You will need to provide your wedding information: Date of wedding, location, and officiant name, address and phone number. The County Clerk recommends that you make sure the person marrying you is legit! It is the couple’s responsibility to make sure their officiant has all of the right credentials.
When you apply for a marriage license in Bayfield County (and most other places) there is a 5 day waiting period. Your license is not actually issued until 5 days after you go in together and apply for it. Something to note: Upon approval by the County Clerk, this waiting period can sometimes be waived. It is not a guarantee that your waiting period would be waived, but it definitely is a possibility. The waiver fee is $10 on top of the $60 for your marriage license.
You cannot get married in Wisconsin if you have been divorced for less than 6 months from the date of the final divorce. If it has been longer than 6 months, you must bring with a Judgement of Divorce document to show that the marriage has ended.
Your marriage license is only valid for 30 days, which means you cannot apply for your marriage license until less than one month beforehand.
The age requirement is 18 years or older. To find information on consent forms for those who are 16 or 17 years old, go here.
Lily and Sean, the bride and groom shown above, just applied for their marriage license 23 days before their wedding. Lily said, “It was very easy once we had all our documents and information ready to go! We went right to the court house and it took less than 30 minutes! We then celebrated with a local ice cream cone!”
Please Note: This information is to help guide you to applying for your marriage license in Bayfield County. To read the official information for Bayfield County head over here and Ashland County (Includes Madeline Island) head over here.