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.
We interviewed with local photographer and graphic designer Jamey Ritter, the owner of Bemused Design & Photography, to learn all about her businesses and how they intertwine together! From designing vintage-style wedding posters to photographing weddings and elopements, Jamey has many options for any couple getting married in the area. Enjoy!
I’ve been a published photographer since 1992 and a graphic designer since 1995. I can’t imagine giving either up. Creating in photography and design keeps me engaged and passionate about both.
What is your most rewarding and challenging part of wedding photography?
I get really nervous the day before the wedding. I know that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event and I get worried about not making the wedding couple happy. Once I start shooting, I’m fine, but there are times I’d rival the bride for nervous butterflies.
What advice would you give to couples who are in the midst of planning their wedding?
I’ve been to many weddings lately where they’ve added non-traditional elements. One couple actually mixed beer as part of their unity ceremony. Brewing beer was something they loved to do together. I encourage all couples to bring elements like that into they wedding ceremony. I’ve shot pilots that went to the airport for photos and outdoors enthusiasts who paddled themselves to the reception. Make it memorable.
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)
Many people cannot wait to begin wedding planning, but not everyone realizes how much work goes into planning a wedding or how to plan a wedding! That is where wedding planners come in! A wedding planner is your guide, planner, designer, organizer, budget-keeper, inspiration, and so much more, from the very beginning through the entire process.
We spoke with Sharon, owner of As You Wish Events here in Bayfield, Wisconsin to learn all about her business and her advice for couples planning a wedding!
Photographer: Focus Photography
Tell us a little bit about yourself and As You Wish Events.
Hi! My name is Sharon Zanto, owner and lead event planner of, “As You Wish Events”, which is a full-service event design and wedding-planning company offering a variety of packages to fit your wedding or event-specific needs. Our collaborative approach of producing cohesive events that are inspired by you, allows us to make each wedding or event unique and distinctive. It is our belief that events are defined by the personalized details that share the story of the couple or host with all of the guests. Our services combine planning and execution with distinctive design and styling to create a once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
Photographer: Focus Photography
How did you get into wedding planning?
I have worked in the world of corporate events for years, and loved to create beautiful events for friends and family as well. I decided to open my own business due to my love of event planning, and the satisfaction I receive in seeing my clients delighted with the outcome of their special event!
What is your favorite thing to do during the wedding off-season?
My favorite thing to do in the wedding off-season are more events!! I love to plan Holiday parties, Birthday, and Anniversary, and many more! Doing a different type of event is refreshing after the wedding season. I am also an avid reader, walker, and foodie…so that is always lovely to do on my down time!
My favorite part of the wedding to plan, is working with the couple on what the vision is for their special day! Each wedding has such a different look and feel to it, so it’s exciting to see the individual outcome!
My advice for couples in the midst of planning their wedding is to stay true to their vision, budget, and remember the reason for getting married!! In the end, if you leave the details to your wedding planner, and relax and enjoy the day, you will be a married couple, and that is the most important thing!
Wild Hollow Farm is a local flower farm and florist that can cover all of the floral needs for your wedding, from seed to vase! Whether you are looking to purchase buckets of field cut flowers to DIY your arrangements or for all of your bouquets and centerpieces to be made, Melissa with Wild Hollow Farm is your perfect resource!
Read our interview with Melissa, who has a love for biology, farming, the outdoors and flowers!
Wild Hollow Farm’s Bouquets
Tell us a little bit about yourself and Wild Hollow Farm.
The natural world and plants in particular have always been a central focus throughout my life. I grew up making forts and flower crowns, and pursued my interests in school with a bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degree in horticulture. After marrying a fellow plant geek, we lived in Sweden for a year and worked on an organic vegetable and sheep farm. Living and working in the outdoors, and farming in particular, was something that was clearly in the DNA of our hearts, and we jumped right in and bought our 40-acre property in 2004. We grew our farm business along with our family, raising 4 children who know how to plant dahlia tubers, harvest and bunch radishes, and enjoy a good mud puddle.
Wild Hollow Farm is a family farm located ten miles south of Ashland. Our main focus is fresh-cut flowers, but we also grow vegetables, pastured poultry, currants, and hazelnuts. We grow over one hundred annual and perennial flower varieties, each carefully chosen to offer our customers a unique array of colors, textures, scents, and forms throughout the growing season. We offer fresh-cut seasonal flowers for weddings, events and everyday.
How did you get into the flower business?
Flowers have always been a part of our farm, but as we experimented with all sorts of crops over the years, it became clear that cut flowers were a good fit for our family, lifestyle, interests and vision for our farm business. The design aspect of flower farming grew naturally, as I quickly got requests for special bouquets, events, weddings, etc. Through farm tours, floral design classes, conferences, lots of reading, and many hours of practice, I grew and developed my skill set and confidence in floral design. I am a member of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, which is an incredible resource for learning and connecting with other growers. There is always more to learn and experiment with, and I love the challenge that this provides!
What can Wild Hollow Farm provide for weddings in the area?
We offer full and partial service for any or all of our customer’s wedding flower needs. From a few bouquets or table arrangements, to bulk buckets of flowers for those who want to DIY their arrangements, all the way to providing every piece for a wedding – we accommodate a wide range of needs for weddings in the area.
Our arrangements reflect the seasonal flow of what is blooming on the farm. We put extensive work into planning our crop cycles to ensure a continuous assortment and array of colors, textures, scents and forms throughout the season. We work closely with our customers to provide the design style and color palette they are looking for. If there is a particular flower variety or color that a customer wants in their wedding, we are able to custom grow. We do need plenty of advance notice, however, since our planning and seed ordering takes place in the winter.
What is your favorite aspect of being a farmer and florist?.
I think my favorite part about my job is the balance between art and science that flower farming requires. You not only have to know how to be able to grow the flowers, but arrange and work with them as well. My degrees in biology and horticulture, plus 12 years of farming experience have given me a solid foundation in production, being able to research and implement different growing techniques, learn and understand different growing systems, and solve problems. My heart has always been in art, and I have always given space in my life for creative pursuits. My grandma was an amazing artist who had a big impact on me and gave me the gift of seeing art and beauty in the everyday. Flowers and plant material are definitely my “medium” and I find deep satisfaction, passion, and humility in being able to share that with our community.
I love the full circle of production and design that the farmer and florist occupation offers. We are a true seed to vase operation and nothing is more satisfying to me than selecting varieties, planting, caring for, designing, and finally handing over the finished product directly to the customer. My heart is so entwined throughout this whole process – I am so grateful to have found my life’s passion and to be able to connect with our customers and community through flowers.
What advice would you offer to couples looking to get married in the Bayfield area?
Schedule in a little extra time to enjoy this incredible event in your life! If you are from out of the area, come a few days early and stay a few days later. There will inevitably be so much to do and so many things to take care of, so do yourself a favor and allow extra time to enjoy yourself. We always invite our customers to come to our farm and see for themselves what we have growing. This is a chance for you to take in the colors, forms, and scents and see just what your bouquet flowers look like growing in the field. Whether it is the food, wedding favors, or flowers, having a direct connection with the grower or source of those products is an invaluable experience that will only enhance your overall event.
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
Many couples who get married in the Bayfied area fully embrace the local charm of this community – and that includes purchasing locally handmade favors!
Stone’s Throw is an upbeat gallery where you’ll find a wide variety of eclectic items ranging from handmade porcelain pottery to jewelry, sculpture, functional home decor and more. We interviewed Andrea (Andy) Falconer, the owner of Stone’s Throw, to hear what she has to offer for those getting married in the area!
Tell us about yourself and Stone’s Throw.
In 1979 I came to the Lake Superior area. Not having an idea what to do with my Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Louis’ Webster University, I decided to mooch off my sister Leslie and accepted a clerking job at Karlyn’s Gallery in Washburn, Wisconsin. Karlyn soon had me working the front desk, mixing clay and glazes, throwing, taking orders, and packing and shipping—before I knew it, I was hooked. A new love affair was born. Not just with clay, but with the business of running a gallery and making it seem fun. I’ve owned Stone’s Throw in Bayfield for 21 years now. I don’t produce in the store anymore, I rent a studio space from a friend in the apple orchard area….I get way more done!
What type of gifts at your store would interest engaged couples?
Most of the items that may be of interest include pottery, always a big wedding seller. Stone’s Throw also sells jewelry, scarves, carvings, lotions, mobiles, garden decor, books and paintings.
Can couples order favors through you?
Of course! I’ve made recipe rox for wedding parties, 450 of them for the last wedding. Couples use them as name placecards on the table, showing people where to sit and then they can take them home as their favor. I’ve had couples order little heart shaped bowls. Yes, I do special orders….a good lead time works, depending on the number. It’s best to order during the off-season when I have more time.
Do you have any recommendations for couples looking to get married in Bayfield?
Enjoy the beautiful outdoors! Some of my top recommendations on things to do in the area are:
1. Watch the sun set on Little Sand Bay beach with a bottle of wine.
2. Have a romantic dinner at Old Rittenhouse Inn.
3. Rent kayaks, bikes, mopeds or a sailboat with a captain to show you the Aposlte Islands!
4. Walk the Brownstone Trail.
5. Get a couples massage!
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!
Here in Bayfield, Wisconsin we don’t hibernate inside all winter waiting for summer to come. We embrace the beautiful snow, cold, ice caves and the many outdoor activities and sports. Mollie + Isaac did not disappoint with their outdoor January wedding.
Read more about this beautiful winter wedding along with their advice for planning a winter wedding of your own!
Photo by JaneCane Photography
Isaac is a full time fire fighter and EMT in Burnsville, MN . I own my own hair and makeup business and do lots and lots of weddings! Isaac and I met a few years before we started dating at our CrossFit gym in the cities, we quickly become best of friends and didn’t see anything beyond that. All of our friends thought a little bit different and asked when we were going to start dating! Once we finally decided to go for it we never looked back, and each day was better than the last! We now have a perfect little baby boy Axel and couldn’t be more thrilled for our little family! We can’t wait for forever!
We had a very laid back casual outdoor January wedding! I was on Madeline Island with family and a few close friends getting really at a family home, took the ferry across bright and early so I could be able to style Isaac’s hair… he had strict orders of keeping his eyes shut.
We then traveled to Isaac’s family’s dock on Lake Superior to do our first look, we couldn’t have picked a better location! Then off to Good Thyme for our ceremony where my brother officiated our big “I Dos.” Someone was definitely watching out for us- gave us 40 degree weather in January! We then ate a wonderful brunch and our perfect day was complete.
Isaac was born and raised in Bayfield and I have family connections to the area, having traveled there a lot growing up. It seemed the perfect place, and not far for the majority of our family.
The advice I tell all of my brides – Don’t worry and stress about the small things, no one is going to notice besides you. Think about the big picture and the outcome of the day: getting to marry your best friend!