Interview with Jamey Ritter of Bemused Design & Photography
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
Many couples, families and friends plan trips to Bayfield every year. Whether you’re a first timer or you travel here every summer, the Bayfield area is a perfect destination for your getaway. What better way to propose to your sweetie than surprising them during your vacation!
Matt and Jenn live in Milwaukee and planned a summertime trip up with their closest friends. Jenn had no clue that Matt had another reason for their trip- to propose to her! We spoke with Jenn all about their trip and proposal, we hope you enjoy it!
Matt and I met in 2010 at Valparaiso University in Indiana. I was a freshman in college at Carroll University in Wisconsin and took the train through Chicago to visit a friend that ended up being in the same fraternity as Matt. Matt was so sweet, he offered me his coat when I was cold and (reluctantly) watched Friends with me. As they say, the rest is history. Matt graduated in 2012 and moved to Milwaukee so we could begin our forever together.
What made you choose Bayfield for your trip?
This is a fun story. So we were sitting in one of our favorite Milwaukee bars with Matt’s childhood friend Pat and his wife Meghan planning out our summer. It was the dead of winter and we wanted to road trip somewhere fun! We planned a trip to Bayfield to kayak the Apostle Islands. The weekend was all set in July, I was in charge of the playlist (bad idea), and we were excited. Somewhere between that January weekend and July, unbeknownst to me, Matt decided to bring a ring!
Tell us about your Bayfield trip and your proposal!
Early one Friday morning in July we picked up our friends, packed the car, grabbed coffee and set out north! Even just the road trip up was a blast as we climbed further and further north and made note off all the gorgeous scenery and local color.
Emily, of Lace & Brass Events, is a long time friend of Matt so he reached out and consulted with her on best places to stay, eat, things to do, candy shops to eat everything at, etc. She was instrumental in not only planning a wonderful vacation getaway but also a beautiful proposal!
So we arrive to the perfect Winfield Inn, settled in and met everyone for dinner. We then spent the evening walking around town a little bit and taking it all in. The next morning we jumped on the ferry to Madeline Island to meet up with our kayak guide. We set off in our kayaks and had an amazing time cruising in and out of all the caves along the shore.
After a FULL day of kayaking we were all sore, mosquito bitten, sunburnt- really in a romantic place as you can imagine. On the way back to our rooms, I mentioned that I was planning to wear jeans to dinner instead of the dress I brought. Meghan, knowing what was about to happen exclaimed “NO!” and politely but persistently asked that I change my mind (in hindsight I am so glad she did!). We had a great dinner at The Pier, right in the heart of downtown looking over Lake Superior. As the sun was setting with pinks and oranges bouncing off the lake and we were enjoying our after dinner drinks, Matt began telling me how much he loved his life with me in it. Being completely unaware of what was actually happening, I started to reciprocate my feelings and explain how much I loved him too. Later, come to find out, Pat was ready to kick me under the table and let me know this was not a two sided conversation…
Remember that Matt’s legs are terribly sunburnt from sitting in a kayak but he continues talking and before I know it he is down on one knee with a ring extended out to me asking me to marry him. I was so surprised, I looked at him and all I could say was “SHUT UP!”
Once I gained a slight amount of composure, I said yes, of course! Our friends cheered, the nearby tables realized what was happening and congratulated us, and our amazing waitress brought us a dessert to celebrate. I was still in shock with everything but it was the perfect proposal.
After dinner we continued to walk around town and just enjoy our engagement. All of the cute shops were fun to walk through and the owners were excited to hear our news. My favorite stop was The Candy Shoppe where I picked out a ring pop to enjoy alongside my new ring! Still being a little shaky from the nights events, I actually ended up knocking over a box of candy. As I was picking it all up, Matt proudly exclaimed that it was ok, I could do what I want because we were getting married!!
After the sun set completely it was time to let EVERYONE know! Opening the door to our room, we saw the most beautiful flowers and champagne that Emily arranged with Winfield Inn. Sitting on the porch with that bottle of champagne, cigars and our friends, we alternated calling everyone that needed to know. It was a beautiful night with the moon shining over the trees. A great way to end a perfect day!
The next morning, still elated from the day before, we packed up everything and met Emily and family in town for brunch at The Egg Toss. We enjoyed some celebratory mimosas and continued our stroll through the town’s stores. After our thanks and goodbyes, we set off down the road back to Milwaukee, nearly planning the entire wedding in the car on our way home.
Are there any recommendations you have for someone looking to propose in the Bayfield area?
Plan your trip when that January cabin fever is really setting in. It’s nice to just unplug for a weekend, enjoy the great outdoors and experience a new area. What’s so fun about Bayfield is the natural lake town feel. Everyone is so kind and laid back and the views of Lake Superior are amazing. A never ending supply of outdoor adventuring right at your finger tips. For the actual “big question,” Matt has said it was so helpful having Emily with Lace & Brass Events recommend places to go and thing to do during the trip so the happy couple can focus on one another.
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!
Did you get engaged or married in Bayfield? Did you spend your honeymoon here with your newlywed? We are searching for real love stories, taken place right here in Bayfield, Wisconsin!
Named the most romantic town in Wisconsin by Discover Wisconsin, Bayfield is perfect for honeymoons, weddings, elopements and getaways. We would love to learn more about you and feature your love story!
Photo Credit: Studio10 Photography
What do you need to do?
For the chance to be featured on our blog, please comment directly on this blog post or onto the original Facebook post with the following:
1. Is your love story a proposal, wedding or honeymoon?
2. Date of your love story
3. A little summary of your story
4. Bonus: A picture of you two during your time here!
This is open for couples, if you are a wedding vendor please do not submit your client’s story. You are welcome to tag them, but it is up to the actual couple to submit.
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!
As the wedding season is wrapping up, we took a look back at our #BayfieldWeddings Instagram favorites of the summer! There is no doubt that those getting married here in Bayfield love Lake Superior and the beautiful land around it!
Getting married here in Bayfield or a wedding vendor getting ready for 2017? Make sure you use the hashtag #BayfieldWeddings to catch our attention, your wedding could be featured on our inspiration page and/or social media! We picked some of our favorite #BayfieldWeddings pictures that are on Instagram so far. Enjoy!
Top 6 #BayfieldWeddings Instagram Favorites
I was given the privilege of photographing my fiends wedding a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful out door wedding at a running fruit farm that was once owned by my grandfather. . . . . #discoverwisconsin #TravelWI #bayfieldweddings #bayfield_wi #bayfield #wedding #outdoors #summer #sun #farm #wisconsin #upnorth #thenorth #photography #photographer #appleorchard
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