Picture-Perfect at the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion

The Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion, located right on the shores of Lake Superior, is a breathtaking location for your Bayfield wedding or reception year round. However, according to local photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, setting up for a picture-perfect wedding in this venue takes a little planning.

If you plan to hold your wedding ceremony in the Pavilion, Hudson believes it is imperative that the couple does not stand directly in front of the big windows facing the lakefront, even though it is quite tempting.

“This is a back lit photographic nightmare,” Hudson said.

Hudson noted the best way to take advantage of the natural light in the building is to station the ceremony in front of the North wall, with the large front widows to the right of the guests.

“This way guarantees you get beautiful window light on your ceremony and that the guests are looking at you—not at the view,” said Hudson. 


Receptions should be staged in a similar fashion, with the head table along the North wall. Hudson said guests and photographers alike will thank you for this arrangement.

“They will not have to try to look at people giving toasts as they are back lit by the bright light outside,” she said.

Although the windows are not an ideal backdrop for the ceremony or reception, Hudson said it is a picture-perfect setting for the dance floor.

“Your photographer will be able to use a lot of beautiful natural light—if it’s still light out, as can happen in early summer—while you’re dancing,” said Hudson.

Warm lighting in the pavilion can provide a welcoming and intimate atmosphere while providing the perfect type of light for wedding photographers to capture nuptial smiles, tears and kisses.

Hudson suggests using a lot of candles, as the warm light that filters from them creates a natural photogenic ambiance.

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“The Pavilion is a gorgeous blank canvas that lends itself well to candlelit tablescapes,” Hudson said.

If fire is not your thing, consider adorning each table with dainty lamps that will still cast a toasty glow. The pavilion ceiling is already draped in soft white christmas lights, that when lit look like a starry sky above the world’s greatest freshwater lake. Feel free to add your own color flair–like this couple did! 

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To reserve the pavilion for your Bayfield wedding or reception call Bayfield City Hall at (715) 779-5712 or email cityclerk@nullcityofbayfield.com. More information about the pavilion can be found at the City of Bayfield’s website. 

For more wedding lighting inspiration visit our Pinterest page.