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Featured: A Bayfield Wedding with a French Twist

Interview with Bill DePerry of Apostle Highlands Golf Course

August 20, 2018

With incredible views of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands, Apostle Highlands Golf Course is a beautiful venue for weddings and events here in Bayfield, Wisconsin.

A large patio perfect for a ceremony and cocktail hour with a pavilion for dinners and receptions, this space has everything you need for your destination wedding. We interviewed Bill DePerry to learn all about the Apostle Highlands Golf Course venue, enjoy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and the Apostle Highlands Golf Course venue. 
I grew up in Bayfield and have worked here at the Highlands for 7 years. I’ve worked a variety of different jobs over the years…most of them in the hospitality industry in one form or another. Our wedding venue is located near our clubhouse, with a pavilion and patio that overlooks Lake Superior and the surrounding countryside. We sit above the city of Bayfield, about 500 feet above Lake Superior so the views are incredible. We can host a maximum of 200 guests and most couples have their ceremony and reception here since everything is close by.

When and why did Apostle Highlands start hosting weddings? 
Our wedding venue was built 9 years ago with the hope of increasing the number of people that come up to the hill. The pavilion is also the perfect size to host golf tournaments and the after parties.

Photo Credit: Fairlight Studio

Tell us a little bit about the space. 
The pavilion is roughly 2,000 square feet that can seat 200. It has two bathrooms, a small kitchen area and a storage room. It has dimmable lights, retractable screens, ceiling fans, a projector and movie screen and WiFi. Included with the rental of space are many 5 ft round tables, rectangular tables and white folding chairs. The food catering, photographers, florists, and music are all things that need to be hired.

Do you have any recommendations for couples looking to get married in the Bayfield area? 
Figure out what lodging establishment you want to book a block of rooms because lodging is tough to find on weekends in the summer.

What is a piece of advice you tell all of your clients? 
I tell them to relax and enjoy the day. So much planning has gone into the weekend that when it arrives, trust your planning and enjoy all your family and friends that made the journey to be with you on your special day.

To learn more about Apostle Highlands Golf Course visit their website!

Interview with Rose Lawyer of Harbor View Event Center

May 31, 2018

Located in Washburn, Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior, Harbor View Event Center is a waterfront venue perfect for your special day! With a spacious lakeside hall for up to 300, outdoor patio, historic cocktail lounge and grassy space for your outdoor ceremony this venue has it all!

We spoke with the venue’s general manager, Rose Lawyer, to learn all about Harbor View Event Center and what they offer for weddings and events! Enjoy!

Photographer: Ashley Roberts Photography

Tell us a little bit about yourself and Harbor View Event Center
Living in the Chequamegon Bay Area since 1996, I have called Washburn home for eight years with my husband, two kiddos (ages 10 and 14) and multiple four-footed household members. Before having children, I was the Food and Beverage Manager at the Bayfield Inn and helped facilitate countless weddings in the Bayfield area and Madeline Island. I was eager to take on a similar position in Washburn when the Harbor View Event Center was purchased, especially after seeing the facility and its lakeside location.

Harbor View Event Center overlooks the Washburn Marina and Lake Superior, and its views are simply breathtaking. There are many days that I have to close the shades to avoid being lost in a Lake Superior daydream! The bar is equally distracting, with its 24 foot Brunswick Balke Collender back bar from the 1933 World’s Fair, red back lighting, original mirrors and lakeside patio. Our main hall accommodates up to 300 patrons and includes a fountain and dance floor. With the 35 room Washburn Inn just steps away, the facility is a slam dunk for events of all sorts.

What kind of events does Harbor View Event Center host?
In addition to weddings, our facility is used for business meeting and retreats, music and performances, wellness retreats, graduation and retirement parties, celebrations of life, holiday gatherings, dances, showers, company parties, fundraisers and community events. Any occasion that brings people together is a reason to consider Harbor View Event Center!

Tell us a little bit about the space.
The venue rental includes the facility, tables, chairs, bar service (when specified), linens and cleaning, recycling/trash service and Event Captain (yours truly!). Any caterer can be chosen for meals, and we are always eager to assist coordinating DJ service/music, florists, cakes or any aspect of planning.

Do you have any recommendations for couples looking to get married in the Bayfield/Washburn area? 
Get your feet on the ground! It is too easy to do all your wedding planning online, but it’s imperative that you get into facilities and businesses and have a chance to meet the folks that will be making your day special. I love inviting perspective couples and their families into Harbor View on wedding weekends, so they can see what it’s like at ground zero. This also gives one an opportunity to learn from others’ successes with decorating and planning.

What is a piece of advice you tell all your clients?
The only obligation you have to your guests is to get married! So many couples spend hours fussing over what to serve, how much/what kind of beverages to host, what kind of goodies to offer their friends and family. This can cause unneeded emotional and financial burden to the planning process, so I like to remind people… this is YOUR day and that’s why your guests are attending, not because you had an open bar or plated dinner services.

To learn more about Harbor View Event Center visit their website and Facebook!

Featured: A Bayfield Destination Wedding

April 2, 2018

Rachael and AJ’s destination wedding took place in Bayfield, Wisconsin on October 14, 2017. Even though they live in the Twin Cities- Bayfield stole their heart years ago and was the place they wanted to get married. Andi Stempniak Photography captured their wedding day just beautifully! We hope you enjoy their wedding as much as we do!

Photo Credit: Andi Stempniak Photography

Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you met.
When we first connected, it was safe to say neither was sure if we were the ones for each other. But the first date proved otherwise. On a cold winter night, we met for an evening of rock climbing – a sport we have continued throughout our relationship- but it went on to dinner and deep discussion as if we had known each other forever. If it were not for having to go to work the next day, we would have talked all night. It did not take long to realize we should be partners in this adventure together.

What made you choose Bayfield for your wedding?
Rachael’s family has a cabin here and has been boating the Apostle Islands for years. When Rachael introduced A.J. to Bayfield, it was love at first site! We both have traveled the world, but Bayfield still draws us like a magnet. Naturally we wanted to share this place with everyone. It is far enough to be a “destination wedding,” which makes it an extra special for all who attended.

Photo Credit: Andi Stempniak Photography

Tell us about your wedding!
We had a BBQ and bonfire the evening before at our family cabin as people arrived from around the U.S and beyond.  The day of the wedding, we had a picturesque Bayfield October fall day. The men got dressed on the family boat at the city dock just steps away from the ceremony location at the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion while the ladies got ready at the Old Rittenhouse Inn. We decided not to see each other until Rachael walked down the aisle which made the moment all the more special. We didn’t have an officiant, instead we chose to create a personal ceremony ourselves with our friends and family sharing readings we had selected. A.J’s sisters provided vocal music. We both wrote personal vows, which we kept to ourselves until the ceremony. The love and care we put into the vows and ceremony, coupled with the built up anticipation, made for a truly memorable and heartfelt occasion.

While we had bridal party portraits, guests mingled and had cotton candy (a favorite of Rachael’s) and fresh cheese curds. Hey, we’re in Wisconsin! Including Rachael’s two daughters that were bridesmaids, two flower girls and a ring bearer, we had about 30 children in attendance! It was an absolute joy to have them.  We just made sure to kick off the reception early so everyone, including our friends who happen to be parents, could enjoy. Kid bags with playdoh and toys kept the children happy during dinner and toasts.

As the sun set and the band got underway, the rain and wind blew off of Lake Superior, which the Pavilion is literally built over. We were all cozy and dancing in the candle-lit Pavilion, so the Lake’s storm seemed like the perfect end to a perfect day.

Photo Credit: Andi Stempniak Photography

Are there any recommendations you have for someone looking to get married in the Bayfield area?
Encourage your guests to book accommodations early if they have preferences. There are plenty of options, so availability (even during peak fall colors) was not a problem if you know where to look. The Chamber of Commerce has a great website that shows availability for your dates, it was a great tool.  We emailed our “save the dates” with links to accommodations and information about Bayfield to get the information out early so guests could arrange travel well ahead of time.

One of the best things about planning a wedding in Bayfield is that there are few vendors but they are all terrific. This made decisions much easier, a huge plus when planning a destination wedding, allowing us to concentrate on the personal components. Everyone we worked with was a true professional and easy going! Our second choice was to get married in the Twin Cities where we live. That would have been even more challenging to plan and certainly more expensive while being less gorgeous and intimate.

The main thing is what they all say: keep the details in proper perspective, be a gracious host, and at the end of the day, you’ll be married to your best friend!

Vendors that were involved in your wedding day:
Photographer: Andi Stempniak Photography
Venue: Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion
Catering: Good Thyme Catering
Pies: Gourmet Garage
Hotel: Old Rittenhouse Inn
Ceremony Dress: Rosa Clara Denia
Reception Dress: Dress the Population
Bridesmaids: Calvin Klein
Hair and makeup: Mollie Kae Hair & Makeup
Tux: The Black Tux
Band: Blue Drifters
Flowers + Decor: DIY by bride and friends

Featured: A Bayfield Intimate Wedding

December 15, 2017

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.

Vendors
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)