Interview with Jamey Ritter of Bemused Design & 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
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!
There is no doubt that planning a wedding takes a lot of work! With many moving pieces, a professional may be needed to assist with planning, coordinating or designing your big day. We spoke with Brittany Sneed, owner of Simply Gypsy Events, to learn more about her business and insight into the modern wedding.
Simply Gypsy Events is a boutique event and wedding planner based in Northern Wisconsin and Denver, Colorado. Some of their services include wedding coordination, destination elopements, luxury planning and design.
Keep reading to learn more about Simply Gypsy Events and Brittany’s advice for couples currently planning their wedding!
Photo Credit: Mad Chicken Studio
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.
I’m Brittany from Simply Gypsy Events. I love being behind the scenes, planning and styling. I love pulling together all the little elements that create a bigger picture. I love love; I am so passionate about kindness, happiness, and all-encompassing love. Simply Gypsy Events is a full service wedding planning company based in Northern Wisconsin. We specialize in curating bespoke and authentic events for adventurous couples.
How did you get into wedding planning?
I’ve always been a party planner. From holidays and birthdays to friend gatherings and just because parties. I love putting together details and being a host, I love to see people enjoying something I’ve created or put together. Wedding planning had crossed my mind once or twice when I was gypsying around the world searching for my calling, but it wasn’t until I started planning my own wedding that I was reminded why I love planning events. During that time I also realized my desire to help other couples in the process because I know it is hard to work, have a real life and try to plan a wedding.
What is your favorite part of a wedding to plan?
There are so many parts and pieces that come with planning a wedding. I love the initial meeting and beginning stages of learning a new couple and their desires for their wedding day – it really gets you excited for the process. I also, of course, LOVE the result – it is a wonderful moment seeing the dream wedding come to life.
Photo Credit: Mad Chicken Studio
Are there any wedding trends you love or would love to see brides leave behind?
Trends are continuously changing, not just with fashion or decor elements, but in the way couples decide to do things too. Elopements and small ceremonies are very popular now. I see couples looking for more ways to create their own wedding with elements that are unique to their style and relationships, which creates a more memorable experience.
How would you describe your dream wedding client?
It definitely makes my job easier to work with couples who are immensely happily in love. Their relationship is the muse and inspiration to create something beautiful. We definitely love working with clients who want to to have a unique wedding, rather than recreating something they’ve seen online.
Photo Credit: Mad Chicken Studio
What advice would you give to couples who are in the midst of planning their wedding?
Stay true to you and your relationship. You are the ones who will be looking back on this day for the rest of your lives, trends will change but you want to remember it being exactly perfect.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help in the planning process. Wedding planning is like a second job. If you need help, ask for it. People LOVE helping with wedding stuff. Your fiance, your friends, your bridal party, your family – they want to help you! No use getting stressed over something by thinking you have to do it by yourself.
Photo Credit: Mad Chicken Studio
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.
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
The famous Old Rittenhouse Inn is an appealing venue for many brides and grooms who want to incorporate the historic charm of Bayfield into their special day. Whether looking for a place for guests to stay, a location for the rehearsal/groom’s dinner or a special venue for the wedding itself (or all of the above!) – The Old Rittenhouse Inn provides an ideal backdrop for your Bayfield wedding.
We spoke with Wendy Phillips, the Wedding and Event Director at Old Rittenhouse Inn, to learn more about their venue and everything it has to offer.
Wendy prides herself in being an organized and detailed person when planning your wedding from afar. Read ahead to hear what advice she offers and what she can do for you and your wedding, elopement or honeymoon!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and Old Rittenhouse Inn.
Old Rittenhouse Inn was started by my in-laws 41 years ago. Interestingly enough, I started my first job here when I was 16, met my husband and ended up getting married here! I have been the Wedding & Events Director for the last 13 years. Old Rittenhouse Inn was the first bed and breakfast in Wisconsin 41 years ago. Now it is comprised of 2 Victorian mansions and a guest cottage. We offer 20 rooms all year around along with gourmet dining.
What services does Old Rittenhouse Inn provide for weddings and honeymoons?
For weddings we offer full service, wedding and event planning. We can do as little or as much as desired. We can refer officiants, photographers, florists, musicians, and bakeries and provide music, chairs, all of the setup and cleanup of the event, catering services, full wine and liquor, and lodging services. For smaller elopements we can even provide witnesses!
For honeymoons we offer a special Honeymoon Package, which includes a room of your choice, a candlelight dinner at Landmark Restaurant, homemade sweets, cookies & bottle of champagne for your room, a keepsake Old Rittenhouse Inn ornament, a hand-crafted mug with glazed Old Rittenhouse Inn, and a choice of two Bayfield preserves.
How many weddings to date have taken place at your venues?
In the last 13 years since I have been the Wedding & Event Director we have done more than 300 weddings. Weddings have been taking place at Old Rittenhouse Inn since opening 41 years ago, so that number would be much larger!
Tell us a little bit about the process of hiring you to plan a wedding.
We offer a free consultation and tour for anyone who is interested. After determining the clients needs we provide them with a general proposal. Once someone has determined they want the Old Rittenhouse Inn for their wedding, we require a deposit and signed contract. After receiving the deposit and signed contract, we start the planning process! I do a majority of the planning during the winter time, which couples appreciate having most of the details worked out far in advance.
Tell us about elopements.
Elopements have become very popular in the last 4-5 years, this may be due to the fact that we began heavily marketing elopements around that time. We have an elopement package that is basically a one-stop-shop. We cover all of the major things people would be looking for in an elopement. Typically elopements are for 2-10 people, and we can provide witnesses if needed.
Do you have many couples who were married there return in the years to follow?
Many couples return every year for anniversaries. It is really sweet to see people come back year after year and eventually come with babies in tow. I have couples come back that were married by my in-laws years ago.
Do you have any recommendations for brides looking to get married in Bayfield?
I highly recommend you plan in advance, especially for the larger weddings. There are a limited amount of venues that can cater to larger groups, and they book up quickly. Keep in mind lodging can book up quickly too. All in all, Bayfield is gorgeous. There are so many neat things that people do these days with their weddings. I say do it! Bayfield is more natural to me, orchards, woods, and gardens offer many pretty and unique experiences.
What is a piece of advice you tell all of your clients?
The biggest thing I stress to all of my clients is don’t forget your marriage license! One time I had someone show up with a Minnesota license. You need to be very careful with marriage licenses. Couples can overlook it, leave it until last minute or just not prepare for it as they should be. Educate yourselves on the laws as far as which state/county you live in and what documents you need to bring with you.
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.