Interview with Apostle Islands Cruises

Interview with Andrea Falconer of Stone’s Throw

February 23, 2017

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!

To learn more about Stone’s Throw visit their website, Facebook page or stop into their storefront!

Interview with Brittany Sneed of Simply Gypsy Events

December 15, 2016

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!

simply-gypsy-eventsPhoto 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.

simply_gypsy_events_mad_chicken_studio_duluth_wedding_planner_brule_river_barn_wisconsin-141-copyPhoto 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. 

simply_gypsy_events_mad_chicken_studio_duluth_wedding_planner_brule_river_barn_wisconsin-307Photo Credit: Mad Chicken Studio

To learn more about what Simply Gypsy Events has to offer, take a look at their website and Facebook!

Groom’s Dinner, Bayfield Style

November 3, 2016

Also known as a rehearsal dinner, a groom’s dinner is a smaller, more intimate event typically held the night before the bride and groom’s wedding. Here in the Bayfield area, many couples get pretty creative with their groom’s dinners!

Read ahead to learn how to plan your groom’s dinner, especially if you’d like it to be done Bayfield style!

11708061_10153159923054205_2473072701837666694_oGroom’s Dinner at Good Thyme Restaurant

The Who
Typically a groom’s dinner’s attendees are the bride and groom’s immediate families along with their wedding party. Spouses/dates of any immediate family and wedding party members should be invited, along with your officiant and their spouse. Of course, the guest list can fluctuate to include any out of town guests, family members or anybody else for that matter!

The Why
Groom’s dinners are intended to be a celebratory night where the families and wedding party can spend more intimate time together. A relaxed setting with your closest family and friends allows your wedding weekend to kick off to a really great start. You will be able to loosen up some of the anticipation you have been building up for your wedding weekend!

Cheese Curds Catered by Good Thyme Catering

The What
What is the difference between a groom’s dinner and rehearsal dinner? Traditionally this event is hosted by the groom’s family, in this case it would be referred to as the groom’s dinner. If the couple, bride’s parents or mix of all three are hosting the event then it would be referred to as the rehearsal dinner. Groom’s dinners can be anything from a backyard BBQ to a formal banquet dinner.

The Bayfield Style
Here in Bayfield we see a wide array of groom’s dinners. Good Thyme Restaurant had a groom’s dinner under a tent on the restaurant’s property where they served a fresh crab boil! The tables were covered with kraft paper, boots filled with succulents and wood crab mallets!

Lace & Brass Events had clients looking for a fun and relaxed meal for their rehearsal dinner. They recommended fish fry and beer! Having Lake Superior at our doorstep allows many local restaurants and caterers to serve fresh fish caught that morning.

Whether you are going to a restaurant for your groom’s dinner, hiring a caterer or doing the DIY approach the biggest tip we have is to relax and enjoy this intimate time with your closest family and friends!

Take a look at our resources and inspiration page to help plan your groom’s dinner or wedding!

Interview: Kate Bortell of KB Website Design

June 1, 2016

The modern wedding has many moving parts and events!. Instead of sending all of your guests multiple emails, letters, Facebook events and phone calls – you can have all the information readily available on a wedding website.
A wedding website is especially important for destination weddings, when your guests are completely unfamiliar with the area and what there is all to offer! Kate Bortell of KB Website Design is the perfect local source for your wedding website. Not only does she have the skill and knowledge, but she has the local connection to add that extra touch if you are not from the Bayfield area. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and KB Website Design.
I had a 25+ year career in information technology in the Chicago area. I worked on some great projects, but I got tired of the traffic and the noise and the emphasis on getting and possessing. I wanted to be in a place of great natural beauty, and to surround myself with people who are in tune with the spirit of nature.

I have always tried to use my creative talents in business, and I got a wonderful opportunity when luck made it possible for me to help the Madeline Island School of the Arts get started. In that position I learned a lot about this area and its people, and I decided that this was the place I wanted to be. Since then I’ve shared area information with visitors while working at the Madeline Island Ferry Line Information Station and at the Madeline Island Museum.

I was looking for a way to use my creative and business talents, and also make a contribution to this wonderful community. In 2012, the La Pointe Center for the Arts on Madeline Island gave me a grant to study website creation from a design point of view. That opportunity got me back into catching up on the most recent technology, and I realized that I could use my technical skills and my creativity to help people in this community realize their dreams. Voila! This consulting business was born.

unnamed vwedding website

When did you begin designing websites for weddings?
I began designing websites in the Chequamegon Bay Region two years ago, when I realized that was the best way I could be helpful in the region while giving clients the benefit of my broad technical and design experience.

What is included in your wedding website service?
I begin my website service with a personal, no-charge, consultation in order to find out exactly what my client is looking for, and to offer suggestions from my experience. I create my proposal to the client from that conversation. I can do anything from setting up the “page framework” and “look and feel” so the somewhat “tech-savvy” client can fill in the content, while still having me do the extras that make sure the website is professional-looking and has the SEO to be “found” in searches — or I can do the whole shebang with the client supplying text and photos, and leaving the rest to me so they can get on with the other wedding plans.

What are some of the key components you like to include in the wedding websites you design?
It’s always fun to start the website with the engagement announcement and/or Save The Date. The website can be short-term, lasting only through the actual wedding, or can be continued any way the client wants with a little foresight — use it as a blog from the honeymoon, keep track of the relationship over time, including jobs, children, lifetime events, etc., or turn it into a business website when that develops along the way…

While planning the wedding, use the website to give guests and other interested parties information about the wedding location, the events along the way like showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsal, reception, etc. Include event times, maps, lodging/dining/entertainment possibilities, and other information like the gift registry information, wish list, etc. You can also collect information using forms, and it can even go into special spreadsheets (menu choices? lodging choices? etc.) — or collect emails for people who want to receive an update newsletter!

A wedding website is especially helpful for destination weddings, where there’s lots of info to hand out — my daughter got married in Hawaii, and we spent a lot of time giving her guests all the information they needed to make their attendance/vacation fun for the several days they were there! You can even include an actual calendar (guests can easily click and add events to their Google or Apple online calendar) and a blog, and push calendar/blog entries to Facebook, Twitter and other social media! And if you only want to share information with guests, you can use a cover page with essential information, and give guests a password to enter the site or certain parts of the site. Just think of the possibilities!

What is a common misconception brides make about your service?
Don’t make the mistake of using one of the free website builders — with their tacky advertising and minimal SEO and other services — a beautiful, professional website with all the bells and whistles is not that expensive, and will look so much better to your guests. Monthly hosting fees are possible, so you can drop the site after the wedding if you want. And make sure the website will be mobile and iPad friendly — guests love to be able to do that last-minute address verification via their smartphone. Don’t put it off! It can start small and grow as your plans grow, too, if you want.

How far in advance do you recommend brides hire you to design their website? How long does it typically take to design wedding websites?
I recommend starting the website design at the very beginning. It usually takes only a couple of weeks to get it out there, if all the text and beautiful pictures are on hand, and it can grow as things progress.

Are there any recommendations you have for brides regarding wedding websites?
Be sure your website is just as beautiful as your wedding — use your wedding colors and theme for your website, too. Pictures tell the story better than words — keep the text minimal, clear and concise — use links so you don’t have to repeat info already out there on the web — and include lots of quality, theme-related photos. I have used good iPhone photos on websites, but if you have professional photos done, be sure to use them. It’s the photographer and the camera that make all the difference!

To learn more about KB Website Design visit their website.

Day-After Wedding Brunch, Bayfield Style

January 18, 2016

Muffins, quiche, local fruit, freshly brewed coffee… who doesn’t love brunch?!

Many couples decide to extend their wedding weekend festivities into Sunday. Whether the concept of brunch the day-after your wedding is new to you or something you’ve already contemplated, here are some tips and ideas for your brunch here in Bayfield.

The Fat Radish
Mini Quiche and Breakfast Pastries made by The Fat Radish

Who to invite?

Patti Holman, owner of The Fat Radish, has found that 25-50 guests is the most popular guest count for brunch. A day-after wedding brunch is perfect for those who want to spend more time with their wedding party, immediate family and out-of-town guests.

Your wedding day will be very busy and you may wish you could spend more time with the guests that traveled to celebrate with you. Not only would inviting your out-of-town guests be a nice gesture, but it would allow you to have quality one-on-one time with them without being distracted.

Hosting a brunch is a very sweet way to say thank you, again, to your wedding party and immediate family. By Sunday everyone is relaxed and enjoying each other’s company.


Yogurt Parfaits Provided by Lace & Brass Events, LLC

Where to host?

The really nice thing about a day-after wedding brunch is there are no rules! It can be as formal or informal as you would like. Emily Jeffress, owner of Lace & Brass Events, LLC, suggests hosting your brunch either at or near the location where your guests are staying. This will eliminate additional traveling for you and your guests by keeping the logistics simple. A few suggestions for the location: the hotel where you had room blocks, a local restaurant, the venue where you had your wedding or a family member’s home.


Fresh Roasted Coffee from Big Water Coffee Roasters

What to serve?

Noreen, owner of Café Coco, says quiche and pastries are her most requested brunch items. Other popular brunch items are local fruit, honey baked ham, yogurt parfaits, breakfast sandwiches, juice and coffee.

Big Water Coffee Roasters is our local source for fresh roasted coffee that can be picked up or delivered in large cambro containers, along with everything you would need for coffee service. Add a mimosa bar or bloody mary bar to spice up your brunch! Provide all of the fixins’, allowing your guests to design their own drinks.

Coco's Brunch
Day-after Wedding Brunch Catered by Café Coco

Planning a wedding or day-after wedding brunch? Take a look at our Bayfield venues and vendors!

Late-Night Snacks for Your Wedding

November 16, 2015

It is getting later in the night and everyone is still having a blast at your wedding. Dancing, drinking and socializing have worked up quite an appetite for you and your guests. It has been hours since dinner and soon guests will begin traveling back to their hotel rooms. Make your great wedding a fantastic one by surprising everyone with a late-night snack! Not only will a late-night snack satisfy their appetite, it can also sober them up a bit. There are endless possibilities for what snack you can choose.

You can never go wrong with pizza, sliders, corn dogs or sandwiches! Everyone loves these classic go-to carbs, which you can customize to your preferences or wedding theme. You could have the pizzas delivered or talk with your caterer about taking care of the snacks.

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The Fat Radish

You can really have fun and get creative with this one! Pretzel bars, taco bars, popcorn bars or nacho bars are just the beginning. Start with the basics and provide all of the fixins so your guests can really customize their own snack. Having a bar set up is a great option because your guests can snack throughout the night while your caterer keeps the food refilled.

Sweet Tooth
Ice cream sundaes, cookies + milk, and fruit + chocolate are just a few snack ideas for you and your guests. Everyone will be sure to enjoy these sweet tasty treats while finishing up the night dancing away!

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The Fat Radish

Keepin’ it Classy
Who’s to say you can’t snack on smoked salmon or a cheese torta at night? Good Thyme Catering has even provided sushi as a late night snack! Your guests will really enjoy these appetizer-like snacks even if it is at 10 p.m.!

Smoked Salmon 4 ways
Good Thyme Catering

Whatever you choose for your late-night snack, there is no doubt that your guests will be happily surprised and grateful! Whether you tackle the snack yourself or have your caterer or coordinator handle it, make sure you don’t wait until last minute to plan it!

Check out Bayfield’s venues and vendors here.

A Bayfield Ice Road Wedding

October 30, 2015

Married on a frozen Lake Superior – now that is a winter wedding!

Every year the channel separating Bayfield and Madeline Island freezes over, becoming thick enough to drive back and forth on. Locals plow and sand the route, creating a way to get back and forth. Ryan, who grew up in Bayfield, and Shui, his bride, have a love for Lake Superior and decided to take full advantage of the Ice Road in a completely unique way! Read about their wedding and how they went about getting married in the middle of winter out on the beautiful ice in Bayfield.

IMG_7027-LImage by Riverstone Photography

Ryan and Shui had an outdoor winter ceremony on February 28, 2015 on the Lake Superior Ice Road between Bayfield and Madeline Island. A small, intimate ceremony is exactly what this couple had in mind. With 12 in-person guests and family Facetiming from China, they had their unique ceremony on Lake Superior. Ryan has family in Bayfield and always loved Lake Superior. Shui’s name actually translates to water – so it was no surprise that they wanted to incorporate Lake Superior into their ceremony.

Around two weeks before their wedding date, Ryan’s mother made the suggestion of getting married on the Ice Road. Since they were planning on having a small, quick ceremony they knew this could work! They found a spot on the Ice Road where they could be out of the way of traffic and set up an arch. Everything fell together perfectly and they had the unique wedding they were hoping for. Following their ceremony they quickly bundled up and had a small reception at Ryan’s parents’ house. Then this past August they had a large reception at the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion.


Image by Riverstone Photography

To prepare for an outdoor winter wedding, the couple made sure to dress in many layers. February 28 ended up being quite a cold day, but that didn’t stop any of their guests from celebrating with them. Their plan B if it was too cold or if the Ice Road wasn’t open was to either go to one of the Bayfield marinas or Ryan’s parents’ property. Either option would still keep them outside and near the water – like they wanted. For any couple looking to get married outside in the winter, they would recommend to dress very warm and to stress to your guests that it can get very, very cold out on the ice. Ryan and Shui also agree that an outdoor winter wedding is easiest when the ceremony is quick and the guest list is short, in case plans need to be changed last minute.

Ryan and Shui are very happy with how their wedding turned out. They said their guests were excited to attend the unique ceremony and everyone had a really fun time. Not many people can say they were married on the ice of Lake Superior or even attended a wedding out on the ice! If their story has inspired you to take advantage of the Ice Road for your own wedding, please visit here to learn more about the Ice Road.


Bayfield Activities For Your Wedding Guests (2)

November 6, 2014

Create an exceptional experience by offering memorable activities for your guests. While the main reason for your guests gathering is to watch you get hitched, Bayfield’s boundless beauty sets the stage for countless memorable experiences for them to enjoy during their stay. Check out some of the seasonal activities waiting for you and your entourage to dive into. Your wedding guests will be thanking you.

Part 2 of a 2 part series.

Entertainment + Leisure

Orchards + Wineries — Nestled in the rising hills of Bayfield are a bushel of scenic and charming orchards and berry farms. During the summer months, invite your wedding guests to experience the simple pleasure of picking a variety of berries. Come fall time, apples and homemade treats are the pride of the land. Don’t miss out on the unique treasure, Wisconsin’s Berry Capital, and all it has to offer. Find everything you need to know right here

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Apostle Islands Cruises — Your guests can go beyond simply sightseeing and learn about the culture, history and highlights of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands on one of several Apostle Islands boat cruises. Tour lighthouses or go hiking out on the islands, browse different cruises here

Museums + History Tours —  You know there will be a few history enthusiasts on the guest list, so why not introduce them to Northern Wisconsin’s rich history by inviting them to visit the Bayfield Historical Museum or Bayfield’s Maritime Museum? Visitors can also enjoy one of the town’s award winning historic walking tours along the streets of Bayfield.

Golf — It will only take your guests one time golfing Apostle Highlands Golf Course to know they need to take a little extra time to enjoy the scenic vista overlooking the Apostle Islands and Lake Superior. Northern Wisconsin golfing at its best, Apostle Highlands is located 500 feet above Lake Superior’s south shore and offers fantastic views of Chequamegon Bay!

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Concerts by the Lake — If your guests decide to get into town early or stay a little longer during the summer months, they’ll have the chance to enjoy an outdoor concert in Memorial Park along the shores of Lake Superior. Concerts take place on Tuesdays at 7pm. The view? They’ll be looking out to Madeline Island and the pier as the sun sets… They’ll have the best seat in town!

Shops + Galleries — Bayfield has no shortage of charming boutiques and galleries. When your guests are perusing through town, they’ll find a plethora of unique jewelry, art and clothing. Not what they’re looking for? Candy, fudge, fruit pies, fresh or smoked fish… Bayfield has that too! Find a list of retailers here.

Big Top Chautauqua — This famous blue circus tent on top of Mt. Ashwabay welcomes nationally and internationally known entertainment. Seating 900, there is more than enough room for your whole guest list if you wish it! Hands will be clapping and toes will be tapping. Check it out!

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Bayfield Activities For Your Wedding Guests (1)

October 30, 2014

Create an exceptional experience by offering memorable activities for your guests. While the main reason for your guests gathering is to watch you get hitched, Bayfield’s boundless beauty sets the stage for countless memorable experiences for them to enjoy during their stay. Check out some of the seasonal activities waiting for you and your entourage to dive into. Your wedding guests will be thanking you.

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Part 1 — Outdoor Adventures

Sailing & Boating — Bayfield is known for some of the best sailing in the world due to the shelter offered by the Apostle Islands. Charters can take you and your group out all day or for a shorter happy hour outing. Find more information here.

Kayaking — Apostle Islands kayaking is an experience not to be missed. Your guests will enjoy breathtaking views of rising bluffs and historic lighthouses while cruising along the pristine Lake Superior shoreline. Don’t forget to venture into the famous sandstone sea caves! Find more information here.

Hiking  — Whether your guests are looking for a quiet hike or to burn off a couple glasses of wine consumed at the reception, they’ll find it here (plus stunning views no matter the season) Check out this complete list of hiking trails in the area.

Bicycling — Cruise past orchards just outside of Bayfield on country roads or on biking trails
within the plentiful forests of the Chequamegon National Forest. Pick a route here and rent your wheels here.

Beaches — Crisp, clean waters and warm sandy beaches? Your guests will be sold. Don’t get us started on the views. Check out this map of beaches in Bayfield County here!

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Madeline Island — The possibilities are endless over on the island. Your guests will enjoy a beautiful 20 minute ferry ride from Bayfield before getting a taste of island life. Bring a car over or rent mopeds or bikes. Because there are so many activities on the island, the best way to find what’s most appealing to your guests is by exploring the Madeline Island Chamber website.

Dog Sledding — Riding a dog sled over the hills surrounding Bayfield is something few people think about when they think of this beautiful area, but now that your know of this secret adventure, syou can inform your thrill-seeking guests! Wolfsong Adventures will take them on an unforgettable ride. 

Skiing + Snowboarding — Wisconsin’s most delightful winter playground with great downhill skiing is just 3 miles south of Bayfield at Mt. Ashwabay. While racing down the hill, visitors enjoy the spectacular view of Chequamegon Bay. Your guests don’t event have to bring gear, rentals are available.

Ice Caves — The hype is real! Lakeshore cliffs along Lake Superior form crimson red borders to create an arctic landscape. Inside the ice caves awaits a fairyland of needle like icicles. If you’re in Bayfield in the winter, the ice caves are a must. Dazzle your guests with these hidden winter gems. All the information you need can be found right here

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