Interview with Andrea Falconer of Stone’s Throw
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
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!
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.
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.
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!
We all know how stressful wedding planning can be, and who do we turn to when we are stressed, in a pickle or need help with important decisions? Our moms! Many engaged couples find it to be a nice gesture to give their parents gifts at the rehearsal dinner, a way to say “Thank you!” for all of the help given throughout the wedding planning process. Below you will find some of our favorite local gifts to give the Mothers of the Bride + Groom – Bayfield style!
Unique, One-of-a-Kind Jewelry
Here in Bayfield we have some very talented artists who handcraft beautiful pieces of jewelry, perfect for a one-of-a-kind Mom. It would mean so much to the Mothers of the Bride and Groom if they knew the jewelry was handpicked by you. Here you can find a list of our local jewelers.
Tickets to a Local Concert or Play
Summer in Bayfield is filled with concerts at Big Top Chautauqua, comedies, musicals and dramas through the Sidekick Theatre and so much more! Purchase tickets for your moms to go together, with their spouse or with friends!
Sidekick Theatre at STAGENORTH
Pamper your moms with gift certificates to a local spa. Superior Body Massage & Spa is a local spa that offers massage, hot stone massage, facials and more! You could even make a day out of it, and join the two of them after your wedding.
Is either the Mother of the Bride or Mother of the Groom an outdoors lover? Bayfield has many opportunities to get outside! You can book them to tour the Apostle Islands through Apostle Islands Cruises, Good Earth Outfitters, or Manitou Sailing Charters. They could kayak the sea caves through Living Adventures, Inc, Trek & Trail, or Lost Creek Adventures & Outfitter. They could golf at Apostle Highlands Golf Course or even try out dog sledding through Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing.
Pick out Something Special at a Local Gift Shop or Art Gallery
Whether your gift be a piece of art from a local art gallery, a locally made candle from Madeline Island Candle Company or something special you pick out from a gift shop in town, your mothers will know it was picked out with love!
Whether you are planning a bachelorette party, honeymoon or a pre-wedding spa day – Superior Body Massage & Spa has a variety of packages and services for you!
This day-spa is located in downtown Bayfield. Open year-round, they offer massage, facials, spa treatments, manicures, pedicures and facial waxing.
Read on to hear about the bachelorette groups they have hosted, their newly renovated spa, the bridal packages they offer and their recommendations for brides!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and Superior Body Massage & Spa.
Superior Body Massage & Spa is on the eve of its 10th anniversary. We opened in May of 2006. We have been at the same location the entire time, adding on more space every few years as we’ve grown.
We finished our last remodel and the addition of almost 1000 more square feet of spa space at the end of last year. It turned out beautifully and we now have three treatment rooms (a couples massage room, a wet room for spa treatments and an individual treatment room for massage and skin care). We also have a large nail service room with two spa pedicure thrones and our manicure station.
With the remodel we were able to make our reception area much larger to include retail space of some great new product lines and also make our waiting area much more private for groups.
What inspired you to start your own spa here in Bayfield?
I had moved away from the area for a couple of years and my then-boyfriend, now-husband convinced me to move back here with him. There was no one doing anything like this at the time – and there still isn’t – so it was the perfect time to open a day spa here.
What wedding related services do you provide?
We offer massage, facials, spa treatments, manicures, pedicures and facial waxing.
Do you have a bridal package? If so, what does it include/entail?
We do have a bridal package that can be viewed on our website, it includes a massage or facial as well as a manicure and pedicure. Although groups do book this package, often bridal groups design their own package because we have such a large service menu and typically not everyone wants to do the same services. For bridal groups of four or more people, I discount their custom designed packages 10% when they book by May 1st.
Have you hosted any particularly memorable wedding-related parties/groups?
We recently had a large bachelorette group come in that were all dressed in red flannel, which was very cute. Another group did a Geisha theme, we hung paper lanterns and they drank sake. We have had groups as large as 14 and as small as just the bride and her best friend. Some bring in loads of munchies, desserts and champagne and make a party of it. Others just really want to chill-out before the big day. They are all a pleasure to have here.
What is the most common service you provide for newlyweds on their honeymoon?
Any of our couples massage services are very popular for newlyweds. Bayfield is a hot spot for honeymooners wanting to stay within driving distance of their homes and there are some Saturdays where we have three or four newlywed couples. It’s fun to hear them congratulate each other.
Do you sell gift certificates?
We do sell gift certificates both on our website and at the spa.
Are there any recommendations you have for brides?
From a logistical side, I recommend handing the spa-day planning off to a bridesmaid or family member. There are so many details and decisions with any sized wedding and it’s really enjoyable for brides to just get to show up and enjoy themselves without having to organize another event. That being said, plenty of brides really want to make sure that the day goes as they envision, in which case I recommend contacting me directly a couple months prior to help design the perfect spa day for you.
What advice do you have for couples (or brides) planning their wedding in Bayfield?
Plan an extra few days in Bayfield after your wedding so you can relax and enjoy Bayfield as a newly married couple.
Are you having a wedding here in Bayfield this summer? Are you a photographer or local wedding vendor getting ready for your upcoming wedding season? 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
Whether you choose a traditional wedding cake, cupcakes or a dessert table, your options for something-sweet at your wedding are endless!
Ginamarie Kinney Anderson has been a pastry chef for 8 years and owns Harbor House Sweets in Washburn, Wisconsin. Ginamarie can supply handcrafted chocolate favors for your wedding, along with a wedding cake or any dessert! Read ahead for the latest pastry trends, Ginamarie’s recommendations for couples searching for a bakery/specialty shop and information about Harbor House Sweets!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and Harbor House Sweets. What inspired you to become a pastry chef?
I was born and raised in upstate New York. I come from an Italian family. I’ve lived in 6 different states around the country but my husband, David, is from the area and that is what brought us here. I like to go to the Twin Cities monthly for my city fix! David and I have two children.
I have a small list of bakers in my family and I have baked since I was young. I wanted to get some science, skill and technique behind the trade so I went to culinary school in the Twin Cities. At Le Cordon Bleu (LCB) I doubled up on classes to finish early. While at LCB I would stage/work for free to learn more with a former chef of Charlie Trotter, Michelle Guyer. I then continued my education with an internship in Naples, Florida. I worked at Mikkelsen pastry shop. I was fortunate to work with a chef from Denmark, France, and a chocolatier from Belgium. I’m always looking to learn more and continue to improve my skill/trade.
I’m a hard worker and I thought it was time to work hard for me. Harbor House Sweets was put in plan. The name was inspired by some places from my roots and the fact that my husband and I love water. Some days I just want to make chocolate and some days I just want to bake. I love all of it and like to package pretty things.
Wedding Cake made by Ginamarie Kinney Anderson of Harbor House Sweets
What can you provide for weddings and/or bridal showers?
I like to provide for big events just as much as small ones. I can make individual desserts, specialty chocolates, or a cake. Harbor House Sweets can provide favors for any occasion, or a sweet treat for your liking. Always inquire, ideas traditional and new are welcome and I’m happy to make it.
What are some of the latest pastry trends you have seen for weddings?
I would say the most recent trends I have seen are dessert tables. Some people do not like big desserts but they do like to have a little something. A couple of years ago, I had a fabulous bride that wanted cake pops, cupcakes, petit fours and just a ceremonial cake. I loved setting it up, it was one of the prettiest I had done. She had said to me, “I think sitting there eating a piece of cake is so daunting. I want my guests to come pick up their sweet treat when they are ready.” That thought has stuck with me ever since. I liked that idea.
Another pastry trend is a small 2-3 piece chocolate box favor- one on each place setting. People really like that, it looks nice and they aren’t going home with something they will never use.
Chocolate Wedding Favors made by Ginamarie Kinney Anderson of Harbor House Sweets
When couples want to hire you for their wedding, what is your typical process?
I get a few ideas via email or phone to see what they like so that when we meet they can have a cake/dessert tasting. We meet at Harbor House Sweets, where I usually have a form we go through to see what they like and what they are looking for.
I require a deposit to secure the date. Each of us gets a copy of the contract so I know what is expected of me and they know what they are getting. Dates fill up fast and when there is a wedding, I don’t like to have other events on that day.
When do you recommend couples begin speaking to bakeries/specialty shops?
Brides should speak to bakeries right away! People always think they have time and the cake is last but there is so much more that goes into cakes/desserts. Couples are always surprised at the end of our meeting at how much info I need from them and how much is involved. They don’t realize it is just as important as the food. You are planning your guests’ dessert. Bakeries/specialty shops do not like to have more than one big event in a day. They want it to be a hit just as much as the customer does.
Are there any other recommendations you have for brides?
My advice is to be comfortable with what you want and what you like. Everyone has a budget and no matter what, it will be beautiful. Read your contracts and make sure everything is in order. The contract is for your protection as well as the bakery /specialty shop. You want to make sure you get everything you need. Don’t be shy to ask questions, this is your day. Enjoy!!
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.
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.
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!