Destination I Do
Friday, May 18, 2012

Destination Wedding: A Wisconsin Wedding Reunites Family

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by: Kelly Ryan
Photos Courtesy of: Lace Hanky Photography

A tiny island sits modestly in the enormous Lake Superior off the shores of Wisconsin. Here, on Madeline Island, Susan and Matt booked their destination wedding. The couple found comfort in the quaint backdrop Madeline had to offer and started planning right away. The cozy destination was well suited for both respective families to sit, have a drink and enjoy each other.

“We both have very large immediate families,” Susan says. “None of which live in Minneapolis (where we currently live) so we figured if people were traveling we wanted them to be able to come to a vacation spot, stay a while, and be able to relax, have a good time and get to know each other.” The couple had sifted through prospects in California and Mexico, but after much deliberation, they sided with an environment more fit for a family reunion. 

With activities to keep the rugrats occupied, Madeline Island was fun for the kids and a relaxing environment for adults too. Since the island is a tad on the small side, Susan and Matt had difficulty finding alternate venues for the rehearsal dinner and the actual wedding reception. But with a little creativity the couple was able to charter a magical rehearsal dinner on a boat which tooled around Lake Superior providing excellent views for the entire party. 

“I am a very detail oriented person so having a destination [wedding] forced me to loosen up a little and put my trust in all of the vendors,” Susan says.  Months of emails and phone calls left the couple with very minimum amounts of stress and the finishing touches were put into place when they were able to visit. When it came to the reception decorations Susan was very hands-on, “I envisioned one long table overlooking the lake.  I was going for a very shabby chic, organic, antique feel,” she says.  She put together the flower arrangements and followed her “organic” feel with a burlap table cloth as the epic table kept the conversation close.

Susan and Matt exchanged vows on a sandy beach surrounded by loved ones. The couple says the best part was being able to get married all while providing the aura of a mini-vacation for their family. Having the wedding in Minneapolis would not have provided the same vacation feel as Madeline Island did, Susan says. By maintaining a low head count, the couple was able to invest in a few extra embellishments which created memories the family will not soon forget. 

“Do what makes you as a couple happy and family and friends will follow.”

Photographer: Lace Hanky Photography
Ceremony/Reception Venue: St. Josephs Catholic Church/The Inn on Madeline Island
Florist: Island Thyme Designs
Stationary: Atheneum Graphics
Gown Designer: Melissa Sweet, "Felice"
Groom's Clothing Designer: Savvi
Bridesmaids/Groomsmens' Designer: J. Crew/Savvi

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