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For us here at Distinctly Yours, it’s been a BIG and lovely 2022. After the wedding lull brought on by the global pandemic, we are in the middle of a wedding boom and we couldn’t be more thrilled. This year we planned many weddings, and in today’s blog we’d like to highlight 10 venues and offer our review. We hope you’re able to get a thoughtful, informed response about what the pros and cons of the following venues are to see if it’s the right spot for your wedding.

The Pines Event Center

Location: Rhinelander, WI

About: The Pines Event Center provides a beautiful backdrop for special events, providing seating for up to 230 guests, ample parking, and spacious grounds, all nestled in a grove of pine trees.

My Review: Jenna & Weston’s wedding day was just magical in the winter season, and both chosen venues only added to the magic. Jenna & Weston started with their ceremony at a small-town Catholic church, making theirs the third generation being married there.  It was so special to witness Jenna & Weston continue their family legacy.  

With so many guests traveling, they needed to find a reception venue that could accommodate their number of guests and enough local hotel accommodations for everyone.  They chose The Pines in Rhinelander which ended up being 45 minutes away from the church. To make the travel easier between the ceremony, reception, and hotel, they secured 2 large greyhound buses to transport all their guests to the ceremony then return to The Pines for the reception.  Such great thinking! During the planning process, I had the pleasure of working with Julie Stieber, the owner of The Pines, and thoroughly enjoyed her attention to detail and her servant’s heart. Our experience planning a wedding at The Pines was very positive, and we hope to have the chance to plan another wedding there.

Bride and groom dip and kiss at The Pines in Rhinelander during reception

Photo by Amy Jakubowski Photography

Rothschild Pavilion

Location: Rothschild, WI

About: The pavilion located in Rothschild’s Pine Park is a spacious, lovely space perfect for wedding ceremonies and receptions, and has outdoor ceremony spots located next to the river, as well as spaces for guests to enjoy nature.

My Review: We love planning and executing weddings at the Rothschild Pavilion.  Halee & Kyle’s elegant wedding this year was definitely highlighted with all the charm & nostalgia that the Rothschild Pavilion brings to share their love story.  They chose to have their wedding at the Rothschild Pavilion for both the ceremony and reception.  The Rothschild Pavilion is so beautiful with the high ceilings, big windows, and the perfect space for a big party.  However with Halle & Kyle’s guest count, we had to plan for a full event space flip in the middle of their wedding day.  This is where our team comes in.  We were able to seamlessly flip the event space from the ceremony to the reception in 45 minutes flat, all while Halee & Kyle were with their wedding party taking pictures and ALL their friends and family were enjoying the cocktail hour.  

Considerations: When having your wedding at the Rothschild Pavilion, you need to be aware that there isn’t an event staff to help you perform any of the event execution. This is where our detailed professional planning and execution are beneficial. We come alongside our couples to guide them through the planning process at the Pavilion and then execute the wedding they have always dreamed of so their friends and family can enjoy it with them. 

Exterior of the Rothschild Pavilion
Ceremony space inside at the Rothschild Pavilion
Wedding ceremony at Rothschild Pavilion
Wedding reception space with tables at Rothschild Pavilion
Wedding reception space with tables in Rothschild Pavilion

Photos by Kailey Stencil Photography

Camp Alexander

Location: Wisconsin Rapids, WI

About: For adventurous couples and lovebirds hoping to plan a creative wedding weekend camp experience, Camp Alexander is perfect – nestled on a private peninsula on Nepco Lake in Wisconsin Rapids, this camp is available to be rented out for an entire weekend and has accommodations for adventurous couples and guests.

My Review: There are so many unique ways you can plan a wedding at Camp Alexander.  You can incorporate so many of the transitional elements of a wedding; however, due to the fact that you are given the whole camp for the entire weekend, the sky’s the limit!  You can customize your events to who is attending the event.  For example with Rachael & Andy’s wedding, they had kicked off their wedding with a Welcome Dinner on Friday evening with a bonfire for their guests to enjoy and reunite.  Then on the wedding day, they provided accommodations for the guests with all different options: tent camping, cabins & hookups for campers.  In addition, they offered lots of different activities like swimming, hiking, flower arranging, rock painting, or a variety of yard games.  Camp Alexander is the perfect venue for those adventurous couples and their guests to provide a weekend wedding with a variety of activities, all while having those traditional wedding elements.    

Considerations: The challenge with this venue is that you are planning and caring for your wedding guests for the WHOLE weekend.  Susannah and James knew from the beginning that a whole weekend wedding event would be needed since all their guests were traveling, so hiring our professional planning team early on to assist with ALL the planning logistics from start to finish was a smart choice.

Guests have fun together at outdoor camp wedding ceremony
YMCA Camp Alexander in Wisconsin
Bride and Groom camp wedding ceremony
Flower bouquet design at camp wedding weekend
Yard games at camp wedding weekend
Boy painting at camp wedding weekend
Wedding reception space at YMCA Camp Alexander
Wedding reception space at YMCA Camp Alexander
Line dancing at camp wedding reception

Photos by Haese Photography

Chippewa Retreat Resort

Location: Manitowish Waters, WI

About: Weddings at Chippewa Retreat Resort feature beautifully maintained grounds and stunning views of Lake Manitowish, perfect for outdoor ceremonies. As for other amenities, the resort has outdoor and indoor reception spaces, a pool, and endless outdoor spots for making memories.

My Review: Chippewa Retreat Resort is a beautiful location for an all-inclusive wedding.  First, with the venue being off the main road and the beautiful setting right on the lake, it is so quiet and serene.  You can escape into a perfect wedding vacation to share with your closest friends and family. It is perfect for your wedding getaway.

Considerations: With the Northwoods being pretty remote, finding and hiring professional wedding vendors can be a challenge for couples planning in this area.   This is where our professional wedding connections and experience are very beneficial to assist with vendor referrals. 

First look on lakeside dock in Wisconsin
Bride and Groom on Lake Manitowish
Bride with bridesmaids in Wisconsin Northwoods
Kiss in the aisle at outdoor wedding ceremony
Outdoor reception area with pool at Chippewa Retreat Resort
Indoor head table in Northwoods wedding
Indoor reception space Chippewa Retreat Resort
Groom and groomsmen walking grounds in Manitowish Waters

Photos by Anya Kubilus Photography

Blue Harbor Resort

Location: Sheboygan, WI

**All Inclusive Wedding Venue

About: On the shores of Lake Michigan, Blue Harbor Resort is grand and very fairytale-like, complete with indoor ballroom amenities, gorgeous exterior and grounds, and indoor and outdoor wedding spaces, all with the beach included.

My Review: Nicole & Bobby’s ceremony and reception all took place at the ever-so-gorgeous Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The Blue Harbor is perfectly situated right on Lake Michigan’s coastline. It provides everything you need to have an unforgettable wedding experience.  The resort was the perfect setting for Bobby & Nicole’s wedding weekend.  They wanted something with a nautical feel, since they are from Florida.  The Blue Harbor Resort hit all notes for Nicole & Bobby’s wedding.  It had a nautical design with sandy beaches with lots of accommodation and amenities right on site for all the guests.  The resort included many restaurant styles, a water park for the families, and a full-service spa for those to relax and enjoy.  

The resort has a great getting-ready room with tons of natural light coming in through the windows, a perfect outdoor ceremony site right on the waters of Lake Michigan, and a manicured walkway with tall grasses. It truly gave them the destination resort feel, yet in Wisconsin. 

The resort has a beautiful lakeside green space for the ceremony, as well as the Lakeside Terrace to mingle over a cocktail while taking in the lakeside view of Lake Michigan.  Then they maneuvered to the Grand Ballroom for their grand and romantic wedding reception. The Grand Ballroom is the largest of all the event spaces in Blue Harbor. The Blue Harbor Resort offers everything that is needed to create an unforgettable wedding experience for you and your guests. 

Considerations: With all this all-inclusive resort, it can be expensive for guests that need to have accommodations. Nicole & Bobby chose to provide a room block at another hotel for their guests that needed less expensive options to help accommodate for tighter budgets.

Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan WI
Bridal party on stairs of Blue Harbor Resort
Bride and Groom on shores of Lake Michigan

Photos by Ann + Lee Ilagan Photography

Botanical Garden of Green Bay & Thornberry Creek of Oneida

Location: Green Bay, WI

**Thornberry Creek is an All Inclusive Wedding Venue

About Botanical Garden of Green Bay: This gorgeous, well kept botanical garden has lovely ceremony spaces with plenty of space for guests, beautiful statues and art, and countless opportunities for beautiful photos.

About Thornberry Creek of Oneida: This beautiful Green Bay golf course has spacious facilities for indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions, customizable services, and gorgeous scenery.

My Review: Jamie & Zach were married officially in the summer of 2021, however they still wanted to have a larger celebration with their family and friends. They planned for a 2022 vow renewal at the Green Bay Botanical Garden in Green Bay, Wisconsin. With Jamie & Zach originally from Green Bay, they had envisioned having their wedding at the gardens before moving to Madison. It was a beautiful backdrop for their vow-renewal ceremony so that they could celebrate with all their friends and family. The Green Bay Botanical Gardens is situated on 47 acres of stunning property, and it’s not just flowers! The gardens also have forested areas and unique structures; an old stone foundation, a wellhouse, sculptures, a Grecian-style gazebo, and more! The Green Bay Botanical Gardens is definitely a unique, beautiful place for a wedding.

Then, they moved to Thornberry Creek of Oneida for their wedding reception. The Hawks Crest ballroom and Cupola room are beautiful spaces with plenty of natural light. Their guests raved about the view, the food and overall had an amazing time. Despite the challenging rain that came at inopportune times, it was overall a perfect celebration for Jamie & Zack.

Bride and groom kissing at Green Bay Botanical Gardens
Wedding ceremony space at Green Bay Botanical Gardens
Green Bay Botanical Gardens architecture wedding
Thornberry Creek at Oneida wedding reception
Thornberry Creek wedding reception with rain

Photos by O&B Photo Co

The Loft at 132

Location: Sun Prairie, WI

About: The Loft at 132 is a wedding venue in the Madison area that specializes in modern, chic, luxurious events, and their weddings are stunning. Couples have options between indoor and outdoor event spaces with industrial, clean architecture.

My Review: The Loft at 132 is a unique wedding venue in Sun Prairie, WI. We love weddings at the Loft at 132 because of the industrial yet cozy feel.  The lower level is bright white with quaint lighting that allows for any couple to transform the space into their perfect reception. What makes this place stand out is their rooftop! Not only can you use this for the perfect cocktail hour, but this space also creates one of the most epic spots for a dance party under the night stars.

Considerations: This gorgeous venue has its challenges when rain becomes part of the equation.  It did for Matthew & Lydia. This is where our team became priceless.  We needed to bring the roof-top ceremony down to the main level to keep everyone dry.  It was sad that we had to use their Plan B but we were ready!  As a professional wedding planner, Plan B was already planned. It all came together beautifully and by the smiles on Matthew & Lydia’s face, it didn’t matter one bit. 

Exterior facade of Loft at 132 in Sun Prairie
Bride and Groom in front of the loft at 132 exterior
Indoor wedding ceremony at The Loft at 132
Indoor reception space at The Loft at 132
Wedding party in front of brick wall at The Loft at 132
Head table in The Loft at 132 reception space

Photos by Ivory+Bliss Photography

Chapters on the Horizon

Location: Viola, WI

About: A breathtaking ceremony and reception venue in Southwest Wisconsin that allows for intimate, personal, beautiful weddings with amazing views and gorgeous amenities.

My Review: Chapters on the Horizon is such a beautiful place and they provide so many incredible amenities for planning a wedding.  With their weekend package, they provide everything you need – including linens, decor, full bar & a luxurious bridal suite/wedding night accommodation. The staff was so helpful and accommodating during Randy & Jake’s planning.  They were so supportive with all of our questions and helped execute a beautiful wedding day that ended up being a very rainy day. 

Considerations: Chapters on the Horizon is very remote, and that “remote-ness” can come with challenges finding wedding professionals as vendors. It was very beneficial for Randy & Jake to have a professional wedding planner to assist with the time consuming tasks of research and logistics planning from a distance.  Randi and Jake had very busy careers, and with our assistance. we gave them the peace of mind that their planning was right on track as they navigated through the process.  Again, Chapters on the Horizon was so helpful with questions and assistance when needed. I would highly recommend this gorgeous venue; however, don’t forget to set aside time to do research and pull wedding vendors from outside the local area to bring everything together. 

Exterior of Chapters on the Horizon
Bartending at Chapters on the Horizon
Exterior during wedding reception Chapters on the Horizon
Bride and groom indoor ceremony at Chapters on the Horizon
Indoor reception table arrangement Chapters on the Horizon
Gorgeous cake display room at Chapters on the Horizon

Photos by Savannah Steiger Photography

Riverstone Premier

Location: Ft. Atkinson, WI

**All Inclusive Wedding Venue

About: Riverstone is a new Wisconsin wedding venue that offers the perfect blend of contemporary elegance with an all-inclusive wedding and event package customized for each couple. The venue offers a serene, secluded, one-of-a-kind experience.

My Review: Oshiona & Darren had been searching for the perfect venue for their wedding for quite some time.  They needed a venue with handicap accommodations for Oshiona’s dad to be able to walk her down the aisle for the ceremony and to have access for them to do a First Look and First Dance together.  They found all these important elements at Riverstone.  I am speechless as to how perfect this place ended up being for Oshiona & Darren.  It had all the key places for the ladies to get ready, guys to get ready & all a beautiful outdoor ceremony location and reception space for their event.  It was just perfect for them!  

RiverStone exterior grounds and landscaping with bride and groom
Groom with bride in background
Modern architecture hallway in Riverstone wedding venue
Bride and father walk down the aisle
Groom and groomsmen playing cards on wedding day
Bride with bridesmaids in purple on wedding day

Photos by O&B Photo Co

The Inn at SentryWorld

Location: Stevens Point, WI

**All Inclusive Wedding Venue

About: The brand new Inn at SentryWorld combines warm, beautiful, intimate spaces, inside and out with the first-class care and approach that SentryWorld is known for. They have flexible spaces, high quality handmade menu options, picturesque photography sites, dedicated bridal salons, and luxurious lodging. 

My Review: The Inn at Sentry was perfect for Caitlin & Craig’s intimate Wisconsin wedding.  With the couple living out of state, it was perfect with luxury accommodations and excellent food choices to WOW their guests.  The Sentry Inn staff is beyond amazing, even with only a few weddings under their belt in this new space.  I highly recommend having your wedding at the Inn at Sentry World.  It is luxurious with a relaxed atmosphere…never stuffy. My favorite part was all the details throughout the Inn from local artists or local businesses – it makes coming back to Wisconsin feel like home.

Outdoor ceremony at The Inn at SentryWorld
Wedding reception space at The Inn at SentryWorld in Stevens Point
Swanky interior at The Inn at SentryWorld

Photos by Amanda Nippoldt Photography

7 Questions You Need to Ask During Your Venue Tour

  • What exactly is included in the venue fee?
  • Are there any rentals, linens, etc. available for our use?
  • Are there extra charges for these items?
  • Where will guests park? Is this cost included in the rental fee? (If parking is not included, this could be a major expense that needs to be factored into the budget.)
  • How many hours and exactly which hours will the facility be open for vendors and the bride on the wedding day? (While guests may only need a few hours at the reception site, make sure that the venue includes at least two hours for setup and an hour for breakdown for vendors.)
  • Do you carry a preferred vendor list?
  • Do I have to use particular vendors or caterers at this venue?

 

Pro Tips

When choosing a venue, I always tell my couples that the #1 thing they should look for is the feeling of comfort. This can pertain to “flow” of the event, budgetary comfort, or just that *feeling* they get when they’re in the space. It’s important to have your venue feel just as special to you as anything – that place you will remember forever!

Consider if certain vendors are extremely important to you, and learn if they have requirements for what they need in a venue. Make sure they are on the venue’s approved list OR that the venue has an open vendor policy. This is huge! Sometimes, vendors or venues will have guidelines for who they will work with, so make sure that they’re compatible with each other.

Before touring venues, I highly recommend thinking about the ideal space you’d like to use for getting ready. Asking about the types of spaces your venue has to offer will determine whether or not you’re able to get ready on-site or if you should make plans to get ready elsewhere. If you’re able to get ready on-site, make sure to find out what time the venue allows you to start using their space. That way your timeline for hair, makeup, and photos aligns with the hours your venue is open. A large portion of your day will be spent getting ready with your best friends and family prior to your ceremony, not to mention a bulk of your photos will consist of pre-wedding moments like zipping up your wedding dress or laughing with your girls. Thinking ahead about securing a photogenic space is important! But if the perfect venue doesn’t have a bridal suite – no worries! You have plenty of other options. A hotel room, an Airbnb, or even the home of a friend or relative makes for a great getting ready setting. 

We can help you choose the right venue.

Looking for a wedding planner to help guide you through choosing the right venue and planning your perfect Wisconsin wedding? At Distinctly Yours, we've got over a decade of wedding experience and we'd love to be on your team.