If you are looking for an incredible and memorable way to say, “I do.” you might want to consider a destination wedding. With a destination wedding, you and your guests get to experience the happiest day of your life in a unique location and way. The options are endless –You can have a destination wedding anywhere from unique wedding venues in WI to an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and anywhere in between!

In order to help you get started, we put together this quick start guide to planning the perfect destination wedding. Congratulations and enjoy the journey!


Decide on the “When”

It may not seem like the likely place to start but we assure you that the date you choose can make or break your celebration. The date affects many things, including:

  • Potential for seasonal or weather-related challenges
  • Availability of key guests
  • Cost of destination (in-season vs. out-of-season)
  • Availability of lodging, venue and other event-related spaces or activities

If your date is in the middle of hurricane or monsoon season, you’ll obviously want to avoid coastline destinations. If your date is in the middle of winter and you two aren’t huge snowboarders, you may want to head south. Selecting the date allows you to find a destination that suits your passions and your practicalities.


Set the “Where”

Now that you have the date set, you can choose the location! As we mentioned earlier, be sure to avoid popular tourist seasons and dangerous weather conditions for your location. There’s more to consider than that, though. Some questions you and your better half may want to consider include:

  • How much of the ceremony, reception or other surrounding events do we hope to hold outside vs. Inside?
  • Is the venue in a place that’s only accessible by foot (i.e., a beachfront or mountain top wedding)? Or are there handicap accessible options in place?
  • Do we want to honeymoon in the same general location as the wedding? If so, is the venue large enough to allow you to have some privacy?
  • What types of activities do you want to have access to in the day(s) leading up to and/or following the wedding?
  • What unique types of local/fresh cuisine options can you capitalize on at your unique venue?

When happy couples book their wedding at Edenwood, they’re able to check a lot of these boxes in really amazing ways. We offer dozens of year-round indoor and outdoor activities on site. We have 32 beds spread out among 5 luxury cabins (plus one deluxe, enchanting, private glamping tent for two). If you are looking for a rustic, elegant or casual Northwoods wedding, you don’t want to miss visiting one of the very best rustic wedding venues Wisconsin has to offer: Edenwood Ranch & Preserve.


Include the “Who”

It’s common practice to send out the Save the Date one year in advance with any wedding. This is especially important when it’s a destination wedding so that guests have ample time to organize their travel plans, lodging, budget, time off work, etc.

Another area that is important to consider is what the bride and groom are expected to provide for the guests (versus the guests providing for themselves). While that question falls into a very large “grey area”, there are some consistent trends among destination wedding traditions.

  • The Happy Couple Provides: This list fluctuates depending on the size of the guest list and wedding budget, but some common offerings include travel booking/organizing, welcome gift bags, the rehearsal dinner and reception expenses. It’s also a kind gesture to offer the guests a farewell brunch the next morning after the wedding. (This also allows you and your sweetheart to make a graceful exit into the honeymoon portion of your destination.)
  • The Guests Provide: Typically, guests are responsible for covering the expense of their own lodging and travel expenses, any additional vacation time they tack on pre or post wedding and extra activities outside of the wedding itinerary.
  • Neutral Territory: Some optional additions that either party could cover include bar expenses at the reception or a fun group activity on site or in town the day before the wedding.

In order to offer clarity, some couples create a wedding itinerary that they share with the guests including details about what will be provided for them. Another way to do this could be through a private Facebook group where you can share tips, tricks and information and guests can also interact with each other about their plans.


Covid Considerations

As much as we’d like to avoid this whole category, it seems that – as of 2019 – our world has new ways of handling gatherings, celebrations and travel. Our best advice that we can offer you is to stay flexible. Keep your guests informed of local mask mandates, tips to stay safe while gathering and safe travel information. It’s also highly recommended to have a plan A, B and C for your big day, just in case.

Another option is to keep the celebration small and intimate. That’s part of what we love about destination weddings at Edenwood. There’s room for you, your new mate and about 30 other guests – the perfect number to include family and a few close friends. With our private preserve and 500 acres all to yourselves, you can safely integrate social distancing plus enjoy plenty of time celebrating outdoors!


Unique Wedding Venues WI

There is nothing “standard” about having a wedding at Edenwood Ranch & Preserve. When you book our space for your special day, you will have the opportunity to customize it to match your personality. Our ranch is versatile and can accommodate the wedding of your dreams all year-round. Give us a call today to schedule a tour or learn more!