Madeline Island, WI is a gorgeous place to elope or get married, and has locations to accomadate any wedding party size, from just the two of you to 200-300 people receptions. As a photographer based outside of Bayfield, WI I have shot countless weddings and elopements on Madeline Island and wanted talk about the different beautiful venues and locations you can use for your ceremony spot, newlywed portraits or first look, receptions, and more.

This also covers some great places for bridals or engagement photos as well!

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Big Bay State Park

These sandstone cliffs are often what anyone thinks about when they think about a Madeline Island Wedding, and for good reason. I've seen couples use these as a location for their first look, a ceremony spot for their intimate wedding, or a place to go for an hour after your ceremony to capture stunning newlywed and/or family and bridal party photos, as well.

Big Bay State Park does have an entrance fee per vehicle, or if you have a WI State Park pass entrance is free! Either way, it's a stunning place to explore, and while there is a short walk out to the overlook, it's flat and easy to travel. Depending on how much scrambling you want to do on the rocks, sneakers or hiking boots may be helpful; but I've also seen plenty people of heels hike out to the cliffs no problem!

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The Inn on Madeline Island

The Inn is a great venue option for Weddings on Madeline Island, weather you're just staying there and using their downstairs rooms for getting ready (they provide light up make up mirrors and other odds and ends so that everyone can get ready together), having your ceremony on the lawn, the reception on the patio, or all of the above. They also offer catering & bartending so this is a great one stop shop!

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The Bell Street Tavern

The Bell Street Tavern is another amazing location option, with rooms for rent for getting ready in, a gorgeous vintage wrap around bar, and seating for 200+, a stage for a DJ and room for dancing. They also have the option to set up a tent in the yard if you'd prefer your reception outside or need to accommodate a larger group!

There are suites available upstairs with a large living room for a group to get ready together in, but I'd suggest bringing your own mirrors/extension cords/whatever else you think if you'd like the group to get ready together. Otherwise, they have suites with multiple bathrooms and bedrooms where your bridal party could stay and get ready separately as well.

They do offer bartending, but you'll need to find a different caterer (there is a large kitchen that can be used) -- although I've heard new ownership is coming soon and their kitchen may be offering food again.

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The Barn on Madeline Island

The Barn is a vacation rental ideal for elopements or micro weddings on Madeline Island; it sleeps up to 16 people, has a gourmet level kitchen, beautiful floor to ceiling windows, an open layout, and is constructed from a 200 year old Vermont hay barn that was amazingly taken apart, shipped across the country, and reassembled into a stunning vacation home.

There is a long outdoor porch perfect for a long dining table for an outdoor summer dinner, but there's ample space inside if the party needs to move indoors due to the weather. The yard is beautiful and wooded, with peaks of Lake Superior between the trees.

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Lakehouse Wedding Venue

This is another rental house through Madeline Island Getaways, which also sleeps 16, and has lots of windows/natural light/easy places for getting ready; and the bar and pool table in the basement isn't too shabby either! There is a large lawn perfect for your ceremony or setting up a tent to have a large wedding reception, and you can cross the road to an overlook over the lake. My absolute favorite beach on Madeline is also just a minute or two down the road!

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Big Bay Town Park

The town park is actually connected to the state park by miles of walking trails, but aside from sharing two ends of a very long beach, the parks offer really different Madeline Island experiences. While Big Bay State Park is famous for its Sandstone Cliffs to explore, the town park has a beautiful lagoon, wood walkway, and a covered gazebo that can be a great back up ceremony space for an elopement or micro-wedding on a Madeline Island beach (I did have one wedding May 2022 where it ended up storming, so after some quick bridal portraits at the State Park we headed to the town park for their ceremony and were so glad to have the cover).

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My favorite beach in the whole wide world

I'm not even sure if this beach has a name, and you just pull over to the side of the road to walk down to it; but it's easy to access, and almost always completely empty -- a big ask for beach on Madeline Island in the summer! If you'd like to shoot your engagement or newlywed photos here let me know and I can share the directions with you!

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Madeline Island Ferry

While probably not the best place to have your wedding ceremony, if you're planning an elopement and going back and forth in one day rather than staying on Madeline, or opting to have your dinner or reception on the mainland, it can be a really cute option to get a few unique wedding portraits!

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Tom's Burned Down Cafe

Tom's is an institution on Madeline Island, and a fun place to get a few funky bridal shots, reception photos, or engagement photos with a lot of personality. And true to it's name, he never rebuilt (or at least not in the typical sense of the word) and instead rescues retired wedding tents for a few more years of service to keep everyone dry.

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The Farmhouse on Madeline Island is absolutely my favorite wedding catering on Madeline (and some of the best wedding food I've had ever, hands down). The Fat Radish is another great option for wedding meals also will deliver catering to the Madeline Island Ferry, and for a more casual option Grandpa Tony's or the Beach Club offer catering as well. I even had a couple hire a Wood Fired Pizza Truck; Firetruck Pizza (in an actual firetruck) from Reinlander, so anything is possible!

Most of the images above are of the Farmhouse's food; but please let me know if you have any other questions about local vendors or need more information!