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While Wisconsin is known for its dairy production, Midwestern modesty, beer & brewing history, and rolling rural landscapes, here's something locals have known for generations: the Badger State holds its own as a prime wedding destination. From north to south, east to west, Wisconsin has something for everyone. Keep reading to learn all there is to know about planning a Wisconsin Wedding!
Milwaukee is regarded as one of America's great brewing towns, and the city's collection of macro and microbreweries complements any festive wedding celebration. But Wisconsin's largest city (with double the population of the next largest city) also has some other noteworthy attractions for your wedding party and guests, including Pier Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Riverwalk and more. If Milwaukee is America's "beer town," then Madison ranks as perhaps America's most quintessential college town.
Along with the University of Wisconsin and an exciting assortment of things to do, Madison also boasts some of the most idyllic lakefront views in Wisconsin. Known as The City of Four Lakes, Madison's cultural and architectural influence provide wedding planners with plenty of pre-ceremony and post-reception activities.
Cheeseheads getting hitched usually plan their weddings in the greater Green Bay area. The NFL's legendary Packers play here, and the city is a great home field for couples in northeast Wisconsin. Named for its beautiful bay (which is actually an extension of Lake Michigan), this 3rd largest city offers an abundance of wedding-related activities, venues and services to ensure a romantic Wisconsin celebration. About an hour northeast of Green Bay is Sturgeon Bay and its iconic lighthouse. Further afield, Lake Winnebago attracts vacationers and also a surprising amount of engaged couples. The lovely town of Oshkosh, located along Lake Winnebago's shoreline, is one of the state's most popular out-of-the-way wedding destinations. Superior is where Wisconsin's "other Great Lake coast" region resides. Wisconsin's northern tier features scenic Lake Superior views, and is a fast-rising summer wedding spot for engaged couples. Couples looking for natural, unspoiled beauty should consider the Land O' Lakes region in northern Wisconsin, near Eagle River and Boulder Junction. Kenosha, on the shores of Lake Michigan, offers excellent vantage points from its strategic location, and many couples opt for Kenosha ceremony and reception venues near the city's waterfront. Kenosha is the 4th largest city in Wisconsin, and the smallest urban area with over 100,000 people.
The Wisconsin seasons "skip" in terms of wedding compatibility. Spring and autumn are better for outdoor weddings; summers can be hot and stifling in Wisconsin, and winter conditions quickly turn from bad to worse. It's not that you can't pull off a fabulous Wisconsin outdoor celebration in February or July, but you have a better chance of getting agreeable weather in April or October. Milwaukee's climate perfectly illustrates Wisconsin weather - July and August temperatures are up around 80 degrees (and humid), while December and January barely makes it above 35 degrees. Weather and the surrounding Wisconsin landscape play an integral role when deciding on a wedding color. Primary and complementary tones along Lake Michigan in the summer trend toward white and blue; winter Wisconsin weddings with green and red take advantage of the state's delightful seasonal swings. Wedding planners in Wisconsin should take note that four seasons are in play, and the time of year and location are the two most important influences when deciding on wedding colors.
The Midwest U.S. has a reputation for thrift and "affordability." And Wisconsin falls right in line - excellent news for soon to be newlyweds! Not many states can say they're more affordable than Wisconsin for weddings. At around $140 per guest, the state's average matrimonial bill is approximately 33% less than the average U.S. wedding. Across the board, practically every wedding service you can think of in Wisconsin - venues, catering, wedding planners, florists, photographers - are less than what engaged couples in other states pay.
While some states set a single marriage license price, Wisconsin takes a county by county approach. The fee varies and is dependent on which county you apply in. A 5-day waiting period is mandatory, and out-of-state residents must apply in the county which they plan to marry. Once your Wisconsin marriage license has been issued, it's good for 60 days. So make sure you take care of your marriage license in the optimum amount of time; if you apply too soon, the valid period may expire before your wedding. But with proper planning and WeddingWire in your corner, your Wisconsin wedding should be one to remember!