Small weddings are our absolute favorite! The short guest list usually means the day is more intimate and shows couple’s personalities. Brides feel less inclined to follow traditions that don’t suit them, and couples get to better enjoy their wedding day free from major stressors!
Door County is a great spot for small weddings whether you’re planning an elopement, small wedding, or destination wedding. Since we photograph in Door County regularly, we thought we would compile a list of the best small wedding venues in the area so you can get an overview and details on each before jumping website to website!
Door County Wedding Photographers
Even if you don’t know much about Door County, chances are you know that the peninsula is dotted with wineries from toe to tip. What you may not know is that these wineries often open their doors to small weddings.
Simon Creek Winery, Sturgeon Bay, WI
- Outdoor weddings can be held in green space near the creek (see photos above).
- Ceremony tents are allowed.
Stone’s Throw Winery, Baileys Harbor, WI
- Outdoor weddings can accommodate up to 150 people in the green space, or smaller groups on the patio or in the sculpture garden.
- Indoor weddings can accommodate up to 80 people in the Barrel Room or Tasting Room.
2. Garden Gables
Garden Gables, Sister Bay, WI describes themselves as Door County’s premier DIY wedding venue. It’s romantic, whimsical, and charming with an outdoor stone bar, concrete band stage, indoor barn area, and outdoor gazebo. Everything about this venue is unique and perfect for weddings with a boho theme or a rustic vibe.
- Open June through September and can accommodate up to 200 guests outdoors or 100 guests indoors.
- There is a cottage space with restrooms available for wedding preparations and two multi-stall indoor restrooms for guests.
- Only four miles from downtown Sister Bay.
3. State Parks
Until we were invited to photograph our first state park wedding at Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek, I had no idea they even rented for weddings. But with all the water views and gorgeous wooded areas, it’s a great choice for your warm weather affair. Some parks even rent shelter areas to be used for simple receptions!
Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek, WI
- Only small weddings are permitted. Two enclosed shelters are available for rent and can accommodate up to 50 people. Other than the shelter rental fee and vehicle stickers, there is no fee for holding your wedding at Peninsula State Park.
- There are some locations where tents are permitted.
- Wedding locations include Weborg Point (see photos above), Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, Welckers Point, Sven’s Bluff, Eagle Panorama, and Eagle Terrace.
Potawatomi State Park, Sturgeon Bay, WI
- Some facilities are reservable including the picnic shelter on South Shoreline which seats 30 and the Amphitheater located in the center of the park near the campground which seats around 60.
- A tent can be set up outside of the picnic shelter for outdoor ceremonies.
- There are areas that are not reservable, but weddings can also be hosted there, (see photos above) just contact the park for details.
4. Gordon Lodge
Gordon Lodge, Baileys Harbor, WI may be Door County’s most popular wedding venue. Their unique grounds feature so many options from an intimate beach wedding, woodsy views, or indoor spaces, you can customize to your heart’s content. Onsite catering and lodging is a big plus for this venue as that is not easy to find in the area. The water views are unbeatable and the food is incredible!
- Amenities include onsite catering and lodging, private beach, and equipment rentals (bicycles, kayaks, and paddle boards for exploring).
- Gordon Lodge’s Event Center seats 250 without encroaching on dance floor, and the Boathouse is perfect for smaller weddings which can seat 50-60 based on wether you choose to do plated dinner or banquet style.
- Ceremonies may also be held outdoors on the green space where Lake Michigan and North Bay meet.
5. Woodwalk Gallery
Art, wine, and beaches, that’s what Door County is known for! Woodwalk Gallery, Egg Harbor, WI is an active art gallery and a beautiful venue featuring a historic barn, landscaped trails, and multiple outdoor wedding locations. They are also known for their friendliness when working with couples to plan their wedding!
- Although known mostly for small weddings, Woodwork can accommodate outdoor groups up to 250.
- There are many outdoor options for ceremony including a garden lattice and vintage silo (see photos above), or you can hold your wedding inside the historic barn. A tent may be set up barn adjacent to make the transition indoors easy for your guests.
- There is a getting ready space onside for wedding preparations and indoor bathrooms are available for guests.
6. Horseshoe Bay Farms
Although mostly know for its larger weddings, Horseshoe Bay Golf Club, Egg Harbor, WI is set up well for smaller affairs in their Beach Club venue. Centrally located, Horseshoe Bay Farms is only a short drive from Sturgeon Bay where many of the peninsula’s amenities and lodging are, or guests can plan to travel north after your wedding to explore more of what the county has to offer. Murphy Park is just across the way which is a beautiful stop for photos with a pet-friendly park and warm bathing beach.
- At Horseshoe Bay the Members Clubhouse seats up to 200 indoors for dinner, the Private Dining Room seats 35, and Horseshoe Bay’s Tent Pad is an outdoor venue with seating for up to 140 guests.
- The Beach Club is it’s own small venue along the shores of Green Bay with rooftop deck, patio, and indoor venue space with seating for up to 70 guests.
- Horseshoe Bay is also known for their signature cocktails such as Door County Cherry Mojitos or Horseshoe Bay Old Fashioneds to add a personal touch!
7. Stavkirke Church
If you’re feeling adventurous, an island wedding might be for you! Stavkirke Church, Washington Island, WI is a small wood chapel surrounded by woods (see photos above). It was build by local craftsman to honor the Scandinavian roots of the island and based on a church in Borgund, Norway from 1150 AD. Washington Island does require a ferry from Gills Rock, so it’s not for the faint of heart, but your guests will appreciate the weekend getaway. No guests? Washington Island is the perfect spot for an elopement, just don’t forget to pack you swimsuit!
- Great for elopements and small weddings of 30 or fewer guests.
- Just around the corner from famous Schoolhouse Beach, perfect for photos.
Bjorklunden, Baileys Harbor, WI is a 440 acre estate on the quiet side of the peninsula. If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the “bay side”, choosing a location along the “lake side” is a good option. Bjorklunden is actually a small music school (a branch of Lawrence University) but they do rent multiple spaces for private events and weddings.
- The most popular option for weddings is Boynton Chapel which is a wood stav church built in 1939. It can accommodate up to 36 guests.
- There are multiple onsite lodging options available (including a studio apartment space) as well as indoor spaces for food and events.
Although not exclusively for small weddings, Landmark Resort, Egg Harbor, WI is a Door County staple, voted “Best Wedding Venue” by Door County Magazine. In addition to their well known reception site and lodging options, The Landmark also has two outdoor ceremony locations including the Egg Harbor Terrace (see photos above) and Flagship Garden offering views of the bay.
- Best known as a reception hall, the Landmark also offers outdoor ceremony venues and a smaller restaurant space (Carrington Grill) perfect for intimate weddings.
- In the banquet space, The Landmark can hold up to 200 guests. The State Room seats 80, and there are smaller rooms to accommodate groups up to 40.
- 284 condominium suites are available for rent for you and your guests so they can make a weekend of it. Book hospitality suites, distribute brunch vouchers, or even host a fish boil for your guests!
- Outdoor ceremonies can hold 120-200 guests.
10. About Thyme Farm
About Thyme Farm, Baileys Harbor, WI is a gorgeous barn venue on the “quiet side” of the peninsula. It is surrounded by fields and lush green space. If you are thinking a barn wedding might be for you, but want a place that is already prepared to host, About Thyme is that venue. They are set up for DJ and band equipment, have a built-in bar, and chandeliers throughout the main of the barn with Italian bulbs lighting the back of the barn.
- About Thyme boasts amble parking for up to 75 cars and the option to leave vehicles overnight if you are shuttling guests to lodging.
- Wedding ceremonies can be held indoors or outdoors.
- Indoor restrooms able to accommodate a full guest list.
- Barn can seat up to 200 for dinner.
We didn’t want to make this post too overwhelming and there are so many great places to get married in Door County! If you didn’t find your hidden gem listed above, we suggest you check out Silver Poplar Studios, Birch Creek Music Center, Hillside Inn, Bridal Chapel of Door County, or Whistling Swan Restaurant. There are also many more restaurants that can host wedding receptions.
If you are considering an elopement, we suggest checking out a bed and breakfast (like the Chanticleer B&B cabin elopement pictured above) or a public park or beach area like Cave Point County Park.
We hope this guide has helped guide you through your planning process! We love Door County and it’s been such a pleasure to work with the people at these incredible venues to make beautiful, memorable wedding days. If you have questions about a venue or want to meet up and chat about your wedding photography vision, send us a message HERE.