Distinctly Door County

Insider Tips: Planning Your Big Day in Door County

Planning a wedding in Door County is an incredible experience. That said, there are quirks and challenges, no matter your wedding locale, and the peninsula is no exception.

We’re here to help. To make planning a bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider when getting married in Door County.

Give Extra Thought to Transportation

Cabs and ride-hailing services are hard to find in Door County, so if you’ve got a crew that likes to party, you’ll want to secure a bus or trolley to move everyone around safely. The same goes for transporting wedding guests from your ceremony to your reception venue unless you’re relying on guests driving themselves. Check out the Resource List in this guide for trolley, limo and bus-rental options.

Photo by The McCartneys Photography.

…and accommodations.

The peninsula has plenty of lodging establishments, but few are big enough to accommodate large groups of people. During the summer and fall months, many places have a two- or three-night minimum, especially on the weekends. Consider building in activities or offering recommendations to make your wedding weekend a mini-vacation, suggesting several lodging options and encouraging guests to book rooms as early as possible.

Keep the peninsula’s seasonality in mind.

When contacting Door County florists, venue owners, caterers, photographers, salons and musicians, there’s no such thing as too early. During the winter and early spring, many local businesses take a breather from the busy season by limiting their hours or closing completely. During the busy season, these same business owners are working like crazy from early May through the end of October. Understanding these dynamics and padding your planning with some breathing room will mean less stress for you and the business you want to work with. 

Be aware of other happenings.

Our peninsula has a festival or other major happening nearly every summer and fall weekend. When considering a wedding date, check the Door County Visitor Bureau’s event calendar for large-scale activities in the area because they could easily affect everything from traffic to event deliveries to hotel capacity. Depending on the events, you might need to build additional time into the day’s itinerary to allow guests extra travel time.

Photo by Brit Higgins Photography.

Look at venue requirements.

Some venues — especially churches and public places — have specific requirements for use. For instance, if you want to get married on the Northern Sky Theater’s stage at Peninsula State Park, you’ll need permission from the DNR, and you’ll have to pay a small fee. If you want to get married in a church where you’re not a member, you may need to meet with clergy or attend marital counseling. 

Come prepared.

It’s a piece of advice that could apply to any wedding anywhere,  but it’s especially pertinent in Door County. The nearest tux or formal-wear shop is in Algoma, and the next nearest is in Green Bay. A seamstress may be tough to find and may not work on weekends. Having a back-up plan for clothing, hair and makeup with a person in your wedding party or a relative who can help will foster peace of mind and cause fewer headaches later. 

Don’t depend on technology.

Asking guests to depend on GPS or Google Maps seems like a no-brainer, but depending on your cell-phone carrier and your location, you may have some issues with slow or completely absent cell-phone reception on the peninsula. To be safe, make sure you’ve provided maps and detailed directions to all of your wedding locations. 

Hire locally.

Door County wedding planners and vendors have spent years forging strong relationships amongst each other and around the peninsula, and they’ll be able help you navigate all of these tricky situations and more — especially if you’re planning from afar. (They probably won’t be able to help with the cell-phone reception, though.)

Photo by Michael Segal Photography.

Aleah Kidd