Couples usually choose Door County as the site for their wedding because of its beauty, the memories it holds, or family ties. Many couples come back to Door County to celebrate anniversaries after their original vows. I’ve been counseling brides about their wedding flowers for 44 years, and I think I can say I’ve seen it all!
Two weddings stand out in my mind, one because of the difficulty of the request and another for its poignancy. The first couple wanted to marry on a boat off Rock Island. They loved tropical flowers and wanted a 200-foot garland strung around the boat, including exotic flowers spilling out of conch shells they provided. I did elaborate drawings in color to help the bride visualize what it would look like, and I explained that flowers such as anthuriums and ginger would have to be imported from Hawaii. Then she mentioned that her budget for flowers was just $500! Needless to say, we made a change of plans. We chose flowers with lots of color that gave the effect of the tropics, and the couple was very happy!
Another wedding was especially touching because the bride and groom were 85 years old. Neither had children, and all their friends were gone. They had a small ceremony at Bjorklunden with only their best friends—their Dalmatians—as witnesses. We fashioned the dogs’ collars from red roses!
Door County-style weddings are different from those in the city. Many of the couples are from out of town, so they use a wedding planner while I consult with the brides about flowers. Most brides want their bouquets to be casual and composed of garden flowers. The style is often a round or freestyle European bouquet with the stems showing, hand-tied with beautiful ribbons. If a bride’s favorite flower is lily of the valley—a trend that Martha Stewart started—it’s my job to explain the price of having them flown in if they’re out of season. We can accomplish just about anything someone requests and have had flowers flown in from Holland, South Africa, Israel …it’s just a matter of cost. A good motto is “less is more,” and even for city weddings, formal bouquets with the tiny carnations and roses are no longer the trend. Some brides customize their bouquets by including an heirloom handkerchief or piece of jewelry such as a locket. Depending upon the request, bouquets can range from $25 to $200+.
In addition to the bridal bouquet, there are the groom’s boutonniere, wrist corsages for bridesmaids, flowers for the moms, and so on. For the reception, we have done everything from formal weddings with $100 table arrangements down to very modest, but beautiful, table décor.
Popular venues for weddings and receptions include hotels like Gordon Lodge, Maxwelton Braes or The Landmark Resort . Bjorklunden’s chapel is an interesting backdrop — with the wedding in the garden — since the building itself holds barely more than a dozen people. Another unique wedding location is the Woodwalk Gallery, a rustic venue that is a Door County Landmark. I’ve also seen ceremonies on Eagle Terrace and on the 17th hole of a golf course! Many people have summer homes here, so the wedding vows are taken on the lawn under a tent or even on their boats. Below is just one example of a wedding done at the Country House Inn, right down the road from Jerry’s.
A Door County wedding is memorable for many reasons, but I enjoy helping to create some new memories with the beauty of flowers!