So, you’ve said nope to the traditional wedding and decided to elope! A small ceremony surrounded by your closest friends and family will make it a special day you’ll never forget but first you have to pick where you’re going to tie the knot. From woodsy outdoor elopements to small rustic barn weddings to waterfront gatherings, you can have the wedding of your dreams in the heart of Wisconsin’s Driftless Region.
Elroy-Sparta Rail to Trail
If you are the adventurous couple that loves hiking, canoeing, and biking around, have a fun and non-traditional elopement on the Elroy Sparta Trail. Bike around, take some unique photos and have your ceremony with one of the stunning bridges as your backdrop. Try to plan for either a sunrise or sunset ceremony so that your photographer can catch the golden hour and minimize the foot traffic on the trail.
The Waterfront Restaurant & Tavern
In the heart of La Crosse lies one of the Midwest’s finest eateries that also boasts one of the best views around. The Waterfront Restaurant & Tavern is a popular wedding venue due to its banquet room that can host up to 400 people, but most people don’t know about the private dining room that is just off to the side of the restaurant. This unique space can hold 16 people, allowing for a perfectly romantic and intimate elopement accompanied by incredible food and craft cocktails for those closest to you. Say your vows on the pier just outside of the restaurant and spend the rest of your evening celebrating.
Black River State Forest
For a woodsy-outdoor small wedding, head over to the Black River State Forest just outside of Sparta. These old-growth forests provide the perfect backdrop and make for some pretty incredible photos. Set up next to a river, hike the Loop Trail and use some of the rocky cliffs as your backdrop, or find one of the lookout points and say ‘I Do’ with the valley behind you. Plan your elopement during August-September to catch the changing of the leaves and surround yourself in a world of color.
The Greenhouse at Bittersweet
Just outside of downtown La Crosse lies a historic greenhouse that would serve as the perfect venue for your rustic country elopement. The barn & greenhouse lies on a plot of land overlooking Wisconsin marshlands so you can tie the knot outside or set up inside in case of a rainy day. The space is very versatile so you can bring up to 130 guests (if your small wedding suddenly gets out of control) or keep it simple and have a rustic farm-to-table dinner with your closest friends and family in a unique environment.
On the east side of La Crosse lies a large cliff that overlooks Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. There is an open shelter on the bluff that would serve as the perfect ceremony spot no matter the weather. A rainy day will scare away most people and you will be able to stay warm and dry under the roof while a sunny day will present lots of photo-taking opportunities.
On a Whim Event Barn
Nestled in the rolling ridges just outside of Sparta, WI lies a renovated gothic A-frame Barnhouse that will simply take your breath away. The barn comes with a ceremony area outside with gorgeous rolling hills as your ultimate backdrop and rustic benches for any friends or family you would like to join. The barn itself is the perfect place for a reception, or if the night is warm and the skies are clear, you can gather with your loved ones around the bonfires and celebrate under the stars.
Honeymoon at Franklin Victorian B&B
Treat yourself to a luxurious, romance-filled honeymoon in the quaint town of Sparta. At the Franklin Victorian Bed & Breakfast you can indulge with charming rooms and plush amenities like en-suite fireplaces, whirlpool baths, or cozy seating areas. Let innkeepers Jennifer and Steve know about your special honeymoon getaway and they can help romance up your rooms with the addition of chocolate covered chocolates, roses, cake for 2, cheese and cracker platters, or their tip-top couples romance package that treats you and your loved one to a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers, and a private couples massage. Don’t forget to lock-in your love on Sparta’s love lock bridge! Get a custom engraved lock and place it on the colorful downtown bridge and your marriage will last an eternity.
No matter where you tie the knot, it will be perfectly special and romantic, just like your relationship. Plan a rustic barn wedding, a spontaneous outdoor elopement, or an intimate downtown reception and make your special day a memorable one.
Planning an elopement in Wisconsin’s Driftless Region? Book a room at the Franklin Victorian Bed & Breakfast for a warm and inviting stay in one of Sparta’s most beautiful and historic inns.