Awesome Wedding Events Blog

Created by Rev. Kaija Johnson

Wedding Ceremony Backdrops

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Have you ever considered what your guests will see as they watch your ceremony?  I have noticed over the years that many times the guests were looking into the sun during the ceremony.  Brides and grooms are having their ceremonies later in the afternoons so that the time between the ceremony and reception is shorter. Even though a sunset wedding ceremony may sound romantic, the guests may have a hard time enjoying your ceremony if they have to stare into the sun. This can also be a problem for ceremonies that are held in front of water with the sun reflecting off the water into the guests eyes.

This weekend Rev Frank and I noticed that very situation at a venue that has recently remodeled and they faced the ceremony space towards the west. Most of the guests were not very happy about it as they held programs over their eyes or squinted to see. As beautiful as the back ground was, I noticed the guests were anxious to get inside after the ceremony.

Another trend for inside weddings is colored lighting.  Many DJs provide this service and it can be fabulous as a ceremony backdrop. Lighting can be customized to your wedding colors or just used to enhance the venue.  In winter ceremonies many times the lighting is blue to help create that winter feeling.  In a space where there is curtain ( especially black) as a backdrop it is really important to do some sort of lighting behind the ceremony.

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Some indoor venues may have backdrops to choose from.  At the Masonic Temple in Eau Claire they have 15 different backdrops available to pick from.

When you are planning your wedding ceremony be sure to take a moment to see the ceremony from the guest’s point of view. This can make all the difference in “how good” the ceremony was.  The wedding ceremony is what the little girl inside of you thought about as you were growing up and picturing yourself as the bride so make sure to have a great backdrop.

Have you ever had to squint at a wedding you attended on a sunny day?

Will you be checking out the backdrop at the next wedding you attend?

Eric & Kelsey Schmetzer – 6/21/14

EricKelseySchmetzer 6-21-FlorGar 055

 The wedding ceremony of Eric and Kelsey Schmetzer was held on June 21, 2014 at the Florian Gardens in Eau Claire WI.

     Eric and Kelsey chose navy and orange as their colors which was a beautiful combination.  They had two adorable flower girls with an orange dresses and wings.  See our facebook pictures.  So cute!!!   

     Later they had a reception at The Florian Gardens.  

     Eric and Kelsey may you be blessed with many sunny days and happy moments in your lives.  We wish all the best.   Congratulations!!!


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Kevin & Taylor Dendinger- 6/14/14

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Newlyweds Kevin and Taylor Dendinger










The wedding ceremony of Kevin and Taylor Dendinger was held on June 14, 2014 in Eau Claire WI.  The rains began shortly before the ceremony so it was held underneath a tent giving a more intimate atmosphere to the event.  Shortly afterwards a reception was held catered by Dickie’s BBQ.

         Kevin and Taylor may you be blessed with many wonderful adventures and may you be surrounded by love from friends and family.

     Congratulations to you both!!!

Josh & Samantha Dahl – 6/7/14

                             Newlyweds Josh & Samantha Dahl with Rev. Frank Nowak

       The wedding ceremony of Josh and Samantha Dahl was held on June 7, 2014 near the
lakeshore at Kamp Kenwood near Chippewa Falls, WI. 
       Josh and Sam performed a Unity Sand ceremony during the wedding.  A reception was
held in the lodge at the camp.
       Josh and Sam may you be blessed with happiness and joy throughout your marriage.
May you have lots of adventures and truly enjoy the new experiences waiting for you.
       Congratulations Josh and Sam!!! You make a beautiful couple.

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Samantha and her mother created many of the decorations for the reception.
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Tyler & Katherine Heinz – 5/31/14

                               Newlyweds Katherine and Tyler Heinz

      The wedding ceremony of Tyler and Katherine Heinz was held May 31, 2014 at
Hickory Hills Golf Club near Eau Claire, WI.  The weather was predicting rain although
Tyler and Katherine were through with their ceremony before the rains came in.
     For their Unity Ceremony Activity, Tyler and Katherine planted a tree together as shown
in the picture.   Their reception was also held at Hickory Hills Golf Club.
      Tyler and Katherine may you treasure the coming adventures you experience together
on your journey forward with each other and may you be blessed with many friends and
family who support you.
       Congratulations to you Tyler and Katherine!!!

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Dale & Erin Gomall – 5/31/14

                                 Newlyweds Dale and Erin Gomall with Rev. Kaija Johnson

     The wedding ceremony of Dale and Erin Gomall was held on May 31, 2014 at
The Chateau St. Croix Winery and Vineyard near St. Croix Falls, WI.  The Chateau St. Croix
is a European Style Winery complete with an art gallery, vineyard, a carriage house, stables, gardens, and a fishing pond.  The weather was pouring down rain but luckily the Winery has a beautiful tented space in the back of the building where ceremonies can be held.
      Dale and Erin have been in a committed relationship for 15 years.  
      Dale and Erin may you be blessed with many more years of happiness, health, and lots
of adventures together. 
      Congratulations Dale and Erin on your marriage!!  You have a beautiful family.

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Cottage Winery & Vineyard – 6/5/14

Cottage Winery & Vineyard -

  I want to introduce you to the Cottage Winery and Vineyard located in Menomonie, WI.
This is a charming new venue for weddings, meetings, and wine lovers.  An afternoon here
is like taking a vacation in Europe for the day. 

    The old English Cottage atmosphere has event space for intimate parties: rehearsal dinners, Christmas parties, birthday parties, or whatever your special occassion may be. Located just three miles north of Interstate 94 at Menomonie, Wisconsin makes the Cottage Winery and Vineyard a convenient location for your event.



     Cottage Winery and Vineyard was created in the summer of 2012 by a father-daughter team, Tom and Teresa Jorgensen. Tom’s interest in European architecture, and Teresa’s expertise in event planning have come together to create this unique and memorable experience. “We saw a need for a gorgeous and relaxing setting where people can come to enjoy great wine and a friendly atmosphere.”  Having been longtime residents of west/central Wisconsin we, also, feel it is important to give back to our community by hosting charitable events, and seasonal outdoor gatherings.” ”We hope that you will join us soon. Cheers!”

There is a lot of character in the old-world cottages located on the property.



                   These are used for brides before their wedding processional.

For pictures, more European styled backdrops.

The winery is very popular for it’s wine grown in their vineyards and the wine tasting room is a great place to sample some of the local wine.  Find a seat on the patio or in the gazebo and enjoy the tremendous views while you sip your glass of wine.
     The wine tasting bar is hosted by our fun and congenial sommelier, Joel Bonnar. 


Local wines                                              Tasting Room

When we were there in late May a new pavilion was being built for wedding receptions
and other events. This will hold over 300 guests.  Food will be catered in for the events.
The views from here are outstanding.  You can see for miles.

The new Pavilion being built for 2014 events.

Treat yourself to this charming experience soon.

Teresa Jorgense
n and Rev. Kaija Johnson

    Teresa, we sure had a wonderful time at the Cottage Winery. Keep up the good work!!!

For more information or to book an event contact Teresa at:  or

Cottage Winery and Vineyard
N7391 County Road F
Menomonie, WI 54751

David & Layla Osley – 5/26/14

                   Wedding Ceremony of David and Layla Osley with Rev. Frank Nowak
      The wedding ceremony of David and Layla Osley was held on May 26, 2014 in the Riverview Garden at Fanny Hill Supper Club in Eau Claire, WI.
      The weather forecast was calling for rain so David and Layla had a tent put up just in case.  Luckily it didn’t rain during the ceremony.
      Layla’s daughter Darby performed a reading.  David and Layla also performed a Sand Ceremony which included Darby, and David’s sons – Ethan and Cole.  Loved the picture
frame for that. It made a nice keepsake.
      David and Layla may you be blessed with lots of laughter and joy throughout the days of your marriage.
      Congratulations to you both!  We wish the best!

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Richard & Lynn Liedl – 5/17/14

                                  Rev. Frank Nowak, Newlyweds- Lynn & Richard Liedl

     The wedding ceremony of Richard (Rick) and Lynn Liedl was held on May 17, 2014
at Sleep Inn/29 Pines near Eau Claire, WI.
     Rick and Lynn have been together in a committed relationship for 30 years and decided
to celebrate their love by getting married.  Guests could write their blessings on round 
ornaments of paper and hang them on a lit up pine tree.  Cute idea, that was fun.
     The reception was held in the Grand Ballroom at Sleep Inn.
     Rick and Lynn may you be blessed with continued happiness, health, and joy.
     Congratulations to both of you!!!

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Stout’s Island Lodge – 5/22/14

Stout’s Island Lodge- Website :


     Rev. Frank and
I were fortunate to visit Stout’s Island Lodge to perform another wedding.
It is a wonderful destination venue for small intimate weddings.


     Stout’s Island Lodge offers an elegant yet relaxed setting with a selection of private event spaces for intimate groups of 10 people, to large tented weddings for up to 175 guests. Built in 1903 by Frank D. Stout as a summer retreat for his family and modeled after the famous Adirondack camps, the lodge was built with four-inch thick plank floors and carved beams imported from Germany. Cabins were erected for his children and other buildings include a three launch boathouse, servant and guest quarters and a recreation hall. Over the past 25 years, new cabins have been erected on the island as well. 

    Stout’s Island Lodge is located north of Rice Lake WI on the Red Cedar Lake.
The island has ferry service on the hour.  The Ferry Ride is about 10 minutes to the island.

          Ferry to the island                                       Patio outside the conference room

                                                      Main Dining Area


     There are many activities for you and your guests to enjoy at Stouts. In addition to croquet, there is tennis, bocce ball, hiking trails, swim dock, water boats (water bike, canoes, kayaks), billiards and ping pong. Also included is a Great Room full of board games. Many people also like scavenger hunts for the kids in their group. If this is of interest to you, the island staff would be happy to help coordinate. There is a beautiful golf course across the lake at Tagalong which many guests staying on the island take advantage of.

     Stout’s Island Lodge is truly a gem of a venue for a weekend getaway or your wedding.

For more information visit their website at : or email at: