When the car turns north on Interstate 39 and zooms past Wausau for a destination wedding, the North Woods of Wisconsin begin to take shape.
Tree trunks get bigger. The air is fresh. Lakes look like gemstones as sunlight bounces off rippling waters.
We’ve been up north many times to film weddings, but we’d never had the chance to record at Red Crown Lodge in Woodruff, Wis. We were excited to explore this grand retreat AND start filming the wedding weekend of fun for bride MacKenzie and groom Andrew.
We’d never been to Red Crown before because the private resort limits its weddings to just a few each year; most of its bookings are corporate events. It makes sense, as this storied getaway was established in 1922 as the annual gathering place for Standard Oil executives. It’s a stunning place with buildings made from gargantuan trees, immaculate lawns and furnishings, and impeccable service from the staff. When someone asks if we’re willing to travel for a destination wedding and it’s to a stunner like this, we immediately say: YES!
The lodge is on the banks of Trout Lake, one of Wisconsin’s true gems. It has some of the clearest waters we’ve ever seen, and when we arrived Friday, the sun was reflecting a brilliant blue. Heaven!
We arrived early to scout out the location. We like to attend a wedding ceremony rehearsal if possible, particularly if it’s a destination wedding location where we’ve never filmed before. It gives us the chance to determine sitelines and find the best spots for our gear. It also lets us get to know the couples’ families and friends even better.
We also knew we wanted to take the time to record MacKenzie and Andrew on the lake. These two love hanging out on the water, and Andrew practically grew up in the Min-Aqua Bats water ski club, just down the road.
So when Andrew said he’d have access to the family’s wooden ’57 Carver boat with its sleek prow and vintage Johnson 25 motor, we knew we wanted that baby on film! Of course, we were thinking of a romantic sunset cruise, which did happen, but in true Andrew style, he opened up the motor and put the boat through a few paces, too.
Of course, our trusty DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone captured some stunning footage!
Saturday’s wedding ceremony had the perfect location: Tucked under a canopy of pines with a backdrop of the lake that guests could admire from their elegant wooden farm chairs arranged in a semi-circle.
During his sermon, Deacon Richard Piontek encouraged the couple to make good use of their “forgetter,” which is what he calls a willingness to let go of anything that gets in the way of keeping positive. He cited Corinthians 13, which describes love as being patient and kind.
Then, it was on to the party! In case of rain, a large tent was erected on the eastern lawn, and it’s clear roof let the canopy of trees envelop the guests, along with beautiful hanging wreaths of greenery. Tall, elegant centerpieces in white, pink and blush flowers graced each table.
MacKenzie’s father, Jeff, started his toast with a trusty Green Bay Packers Title Towel, which he called his “crying towel” in case he “choked up.” And while his eyes glistened during his loving toast to his daughter and new son-in-law, there were far more bouts of laughter throughout.
In the end, groom Andrew stood up to speak and not only thanked his stunning bride but both their families. You see, for Andrew and MacKenzie, having their family and friends gathered close to watch the start of their new lives together meant everything. The beautiful setting was just icing on the cake.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Congrats to the newlyweds, and we hope you enjoy this Sneak Peek until their full wedding project is complete!!
Interested in more? Check out another North Woods wedding in Black River Falls