Real Door County Wedding: Cana Island Lighthouse

When you say Door County Wedding,you may think of shoreline, water, beautiful trees, but nothing says romance more than having a cozy ceremony on an island with a elegant white lighthouse like the one found on Cana Island.

Just northeast of Baileys Harbor, the 143 year old lighthouse has been standing guard over Lake Michigan since 1869. It is one of the most unique wedding locations you can find in Door County or anywhere in the world!


Photo from Bushelle Photography. Door County has been a favorite of Ariel and Zach, having their engagement photos done at Anderson Dock and their rehearsal dinner at the Whistling SwanTheir ceremony on Cana Island in August of 2012 was a perfect way to share their love and commitment with family and friends. Choosing to have a small guest list of 30 and a standing wedding on the shoreline of the island, Ariel used the natural path down to the shoreline as an aisle, DIY-ed the beautiful rose bouquets herself, and used nature as their backdrop. Ariel spoke very highly of their officiant, Joan Shieldsand said that even though the island open to tourists during their wedding, they were all very respectful. Choosing not to have a traditional reception here but rather plan a larger one back in their hometown of Madison later, Ariel and Zach entertained family and friends at the Alpine Resort after the wedding saying the resort was very accommodating and lovely to work with — "the food was good, and the outdoor space was beautiful, and the sunset was amazing."


Photos by Paul Toepefer Photography.


  • Send someone over to check with the volunteers who are working at the lighthouse on the wedding day to help things go smoothly.
  • Don't bother with music if you choose to get married on the shoreline of Cana Island, the surf and water are fairly loud.
  • Test out your hairdresser before the wedding, and don't be afraid to ask for referrals. After a bad experience, their next meeting was with their jeweler, Stacy at J Jeffery Taylor, who recommended a great hairstylist.
  • Definitely use a transportation service like the Trolley to bring your guests in. There's very little parking.

You can also find out more of the rules about having your wedding on Cana Island in my post: Unique Wedding Ceremonies ~ A Door County Lighthouse Wedding.