Unique Wedding Ceremonies: A Door County Lighthouse Wedding

Photo Credit: Avenson Photography.

Cana Island Lighthouse has been on the shore of Lake Michigan since 1869,and it's one of the only lighthouses in the country where you can climb to the top, get a glorious view of Door County and shout your 'I dos' the world.

Here's what you need to know if you'd like to have a unique Door County Lighthouse Wedding on Cana Island:
Whom You Need to Contact: Please contact the Door County Maritime Museum with the date and time of your event, and expected number of guests and/or participants.

Hours of Operation: Open May through October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The Island cannot be closed to the public, and activities must be held outside; the Keepers’ House and Tower are not available for ceremonies, preparations, or in-case-of-rain.  All buildings close at 5:00 p.m. and cannot be opened after that time.


  • No food or beverages are allowed on Cana Island.
  • No structures (arches, canopies, tents, etc.) or tables are allowed (however folding/lawn chairs are permitted).
  • Items to be used for the ceremony must be brought in by hand (no vehicles allowed across the causeway); and everything carried in, including garbage, must be carried out.  We may be able to accommodate one vehicle to carry chairs on and off the island, if timed properly.  All arrangements must be made well in advance. The vehicle may not be left on the island.

Other Considerations:

  • The gallery deck of the tower is an awesome place for photos, but it's best to have your ceremony on the grounds first and climb the the tower afterwards. Plus the 97 steps up the vintage winding staircase is do-able, but can be a challenge in wedding attire.
  • All persons attending and/or participating in the event must pay admission to the island and a donation towards historic preservation of the Island & its structures is required.
  • There is an additional charge if guests decide to climb the light tower.
  • There is no access to electrical power and toilet facilities are limited to a pit toilet building near the island entrance.
  • Bus (or Trolley) parking is not allowed at the end of the road; if utilized, the bus must drop off your party, and come back to pick you up at an arranged time.
  • A deposit of 50% of the estimated total fee is due at the time of booking. A cancellation fee of $100 may be charged for cancellations less than 60 days prior to the event.

If you are planning a very small, stand-up wedding and don’t mind if other Cana visitors observe the ceremony, it may work just fine for you. If you are hoping for a large group and a private ceremony, Cana Island may not be the best choice. Check back next week when I'll share a real wedding held there and also an engagement session!