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Located in Sheboygan, WI, just an hour north of Milwaukee, Lake Orchard Farm Retreat is a seasonal wedding venue, open May-October annually. The venue was recently featured on weddingrule.com as one of the best 11 venues for a Lake Michigan lakefront wedding. https://www.weddingrule.com/wedding-venues/lake-michigan/
The venue also hosted two 2020 Ryder cup dinner events, one for the golfers and one for the celebrity golfers, showing the location and service of this venue is top notch.
The farm was purchased by Helene and Theodore Wunsch in June 1848 after the couple immigrated from Germany. Since then, six generations of the Wunsch family have lived on and cared for the property, raising various animals and growing fresh produce. The farm is currently a working aquaponics farm and a year round secluded retreat with lodging. Ideal for couples hoping to incorporate picturesque scenery into their big day, the venue features lush rolling hills, fruit orchards, and views of Lake Michigan.
When the Wunsches first moved to the property, they built a wood cabin to house their family. In 1876, the couple renovated their home with a cream-city brick addition which is still seen at Lake Orchard Farm Retreat today. When celebrating at the venue, you are welcome to share your day with your loved ones in the fully remodeled barn, originally built in 1900. The event space features a bar area, a stage, a sound system, indoor restrooms, multiple lighting scenes, and a warming kitchen for catering. If you’ve been dreaming of saying “I do” in the open air, your ceremony can take place at the lakefront location. If you prefer an indoor ceremony, staff will set up for your ceremony inside the event barn. After your ceremony, staff provides the changeover to the dinner setup while you roam the property and take photos with all the beautiful countryside and lake views in the background and your guests enjoy a cocktail hour. The venue can accommodate up to 225 people for a seated dinner. After dinner, staff provides the changeover to the dance and reception setting. After the festivities draw to a close, you and several guests can rest in the four-bedroom cottage and four-unit inn accommodations on site. During your stay, you can enjoy complimentary outdoor activities on site such as golf, foot golf, walking trails, and biking.
Lake Orchard Farm Retreat offers a wide range of services and amenities to ensure that you have an unforgettable celebration and comfortable visit. The cottage features an expansive yard and patio, a fire pit, and a gas grill, allowing you to enjoy the fresh air during your stay. The inn includes four spacious suites with queen beds, whirlpool tubs, satellite TV, wifi, and private balconies. The inn also includes a bar/gameroom and a fully equipped kitchen. For your convenience, there is ample on-site parking & a complimentary parking service is provided on the day of your event.
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Excellent! Everything we could ask for
Owners: Nate and Mary Calkins are great people! When we came to see the venue, Nate gave us a great tour and explained everything about the property, including stories, thoughts and recommendations for the wedding. The majority of the communication up until the wedding was done with Nate. He is very open to questions and will try to accommodate all requests as best he can given the legality and protection of the property itself. Even when Nate or Mary were not around, Nate gave us the okay to stop by, go inside the barn, and check out whatever we wished. Nate would always call or text very quickly if we did need to get a hold of him. Nate was around all day on the wedding making sure everything was running smoothly. A contract is signed upon booking the venue that lays out rules, but Nate is flexible with the contract. If you raise or bring up a question, Nate is more than open to working on a solution. He does have a few strict rules (smoking in specific locations on the property, excessively loud music), but they are rules you would have to adhere to at any venue.
Accomodations: One major reason we looked at Lake Orchard in the first place was that we wanted flexibility with choosing food, drink, decoration, etc. We basically had to setup and coordinate all the logistics with separate parties as Lake Orchard does not run a restaurant or bar for weddings. The main things Lake Orchard will provide are the wedding barn itself, staff during the reception, and the Cottage and Bed and Breakfast. Nate and Mary do have staff that cleaned the bathrooms, took out the trash, and maintained barn during the dinner and reception. They do everything very efficiently and respectful. The staff helped teardown tables and chairs after dinner. There is also a Bed and Breakfast and Cottage on the property which must be rented as part of the two day wedding weekend. The B&B has 4 rooms, each with a separate bathroom and space to sleep 4. The rooms are very spacious and accommodating. On the lowest level, there is a “rec room” with a pool table, television, bar area, and dining room table w/ chairs. There is also a full kitchen for use. You must bring your own food and beverages, but it is a great gathering area for all the people that stay in the B&B and Cottage. We used it the night before the wedding to hang out and the morning after the wedding for breakfast. The Cottage has multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. There is also a full kitchen, dining room, and rec room in the Cottage. It had everything we needed for the guests that weekend. The styles of the Cottage and B&B are much different, as we would say is normal when comparing those two in general, but the upkeep and accomodations in both are very nice. Parking for guests is available on site.
Rehearsal and Setup: We did our rehearsal on Saturday afternoon at the time we were able to officially check in. We then setup and decorated the barn. Nate had the tables setup according to our plan, but then we had to setup and prepare everything else (tablecloths, table settings, bar area, etc.). The venue comes with standard black folding chairs, which we did not use.
Ceremony: Held outside by the deck overlooking the lake. Nate is more than willing to allow outdoor ceremonies, but we had to coordinate the music, microphones, setup and cleanup. He told us beforehand that he and his staff would not be involved with the outdoor ceremony. Since we rented chairs, we set them up the night before and had guests bring them from outside into the barn.
Cocktail Hour: Held on the lawn outside the barn and the deck attached to the barn. We rented a tent outside (which we had to coordinate the setup), had a beer trailer, which worked great, along with lawn/yard games for guests to play.
Reception/Dinner: Held inside the barn. Our dinner vendor was able to utilize the kitchen space inside the barn. Only one woman’s bathroom and one men’s bathroom, so we did have some lines, but bathrooms were kept clean and tidy by Nate and staff.
Music: The barn has a stage on the east end which we had a 7 piece band for the music. Our music vendor brought all of the speakers. Nate worked with the manager of the band during his setup for the proper functioning of the sounds and lights. The barn had more than enough power for everything. The band concluded at midnight, but we then listened to music afterwards. Nate did not say anything about any music being too loud.
Clean up: The day after the wedding, we had to clean up the barn for what possessions were ours and what we had brought in. Nate was not around for the clean but did have dollies and ladders available for our need. The nice thing was that he did not absolutely need us out at a certain time, so we could take our time and, we actually left a few things there a picked up the next week.
We tried to give as much detail above of the property and processes as we could. Overall, Lake Orchard Farm Retreat is a beautiful and wonderful spot for a wedding! In terms of the nature and scenery, it is absolutely stunning. The accommodations are great and everything we needed and wanted. If you are looking for a wedding venue that has a detailed timeline of when things need to start and stop, timeframes for setup and cleanup, or assistance and coordination of your ceremony, reception, dinner menu and beverages, this may not be the spot you want. We chose this venue because we wanted to make our own choices on all those aspects of our wedding weekend. Nate and Mary basically let you “own” the property from the time you check in to the time you leave. They very much understand this is a once in a lifetime event and they want you to enjoy every moment. If you treat the property like you would your own home, your weekend will be perfect. Thank you Nate, Mary and Lake Orchard Farm!
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We are the sixth generation to own and operate the Lake Orchard Farm. We are proud of our heritage and enjoy hosting guests and events on our lakefront property. We have 2 children, a dedicated staff, and several farm animals that reside with us on the property including dogs, cats, goats, and chickens. We look forward to meeting you and your loved ones and providing you with an exceptional experience!
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