Weddings come with a million decisions, but few set the tone as much as selecting your venue. Formal or relaxed? Elegant or boho? Downtown or lakeside? The options are endless! As a photographer in the Madison area, I’ve not only shot at many of these, but I’ve gotten a feel for some of the photography and visual considerations to keep in mind.
All of the below venues are within a one-hour drive of Capitol Square, so if you’re a Madison lover like myself and can’t imagine tying the knot anywhere but this beautiful area, this is the guide for you! I’ve broken this list into a few different categories, as you’ll likely want to decide on an overall vibe before narrowing in on a specific place.
Without further ado, let’s get planning!
Let’s kick this off strong with one of my personal favorite categories – the modern, blank slate. These venues have bright, open floor plans with white walls that will be the perfect base for whatever day you’re dreaming up. These venues are super photo-friendly; the white walls help eliminate weird color casts, and there’s great natural light pouring through the windows.
- Overture (Downtown Madison)
- Madison Public Library (Downtown Madison)
These venues are loaded with history and charm! They’re perfect for all those intimate, romance-movie-inspired shots. Just picture yourself lounging in these cozy spots with your new husband or wife with a good cocktail! These venues guarantee that you’ll have classic, dreamy photos.
- Wisconsin Masonic Center (Downtown Madison)
- Chorus Public House (Stoughton)
- Mansion Hill Inn (Downtown Madison)
- The Venue at River’s Edge (Waterloo)
- Ludlow Mansion Events (Monroe)
- Ellsworth Block (Downtown Madison)
With Madison nestled between lakes, I had to include a section dedicated to lakeside venues!
- Bishops Bay (Middleton)
- Monona Terrace (Downtown Madison)
- The Edgewater (Downtown Madison)
This list wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the classic Wisconsin staple – a barn wedding. These venues all embrace an outdoorsy feel with their wood structures and barn/cabin feel. As a heads up, this usually means darker, more dramatic photos as wood tends to absorb light.
- Over The Vines Vineyard & Wine Barn (Edgerton)
- Badger Farms Wedding & Event Venue (Deerfield)
- Whispering Pines Event Center (Poynette)
Think moody, brick walls, and metal accents! This section has the most variety (everything from breweries to renovated warehouses to greenhouses), but they all have that effortlessly cool vibe you’re searching for. Some of these also double as historic venues!
- Lageret (Stoughton)
- The Bur Oak (Madison)
- Goodman Community Center (Madison)
- Lone Girl Brewing Company (Waunakee)
I get it – weddings are expensive. But they don’t have to break the bank completely with these budget-friendly options! Below are some of the parks in the area that come at a fraction of the cost of a traditional venue. Keep in mind, you’ll likely need to be more hands-on in planning and executing your wedding if you decide to go this route.
- Gates of Heaven (Downtown Madison)
- Tenney Park Shelter (Madison)
And there you have it! Tons of Madison wedding inspo to kick off your wedding planning! Am I missing a great venue? Feel free to drop a comment below, and let me know if you want to see a guide like this for another area in Wisconsin!