Bells will be ringing,,,,,

The Gardens Wedding Center is family owned on three acres in Allenton, WI. It consists of four buildings originally established in 1844.  The second chapel was built in 1867 and the smaller building became a schoolhouse in 1868. 

When I called the owner, Johan, to see if I could come and photograph this beautiful venue he said it was no problem.  I let him know when I arrived, and wandered the property taking photos and relishing in the fact I was the only one there.  As I was about to leave Johan walked out of one of the buildings, so I introduced myself and got the only notebook I had handy to take some notes regarding the property.  I should have had a larger notebook!!

The venue is open for private events from May-October every Friday and Saturday.  Corporate events as well as bridal and baby showers can be scheduled on the other days of the week. The old chapel kitchen was renovated into a groomsman space and there is a separate bridal space in the old schoolhouse which is quite large and has a full reception space.

There is an underground walkway that connects the bar area to the main building and it feels like it could be taking you to an underground bunker but it comes out near the bridal room!  Speaking of the bar area, the lights were saved from a destroyed church in 2017, and girders were salvaged from a bridge of the Rock River. The bricks that encompass the bar were recovered from a building in Jackson, and the slate inserts where notes are written were saved from a school house. There is a main beam from the Moser farm from 1840.

Johan was encouraged by his wife to purchase the property when the Archdiocese was selling some parishes, there were three in the area, Mayville, St. Anthony, and this location in Allenton.   Originally, the ceremonies were only in the gardens which are adorned with such a variety of blooms and evergreens.  I visited in late summer so I can only imagine what the gardens look like in early to mid summer!  Johan and his family plant up to 5000 perennials and maintain all the grounds with great care.  

In the chapel the original stained glass windows adorn both sides of the building and the room still has the original lights. The church boasts a rich heritage in the area and in regards to the hands that have maintained it. In the main chapel building, the floors have been redone along with the pews. The pews are the same size as a banquet table so if the weather dictates being inside there is the option for that. 

Another interesting fact and a literal meaning of  "raise the roof" is the fact that in 1904 they actually raised the roof of the chapel and if you look closely you can see the slight color variation in the brick.

Outside as you travel the garden paths that lead to the ceremony space and the reception area you can't help but notice a very interesting area that serves as the outside bar. 

The bars' large supports are beams from a historic barn in Kewaskum and rafters from an 1840’s farmhouse in St Lawrence. These are joined together using large ornate hardware from the original power poles that once lined highway 175. You really just have to see.

The Gardens Wedding Center has a capacity for 150 people and when the wedding bells are ringing for some lucky bride and grooms special day; it will be very special, they too were saved and brought here in 1876 from St. Louis!  

Not only does the Gardens wedding center offer so much to couples who choose it for their venue, they offer the community a space for meetings and they open the space up during the summer for "Tuesdays in the Gardens" where you can meet Johan and his family, listen to live music, shop produce and goods from the area farmers and merchants all while enjoying a cold drink.  Take time to walk the lush gardens and have a bite to eat from their mobile kitchen topped off by a variety of shopping choices provided by locals. 

It is no surprise they were awarded "the knot BEST OF WEDDINGS 2022" and you can access that link below.