Going forward I will be featuring venues I absolutely love on my blog. First up is the Carriage House at Lac La Belle, located in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
The Carriage House is an almost brand new venue (completed 2019) and is set on the recently renovated Club at Lac La Belle golf course in Oconomowoc. The Club actually offers two spaces – The Carriage House and the 1896 Room. The 1896 room is inside a separate building so it can be used as a separate event space or the room can be an add on to the Carriage House for a higher occupancy wedding (The Carriage House seats up to 240 guests inside).
I had been to The Carriage House earlier this year, but last week I took an in-person tour and met with the Marketing Director and Event Sales Manager, Marie Schneider, to learn more about what makes the venue unique. What stood out to me in our conversation was The Club’s deep history, family values, and dedication to creating individualized experiences for couples.
The Club at Lac La Belle was founded in 1896 (where the 1896 Room name comes from). The Club offers a rich history, complete with two concurrent champion golf professionals and a rivalry preserved by the Morse family with the current reimagination. If you stroll through the main clubhouse, you can see the Club’s unique history preserved with artifacts, murals, displays and replica trophies. The Club was once home to golf pros Alex Smith and Willie Anderson, commonly referred to as “La Belle Legends.” Smith worked at the club in 1897 and ’98 and may have designed the original nine-hole course and Anderson was hired to give lessons in 1900. Between the two of them, they went on to win six U.S. Opens. The Club looks very different today, but still on the property sits a 225-year-old tree dubbed “Willie’s Tree” after Anderson (which if I may add is right by the two venues and is a perfect place for portraits!). It can be argued that The Club at Lac La Belle is just as historically significant as some of the more famous clubs in the country.
The Club is a family-operated business, owned by The Morse family as of 2018. The Morse’s vision was to create a premiere golf course that the public can enjoy and to create usable spaces for people to gather and form community. Upon acquiring the property, The Club underwent a massive two-year renovation to improve the course, current facilities, and to build new (The Carriage House venue, a restaurant/bar named the “Rivalry Pub” to honor Anderson & Smith, etc.). More remodels and updates are coming yet – including a resort with new holes down the road. The Morse family’s goal is to create a memorable experience for everyone who steps foot on The Club property… not just have it be a stop. The family’s dedication to the future and legacy of The Club can also be seen by their selection of venue management staff.
Despite, the new venue spaces, the staff members have years of experience within the wedding and hospitality industry. Marie, who does all event sales and marketing has been in wedding industry since she was 14. Nick, who oversees food and beverage previously worked at an upscale country club in Florida. The Club also has two onsite coordinators – Lindsey (a previous florist), and Amber (has a lifetime of experience in the hospitality industry). Upon booking a wedding, you have a dedicated wedding coordinator assigned to you. These coordinators, along with the rest of the team work extremely hard to personalize every wedding they work on. With all their combined years in the wedding industry, they are a solid team and have great resources to help you make your vision a reality.
I will list the main details of the venues below, but here are some features that stood out to me:
The Carriage House Venue:
The 1896 Room Venue Info: