Your guide to getting hitched without a hitch at Monarch Valley! We offer these resources and tips to help you with your venue-side wedding plans. For additional assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
See our inventory of tables, chairs, furniture, and decor. It includes pictures and dimensions.
- Gallery of Past Weddings – Get inspiration from past wedding couples. Images are organized into the major patterns we see across weddings.
- Around the Venue Galleries – Tour the venue room by room—bathrooms and all!
See our list of local vendors to help with your vendor research.
- No firearms.
- No indoor flames (we have a variety of electric candles).
- No smoking inside any buildings.
- No fireworks or other incendiary devices (sparklers are allowed, but no sky lanterns).
- No extreme noise.
- No parking on Shelly Ridge Road or on grass.
- No driving inside the Reception Barn.
- No driving Four-Wheelers or any of Monarch Valley’s Vehicles.
- No entering buildings where do not enter signs are displayed (i.e. the farmhouse and work sheds).
- Please use natural confetti (petals, seeds, rice) only. We request that confetti made from plastic or paper be avoided.
- Please request for staff to light indoor fireplaces.
- Please instruct parents to supervise children around the fireplaces and ponds.
- Please request permission before transporting equipment across lawns.
Tips & Common Questions
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We will pick up guests on the gravel area closest to the apple trees—guests will see staff and the cart just to the side of the building and as they approach the brick walkway that leads to the lawn.
Caterers Need to Know
If your caterer would like a staff member to receive them day-of, they may schedule their arrival with us.
Most caterer’s do not need access to the banquet room kitchen, but they are welcome to use it.
You should discuss insurance and liability options with any non-traditional caterer. If your caterer doesn’t have insurance, or if you are not using a caterer, then we highly recommend Special Event Insurance.
The church ceremony is an alternative option that can blend in seamlessly with your wedding at Monarch Valley. You’d just have your guests meet at the church for the ceremony first. After the ceremony, everyone would make the short drive (or shuttle ride) from the church to Monarch Valley.
Of course, we love, love, love our outdoor ceremonies, but opting for a church ceremony can add an extra sense of tradition and formality to your wedding experience—if that’s what you’re going for. Not to mention the fact that it’s weather-proof and that some of the architecture in these small town churches can be unexpectedly stunning and beautiful and worth consideration.
It’s also worth noting that most denominations allow pastors/priests to officiate weddings offsite. So, local faith organizations can be a good place to look for your outdoor wedding officiant too.
Decorations, Decorating, & Tablecloths
We do not provide tablecloths or tableware for the reception dinner. Check with your caterer—they may have options. Or, check out Facebook Marketplace or other sites to buy used items at a discount. It’s often cheaper to buy tablecloths than it is to rent (though we think rentals are worth the price!).
If you are purchasing tablecloths, consider if you will want an ironed/steamed look or if you are ok with fold marks. Then build in enough time to iron accordingly (we are happy to provide tools and hacks to make ironing go faster).
We rarely reuse, sell, or purchase decorations from weddings that take place at Monarch Valley. When you leave, you should take everything with you that you brought in.
DJ's Need to Know
If your DJ would like a staff member to receive them day-of, they may schedule their arrival with us.
Every DJ and band requires a unique amount of space for their equipment. Please be sure to discuss space and set-up needs with your DJ in advance (or have them reach out to us). This is very important because the DJ usually arrives last—we want to avoid having the DJ arrive with more equipment than there is space allotted for.
Fireplaces & Firewood
Unless otherwise requested, we’ll start the outdoor fireplace just before dusk each night of your rental. The indoor fireplaces are only started upon request, when outdoor temperatures reach 60 degrees or cooler, or on rainy and snowy days.
Please avoid excessive cooking over the fireplaces, use the grills we provide instead. S’mores are still fine!
Insurance (Special Event Insurance)
Inclement Weather & Temperature Control
We have heating and air conditioning in our lodge and banquet room. However, our three-season Pavilion/Event Barn does not have insulation, forced heating, or central air. In the Pavilion/Event Barn, we can make it cooler by opening up all four corners of the barn—we’re located up on a ridge, so there is almost always a nice breeze. If it’s really hot, we have high-powered fans to help keep things cool. If it’s on the colder side, we can close up the doors and add our temporary heaters.
If needed, we’ll discuss the weather plan with you once you arrive at the venue (or a few days in advance in certain circumstances). Reach out to us anytime you have weather questions.
Ice for Drinks
It’s a good idea to arrange for ice with Kwik Trip in advance.
We do not provide industrial storage space for ice—only a variety of coolers/ice chests and the two kitchen freezers. If you are having a beer trailer, that can be a great place to store bulk ice over the weekend.
We have decorative string lights around the outdoor fireplace and on the railing and pillars of the Pavilion/Event Barn (but not the ceiling).
You are welcome to add your own decorative lighting (or consult a lighting vendor). You may use staples to hang string lighting, but you must pull them out afterward. We have ladders that you may use.
We keep areas around the buildings well lit. However, there is almost no light-pollution on the ridge, so it gets dark when you are away from immediate light (in turn for an amazing view of the stars).
Monarch Valley staff will only enter the living area of the lodge if tending to the fireplace, or upon request.
Sound System (Speakers & Microphones)
Our sound system consists of two speakers and two wireless microphones. The speakers also have input for laptops, phones, ipads, etc. So, you could play music and use the mic at the ceremony and/or at dinner.
Monarch Valley staff will set up our sound equipment at your requested times. However, someone from your group would be responsible for managing the mics and music.
Payments & Payment Schedule
For 2021 weddings, your guest count should include your total RSVPs plus the wedding party. Kids ages 10 and under are complementary and do not need to be counted toward your guest count.
Payments may be made via cash delivery, check, or credit card. Credit card transaction fees apply.
Make checks payable to Daniel Gallagher and mail toN33864 Shelly Ridge Road, Blair, WI 54616
Parking, We will provide parking signs
RV Payments & Parking
We charge $50 per RV, per weekend to park an RV.
All RVs and tent campers MUST SCHEDULE A CHECK-IN TIME with Monarch Valley in advance. Upon arrival, RVs and tent campers will make their payment and receive parking/camping assignments from Monarch Valley staff.
Site Visits for Photography
Site Visits for Planning
Trash & Recycling
At this time, we do not offer recycling. However, if recycling, low waste, or zero waste is something you want to prioritize for your wedding, please talk with us we’d love to be included in planning.
Venue Staffing Service
Here are the differences between going DIY and taking our Venue Staffing Service:
If you decline our service you (often with the help of your wedding party) would be responsible for:
- Unstacking and setting up tables and chairs and then re-stacking them
- Setting up and taking down the arbor
- Moving any outdoor furniture to your liking
- If you are renting your own chairs for your ceremony, you will be responsible for setting them up and returning them
- Wiping down surfaces in the banquet room, pool table room, and in the pavilion
- Mopping floors in the banquet room, pool table room, and in the pavilion
- Clearing grounds of cigarette butts, cans, and other garbage
- We will give direction when it’s time to clear and move tables to make room for your dance floor, but your group will be responsible for the labor involved.
If you accept our service, we’d work with you to develop a floor plan and will set-up tables, chairs, and furniture ahead of time. When you arrive, you’ll only need to decorate with what you bring in. After the wedding, you’d be able to relax—only needing to take down the decorations you brought in, and leave the rest to us.
Regardless of whether or not you take the service:
- You would be responsible for decorating (tablecloths, tableware, personal effects, etc.).
- We will still monitor the facilities, start the outdoor fireplace, offer advise if asked, etc.
- Monarch Valley will always thoroughly clean the lodge.
If you decide to go DIY, please note:
- The crew helping you – whether it’s your wedding party or your family – is expected to follow our venue rules on where and how to store our inventory, as well as follow the cleanliness standards we offer. We recommend you set expectations around take-down and clean-up with your helpers in advance.
- We will give you an orientation upon arrival and will be available to provide ladders, tools, advice, and instruction during your set-up.
- We will provide you with printed copies of our DIY Set-Up & Cleaning Checklist for all your responsibilities. We also provide all the towels and cleaning supplies you’ll need.