Engaged couples can experience the ultimate in romantic weddings by holding an equestrian-themed ceremony at Chapters on the Horizon. The farm-based wedding venue located in the state’s Driftless Region lets horse lovers celebrate their big day with their cherished animals.
Jennifer and Tyler Chrisinger opened Chapters on the Horizon Sept. 19, 2020. Other partners in the business are Jennifer’s father, Mike Lepke and her brother, Ben.
The Chrisingers decided to start a wedding venue as the place they would have wanted for their nuptials.
“When my husband and I got married 10 years ago, we could only find a venue with 12-14 hours of rental and no animals,” Jennifer said. “So when we wrote up the contract for Chapters on the Horizon, we included everything we wished we could have done for our wedding.”
Jennifer felt the lure of horses since she was quite little and credits them with helping her get through a lot while she was growing up.
“Horses are my therapy,” Jennifer said. “There’s something about just jumping on and getting lost in nature. My horses are in-your-pocket type, big puppy dogs. I consider them part of the family.”
Fortunately for her, she grew up on a farm, but unfortunately, her parents wouldn’t allow their daughter to get a horse in her early years. So instead, she rode the family’s Jerseys cows. Eventually, she convinced them she was ready to take on the responsibility of horse ownership.
“They got me a pony that broke my foot in the first week and the rest in history,” Jennifer said. “My parents must have really loved me as at one point we had 10 horses, donkeys and mules. We were very active in 4-H growing up and showed horses and various other animals.”
Although, Jennifer has considered renting her horses to bridal parties for their special day, at this point, it’s “BYOH — bring your own horses.” The honeymoon suite, less than two miles away, has two stalls and a fenced in area. While the number of horses isn’t limited, the horse owners are responsible for picking up after their animals.
When planning the venture, the owners spent a lot of time deciding on the name for their business.
“We are an event venue, so we host all chapters of life,” Jennifer said, “and Horizon, because the building sits perfectly on the horizon and sunset off the front of the building every night”
Along with allowing animals, the venue offers among its other amenities weekend-long rental, on-site accommodations, kids playground, outdoor yard games, a venue coordinator, fireworks, a full bar, a disc golf course, a catch-and-release fishing pond, a beach and some of the most scenic backgrounds for photo shoots found anywhere.
Up to 400 guests can be accommodated in the indoor facilities, which are equipped for year-round comfort and are handicap accessible. In addition to a full-service bar, the large prep kitchen is open to the caterer of the couple’s choice.
Located at near the village of Viola, Jennifer reports the local community was supportive of the new business adventure. “We are hoping to put Viola on the map as it’s only a town of 300 people,” she said.
Due to the COVID pandemic, most of the 2020 weddings that had been scheduled were canceled, but the venue was able to host two smaller events.
“So, we haven’t had to deal with social distancing too much as we decided to keep the building empty even though we could operate as a full bar,” Jennifer said.
For potential clients concerned about social distancing, the venue offers four outdoor ceremony options: Pond with Blue Row Boat, Beach, Apple Orchard or Meadow in the Woods. In addition to the weekend ceremony package, Chapters on the Horizon also offers an elopement package.
“We also donate a weekend rental to a military couple every year as my brother will be completing his second tour overseas this fall with the Air Force,” Jennifer said.