800.798.7098   •   563.556.4200
200 Main Street   •   Dubuque, IA 52001

Category Archive: Weddings

  1. Meet the Team: Nicole Dempewolf

    Nicole Dempewolf, Wedding and Special Events Manager

    Name:  Nicole Dempewolf
    Title: Weddings and Special Event Manager
    Hometown: Dubuque, IA

    1. How long have you been with Hotel Julien Dubuque? 

    Since February of 2018

    2. What path brought you to Hotel Julien Dubuque? Please share a little bit about your professional background and what led you to this industry?

    In 2012, I began my education in hospitality at Kirkwood Community College. Throughout my time in the Culinary and Pastry Program there, I began working in food and beverage at the Kirkwood Hotel. It was there, that I discovered my love for the front of the house and guest interaction. After graduating in 2015, I returned home to Dubuque and took a position at Vinny Vanucchis as the Restaurant Manager. Along with the many other responsibilities of restaurant management, I was responsible for the booking and execution of large events and parties such as holiday parties, tour groups, and rehearsal dinners. Executing these events became my favorite part of the job. In February of 2018, I took the position of Catering Coordinator at Hotel Julien Dubuque to further develop my knowledge of events and catering. Now, after almost a year in the Catering Coordinator position, I am taking all of the previous experience and knowledge I have gained into the Wedding and Special Events Manager position.

    3. What are you most passionate about professionally?

    I am most passionate about our guests. One of the best things about my job is that every day and event is unique. Every couple that I sit down and meet with has a different story to tell and a different vision for their wedding. It is my job to bring that vision to life, and I am excited every time I am there to see the wedding day played out.

    4. What are you passionate about personally? What is your favorite way to spend a free weekend?

    If we are not out and about socializing with friends, watching the Hawkeyes or Bears play, you will most likely find my fiance Lucas and I snuggled up on our couch with our Yellow Lab Lilly, taking turns watching each others favorite movies or reading our favorite books to each other.

    5. What are some of your favorite things to do in the Dubuque area?

    On the weekends, I love visiting the local breweries, wineries, and restaurants with friends. Dubuque has so much to offer and is constantly expanding; I am a firm believer in supporting local businesses!

    6. What do you love most about Hotel Julien Dubuque?

    What I most love about Hotel Julien Dubuque is how absolutely beautiful it is. The hotel offers a unique opportunity to take a step back in history and take advantage of the historic charm that is no longer visible in modern design. The hotel has a way of making every guest feel like they are part of something special.

    7. What is your personal motto?

    “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

    8. Describe your typical work day.

    I spend most of the morning and afternoon reaching out to our Hotel Julien Dubuque Brides and Grooms; answering questions, giving suggestions, and detailing and planning the wedding day.

    The later portion of my day is used for looking for and working on new ideas to constantly improve on making our weddings flawless. As most of our couples know, “I never like to say no.” There is always a way to make someone’s dream wedding happen.

    Most importantly, I like to keep my schedule open. I keep my calendar busy with tours, menu tastings, and planning sessions as well, so making myself available most days and times makes wedding planning that much easier for our couples.

    9. Please share a go-to fun-fact about yourself.

    I have the privilege of being a Hotel Julien Dubuque bride. My fiance Lucas and I will be getting married at the hotel this December.


  2. Couple’s Spotlight: Sarah & Scott

    How did you meet?
    Scott and I met at an insurance industry holiday party in 2013.  We work for competing insurance brokerage firms. He approached me to invite me to the after-party at a nightclub in downtown Chicago.  I was very impressed with his classical dance moves!

    Tell us about the proposal!
    On the eve of the Wisconsin Half-Marathon, which would be our first half-marathon together, Scott took me for a carb-heavy dinner at the restaurant where we had our first date, Café Ba-ba-reeba.  After dinner, although I was antsy to prepare for the race, Scott convinced me to go for a stroll in nearby Oz Park.  We sat on a bench, and he rambled on about what a great gal I was.  At first, I thought it was a break-up!  He seemed nervous, though, and I quickly understood that he was about to propose.  I stammered out a “yes”!

    What made you decide to celebrate this special milestone at HJD?
    From my time at Loras College, and visiting family in the area, I had great memories of the Dubuque nightlife. My friends from California and Chicago know I am a big evangelist for the warm people and natural beauty of Eastern Iowa. When we started to look at venues, the Hotel Julien was on our short list, because of the early 20th century architectural accents, and centerpiece in the newly rejuvenated Main Street area.

    What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
    I’m looking forward to that last hour or so of the reception, after Scott and I have had a chance to thank all the attendees and have a glass of champagne.  We can then let loose a bit with our friends and bust a move as husband and wife.

  3. Couple’s Spotlight: Lara & Ron

    How did you meet?
    Lara was in the hospital and Ron was stationed in Germany.  Both were on MilitaryCupid.com and he sent an interest message first.  Lara responded and they started messaging.  They met face to face for the first time after 441 days.  The rest is history.

    Tell us about the proposal!
    Ron wanted to propose in a very permanent place in Platteville.  What better venue than the Platteville “M”.  After all, it didn’t blow away with the tornado of 2014.  The moment was captured on video.  Ron and Lara raced to the first platform.  On bended knee, Ron popped the question. She said, “Yes”

    What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
    We hope our family and friends can have an awesome time with us in a gorgeous ball room with our favorite DJ, Mark Fairchild from EA Entertainment.

  4. Couple’s Spotlight: Megan & Austin

    We first met Megan and Austin almost one year ago.  It’s hard to believe that their wedding is only a few short days away!

    How did you meet?AMeng -52
    Austin & I were set up by mutual friends, Heather & Eric Weir. They had asked each of us to go on the river one day in July, 2012, while we were unaware that the other would be coming. We met for the first time that day and totally hit it off! He asked for my number and a few days later he called me and asked me out on a date. Our first few dates were all over 8 hours long and since then, I guess we were hooked!

    Tell us about the proposal!
    The proposal was a total shock to me! I had no idea that it was coming. We were just preparing for a date night in Galena, and we were just about to leave. Austin called me into the living room and there he was down on one knee, next to our dog Brody, with a ring box open in his hand. I was so surprised, I actually told him to shut up and walked out of the room lol! I of course quickly returned, and we shed a few nervous tears and he asked me to marry him. We celebrated the rest of the night at dinner and a night out with friends. It really was a perfect night!

    What made you decide to celebrate this special milestone at HJD?
    Hotel Julien has, in our minds, the most gorgeous hotel & glamorous appeal that no other venue could compete with. It has everything that we were looking for in celebrating our wedding. Since we are having a winter wedding, we knew we wanted to have it somewhere where our guests wouldn’t have to leave each venue and travel during the day. We are able to have our ceremony, cocktail hour and reception all at Hotel Julien, while the staff & wedding coordinator, Allie, accommodated every request with the exact attention to detail that we dreamed of to make it all happen and come together with ease.

    What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
    I think we are most excited to just have so much fun and celebrate “us”. After months of planning, we are ready to have a great time with our closest family and friends, who are all there because they love & support us. There will be so many moments through the day that will make it the most memorable day!

  5. The Summer of ‘53

    mcgehe2It was a unique twist of fate that brought Douglas McGehe and his wife, Joan, back to Hotel Julien Dubuque.  Upon overhearing a conversation about a bus tour headed to Dubuque and Galena while visiting the Fort Wayne Zoo in Indiana, Douglas eagerly inquired about reserving seats.  “I was enchanted when I thought of the idea of going back to Dubuque,” Douglas said. “I called [them] right away and said, ‘What do I have to do? I want to go.’”

    Already thrilled about returning to his hometown, Douglas’s excitement grew immensely when he learned that he and his wife would be staying at Hotel Julien Dubuque, the exact location of their wedding reception which was held 64 years earlier.

    Douglas and Joan, both of whom are actively involved in the Towne House community in Fort Wayne, Indiana, recall many fond memories of growing up in Dubuque.  “You know, that’s where I met Joan,” Douglas said. “I graduated high school there. That’s where we were married.  There are a lot of great memories to revisit for us in Dubuque.”

    The couple met at a party in 1953, the very night that Douglas returned home to Dubuque from serving in the military.  Though they both had accompanied other guests to the party, Douglas made a point to introduce himself to Joan and invite her on a date later that week. “We went to Galena and saw a film at the Avalon Theatre… The owner knew that I had just gotten out of the service so they let us into the movie for free,” said Douglas.  “The movie was Moulin Rouge starring José Ferrer and Zsa Zsa Gabor. I took her to the Log Cabin for dinner…Anyway, we got married three months later.”

    Three months was a fast engagement even for the fifties, but Douglas was facing a job transfer from Dubuque to Columbia City and Joan wanted to make the move with him. “I told her about the transfer and she said, ‘I want to go with you’. Well, in 1953, when they say ‘take me with you’, you got married,” Douglas said.

    And fortunately so as Douglas and Joan have since proceeded to enjoy over 64 happy years of marriage, have welcomed and raised two daughters, and have made many amazing memories together.  “We’ve taken kids and adults to Europe three times.   We’ve been to Hawaii four times, taken seven cruises,” Douglas said.  “We’ve done a lot of things – we’re still doing a lot of things.”


    During their recent visit to Hotel Julien Dubuque, the couple enjoyed breakfast in the Harbor Gallery, the very same room where their wedding reception took place 64 years ago. Some highlights of their trip back to Dubuque include touring St. Luke’s church, enjoying a riverboat ride, and visiting Eagle Point Park.  They also took a drive to Galena and visited Log Cabin Steakhouse, the site of their very first date.

    “It was a phenomenal thing that we would end up back in Dubuque,” Douglas said. “I’m 88 years old so it was great to be able to do those things again.  This was just a wonderful opportunity and we enjoyed every minute of it.”

  6. East Coast Meets Midwest: Jenny & Sam

    My husband and I got married on May 21st, 2011 and held our reception at Hotel Julien.  While I’m from Cedar Rapids originally, my husband is from Ohio and we currently reside in the District of Columbia, we decided to get married in Dubuque, in part, because we fell in love with Hotel Julien.  Our wedding celebration was such a wonderful, happy weekend, and we couldn’t have imagined a more perfect venue for us.  For many of our East Coast friends, it was their first trip to the Midwest, and they loved Dubuque and put the Capone Suite to good use.  

    We welcomed our little baby boy into the world 8 months ago today, and we’re looking forward to a trip back to Iowa to celebrate our four year anniversary.  We’re planning to leave the baby with the grandparents to go celebrate a night in Dubuque!
    In celebration of our 100th anniversary, we are looking back at the significant events that have taken place at Hotel Julien Dubuque throughout history. If you were married at the hotel (pre or post-renovation), we would love to hear your story!  Learn more about our “Celebrating Ours, Celebrating Yours” contest and how you can enter here.
  7. “Where Mom & Dad Got Married”: The Pints

    “My husband Jeremy and I  [celebrated] our 10th wedding anniversary on April 9th, 2015.  Our wedding reception took place at Hotel Julien and we could not have asked for a better venue!  There was no question as to where our wedding would be and we had not even looked at other places.  In fact, we actually changed our wedding date to correspond with the availability at Hotel Julien.  

    Our wedding reception was one of the last receptions that took place in the ballroom prior to the major renovations that the hotel underwent that same year.  10 years and 4 children later, we still reside in Dubuque.  We often drive by the hotel and the kids always point out that it is the place that mom and dad “got married”.  I hope one day that they can make Hotel Julien part of their wedding day like we did and pass down the same beautiful memories that we have.”

    In celebration of our 100th anniversary, we are looking back at the significant events that have taken place at Hotel Julien Dubuque throughout history. If you were married at the hotel (pre or post-renovation), we would love to hear your story!  Learn more about our “Celebrating Ours, Celebrating Yours” campaign and how you can enter the contest here.

  8. 40 Year Reunion: Mary & Jack

    Congratulations to Mary and Jack Schumacher, our anniversary contest winners for the month of March! Their wedding reception was held in the Riverboat Lounge/River Room on March 15th, 1975.  They recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary by returning to Hotel Julien Dubuque for a private dinner with their wedding party.  Mary wrote:

    “On this past Saturday night, March 14th, we celebrated our 40th anniversary at Caroline’s private dining room with 18 members of our wedding party from March 15, 1975. Our reception was in the River Room and Riverboat lounge on March 15, 1975. We decided it would be great to celebrate at Hotel Julien not just for sentimental reasons, but also because it is so beautifully renovated and is known to have great food! We were not disappointed! Our server, Megan, was excellent and so sweet and attentive to any of our requests! We appreciate your great service and hope to be back soon!”

    In celebration of our 100th anniversary, we are looking back at the significant events that have taken place at Hotel Julien Dubuque throughout history. If you were married at the hotel (pre or post-renovation), we would love to hear your story!  Learn more about our “Celebrating Ours, Celebrating Yours” contest and how you can enter here.
  9. Change of Seasons: Brittney & Jake

    It was the perfect wedding I never knew I wanted…”

    “I met my husband, Jake, in nursing school. We both attended the University of Dubuque in town and went through nursing school together. We dated for exactly on year and on Christmas eve 2008 he asked me to be his forever. On top of being in nursing school, my husband also was in ROTC and training to be an officer in the Infantry. Once engaged, we had a date set for Summer 2010. We had booked all the necessary spots to be proactive and were well into wedding planning when we got the news. It was September 2009, after our senior year of nursing school had started and our already packed schedules had begun. Jake would deploy with the Dubuque 1-133rd Infantry National Guard Unit in August 2010. Which also meant that he would be training when our wedding was originally supposed to happen. So not only did we have to deal with the news of an upcoming Deployment to Afghanistan, we also had to decide whether to get married before or after deployment. We loved each other and knew that a wedding after deployment was not even an option to either of us. So how the heck were we going to find, plan, and execute a wedding while being senior nursing students and with a deployment looming over our heads? We didn’t live together (I was an Resident Assistant on campus to help pay for tuition) and we were pretty poor as well. Luckily, we have amazing parents, and luckily we had the Julien. 

    We booked the renovated hotel to be the reception venue on our original date chosen. So we went to the wedding event planner at the time and asked what dates were available between Sept and May 2010 that worked with our demanding schedules. There were 3. Either between semesters in the dead of Winter, or Spring break 2010 when we would be completing senior internships. So winter it was! And since this date was before graduation, it meant that Jake could not wear his officer uniform like originally planned either, yet another disappointment. A winter wedding also meant we needed to find a ceremony spot. Neither of us being Dubuque natives, we didn’t belong to any of the churches in town. The event planner said they occasionally held ceremonies on the grand steps of the Julien. This meant no transportation issues for our guests and an all-in-one option was right up our alley. It was so easy to plan from there! And easy was what we needed! No stress, no daunting decision making, the event planner was reachable at anytime, and affordable. At a point in our lives when we needed it most, the Julien was there for us and provided the PERFECT setting for our whirlwind nuptials. Although there was a lot of disappointment and uncertainty surrounding our wedding, none of it mattered on the day of. It was the perfect wedding I never knew I wanted.  
    So thank you for being there for us when we needed it. We celebrated 5 years this year. We’ve survived 1 deployment to Afghanistan, 2 rounds of Ranger school, and we welcomed our first daughter into the world on Nov. 30, 2014. We will forever be grateful for the wonderful memories and opportunity to begin our lives at the Julien Hotel.  Our guests still talk about  how unique our wedding was and how intimate the setting was, and how grateful they didn’t have to go outside at all since in was -15 degrees!” 
    In celebration of our 100th anniversary, we are looking back at the significant events that have taken place at Hotel Julien Dubuque throughout history. If you were married at the hotel (pre or post-renovation), we would love to hear your story!  Learn more about our “Celebrating Ours, Celebrating Yours” campaign and how you can enter the contest here.
  10. 14 Years in the Making: Heather & Eric

    “My husband Eric and I just celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary after dating for 14+ years! We were married at St. Anthony church and celebrated with a reception at Hotel Julien on January, 25th 2014. We are both from Dubuque and when it came time to look for a venue for our special day we did not have to look far. We both fell in love with Hotel Julien immediately. To this day we could not be happier with our choice of Hotel Julien and we continue to get compliments on our lovely reception, the friendly staff, convenient location and the comfortable rooms. Thank you Hotel Julien for making our wedding day one we will remember for a lifetime!”

    In celebration of our 100th anniversary, we are looking back at the significant events that have taken place at Hotel Julien Dubuque throughout history. If you were married at the hotel (pre or post-renovation), we would love to hear your story!  Learn more about our “Celebrating Ours, Celebrating Yours” contest and how you can enter here.


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