5 Places to Elope in Michigan
Where to elope in Michigan
If you’re planning an elopement in Michigan and are wondering where the best places are, I’ve compiled a list of 5 places I’d recommend. If you’re familiar with my work, you’ll know that I’m partial to really amazing places in the wild, so this list is going to focus on just that- epic places in Michigan that have beautiful scenery and are located in nature.
Black Rocks on Presque Isle Elopement
Presque Isle is a 15 minute drive from downtown Marquette, Michigan. It’s a small peninsula that features a one-way drive-able loop that takes around 10 minutes to complete. There are hiking trails, but the best spot is the Black Rocks, found at the northern tip of Presque Isle. Here you’ll find an otherworldly landscape of lava rock jutting out into Lake Superior.
The Black Rocks on Presque Isle is an incredible place to elope but there are some pros and cons:
- One of the most unique landscapes within Michigan.
- Gorgeous scenery, year-round.
- Big enough for a small gathering of friends and family.
- Depending on the season, date, and time, it may be very crowded.
- Parts of the road may be closed during winter or special events.
- Parking is convenient, but spaces are limited.
- No permit is required to elope or take photos here.
Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes Elopement
Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore is a vast landscape of windswept dunes on the west coast of the Leelanau Peninsula in the north west of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. There are miles and miles of sandy beach, bluffs, and dune grasses. It’s a tranquil, wild place that’s uniquely it’s own.
The Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes is one of the best places to elope in Michigan. Here are some pros and cons:
- Gorgeous scenery along the great lakes.
- High bluffs that lookout over Lake Michigan.
- The sand can make it challenging to hike, and it gets everywhere.
- Some spots are very popular in the summer months, but the area is huge so you can almost always find a private or semi-private spot.
- Most of the best locations require some hiking to get to them.
- A permit is required for wedding ceremonies (you can apply here).
Silver Lake Sand Dunes Elopement
Yes, Michigan has a lot of spectacular sand dunes. Besides Sleeping Bear, my other favorite are the Silver Lake Sand Dunes located about a half hour north of Muskegon on the shore of Lake Michigan. These are the only dunes in Michigan, as far as I know, that actually look like the Sahara Desert. The dunes are high, and pure sand. Other dunes in Michigan are incredible, like Sleeping Bear, Saugatuck Dunes, Grand Sable Dunes, Arcadia Dunes, Port Crescent State Park, and Nordhouse Dunes.
- Actually looks like you’re in the desert.
- Spectacular vistas.
- Sand can make it a challenge to hike, and it gets everywhere.
- You have to climb up to get to the good spots.
- Parking can be limited.
- You do not need a permit for less than 20 people.
Proud Lake State Rec Elopement
Michigan has many wild forests, but my favorite are those that feature rows upon rows of huge, old growth pine trees. Proud Lake State Recreation Area is a hidden gem in Southeast Michigan. It features over 4,700 acres with forests, lakes, and trails. Part of the park was once used to plant many different kinds of pines, which have now grown into forests of massive trees.
- Forests of huge, old pine trees of different varieties.
- Beautiful in any season.
- Not a crazy popular tourist spot, so it’s generally quiet.
- Campground, cabins and larger buildings available to rent.
- No permit needed for groups under 20.
Beach Elopement in Michigan
I couldn’t pick one favorite beach- we have so many great beaches here in Michigan! Surrounded by the Great Lakes, we have the longest freshwater coastline in the U.S. You don’t need to travel south to elope on a beach when we have such amazing beaches right here.
Some of my favorite beaches for elopements are: Saugatuck Dunes State Park Beach, Copper Harbor Beach, Lake Street Beach in Glen Arbor, Old Mission Peninsula Lighthouse beach, Oscoda Beach Park, and PJ Hoffmaster State Park beach.
- Beautiful beaches are readily available in Michigan!
- Some can be very popular spots in summer, but there are many beaches that are less crowded.
- Wind can sometimes be an issue. I recommend checking conditions are being prepared.
- Some beaches feature cool landmarks like lighthouses or the Mackinac Bridge.
- Some beaches require permits, most do not.
Besides the places I’ve mentioned above, there are so many other amazing spots to elope in Michigan. Some other ideas:
When looking for the perfect location, I recommend researching things like:
- What is the weather like there during the season you are thinking of?
- How busy/crowded is it likely to be?
- What is the parking and accessibility like?
- Do you need a permit to elope there?
- Are there accommodations nearby?
- If you’ll be hiring additional wedding vendors, is it a location they service?
There are also many resorts and privately owned places in Michigan that would be perfect for an elopement. Here’s a collection I put together of AirBnb ideas for lodges, cabins and retreats.
I love helping couples find the perfect place to elope. If you’re thinking of planning a Michigan elopement, reach out and I can help you with all of your planning.
Lume Photography is a fine art elopement and wedding photographer based in Michigan, travelling worldwide. Behind the camera you’ll find me (Andrea)- a girl who loves animals, the wilderness, and love stories. I believe in magic, soulmates, and the hidden forces of energy that connect everything and everyone in the universe. My favorite places are the woods, the mountains, and the ocean. My passion is documenting the moments, emotions and connection between two souls in love, in wild places. I travel to Arizona, Colorado, California, Scotland, and beyond to photograph wild elopements and small destination weddings.