Big weddings can be overwhelming, stressful, and expensive. For some people, a big wedding just isn’t their thing. You might prefer a more intimate setting with your closest friends & family, or perhaps even just the two of you (like these two did). It can be easy to get caught up in other people’s expectations, but it’s ultimately your choice- do what feels right for you! These days, you don’t just have to go to a courthouse to elope. Michigan has beautiful natural landscapes to enjoy, allowing you to have a more personal, intimate ceremony reflective of you, and you’ll have amazing photos as well!

So how do you elope in Michigan? First of all, you’ll need an officiant, 2 witnesses besides your officiant, and a marriage license. Your officiant can be a friend who’s been ordained online, or you can hire one of the many wonderful officiants here in Michigan. You can have your officiant perform a ceremony at the location you choose, or you can meet with them anywhere and do the paperwork, then do your own thing and get amazing photos (like this elopement). It’s up to you!

And where can you elope in Michigan? Picking a place to elope can be overwhelming, but can also be so much fun! Michigan has so many beautiful landscapes- from sand dunes to lush forests to field of wildflowers to stunning beaches! There are waterfalls and even mountains if you head north! The location can have special meaning to you, like where you had your first hike, first date, where your partner proposed, or it can simply be a place you just love for no other reason than it’s beautiful. And if you need help finding the perfect spot to elope, I would love to help! In my travels I’ve found many amazing locations within our state. When you choose the perfect location that isn’t a courthouse, you trade yucky fluorescent lighting for beautiful, flattering, natural light, the ability to have your ceremony on your own time and in your own way, and do whatever the heck you want! You aren’t limited to the courthouse’s opening hours. Best of all, you can choose to be surrounded by only people you know and trust, or no one at all, and can fully be yourselves- you can cry if you need to, laugh, or jump for joy!

For Hayze & Jerrell, we kept things simple. I found a gorgeous spot in the woods by Dryden, Michigan, where there was a beautiful patch of tall pines. I made a boho inspired backdrop for them, to add a little splash of color. They each had written a promise to one another, and they read those out loud. It was the sweetest, most beautiful moment- I legit had tears in my eyes!

After they exchanged rings, we went for a walk to catch the sunset by this small lake, where they had some time to relax and enjoy each other. It was absolutely magical!

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If you are thinking of or planning an elopement in Michigan, I would love to be there to document your union. I can help you find the perfect outdoor location, whether it’s in the woods, on the beach, or in the mountains- or if you prefer an intimate venue, I can recommend some to you! I would love to be a part of your wedding story.

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