Northern Michigan Elopement in Leland

Winter Elopement in Northern Michigan

I have to admit that winter elopements are pretty awesome. Sure, it can be cold. But it also can be beautiful, and the cold can be juxtaposed with warmth and coziness, like this unforgettable winter elopement in Northern Michigan.

The couple chose Leland- a small town on the Leelanau Peninsula- as the setting for their Michigan elopement. Leland is charming and quaint, and features Fishtown- a historical fishing village from the 19th century. Close to Leland you’ll find lots of wilderness, including Houdeck Dunes Natural Area (the setting for their ceremony).

A Beautiful Northern Michigan Elopement Spot

There are so many gorgeous places to elope in Northern Michigan. It isn’t very hard to find a beautiful Northern Michigan elopement spot! Of course, if you’re planning a Northern Michigan elopement and aren’t sure where to go, I’m happy to help. I know lots of amazing elopement locations in Michigan that are both popular and off the beaten path (like this one!).

The couple chose to rent an Airbnb in downtown Leland to get ready and celebrate after the ceremony. After getting dressed and having a light lunch, they did a first look- one with the bride’s father and then just the two of them. I love first looks because they can be such a memorable and heartwarming moment.

The Ceremony

After the first looks, we drove to Houdeck Dunes and hiked back into the woods. The couple chose a small area deep in the woods, sheltered by gorgeous pines, and next to a small creek. The trees helped keep everyone warm. It was a beautiful spot for an elopement ceremony!

The ceremony was officiated by Abbey of The Just Rite, and included a tree-planting ceremony and a handfasting. The handfasting cord was hand-made by the bride- a loving and thoughtful touch!

It was perfect. Afterward, everyone hugged and cried and laughed. We did a group photo with everyone there, and then the family headed back to the Airbnb.

Wedding Portraits in Northern Michigan

The couple and I wandered around Houdeck Dunes for a while, exploring the area. It was peaceful and nice to be totally alone for a bit.

Then we left the dunes and drove back into Leland, for pictures at Fishtown (kind of a must-do!). The sun had already set and gave the light a magical quality, set against the colors of the water and the buildings of Fishtown. It was pretty cold at this point, so we finished up and headed over to the house.

Cozy Celebration at the Leland Airbnb

Back at the house, the table was set, music was playing, and there was homemade hot cocoa bar waiting for us. Everyone was relaxed and in a great mood. I loved the cozy, warm atmosphere and energy.

The couple hired Forrest, a private chef based in Traverse City, to cook and serve dinner. It was a mouth-watering 5-course meal worthy of royalty! There were toasts and laughter around the table. Everyone shared stories and conversed over the most delicious food.

The night wrapped up with a first dance, and then everyone changed into comfy clothes and relaxing by the fire. Drinks were plentiful, as were smiles. :)


Lume Photography is a documentary elopement and wedding photographer based in Michigan, traveling 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 passion is documenting the moments, emotions, and connection between two souls in love, in wild untamed places.

I specialize in Upper Peninsula elopements & intimate weddings and elopements all over Michigan. If you are planning a wedding or elopement in Michigan and are looking for someone to document your story in amazing, meaningful photographs like these, please reach out!

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Loving the winter wonderland vibes here, and the photos on the lake almost remind me of Alaska! What a stunning day!

This elopement is soooooo beautiful! There’s something sexy too about a man who irons his own shirt hihi. Looove the shots in the woods and the harbor! Definitely the type of elopement I would have myself!

Absolutely LOVE the vibe and details in this day! I feel like I was there, too, and really feel the emotions. Amazing. They must be thrilled with your photos! I love their locket with the blue ribbon – what beautiful moments you captured so perfectly! BRAVO!!

Thank you so much Amy!

Oh gosh, these are just so dreamy! I think winter is a really underrated time of year to get married- you showcased how beautiful it can be so perfectly. Really lovey work!

Oh man! The cozy winter vibes are everything in this gallery! I love all the details and even the Fire and Ice juxtaposition! Beautiful!

A wonderful inspiration for anyone getting married in Michigan. Certainly an adventurous bunch to be out there in the winter, again, a great inspiration to show what’s possible to the lovely people of Michigan. Great job capturing the family to, I’m sure your couple will greatly appreciate that. Lovely work!

You told their wedding story so beautifully! Wonderful photos!

We absolutely love this elopement! That moody winter sky is stunning. You really captured the essence of their day and we’re sure they will absolutely treasure these photos. Great work!

LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Every photo is so beautiful Andrea! Your style is so cinematic which ties in so well with the gifs. I feel like I’m watching their love story unfold in each photo. The fishtown photos are my favorite!

Wow, Northern Michigan in the winter is DREAMY! These images tell such a beautiful story of adventure, yummy food and great company!! Love, love, love!

This is SO beautiful! I love all the value you help instill into a couple’s elopement day, and I love that they weathered that cold snow! The photos are MAGICAL.