Northern Michigan Wedding Venues:
Everything You Need to Know
Northern Michigan offers plenty of scenic locations perfect for exchanging vows, saying “I do,” and celebrating with all of your loved ones afterwards. If you are looking for the best Northern Michigan wedding venues, this guide can provide you with the information you need to make the best decisions for your upcoming wedding.
From help in finding the right time of year for your soirée to the best Northern Michigan wedding venues on the water, our directory can provide guidance on the right choices for your wedding day. It’s a great place to start planning your celebration in any part of the Great Lakes State, whether you’re dreaming of a Traverse City wedding or want to host your festivities in other parts of Northern Michigan. Our directory of real weddings can provide the inspiration you need to find the best Northern Michigan wedding locations and vendors for your big day.
If you are in the process of looking for wedding venues in Northern Michigan, this helpful guide can make it easier to plan every aspect of your upcoming fête. Read on for everything you need to know about planning a Northern Michigan wedding.
What's the best time of year for a Northern Michigan wedding?
Winters in Northern Michigan can be extremely cold, which can rule out some outdoor Northern Michigan wedding venues from consideration during this time of year. When selecting your Northern Michigan wedding locations, the season of the year in which you plan to wed will make a big difference in your decisions.
Late spring, summer, and early fall are the most popular seasons for tourism and are peak times for many Northern Michigan wedding venues. Winter can be a great time for indoor wedding venues in Northern Michigan and can often allow you and your partner to take advantage of lower prices for the venues you want for your celebration.
What are the different types of Northern Michigan wedding venues?
You can select from indoor and outdoor Northern Michigan wedding venues when planning your big day. Northern Michigan wedding venues on the water are popular options that provide your photographers and videographers with beautiful backdrops for jaw-dropping photos and videos. Something to keep in mind, though: Lake Michigan wedding venues are often in high demand and may require early booking to ensure that your desired date range is available for your upcoming wedding. Here are some of the most commonly available types of venues for your Northern Michigan wedding:
- Hotels and inns: Resorts, hotels, and rustic inns are all popular Northern Michigan wedding locations. For couples looking for Traverse City wedding venues with all the amenities you need or other locations elsewhere in Northern Michigan, a hotel can often make it easier to plan an unforgettable wedding for yourself and your partner, thanks to built-in infrastructure, plenty of room for guest lodging, and potentially even on-site catering and planning services.
- Mansions and estates: If you are looking for the most elegant Northern Michigan wedding locations, mansions and estates offer beautiful and serene surroundings with the amenities you and your partner want. Just know that you’ll likely pay a premium for these stunningly memorable wedding venues in Northern Michigan.
- Parks and gardens: With numerous outdoor parks and garden wedding venues in Northern Michigan, you can select from a variety of options for your Northern Michigan or Traverse City wedding venues. Some of the most beautiful Lake Michigan wedding venues are in parks, which has made this area a popular option for couples who want to exchange their vows in these bucolic settings.
- Restaurants: For couples interested in combining on-site catering with their wedding venues in Northern Michigan, restaurants can provide the best of both worlds for truly unforgettable receptions. Whether you are checking out Petoskey wedding venues or interested in some of the many beautiful wedding venues along Lake Superior or Lake Michigan, restaurant wedding venues are an excellent choice for you and your spouse-to-be.
- Ranches and farms: For bucolic wedding venues in Northern Michigan, the ranches and farms located in more agrarian areas of the state can provide the ideal backdrop for your celebration.
- Private clubs: Our directory is a great place to find the perfect yacht club, private club, or country club wedding venues in Northern Michigan for your once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
- Wineries and breweries: Some of the most beautiful (and trendy!) options for Northern Michigan wedding venues are breweries and wineries. Planning a winery wedding at one of the most popular Northern Michigan wedding venues on the water can allow you to enjoy the beauty of nature in a serene, memorable setting.
- Places of worship: Getting married at a place of worship (like a church, mosque, chapel, or synagogue) can make the search for Northern Michigan wedding officiants simpler. These Northern Michigan wedding venues may provide an especially meaningful place to exchange vows with your partner based on your spiritual and religious beliefs.
What are the different areas of Northern Michigan?
Finding the right location for your Northern Michigan wedding can create the perfect atmosphere for your upcoming celebration. There are many different areas and communities within this part of the state, each of which offers its own unique take on Northern Michigan wedding venues:
- Grand Traverse: If you are planning a Traverse City wedding, you can find many of the top venues in this area of Northern Michigan. Traverse City wedding venues range from garden spots to banquet halls and restaurants, which can allow you to create the wedding of your dreams. By checking out some of the top Traverse City wedding venues, you can often find the ideal Northern Michigan wedding venues on the water for your celebration. Grand Traverse Bay offers scenic backdrops for you to say “I do” in front of.
- Emmet County: Couples looking for Lake Michigan wedding venues can often find the perfect options in this part of the state. Home to the top Petoskey wedding venues and located close to the natural wonders of Wilderness State Park, Emmet County is in the Lower Peninsula region of Michigan. If you are interested in booking Petoskey wedding venues, be sure to touch base with your venue early to ensure availability for these options.
- Leelanau County: Some of the most beautiful Lake Michigan wedding venues can be found in the Leelanau area. Be sure to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore while you are in the area exploring your options for Lake Michigan wedding venues.
- Benzie County: When checking out Northern Michigan wedding venues, Benzie (the smallest county in the state!) offers some of the most beautiful options for outdoor ceremonies and receptions in Michigan, with lakes and rivers aplenty.
- Charlevoix: For couples who are seeking Lake Michigan wedding venues, the city of Charlevoix is a great place to begin the search. Round Lake, Lake Charlevoix, and Lake Michigan are some especially popular waterfront options for Northern Michigan wedding venues in this area.
- Antrim County: The Barnes Park Campground is one of the best-known landmarks found in this part of Northern Michigan, among other natural waterfront locales.
- Manistee County: Another area known for its Lake Michigan wedding venues, Manistee is located close to the Huron-Manistee National Forests.
- Mackinac County: Perhaps best known for Mackinac Island (one of the most popular vacation spots and island wedding venues in Northern Michigan), this part of the state features dramatic views of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. If you want to book Northern Michigan wedding venues on the water, Mackinac County is a great place to start.
- Wexford County: The Manistee National Forest is a popular attraction near Wexford County. Snowmobiling is also a common avocation during the winter months in this area.
- Kalkaska County: Campgrounds and resorts are among the key attractions for couples seeking Northern Michigan wedding venues in this area. It’s especially great for couples and guests who love to fish: The National Trout Festival is a popular event that draws anglers to Kalkaska every year.
- Otsego: Located in Allegan County, Otsego is a small community that offers access to both the Kalamazoo River and more than 90 inland lakes in this scenic area.
- Mason: Some of the most scenic Northern Michigan wedding venues can be accessed from the city of Mason, which is located in Ingham County and a popular option for rustic weddings.
- Crawford County: With both the Au Sable State Forest and the Huron Manistee National Forest near this area, Crawford County is a great place to get away from it all.
- Cheboygan County: This area offers access to some lovely Northern Michigan wedding venues along the Cheboygan River and Lake Huron. Known as “Michigan’s Shoreline County,” Cheboygan County also offers easy access to the Mackinac Bridge and to many other waterways and lakes in the area.
- Upper Peninsula: The northernmost part of Michigan comprises the Upper Peninsula, which is almost entirely surrounded by the entertainment opportunities available in Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan.
Finding the best Northern Michigan wedding venues can be challenging. Whether you are looking for Traverse City wedding venues or reception options anywhere in the northern part of Michigan, our directory can provide you with the right information to guide your search for the best Northern Michigan wedding venues.
How much does a wedding cost in Northern Michigan?
The average cost of a wedding in Michigan is $17,742, according to data from 2020. Your choice of venues and vendors, however, can play a big role in determining how much you will pay for your Northern Michigan wedding venues. For instance, Petoskey wedding venues may be less expensive than comparable in-demand Traverse City wedding venues. Selecting Northern Michigan wedding venues and vendors that suit your budget will allow you and your partner to enjoy your celebration while sticking to your anticipated price points.
How do you find Northern Michigan wedding vendors?
Selecting the best vendors for your Northern Michigan wedding can allow you and your partner to create the perfect atmosphere for your upcoming soirée. Here are some of the most important vendors to consider when making your plans for an unforgettable celebration:
- Northern Michigan wedding planners: Your wedding planner will be responsible for helping you at every stage of your planning process. You can use our directory to find some of the best Northern Michigan wedding planners for your celebration. Whether you are planning a Traverse City wedding or a reception on Mackinac Island, choosing the best Northern Michigan wedding planners can be the key to a successful event.
- Northern Michigan caterers: Wedding caterers are another crucial element that can contribute to the success of receptions at Northern Michigan wedding venues. Be sure to request samples of the cuisine and to check out the options in our directory for more information on these important vendors.
- Northern Michigan florists: The right florals can dress up your Northern Michigan wedding locations to enhance the decor and design of your entire celebration.
- Northern Michigan wedding photographers: Your wedding photographer will be responsible for capturing the best moments of your ceremony and reception. Looking at the work of established Northern Michigan wedding photographers in our directory or in photographers’ portfolios can often help you to find the right professional photographers for your big day.
- Northern Michigan wedding bands: Selecting the best Northern Michigan wedding bands or DJs for your reception can set the mood for dancing the night away after you and your partner have said “I do.” Browse our directory for more information on top Northern Michigan wedding bands and DJs to suit your vision.
- Northern Michigan wedding officiants: Selecting Northern Michigan wedding officiants for your ceremony will allow you and your partner to tailor your vows to your own unique love story.
- Northern Michigan wedding cakes: One of the focal points for the pictures taken by your Northern Michigan wedding photographers will usually be your wedding cake. Selecting the best bakers for your Northern Michigan or Traverse City wedding (or any other celebration locale!) will allow you to enjoy delicious cake and a beautiful centerpiece for your reception.
Whether you are checking out vendors for Northern Michigan wedding locations or exploring options for a Traverse City wedding, our directory can help you find the right options for your celebration.
What are some things for guests to do in Northern Michigan?
Letting your wedding guests know about the best things to do in Northern Michigan can be accomplished with an insert in your welcome stationery or by listing information on your wedding website. Much of Northern Michigan is dedicated to parks and agricultural pursuits, which makes finding beautiful and bucolic wedding venues in Northern Michigan much easier for you and your partner.
Some of the most popular attractions in Northern Michigan include the following:
- Parks and shorelines: Both the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore offer stunning views of the water and plenty of entertainment and sightseeing opportunities for guests attending your wedding in Northern Michigan.
- Landmarks and unique attractions: The M119 Tunnel of Trees and Mackinac Bridge are some popular attractions in the northern region of Michigan, among others.
- Historical sites: Fort Mackinac is a popular attraction for history buffs that offers a look back at the history of Mackinac Island.
- Shopping options: Pop into the many unique shops sprawled throughout Northern Michigan for a fun, unique shopping experience.
- Outdoor activities: Fishing, golfing, water sports, and hiking are all available options during the appropriate seasons in Northern Michigan. Cross-country skiing and visiting Boyne Mountain are great fun during the winter months and are popular among tourists to the area.
Whether your guests are interested in attractions in the Northern Lower Peninsula or shopping and sightseeing further north, including some popular attractions in your wedding website or in welcome-bag stationery is a great way to assist your guests in planning an unforgettable trip to Northern Michigan for your celebration.
How do you get to Northern Michigan?
While some Northern Michigan wedding venues are a bit more remote and require longer drives to reach, many of the most popular venues in this area are located within an easy drive of the airports in Northern Michigan. Six of the most popular options for air travel in the area are listed here:
- Ford Airport (IMT) is located close to Iron Mountain and offers non-stop service to Minneapolis-St. Paul and Detroit. Situated within close proximity of the Michigan-Wisconsin border, IMT offers easy access to many of the attractions and wedding venues in Northern Michigan.
- Sawyer International Airport (SAW/MQT) provides service to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, and Chicago. Located in Marquette County, SAW/MQT offers flights from American Airlines and Delta Air Lines for travelers to the area.
- Chippewa County International Airport (CIU) also provides non-stop service to Minneapolis-St. Paul and Detroit.
- Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) is located near Grand Rapids and is further south in Michigan. As a major airport for Michigan, however, it serves more than 3 million passengers on an annual basis and could be a good option for guests flying in to attend your wedding.
- Pellston Regional Airport (PLN) is a smaller regional airport that provides daily flights to and from Detroit. Located in Emmet County, PLN is a great option for those who are attending weddings in Northern Michigan—particularly Mackinac Island.
- Capital Region International Airport (LAN) is just northwest of downtown Lansing and is a good way for your guests to arrive in the area to attend your Northwest Michigan wedding venues, although a car rental will likely be needed.
To learn more about the most beautiful Northern Michigan wedding venues and the right vendors for your celebration, check out our directory. Happy planning!