25 Beautiful Northern Michigan Wedding Ideas

A bouquet of beautiful places, creative details and romantic finishes that will put a Northern Michigan touch on your wedding day. 

1. Go beyond the usual big water beach background and set up your shots in a forest, meadow or other outdoor spot that holds special meaning.

2. Old traditions become fresh and fun when you give them a Nordic twist.

Photo by Jessie Zevalkink

3. Forget the frou-frou satin-and-lace pillow, a simple sheaf of birch bark is an inexpensive and organically pretty way to bring the rings down the aisle.

4. The North’s fruitful bounty, sugared and artfully arranged around a cake’s tiers, adds color and flavor.

5. Just because you’re having a beach wedding doesn’t mean you can’t walk down an aisle. Create one in the sand by lining the path to the altar with stiff-stemmed, hardy summer flowers. Find wedding-friendly locales at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

6. You can sail away into the sunset with your true love—and your wedding party and guests—on a Northern classic: the Tall Ship Manitou.

7. We’ve seen enough bridesmaids and groomsmen lined up on church steps to last us a lifetime. Go Vogue and ask your photographer to get sassy with your group photographs, showcasing the group and landscape in a more natural or artful style.

8. If you love a certain landscape, but it’s privately owned, don’t automatically assume it’s off limits. The best man snagged this middle-of-nowhere spot by getting a plat map of Leland to figure out who owns it, then asked the farmer if the reception could be staged on his land. The farmer said yes, and they all lived happily ever after.

9. Think a cool summer soup can’t be an hors d’oeuvre? Think again. Simply serve up soup in small tumblers or oversized shot glasses. Guests can easily sip from and hold the glass in one hand, no utensils necessary.

Photo by Todd Zawistowski

10. The ice cream America voted the best in the nation—Moomers—is made Up North. Use it to accompany your traditional wedding cake or other special dessert, and we guarantee happy guests.

11.  Let your beautiful bouquet live in infamy: pose it for a close-up shot. 

12. The groom of this wedding wanted to do something special for all the guests in attendance, so he personalized the wedding cake with each of their names.

13. Utilize the North’s natural landscape to capture your field of dreams.


14. Farm-field flowers, candles in jelly jars and a rustic barn twinkling with lights—a wedding in the country can be romantic and refined.


15. Petoskey, Leland (shown here), Traverse City, Harbor Springs—the North is brimming with picturesque small towns. They’re the perfect backdrop.


16. Should your wedding take place on a sweltering summer’s day, offer guests fragrant sandalwood fans to make them comfortable during the ceremony. They’re far more elegant—and effective—than waving the wedding program.


17. Instead of a towering tiered wedding cake, try several smaller cakes for every table.

Creative Direction The Revel Rose // Floral Design and Styling Windflower Design Co. // Lead Photography Allen-Kent Photography // Second Shooting Photography by Josh Hartman Photography // Desserts by Third Coast Bakery

18. Perhaps the most romantic walk in Michigan, Mackinac Island’s boardwalk is also the site where Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour kissed in the filming of the 1980 classic, Somewhere in Time.


Photo by Todd Zawistowski

19. Bridesmaid dresses don’t have to be identical. Dresses that are complementary in style, color, length and/or pattern offer a striking, unified look without cloning.


20. The sweet sound of wedding bells trumps the clink of silverware on glasses. Gift each wedding guest a bell, and the symphony will be music to your ears (and lips).


21. Another quintessentially Northern backdrop to consider: orchards. Be sure and secure the landowner’s permission before the big day or trespassing charges may be the first gift you receive as husband and wife.


22. Water-worn stones make for unique (and cheap!) place cards, plus they give you and your honey a great excuse for romantic beach strolls before the big day.


23. Hosting a wedding at one of Up North’s wineries? Even the smallest details can carry the theme. Here, a pre-printed place card is slipped into a wine cork in which a slit has been made along the length of one side; and along the other, a slice off the rounded edge so the cork can lie flat.


24. The North’s wineries make wonderful ceremony (and reception) settings, and many are well equipped to host. Check out wineriesofoldmission.com and lpwines.com to find one that suits your soiree.


25. Hanging vases filled with flowers and hung on each chair are not only an elegant addition to your reception table, they double as take-home gifts. 


Photo by Tavla Studio