Planning a Sleeping Bear Dunes Elopement: A Guide to Your Dream Wedding

If you’re dreaming of a picturesque wedding surrounded by nature’s breathtaking beauty, look no further than a Sleeping Bear Dunes elopement. Located along the shores of Lake Michigan in Michigan, USA, Sleeping Bear Dunes offers a stunning backdrop for couples seeking a unique and intimate wedding experience. From towering sand dunes to stunning lake views, this national lakeshore provides a magical setting for your special day.

Here’s a guide to help you plan the perfect Sleeping Bear Dunes elopement.

Sleeping bear dunes elopementChoose the Perfect Location

Sleeping Bear Dunes is home to several beautiful locations that are perfect for your elopement ceremony. Pyramid Point offers stunning views of the surrounding area and is a popular spot for couples to exchange vows. If you prefer a beach wedding, the National Lakeshore offers access to several beaches along Lake Michigan. Whether you’re looking for sweeping dune views or a peaceful beach setting, Sleeping Bear Dunes has a location that’s perfect for your elopement.

Sleeping Bear Dunes Elopement Photographer
Here’s a list to all approved locations for a small ceremony in the National Park. 

Northern Michigan ElopementObtain the Necessary Permits

Before you plan your elopement at Sleeping Bear Dunes, it’s important to obtain the necessary permits. The National Park Service requires permits for weddings and elopements to ensure the protection of the park’s natural resources. You can obtain a permit here, it’s only $150 to host your lakeside or dune ceremony. Be sure to apply for your permit well in advance to secure your desired date and location.

sleeping bear dunes elopement Hire your Local Photographer: Nicole Geri Photography

A professional local photographer is essential for capturing the beauty of your Sleeping Bear Dunes elopement. As a photographer who is familiar with the area, Nicole Geri Photography can help you find the perfect locations for your photos. I’m also happy to provide valuable insight into the best times of day for your ceremony and photoshoot to take advantage of the stunning natural light. And did I mention, I’m officiated. All you need is two witnesses.  Sleeping Bear Dunes Elopement Photographer

Consider the Weather

Michigan’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be prepared for changing conditions. Since you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, consider clear umbrella’s or the possibility of embracing light rain. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and advise your guests to do the same. A windy day can make for stunning photos, but be prepared for sand to blow around. A day that calls for rain, can open up into epic sunsets, or even rainbows.

Cherry Basket Farm rainy weddingPlan Your After Party

After your elopement ceremony, consider hosting a small reception to celebrate your marriage. There are several charming dinner/drink options near Sleeping Bear Dunes that are perfect for intimate gatherings. Whether you choose a local winery, or a cozy lakeside restaurant, how you end the day can be a memorable part of your elopement experience.

Nicole in nature with cameraAn elopement at the dunes offers a unique and unforgettable experience for couples seeking a beautiful natural setting for their intimate-wedding. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can create the perfect elopement that reflects your love and commitment to each other.

Traverse City wedding videographer and photographer