I may be biased, but I think the Upper Peninsula is one of the best places in Michigan to get married! Whether you are planning an elopement on the beach, a wedding in the forest, or an urban wedding, the Yoop has it all.
Michigan’s natural beauty is one of the biggest reasons couples choose to plan an outdoor wedding, especially in the Upper Peninsula. However, such a varied landscape covering over 320 miles wide and 120 miles north-south means taking into account the unique area you plan to hold your wedding. Here are 3 tips to help you planning your perfect outdoor Upper Peninsula wedding!
Planning An Outdoor Wedding In The Upper Peninsula Michigan:
Time Of Day
A common trend I see with the Upper Peninsula brides I work with is planning for a midday wedding. This is understandable – that way they can spend the whole afternoon and evening celebrating! While I will work with whatever you decide is best for your wedding, I recommend considering a 3:00-4:00 ceremony time.
The reason this is specifically important for planning an outdoor wedding in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is that especially in the western half of the UP we have extremely late sunsets in the summer! Golden hour (that magical time just before sunset where the light is utterly dreamy for portraits) doesn’t even start until 8:30 p.m. in the summer. That’s because sunset falls between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m. For example, if you have contracted your wedding photographer for 8 hours with a 1 p.m. ceremony time, that means I will be there from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
While you’re always welcome to add more time, a later afternoon ceremony will facilitate your entire day running more smoothly. Click here to read more about the many benefits of this time frame here!
Planning An Outdoor Wedding: Weather
All Michiganders know the saying: “Don’t like the weather? Just wait 10 minutes – it’ll change.”
If you want to have a stress-free wedding day (and even week leading up to the wedding), have a back-up plan. Whether you are holding your entire wedding outdoors or just the ceremony, consider the worst case scenario. Many Upper Peninsula locations, including state parks, have an outdoor gazebo style structure available. Alternatively, consider renting a wedding tent. Your guests will thank you for having a place to get some shade on a hot day or to stay dry if it rains!
In addition, I highly recommend grabbing at least a couple of these clear bubble umbrellas. Even better – have everyone in your wedding party pick one up! These umbrellas are a great way to keep you dry in transport, and they’re also super fun to include in your portraits!
Planning A Wedding In The Upper Peninsula: Time of Year
Even in a “low snow year,” it’s common to still have snow in shady areas at the end of April. This is true for most of the Upper Peninsula, but especially here in the Keweenaw! As you plan, take the time of year into account when determining whether an outdoor wedding is truly the best option. While weather will vary from day to day, some facts will always ring true.
I recommend planning your Upper Peninsula outdoor wedding between May and October. Some years we receive inches of snow in mid-October – and we all remember the year we got two feet of snow in mid-April! Be smart as you plan your wedding so you can enjoy the day when it comes. Your guests will thank you, too!
In summary, these are just a few things to keep in mind when you’re planning your outdoor wedding in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I hope you find this helpful as you start your wedding planning journey!