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Michigan-Northern

Northern Michigan/ Upper Peninsula/ Mackinac Island Wedding

Northern Michigan Wedding Help Needed Loading Looking for help in planning a "cheap" Northern Michigan wedding. Let me tell you what I'm looking for and then people can respond. My fiance and I have been married before. I had the "traditional wedding" where he just went to the court house. He wants something more than what he had the first time and I want something less. We completely agree in the middle range which is wonderful. It is really important, to him, that his dad is there. If it wasnt' for that then we would definately just elope. (BTW...I absolutely love his dad!! He is a gem!) Having said that, we both want an outdoor wedding on the beach preferably. If not the beach, then in a gazebo with a beautiful natural backdrop. I can't think of any place better than in Northern Michigan, the UP or Mackinac Island; of which, I have never been to any of those location but would like to. I'm going to wear a nice dress, not a gown, and he is going to wear dress pants and an appropriate shirt, not a suit or tux. There will be a total of 6-8 people including us. Obviously, I don't want to spend a lot of money on this part of the day. I figured a $100-$300 for officiant and location. I have yet to find anything that is willing to accomodate such a small group. The next dilema is the food. Of course I would like to provide a lunch or a dinner for our guests. With as small as it is, you would think we should just go to a restaurant but I would like something a little more private than that. Everything that I have seen states there is a 25 person minimum for service. Which, even if 25 people aren't there, you have to agree to pay for that amount. I understand people need to make money, and their needs to be a profit in it for them, but I am not able to pay for the additional costs of "empty guests" just to secure food for the day. Does anyone know of a location that is willing to work with a small group? I have tried to research some "elopement packages" with no success. I don't need to rent a hall. We aren't having a DJ. Just someplace a little more intimate and private for my small group. Another option that I have looked at is going to a B&B for everything. Ceremony, lunch or dinner, and then John (finace) and I stayin the weekend. If could find something that was all inclusive, that would be wonderful. So far, I have found one location but the bottom line rate was $2100 off season and $2700 peak season. And the survey say........bzzzzzz.....wrong answer. Yes, that is well over budget for anything we can afford. As for other amenities, I'm not going to hire a photographer. I'm depending on the attendants to take lots of pictures. I do want to have a wedding cake, but for only 6-8 people, it will be small. As for when we were planning we are flexible to our dates. Our ideal date would be 05.28.11 because 5 is Johns number and 28 is mine. Works perfectly. If there is something else that would work out better, we are willing to adjust accordingly. We have been trying to get married for the last two years. Two years ago, we were planning our wedding at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. OMG we were so excited. I was just about to cut a check and was informed, three months before our wedding, that they could no longer accomodate small groups. (at that time we had planned on 25 people.) Instead, we had to secure and pay for at least 50 people. My heart sunk as we didn't have the funding for the additional 25 people. With an appology, and some free tickets to attend the festival, our wedding plans were ruined. I couldn't secure anything in such a short time. After many tears, and exhausted hours of looking for another venue, we both talked and decided to wait till the following year. We knew what we wanted and we wanted it to be perfect. So we started planning for the following year; again at the MRF. The following year, in January of 2010, I was layed off. I didn't think it would take that long to find employment but it did; nine months to be exact. Needless to say, with the uncertainty of employment, we postponed our wedding once again. Ugh!! So here we are. The third year of planning and wanting to get married. They say "third times charm" and I hope they are right. So please, if anyone has any knowledge of locations or places that will be willing to accomodate in the northern/UP/Mackinac areas, please respond. We reside in southern Michigan and like I said, I've never been to anyplace further than Lewiston, MI. Our budget is small given the circumstances. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Oh my, are blogs allowed to be the size of a novel? I just realized how long this was. Oops. I look forward to the responses. Thank you in advance!!

Re: Northern Michigan/ Upper Peninsula/ Mackinac Island Wedding

  • edited December 2011
    I sent you a private message.
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  • edited December 2011
    I think I can help you out. Charlevoix MI would be great. Grey Gables in and Catering would be great for a small group and you could get married on the beach or under the gazebo. Send me and email and I can hepl you out, sacrum@umflint.edu


    Sara
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  • edited December 2011
    Ok.  Thank you.  I will look up some information and I'll shoot an email this weekend.  =)
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you =)
  • southofnormalsouthofnormal
    100 Comments
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    edited December 2011
    I am also investigating a simple Up North wedding. Mackinac Island is our first choice but I suspect it will be expensive and we are trying to keep costs down, too. We are looking at Sept or early October 2012. It's unfortunate that more places can't or won't accommodate smaller weddings. I'm thinking of a pizza party reception and am anticipating maybe 20 guests. :-)
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  • edited December 2011
    Most of the Island shuts down shortly at Labor Day. But check out www.mackinacisland.org.
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  • southofnormalsouthofnormal
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    edited December 2011
    I was up on Mackinac around 10/18-10-19 last year and lots of business were closed, but nothing that we missed. It's actually nice and quiet at that time. We were about a week too late to enjoy the fall color, though, so that's good to keep in mind if we do get married as late as October - it will have to be early October. I'm hoping to take advantage of off season prices.
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  • edited December 2011
    I've started looking at places in the UP even.  I live in Southern Michigan, close to the Metro-Detroit area and I just want away from all this.  I love the clean air, trees, water; just to be one with nature.  There are a lot of light houses and waterfalls in the UP.  I would think Mackinac would be a beautiful place but nobody seems to want to accomodate a small group.  I'll keep you posted as to what I find in the UP or on the Northern West coast. 
  • edited December 2011

    the Bayfront Park in Petoskey has this beautiful little spot with a small waterfall, and I've actually been to a wedding ceremony there before. It was small, initimate, and very pretty. Or, there is a place called Camp Petosega, also in petoskey, and they have a rec hall that they rent and directly behind is a pretty brick patio with a white open gazebo overlooking Burt Lake. And on the other side is a little stream that lets out into the lake, with a pretty little footbridge going over said stream across to the beach one way, over to the patio and gazebo the other. They're booked for the summer months, but it might be worth looking into. There's the Tequamenon Falls in the UP, very beautiful. I don't know much about those though. There is, of course, the Cross in the Woods here in Indian River but I'm pretty sure you have to be Catholic for that.

    Good luck finding your ceremony site! Hope this helped.

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