Looking for a great (and hopefully inexpensive) ceremony/reception site in northern Michigan, please

Hi, we're looking for a site in the northern Michigan area, preferably anywhere from Cadillac on up. We live in Alpena and don't want to travel more than 2-2.5 hours, if possible, but we're relatively flexible. 

Here is a possible list of what we'd like to find, but like I said, we're VERY open to other suggestions, thanks!

  • Outdoors, preferrably by the water, in a natural area, gardens are fine, but hopefully not too cultivated or "staged" looking. Something in the woods is fine, too. 
  • Maybe a lodge or bed/breakfast in the woods, on the lake, we have some out of town guests, so lodging would be a plus.
  • atmospheric, vintage, if it's indoors, like the TC opera house, or something like that. 
  • No golf courses or ritzy hotels, unless they have a different, more natural area. 
  • If you're familiar with ellsworth, we like the park with the covered pavillion and labirynth by the river, not the water processing plant right behind it so much. 
  • We also love Frog Pond Village, but too expensive.
Thanks for any suggestions you have, we really appreciate it, thanks!

Re: Looking for a great (and hopefully inexpensive) ceremony/reception site in northern Michigan, please

  • edited December 2011
    Sounds like the Headlands in Mackinaw City was made for you. It's where I'm getting married on Saturday.

    It's a 500 acre county park right on the Northern tip of the lower peninsula, with a beach house that sleeps 20 people, and a guest house about a mile away that sleeps 22 people. It used to be a private residence until it was willed to the county. Both houses are right on Lake Michigan, surrounded by the woods. We were able to rent both houses (basically the entire park) for 3 days/2 nights for $800.

    It's beautiful- funky, angular 1960's architecture, rocky Lake Michigan shore, a large, full kitchen, 2 bathrooms (one with HUGE granite walk-in shower, the other with sunken marble tub), slate floors throughout. The kitchen is stocked with dishes, silverware, and any serving ware you'd need, and the beds have linens. The only thing you need to bring are some beach/bath towels. Kleenex, soap, Tpaper, all of that is provided.

    The beach house is one floor, with a large balcony overlooking the lake and a large courtyard on the other side. The guest house is three floors. The grounds of the houses are well-maintained, with a few flowerbeds and the lawn is mowed weekly. The park has beach (rocky or sandy) access, as well as lots of hiking/bike trails.

    here is the website for more information:
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you so much, it sounds great! I'm going to check it out right now. :)
  • edited December 2011
    Another option is Portage Point Inn in Onekama (west of Cadillac).   We held our ceremony on the beach right there and reception in the main hotel restaurant... check out their website for more info.  Sorry I'd post more details but have to run!

  • edited December 2011
    I've heard some negative reviews of Portage Point Inn, but the location itself would be great...You had a good experience there? Can you share?
  • edited December 2011
    Look at Greystone Mansion in Traverse City:  www.greystonemansion.net

    They have an all inclusive package and offer a shuttle to and from a Best Western. 

    They also own and run Visions at Centerpointe (www.visionsatcp.com) which is on the water in TC.  That's where I'm doing my reception, but it's a little bit more expensive than Greystone due to the location. 

    So far they've been great to work with and they offer free open houses with tastings. 

  • edited December 2011
    If you read the reviews on Portage Point Inn online (PPI) it's all written about the same wedding by the same person (look at the join date).  I had some reservations about the place after reading those, but I talked to Jane the owner and got the rest of the story.  I was just married there in September and loved it!

    We did our wedding on the beach in behind the main hotel and then reception inside with no complaints.  I heard from a lot of guest how great the venue was and how much they enjoyed the wedding.  Jane was VERY helpful and easy to work with.

    There were a few problems with dinner be served and tables getting missed, but that was because we had a guest bring kids to the wedding (it was a no kid wedding) so that messed up all of the tables when they proceded to move to another table.  My DH and I mentiond this to the head server and they fixed it right away. 

    I did think appetizers were expensive for what you got and discussed this with Jane and she gave us a cheaper price. 

    My only other complaint was that my DH and his groomsmen had to fix all of the chairs for the wedding because they were not set up so that the isle was straight.  When he mentioned this to the two people setting them up (I'm going to guess based on pictures that they were high schoolers) the response was, "I don't know why it matters." 

    I really don't have any complaints about the place... then again I was very detailed oriented and wrote out everything for Jane and her crew.  I would recommend PPI.

  • edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions! We ended up choosing Hoeft state park just north of Rogers City :).
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