Northern Michigan is a splash of spectacular reds, neon oranges, greens and sunny carmel colors in the Fall. I love seeing kids and dogs jumping in piles of leaves and hearing the krinkle of dried leaves as I walk across them in the woods. Have you ever seen the changing colors reflected in the beautiful blue waters here? Oh man, the shiney, wavey hues are fabulous! All around is a gorgeous natural setting for any one brave enough to take on REALLY unpredictable weather and set their sites for a happy Fall wedding.

Late September, October and early November has an entirely different feel than spring or summer. The crisp, chill brings out a playful energy. Bundling up is still fun, which it won’t be by February. The colder air gets us walking closer together. I’m up for that! I love an evening bonfire. It’s so good for our soul AND our body.

What’s a Happy Fall Wedding Anyway?

It’s the last hurrah of green and gold, dark tree bark against the blue skies, before winter puts nature to sleep for a few months. A happy Fall wedding is getting together with loved ones and honoring the joy of finding the best person to spend the rest of your life with. A happy Fall wedding is loving the crisp air, the abundance of all kinds of great food in our area, and a warm kiss on a cold lips when a couple is pronounced husband and wife, or wife and wife as the case may be.


If you are open to the adventure of the changing season, here are a few ideas to consider when planning a Fall wedding in Northern Michigan.


Early as Possible

1. Confirm your Northern Michigan professionals as early as possible. Don’t assume with less competition due to the Fall being less popular a wedding season that getting vendors will be a slam dunk. For example, some officiants only work the summer months and go south sooner than later (we are snow birds too!). Without a licensed officiant, there is no legal marriage. Not good…

Southern Bells

2. Be considerate of your guests who are from the south. Also be mindful of the physical condition of older folks who may be attending your Northern Michigan Fall wedding. Prepare them for the possibility of chilly weather. Sometimes southerners really have no idea how chilly Michigan can get in the October. Their blood is thinner, it’s a fact. They can’t keep physically as warm as a Michigan native.

How can you take care of their needs? Ask some of your closer friends to bring an extra jacket, shawl or small blanket. These can be passed out to those who aren’t prepared for the chill temps of your Fall wedding. Text expected temperatures to guests a day in advance to help them prepare.

Give Them the Time of Day

3. Hold your ceremony earlier in the day. Four o’clock is the most popular time for a wedding. But remember that in the Fall, the days are getting shorter. 2:00 and 3:00 will make good use of the sun. Or if you are sure you want your ceremony at 4:00 or later, consider taking photographs before your wedding. This way, because a bride’s wedding gown is usually lighter materials on the top, a bride stays warmer outside earlier in the day. The same is true for your wedding party. They won’t get as chilled during photographs if you start earlier in the day rather than later. Cory Weber of WeberPhotographers is one of our area’s best photographers.Check out a Northern Michigan Fall wedding he photographed for Hillary and Matt. I also love working with Dan Stewart of Dan Stewart Photography is an excellent photographer also.

But Baby It’s Chilly Outside

4.  If the temperature shifts into the mid or low 40’s, seriously contemplate a concession to move your ceremony indoors. Have an enclosed location Plan B in place that allows people to get sheltered from the chill. Asking guests to sit outside in cold weather? They may be too distracted by their body temperature to appreciate the crimson-colored maple trees around them.

The wedding is about honoring your love for each other, not the landscapes as fabulous as they are. All is not lost if you move your ceremony indoors. If you do move the ceremony indoors, encourage people to take a walk outside afterwards. Arrange for golf carts or a bus to take a group on a tour around your venue. Many venue coordinators are happy to help arrange this kind of event. It adds to the aura of a happy Fall wedding. It’s to their benefit to get as many people enthused about their location as possible: return customers! Even though it’s your day, you’ll get much more respect by putting your guests’ comfort before your own.

Worth the Risk

Despite the chance of chill, the beauty of a Northern Michigan Fall wedding is worth the chance. Even in the summer there is no guarantee the weather will be warm, dry, or calm. Being prepared makes all the difference. The love you and your spouse will share with your friends and family is the only thing that surpasses the abundant displays of rich colors and musky fragrances of the Fall.

Please contact us for information about any one of our ministers and officiants conducting your happy Fall wedding.