A beach wedding in West Michigan can be one of the most memorable events of your life. The beautiful, sandy beaches in Ludington and Manistee, with Lake Michigan in the background, creates the romantic setting that many couples are searching for. Pentwater and Silver Lake also feature beaches that are popular for weddings. Or choose a West Michigan park, with added benefits of restroom facilities, picnic tables, and grills.
If you're considering exchanging vows on one of the many beaches or near the water, there are a few things to consider. Chairs may be brought to the beach, but no tents or any other structures may be erected. These beaches and parks are public domain, so you can't guarantee a completely "private event." They're available on a first-come, first-served basis, and because reservations cannot be made, someone else may have the same idea and want to hold their wedding at the same time and place.
Waterfront Park requires a permit. Click here for more information.
S. Lakeshore Dr., c/o PM Township, Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 845-1277
Located between Lake Michigan and Pere Marquette Lake, Buttersville certainly has the view! The park offers a picnic area, grills, playground, restrooms, a shelter/pavilion and a wooden stairway leads down to the expansive beach.
Charles Mears State Park
Charles Mears State Park offers 175 paved campsite lots and a nice sandy beach along Lake Michigan, adjacent to the North Pierhead Light. There is a one mile interpretive trail for hiking, and a sand dune called Old Baldy that provides a spectacular view of Lake Michigan. Visitors can enjoy a playground, picnic shelter, great fishing, and even a metal detecting area. The park also has an accessible walkway by the concession stand, making it easier for people in wheelchairs or those with strollers and coolers on wheels.
S. Washington Ave., Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 845-6237
Named for Peter Copeyon, longtime Ludington city commissioner, Copeyon Park gives you another vantage point of the Port of Ludington. It's situated on the east side of Pere Marquette Lake, and offers a playground, launching site, and great fishing. The picnic table area features windscreens toward the lake, offering wind protection.
W. 1st St., c/o City of Manistee, Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-4051
This is the city's largest recreational area, featuring playgrounds, tennis courts, picnic areas, volleyball and basketball courts, and softball field. Douglas Park also features a concession stand, public restrooms, and a pier which is great for fishing.
Monroe St., c/o City of Manistee, Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-4051
Here you'll find a play area, basketball court, and Mucha Field, a full size little league baseball field.
Fifth Ave. Beach
5th Ave., c/o City of Manistee, Manistee, MI 49669, (231) 723-4051
If a lakefront wedding is your choice, but not necessarily Lake Michigan, you could look at one of the Hamlin Lake Resorts that have direct access to the lake. They may be able to accommodate a wedding if rooms are reserved at their resort.
Huron-Manistee National Forest
John Gurney Park
300 N. Griswold St., Hart, MI 49420, (231) 873-4959
Located in the northeast section of Hart, John Gurney Park is where the Hart-Montague Trail begins. Offering many activities such as hiking, tennis, baseball, basketball, biking, fishing, kayaking and canoeing. Campgrounds feature picnic areas, boat launch, bath house and 50 amp hook ups.
Ludington State Park
8800 W. M-116, Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 843-2423
New! The outdoor amphitheater at the state park may be rented for open air weddings in a wooded setting, offering reserved parking and exclusive use of the amphitheater facility. The area leading to the Ludington State Park along M-116 has public beaches, but you may need a permit from the State Park to hold your wedding there. The Lake Michigan Beach House in the State Park is not available for rent. The picnic shelter located by the Hamlin Beach House is available by reservation for a fee, or by first-come, first-served basis. For additional details, call their office.
Mason County Campground, Disc Golf & Picnic Area
5906 W. Chauvez Rd., Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 845-7609
This park, located by the Ludington Pumped Storage Project, offers a picnic area, play equipment, hiking/nature trails, disc golf course, restrooms, and a shelter/pavilion.
Memorial Tree Park
N. Washington Ave., c/o City of Ludington, Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 843-8477
At the corner of N. Washington and Sherman, you'll find the very pretty Memorial Tree Park. Nestled among the trees, you can enjoy a meal or snack at one of the picnic tables (some covered), and kids can play on the swings.
Memorial Tree Park also has a sports field, open to anyone who wants to play a fun game of baseball or softball.
Michigan Audubon/Lake Bluff Center
2890 Lakeshore Rd., Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-4042
Onekama Village Park
Main St & Portage, Onekama, MI, (231) 889-3171
This park on Portage Lake is popular for fishing, swimming and special events, such as Concerts in the Park, Onekama Days, Fall Festival, and Winterfest. Families enjoy the park for parties and reunions.
Orchard Beach State Park
2064 Lake Shore Rd., Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-7422
Red Szymarek Park
5th Ave/Monroe St., c/o City of Manistee, Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-4051
A wooded park with plenty of shade trees, it features a children's playground and a volleyball court.
Forest Ave., c/o City of Manistee, Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-4051
Home to the Manistee Saints, a local semi-professional baseball team. Located in this park are a children's playground, wooded picnic area, and a basketball court.
Between Lewis & Gaylord, downtown Ludington, Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 845-6237
Three blocks west of the downtown area is Ludington's City Park. Many trees keep this park shady and comfortable in the warm summer months. This is where the Kiwanis Band Shell is located, along with public restrooms in the back. Enjoy your lunch or dinner here at one of the numerous picnic tables, or just sit on the bench and watch the world pass by. Walkways dissect the park in a wagon-wheel formation. City Park is the summer location for two Art & Craft fairs, as well as Movies in the Park in August.
South Bayou Park
Lakeshore Dr., c/o Hamlin Township, Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 845-7801
On Lower Hamlin Lake, South Bayou Park is close to many resorts, and has picnic tables, swings, and a boat launch. Head to South Bayou Park with a cup of coffee and watch the gorgeous sunrise over Hamlin Lake.
N. Lakeshore Dr., c/o City of Ludington, Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 845-6237
Probably the most well known park in Ludington, located at the beach at the end of Ludington Avenue. In addition to its great location and view of the North Breakwater Lighthouse, Stearns has a large, shaded picnic area on grass, grills, play equipment, restrooms, and of course, great swimming.
S. Lakeshore Dr., Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 845-6304
Summit Park features a picnic area, play equipment, restrooms, tennis courts, sports field area, and shelter/pavilion. It has stunning views of Lake Michigan, with beach access.
Suttons Landing Park
Iris Rd. off Pere Marquette Hwy., Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 845-1277
Just off Old Pere Marquette Highway, Suttons Landing is a charming park along the Pere Marquette River. It is ADA accessible, with a wooden ramp that leads down to the river. There's a large covererd area with picnic tables and restrooms. A good place for a party or reception.
Victory Township Park
Upper Hamlin Lake, c/o Hamlin Township, Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 845-7801
Here you'll find picnic tables, grills, and a pavilion. A nice feature of this park is the fact it is right on the water, so you can sit by the lake's edge and soak in the beautiful scenery.
S. William St., c/o City of Ludington, Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 843-8477
This is Ludington's pride and joy. Located between our two downtown marinas, it's a beautifully landscaped area complete with a large playground, restrooms, scenic walkways, tables, and a great view of the carferry dock. Waterfront Park is also the home to seven sculptures, depicting the history and spirit of Ludington. The gazebo inside the park may be rented to residents for $50; $125 for non-residents.
Wilson Hill Park
Upper Hamlin Lake, c/o Hamlin Township, Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 845-7801
North of Ludington on Upper Hamlin Lake, Wilson Hill Park has wonderful waterfront views, a picnic area, play equipment and a sports field area.