15 Gorgeous Waterfront Wedding Venues Near Lake Erie

Say "I do" along the lake.
Colleen Zewe - The Knot Contributor.
Colleen Zewe
Colleen Zewe - The Knot Contributor.
Colleen Zewe
The Knot Contributor
  • Colleen writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a speciality in venues and wedding stationery.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Colleen contributed to Vox’s Curbed and Her Campus.
  • Colleen holds a degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
Updated Dec 21, 2023

Lake Erie is known as a great lake for a reason, with sandy beaches in the summer and state parks with amazing foliage in the fall. Many wedding venues on Lake Erie offer natural beauty, a picturesque backdrop for your pictures and proximity to Cleveland, so your guests can enjoy exploring the city during their downtime. Couples choosing to get married on Lake Erie should keep in mind the temperamental lake effect weather. If you want an outdoor wedding, consider a venue with an indoor option in case of rain or snow, but don't let the threat of bad weather stop you from choosing a lakeside venue. Lake Erie area offers picture-perfect wedding venues that will wow guests on your big day. Read on to see some of our top picks, and browse The Knot Marketplace for even more beautiful venues.

The Shipyards in Lorain, Ohio

The Shipyards is a historic venue with a modern feel. The venue used to be part of the dry docks, where boats were constructed in the early 1900's. After the dry docks closed in the 1960's, the property was converted into a luxury housing community with an event center. The Shipyards' industrial-chic look includes large windows and high ceilings, creating a very open feel with natural light and marina views. This is the ideal location for couples looking for a modern but waterfront venue.

Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio

For couples seeking a unique venue, consider the Great Lakes Science Center. This science museum overlooks the lake, and has both a dock-side outdoor space and a window-surrounded indoor space for year-round lakeside nuptials. Guests can browse exhibits during cocktail hour and watch the Cleveland skyline light up at night. And for couples wanting pictures downtown, the Science Center is just a short walk away from some of Cleveland's most iconic sites, including City Hall. Any science-loving, self-proclaimed nerdy couple will love celebrating their special day at the Great Lakes Science Center.

Lyman Harbor Wedding and Conference Center in Sandusky, Ohio

If you want a traditional wedding feel without sacrificing waterfront views, Lyman Harbor sits right on the water and offers a spacious and elegant banquet hall. They can also set up a tent outside for warm weather events. You can say "I do" along the harbor, watch the sunset over the lake from their gorgeous gazebo, and finally dance the night away inside the event space.

The Lakehouse Inn and Winery in Geneva, Ohio

Best for small weddings, The Lakehouse Inn is a romantic venue just outside Geneva State Park. The outdoor area can accommodate 50 guests, while the indoor restaurant area can hold 32. Guests can stay at the bed and breakfast or on-site cottages and enjoy a post-wedding brunch the next morning. The venue also has packages for those planning a vow renewal.

Millsite Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio

For those planning rustic-themed weddings, the Millsite Lodge has a whimsical, farmhouse vibe, and is a venue that can take you through the whole wedding weekend. The lodge offers several activities for you and the wedding party to enjoy leading up to the wedding and immediately after, including biking, fishing and a fire pit. They have 6 guest rooms, so after the rehearsal, the wedding party can stay overnight. Day-of, they offer a getting ready lounge and a den with billiards, basketball and corn hole. The picturesque grounds include multiple spots for the ceremony and reception. The couple can stay in the honeymoon suite after the wedding, and the weekend can finish off with a Sunday breakfast. This venue offers everything for couples seeking not just a venue, but also a weekend getaway.

The Nautica Queen Cruise Ship in Cleveland, Ohio

You literally can't get more on-the-water than a boat. The Nautica Queen takes your reception onto the lake with a luxurious cruise ship. The boat captain can perform a ceremony on the Observation Deck before a wedding reception below deck featuring a buffet and dancing. The wedding will enjoy beautiful views of the Cleveland skyline while you cruise through the lake. You can also book the boat for your bridal shower or rehearsal dinner.

Docks Beach House in Port Clinton, Ohio

If you're dreaming of a beach wedding but don't want to leave the Midwest, Docks Beach House may be the best of both worlds. You'll be able to host your ceremony right on the sand on the shores of Lake Erie, followed by a reception in an open-air pavilion so you and your guests can enjoy the lakeside breeze. This Lake Erie wedding venue wins raves not just for the setting, but the accommodating staff. Says one recent bride: "We wanted a relaxing, carefree, fun day on the beach with family and friends, and we definitely got it!"

The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake in Geneva, Ohio

Nestled in Ohio's wine country, The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake is an all-inclusive venue. The venue sits right on the lakeshore but maintains a countryside feel. The lakeside gazebo offers the perfect backdrop for an outdoor ceremony with breathtaking views. The Lodge offers several transparent pricing tiers and packages, including packages for small weddings, vow renewals, elopements and even a wedding brunch package. They also have guest rooms and cottages. The Lodge is close to several Geneva State Park attractions, so guests can turn your wedding into a weekend trip. The views of Lake Erie and elegant vibe make this the perfect venue for a destination wedding-feel.

Windows on the River in Cleveland, Ohio

While close to the lake, this venue has a much more urban and chic feel. Located in downtown Cleveland, Windows on the River has skyline and bridge views you can't get anywhere else. The loft-like space offers an experience less like an event venue and more like a cozy bar. During the first dance, you'll feel like you're literally under the stars thanks to the high ceilings lit up with string lights. This venue is great for couples for who want a lakeside wedding without sacrificing their love for the city.

Sandusky Yacht Club in Sandusky, Ohio

Love boat weddings but afraid of getting seasick? Weddings at the Sandusky Yacht Club take place near the boats rather than on them. The club sits right on Sandusky Bay. Couples say "I do" by the docks outside before moving inside to celebrate. Your guests will appreciate the time indoors if it's summer, and the docks are the perfect area to walk and take pictures during cocktail hour. And for rollercoaster loving-couples, the Yacht Club offers a clear view of not only some impressive yachts, but also Cedar Point.

Lakeside Event Space at Nuevo Modern Mexican and Tequila Bar in Cleveland, Ohio

If you and your fiancé regularly celebrate Taco Tuesday, a tequila bar wedding might be the perfect venue for your special day. A create-your-own taco bar, chips and guac and a custom cake are all on the wedding menu at Nuevo Modern Mexican and Tequila Bar's Lakeside Event Space. As a bonus, the event space is bright and airy, with panoramic windows and a lakefront seating area.

Plum Brook Country Club in Sandusky, Ohio

Country club weddings are known for elegant interiors, amazing food and great service, but some clubs only host weddings for members or those sponsored by a member. The Plum Brook Country Club will host anyone's wedding regardless of membership status. Weddings can use both the ballroom and 1700 square foot patio, which overlooks a pristine and picturesque golf course. The ballroom is fitted with chiavari chairs, a cozy fireplace and fun uplighting, while the patio includes umbrellas and a tent for a relaxing evening. Plus, you'll gain access to the full country club for 36 hours, so be sure to bring your swimsuit and golf clubs. This venue is perfect for couples who want a relaxing yet elegant wedding weekend near the lake.

The Palm Tree Barn in Norwalk, Ohio

Many barn wedding venues are blank spaces and require some time and money to decorate. The Palm Tree Barn comes decorated with lights, curtains and knick knacks for a dazzling barn wedding day near the lake. A wooden chandelier hangs from the ceiling and provides the perfect spot to hang your dress for a photo. Getting ready rooms for the couple include antique furniture, so you can get ready in style. The "what happens in the barn stays in the barn" sign will definitely set the tone for your entire event. But even with all the included decor, there's still plenty of room to customize the wedding to your tastes in the spacious barn and grounds. Bonus: they have on-site farm animals to add an authentic touch to your barn wedding.

Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Sandusky, Ohio

If you know you'll have a lot of kids on the wedding guest list, or if you have nostalgia for visiting waterparks as a kid, consider the Kalahari Resort for your wedding reception. Kalahari weddings are known for excellent catering, and they provide options for buffets, plated meals and even "action stations" with interactive cocktail and bar service. They offer grand ballrooms for large events, but also have smaller spaces for intimate weddings. Guests will get a discount on resort rooms, and the huge waterparks (including a swim up bar) will be a hit for guests young and old.

Catawba Island Club in Port Clinton, Ohio

It's hard to get more lakeside than the Catawba Island Club thanks to it's location on a Lake Erie peninsula. The Catawba Island Club is a true summer destination for many lake goers since it's off the beaten path and offers many club activities. They provide three options for the ceremony, including a lakefront area, a deck and a yacht for smaller ceremonies. What really sets this venue apart is the gorgeous Pavilion and Harbour Room for receptions, which has both indoor and outdoor options designed to accommodate large groups. Guests will feel like they've entered a whole new world when they step under the reception tent, and the sunset view will add the perfect touch to the end of your wedding day.

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