10 Can't-Miss Waterfront Venues in Michigan

Set the scene for your waterfront wedding with these local finds.
by Rachel Sylvester
Bay Pointe Inn wedding reception
photo by Jessica Hatter Photography

Bay Harbor Village Hotel

4000 Main St., Bay Harbor;

(231) 439-2400; BayHarborVillageHotel.com

When it comes to a wow-worthy setting, Bay Harbor Village Hotel on the shores of Lake Michigan is a must-see. Exchange vows while overlooking the lake—it's one of the only hotels in northern Michigan offering private beach ceremonies—before celebrating at a tented reception on the Marina Lawn Panel. Looking for indoor options without having to compromise on scenery? You have three unique spaces to choose from: the Conference Center, Equestrian Center Lounge and The Loft, the hotel's newest celebratory space.

Ciccone Vineyard & Winery

10343 E. Hilltop Road, Suttons Bay;

(231) 271-5553; CicconeVineyard.com

Located atop the hills of Leelanau county, this picturesque vineyard features views of west Grand Traverse Bay along with a beautifully revamped red barn, which lends an element of rustic charm to any reception (just imagine those wooden beams wrapped in sparkling lights!). But if barns aren't your thing, the winery also offers an intimate indoor tasting room and tented receptions among its vineyards for an outdoor celebration you and your guests will love.

The Homestead

1 Woodridge Road, Glen Arbor;

(231) 334-5000; TheHomesteadResort.com

Ah, The Homestead. Located within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (the area chosen by viewers of ABC's Good Morning America as the Most Beautiful Place in America), this spot doesn't disappoint. Whether you choose the woodsy Mountain Flowers Lodge (180 guests), the new Camp Firefly (96 guests) or the intimate Café Manitou (50 guests), these picturesque sites offer year-round options either by the slopes or the water.

The Inn at Stonecliffe

8593 Cudahy Circle, Mackinac Island;

(906) 847-3355; TheInnatStonecliffe.com

Tucked away on tranquil Mackinac Island, The Inn at Stonecliffe has an enchanting history along with its bluff-top views. Built in 1904, the Mansion underwent renovations last year for an updated aesthetic that still maintains its original charm. After exchanging "I dos" in an intimate woodland ceremony on the hotel grounds, retreat to the Bridgeview Tent (accommodates 120 guests) on the inn's expansive lawn for a night of dinner and dancing against a backdrop of both straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge. You can even treat your guests to a more modern vibe in the venue's Summer House suites—a lodging space that boasts a Victorian style with a contemporary twist.

Lake Bluff Inn and Suites

76648 11th Ave., South Haven;

(269) 637-8531; LakeBluffInnandSuites.com

The sky's the limit at Lake Bluff Inn and Suites. Overlooking Lake Michigan, Lake Bluff boasts a beautiful, manicured landscape making it the perfect spot for both an outdoor ceremony and reception. Surrounded by trees and bushes, the lush area creates a hideaway nook ideal for a reception tent, while nearby beaches, golf courses and fishing locales ensure that guests will have plenty to do in the days leading up to your celebration.

The Rattlesnake Club

300 River Place Drive, Detroit;

(313) 567-4400; RattlesnakeDetroit.com

The Rattlesnake masterfully blends downtown style with outdoor amenities for a city wedding with incredible views. A brick patio leads the way to a waterfront ceremony space overlooking the Detroit River and an international skyline. The historic venue has been refurbished into a modern setting with a six-story atrium that blends marble, brick and glass for the perfect urban feel. The best part? It's all just steps from the Riverwalk!

Stafford's Perry Hotel

100 Lewis St., Petoskey;

(231) 347-4000; Staffords.com

Nestled on a bluff overlooking Little Traverse Bay, this historic hotel is full of old-fashioned country charm—from its private balconies to the sheer fact that it's been a Petoskey mainstay since 1899. Aside from its convenient location in the heart of downtown, we love that the hotel allows couples to rent the space in its entirety for everything from guest lodging, rehearsal dinner and postwedding brunch to your ceremony and reception.

The Veranda at The Whitcomb

509 Ship St., St Joseph;

(888) 785-6377; VerandaWeddings.com

Searching for an outdoor venue but don't want to deal with unpredictable Michigan weather? Fear not, since The Veranda in St. Joe has you covered—literally! Not only does the airy and open space have a roof, but the Veranda boasts scenic views of Lake Michigan, a bridal suite and enough room for up to 250 guests. Since the space is located within walking distance of the area's local beaches, you can even plan for a stunning shoreside ceremony too.

Watermark 920

930 Washington Ave., Muskegon;

(231) 727-0805; WatermarkCenter.com

For the downtown couple who wants a little urban and industrial flair at her reception, Watermark 920 is a perfect choice. Housed in a former loading dock, this venue has plenty of unobstructed event space that's ready to be transformed into one seriously chic celebration worthy of you and your 360 guests. Worried about how you'll possibly fill all of the available space? The Watermark 920 offers leather furniture you can use to create a chic lounge space for the reception, as well as ultra-sleek black chiavari chairs that come standard with any package.

Waterview Loft at Port Detroit

130 Atwater St., Detroit;

(313) 656-6000; WaterviewLoft.com

For the couple who wants an urban venue on the water, Waterview Loft is a definite must. Located right on the Detroit River, this two-story venue not only has a balcony overlooking the water, it also boasts an outdoor dockside patio. The picturesque space even features floor-to-ceiling windows so you and up to 400 guests can take in the Windsor, Canada, skyline and the Ambassador Bridge. How's that for a venue with a view?

Find your perfect waterfront venue here!


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