The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
Windmill Island Gardens is a picturesque 30-acre park owned by the City of Holland, Michigan and serves the Greater Grand Rapids-Northern Michigan region. This historic venue is often a destination site for couples looking for a colorful, quaint backdrop where they can host an outdoor wedding in a beautiful, relaxed environment. Windmill Island Gardens can host wedding celebrations of up to 300 people on its neatly manicured grounds that sit near the shores of the Macatawa River.
The City of Holland, home to Windmill Island Gardens is known for its Dutch heritage and rich history. Couples who enjoy historical sites, regardless of their culture, will find the town to be friendly and welcoming towards out-of-town guests. Windmill Island Gardens offers two locations for ceremonies and receptions.
Wedding Gazebo. Colorful flowers and a lush, green lawn surround a vintage-inspired gazebo that makes an ideal place to exchange vows. This site also makes an excellent staging area for DJ’s or other entertainment for couples who choose to keep their entire event outside. The nearby bridge over the water looks as if it came right from the pages of a storybook and is a stunning area for photos.
Celebration Pavilion. This semi-permanent tent-style structure with its lovely draping on the interior can be turned into just about any venue that couples want. This space can go from a simple daytime country wedding to an elegant, chic nighttime setting, depending on your chosen decor and lighting. The Celebration Pavilion comes complete with ceiling fans for the added comfort of guests and the sides can be opened to allow for an event to spill out onto the grounds.
What You Should Know
One of the big draws of Windmill Island Gardens is its curb appeal. Anywhere you go on the property; there are abundant photo opportunities. The Dutch heritage of the surrounding community of Holland is apparent at Windmill Island Gardens, especially with its authentic working Dutch windmill at the heart of the Island. The Windmill is particularly beautiful at sunset as a backdrop for romantic photos.
Of course, Windmill Island Gardens is known for having fields of cheerful tulips in spring. Many couples plan this venue as their destination spot to take advantage of the colorful background they provide. Be aware that many tourists will also be on the Island, especially during the Tulip Time Festival in May.
The rental fee at Windmill Island Gardens includes complementary entrance to Windmill Island so guests can enjoy walking the grounds while the bridal party is busy taking pictures. Also included are tables, chairs, setup and take down and a one-hour rehearsal for those holding a ceremony on-site. Couples paying with cash or check will receive a small discount on their rental.
Windmill Island Gardens has a staff dedicated to providing excellent customer service to each couple who chooses their beautiful venue to host a wedding celebration. Their attention to detail makes for a stress-free wedding planning experience—even if planning long distance. Other perks at this location include:
- Within walking distance to accommodations, restaurants and shops of the quaint city of Holland
- Beautiful on-site dressing rooms for bride and groom
- On-site attendant for rehearsal, ceremony and reception
- Family-friendly: lots of room for games on the lawn while adults enjoy cocktails
From the Vendor
Weddings at Windmill Island Gardens
Have your wedding and reception at a historic site that offers a unique and beautiful setting that is specifically suited to celebrate your wedding day. The Island offers gorgeous gardens, a romantic gazebo and an elegant pavilion. Located in the lovely lakeshore town of Holland, Michigan. Our wedding season begins mid-May and runs through September.
Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$$ – Moderate
Waterfront, Garden, Historic Venue, Park, Tented
Food + Catering, Planning, Service Staff
We simply cannot say enough about how amazing Windmill Island Gardens and their staff were for our wedding! Throughout the whole process, Margaret was nothing but absolutely amazing. We were planning our wedding from Alaska, with a move 4 months before the wedding to Alabama and Margaret was able to completely overcome the distance and worked with us to make our wedding truly spectacular. The venue itself is gorgeous and creates such a beautiful backdrop, it is any photographers dream setting. We had an evening wedding and were able to take some fantastic sunset shots with the windmill and flowers in the background. The naturally occurring floral beauty of Windmill Island allowed us to also save some money on flower arrangements! Once you see the pictures of the venue you know you just can’t compete! So why try?! We decided to go with simple arrangements that just accented the already breathtaking flowers at the park. Being a public park we were skeptical of passersby’s and on lookers but in all honesty there were only a few couples with children that stopped to take a picture, and enjoy the ceremony. The grounds are huge and include walking trails, and on the day it didn’t bother us one bit to see people momentarily enjoying our ceremony with us. Super kid friendly! We had roughly 30 children at our wedding of varying ages, and decided to rent the Carousel. RENT THE CAROUSEL! It was great for the kids, and parents alike who often can’t find things to keep toddlers or younger kids entertained at a wedding. They all loved it! Windmill Island has a kid’s play area too, and open grass they can run and play on. Margaret and her assistant, Saige, treated us like family and helped in every way possible leading up to the big day, plus the big day itself! Saige coordinated the rehearsal the day prior and discussed and accommodated all our requests. Margaret was on point running the show behind the scenes, and literally thinks of everything! There was not a single question she didn’t have an answer to, or couldn’t find an answer for. Windmill Island was amazing! From the staff, to the location, to its natural beauty and well-kept grounds it was a dream come true. Margaret and Saige we could never thank you guys enough! -Thank you
We got married at Windmill Island on the last weekend that they are open for the year and it was a great day! Margaret walked us through every detail of the planning starting with layout and she recommended great vendors as well. It poured rain when we entered and Margaret and our day of attendant were there with umbrellas so we could stay dry entering, the inside of the pavilion was perfectly dry. They made sure that our whole day went smoothly and it was awesome! We had 200+ guests seated comfortably with room for a large dance floor and bar/dj etc. We couldn't have asked for a better reception venue or team to help us plan and get through our big day!
I cannot be happier with how our wedding at Windmill Island Gardens turned out. It was absolutely perfect! Margaret was such a big help with the planning process. She would immediately respond to any questions that I sent over to her and was such a pleasure to work with. Our facility attendant, Cheryl, was also a big help. It was really nice having her there on the day of our wedding to make sure everything ran smoothly. We received so many compliments on how beautiful the venue was. It was really easy to decorate because everything is surrounded by flowers. Also, the pavilion has fabric draped from the ceiling and uplighting which made our reception absolutely gorgeous and also very unique. I would not change a thing about our wedding day at Windmill Island Gardens!
Windmill Island was the best possible place for our wedding. My husband and I wanted the outdoor/indoor feel all day long and that's exactly what we got. There are tons of amazing places to take pictures, and the venue size was perfect (180 guests). All of the vendors they recommended were great to work with, and the windmill island staff was always pleasant and helpful. Overall an amazing wedding day!
I loved my wedding at Windmill Island Gardens. They were perfect and a pleasure to work with. Margaret was very helpful though the whole process. Our out of state guests could not say enough about how beautiful the Island was and what a terrific venue we had chosen. I’m really happy we did our wedding here.
Great job. Great venue. Beautiful location. They went above and beyond!!
Windmill Island was absolutely gorgeous on my wedding day. It was so nice to be able to have a picture perfect ceremony and reception all at the same location. We did not have rain on our wedding day, but if it had rained we could have had the reception in the pavilion where the reception was. It was nice to have that as a back-up option. We worked with Margaret from Windmill Island, who did an amazing job at helping us make sure we had all the details pinned down perfectly. She was there on the day of the wedding too, as well as Cheryl - another event coordinator at Windmill Island. They made sure everything went smoothly during the rehearsal the night before as well as throughout the whole wedding day. Before and after the ceremony, our guests loved being able to walk around the Island to see the Windmill, flowers, and even horses. It was a HOT day, but once we were in the pavilion for the reception, the ceiling fans along with the breeze helped everyone cool off after the hot ceremony. It was an all around beautiful day and I would absolutely recommend Windmill Island to anyone!
Windmill Island is an amazing venue. They were great to work with and all of my guests said it was the most fun they've had at a wedding. Wedding planning truly was a breeze when the ceremony and reception are all in the same location. We didn't have to go anywhere to take pictures either because there are so many good photo ops in the gardens. I loved the simplicity of having everything in one location - we even got ready in the bride and groom's rooms! The gardens are also convenient because they are so close to downtown that it was easy for all of our out of town guests to find accommodations nearby (even within walking distance!). Working with Margaret was great, she truly cares that your day is special. I can't say I was thrilled to have a new person be the on site coordinator for the day-of but Sage was truly wonderful as well. I recommend Windmill Island to anyone dreaming of a beautiful outdoor wedding that is easy to plan :-)
We were truly blessed to have our wedding at Windmill Island Gardens. The venue is stunning, it requires little decor because the natural beauty dresses itself. You cannot beat the flowers, windmill, river, gorgeous white pavilion with white streaming fabric, etc. The Bride/Groom room is wonderful, with air conditioning and bathrooms. We worked with Margaret as our wedding coordinator, and she was amazing. She replied to my emails within 24 hours, and if she didn't know the answer to my email she would write me back anyway to let me know that we was working on the problem. Then I would get a second quick response with the answer. I truly appreciated the time that Margaret took to write me back, even if she didn't have an answer. Often as a Bride you are emailing so many people and stressing out... Margaret made sure that I knew what was going on at all times. She worked very hard to take the stress off my shoulders, and she did. My husband and I are very thankful for Margaret, her hard work and loving personality. Between Margaret, the venue, and the beautiful nature that surrounds it, we are incredibly happy with Windmill Island Gardens. We would absolutely change nothing about our big day!
Wish I could add more than five stars!! I'm not from Holland or Michigan. I live in New York and planned a wedding at Windmill Island for reasons I will not explain here. I worked with Margaret, and all I can say is that I'm speechless. Our wedding was on 5/28/16 and it was more beautiful and more amazing than I could have imagined it. The venue is not only beautiful during the day, but it becomes heavenly when the sun begins to set. If you are looking for an outdoor, casual, fun, playful setting than this is it! It's sweet and colorful....I could keep going. I love this place! Every guest I had was raving about how lovely the venue was. They all kept asking me "How did you find this place!?". The town of Holland itself is so charming and quaint, but this venue is incredible. I have zero regrets having our wedding here. And to top off how amazing the venue is, the staff is also incredible. They provide everything in a set price -- talk about convenient (tables, chairs, wedding attendants, rehearsal, etc). Margaret will work with you throughout your planning on scheduling and logistics, but you will also have a day of attendant who will help with the rehearsal, as well as be there for anything you need on the day of. The entire day was seamless! Not to mention we had a perfect day for weather. I'm still dreaming of our wedding day. I cannot recommend this venue and staff more!
Not being from Holland originally, the first time I visited the Island with my husband (then-fiance) on my birthday in 2014, I fell in love with it. My husband has a strong Dutch heritage so he loved the location. Every step of the way, Alisa and Margaret were wonderful to work with. They helped keep us on track with reminder emails and quick responses to even the most ridiculous questions. They were thorough and organized throughout the entire 14 months that we planned our wedding (Sept. 19, 2015). At our final meeting, we put together a down-to-the-minute general outline of the ceremony and reception. Our master and mistress of ceremonies used it to help keep us on track day-of and we were told later that it was the smoothest-flowing reception people had been to. Our wedding day was a dream come true. The staff day-of were very kind and helpful, retrieving the wedding party and myself when it was time and guiding us through the ceremony. The reception pavilion was a dream. Our wedding colors were sangria and ivory so our reception had a beautiful magenta/purple hue in the draped white ceiling. There was so much room for dancing and a lot of fun. It has decidedly become the "best wedding" on my husband's side of the family, according to several members of my new family. The day was absolutely perfect and more than we ever could have asked for. Thank you, Windmill Island and your amazing staff, for helping make our dreams a reality! - Lauren & Chip Hallacy
:)Reviewed on 10/14/2015 Becca G
We had our wedding on a Friday evening. Because of this, the cost was less although still somewhat expensive. Overall worth it though. The park closed around 6PM and was ours alone for the ceremony and reception. In case of rain, the ceremony could be held inside the pavilion, a semi-permanent tent, but we chose to have it outside near the gazebo. Staff were quick to grab umbrellas when it started raining during the ceremony. Lots of bathrooms for guests, well-lit at night, with plenty of space for outdoor games in fair weather. Overall a great and memorable day!
Dream wedding come true!Reviewed on 9/28/2015 sarah l
Absolutely fabulous venue!! We did all of our pictures here and had ceremony and reception here, so convenient for us, bridal party, photographers and guests to have it all in one place. Absolutely beautiful grounds! Reception building is large and we loved having the doors open for an outdoor/tent feel. Staff is outstanding! They truly care about you and your day and help you stay organized and on schedule so that everything runs smoothly. I can't say enough good things about windmill island gardens! Thank you for making my day perfectly perfect!!
Dream Wedding DayReviewed on 9/23/2015 Christian W
Windmill Island Gardens was the absolute dream location for our wedding! Our guests raved that this was the most beautiful wedding they had been to - all thanks to everything Windmill had to offer. We had both our ceremony & reception here (thankfully a 0% chance of rain!) The staff was very accommodating and attentive to detail/your needs. They are very knowledgeable having hosted many weddings there before, bringing your attention to things you may not have thought of. The main reason I chose this location was for the gorgeous permanent tent - you feel like you are in a fairytale once inside! We had 230 guests and plenty of room for a bar, welcome table, gift table, cake display, slideshow and 2 double-sided buffet lines. Also - your photographer will be in love with all of the shooting spots and options on the grounds - your pictures are guaranteed to be amazing. The only thing that could potentially bother someone is that Windmill is a tourist location - visitors were walking around while we were taking pictures and since our ceremony started at 5:30, tourists technically had until 6 to leave the Island - but, it did not bother us at all since you are so consumed with the wedding day & having googly eyes for your spouse. Bottom line is; if we had to do it all over, my husband and I would not change a thing :)
Wedding Ceremony and ReceptionReviewed on 8/18/2015
Windmill Island was a fabulous place for a wedding. The grounds are beautiful, the staff is helpful, timely, organized, and present, and as a bonus, we had a beautiful day. We got so many comments from guests that it was such a beautiful setting for a wedding.
Incredible Venue and ValueReviewed on 7/28/2015 Lauralee R
I could not be happier that I chose to have my wedding ceremony/reception at Windmill! The venue is absolutely gorgeous, with beautiful gardens and unique buildings. Not only was the venue amazing, but the value was impeccable. Our guests enjoyed the grounds, the carousel, and the scenery. In addition, the coordinators assisted me throughout the entire planning process, and I was amazed at how organized and helpful they were. Another great bonus was that there was a Day Of Coordinator to help with the logistics of the rehearsal and wedding. My stress level was greatly reduced thanks to the staff at Windmill. I would highly recommend this gorgeous venue to anyone looking to have an outside wedding!
Tailored VenueReviewed on 10/31/2014 Andrea
Windmill Island is a gorgeous venue that compliments many themes, from rustic with a wood fence and horses, or unique escapes with the mini dutch village, or outdoor with the beautiful flowers and landscape, all without the worry of determining a rain plan as the permanent pavilion can keep guests out of inclement weather. Not only does this venue flex to fit multiple styles, but the staff is incredible flexible and interested in helping you making your ideas happen and your day to be one for the books!
September Wedding.Reviewed on 10/30/2014 Nicole P
I recently had my wedding reception at Windmill Island and was so grateful to have worked with Alisa and her team. Because I live on the East Coast, I had limited time to meet while in town, but they always made it work and were extremely accommodating in letting my mom and the creative team helping with the wedding visit WI multiple times to scope out the area, take measurements, etc. We had quite a bit of setup, with two lounge areas, a fire pit area, a lemonade + water bar, lots of decor, etc., and Alisa was SO helpful in working on the layout with us. She's incredibly calm and thorough, which was very helpful in meetings that included other vendors. The wedding was in late September, and we actually had perfect weather, so don't be afraid of a fall MI wedding. If the weather had not been cooperative, there are rental places that offer heaters that would heat the pavillion (we had this on hold until the week of). I would highly recommend Windmill Island. You can see our day here: http://www.davinlindwall.com/blog/tim-nicole-wedding-video
Great Wedding VenueReviewed on 10/29/2014 Katrice G
Windmill Island is a beautiful venue! We had our wedding in the end of August and could not be happier with our venue choice. The gardens were amazing, the reception tent was spacious, and the staff went above and beyond expectation. This venue was a little more expensive than what we had initially wanted to pay but after looking at multiple other venues, we decided that it was well worth the money. I really can't say enough about this place! We had a great wedding there and owe much of that to the professional staff at Windmill Island. Would highly recommend this venue!
My Daughters VisionReviewed on 10/25/2014
My daughter had a vision and the Windmill Island venue and staff made it all possible. They were accommodating and very helpful. It was a beautiful day but even if the weather had not cooperated, I felt very comfortable with their backup plans for an indoor ceremony. Our guests loved the gardens and the "tent" was beautiful. True professionals with a romantic side. :)
The venue is perfectReviewed on 9/14/2014 Brenda H
Having our wedding ceremony and reception in Windmill Island was one of the best decision we had for our wedding. The grounds and pavilion looked fantastic. Having both our families flying from outside of Holland and outside of US, this venue was perfect. The guests loved the place. Alisa and her staff were fantastic. Alisa helped us from the very beginning and gave us tips and reminders before the wedding. I would highly recommend this venue for a wedding.
Gorgeous VenueReviewed on 9/12/2014 louisa s
My husband and I chose to have our wedding reception at Windmill Island this past August. We could not have been more pleased with how it turned out! The grounds are absolutely gorgeous, filled with flowers and greenery. Our guests could not stop raving about how classy and beautiful it was. I was looking for a venue that was unique and different than a normal "country club" reception, yet still providing space for a dance floor, dj, and 200+ guests. It was a perfect balance and all of my guests were so pleased with the venue as well. Alisa was very easy and organized to work with!! The colourful tent lighting during the dancing was also a fun addition. Being able to have an outdoor reception (smoke cigars outside the tent, have guests explore the grounds, take pictures near the gorgeous landscaping) and yet be covered by a permanent tent in case of poor weather was such a bonus. Another positive is the venue is close to dt holland providing your guests an option of bars or hotels following your wedding. One small warning, you are in charge of choosing your vendors and coordinating them with Windmill Island. Although, Alisa is very helpful, providing you with a list of recommended vendors and helping with day of coordination. I also liked the idea of choosing my own vendors as it allows you to make your wedding unique and personal! I would recommend this venue to anyone in a heartbeat!
BEST, MOST UNIQUE VENUE!Reviewed on 7/16/2014 Lindsay H
I recently was lucky enough to get married at Windmill Island in May 2014 and I could not have asked for a better place! We knew when we began searching for venues we wanted something outdoors (risky, I know, but-bonus-Windmill Island has a great plan B if the weather doesn't cooperate). We found Windmill Island by searching online and as soon as we visited and met with Alisa we knew we had found the place. Alisa and the obvious beauty of the grounds were what sold us. Alisa is going to be your favorite person if you book here - she keeps you on track and organized (even sending a reminder 'to do' list a few months before the wedding which I really appreciated)! On the day of the wedding (and even still after) our guests could not stop talking about how beautiful the tulips were and loved being able to walk around and take pictures. The pavilion was perfect and gave that perfect outdoor, garden party feel we were going for. HIGHLY recommend this venue for both wedding ceremony and reception-it will be no stress for you (Alisa will be sure of that) and your guests will rave about it!!!
Windmill Island Holland, MichiganReviewed on 6/27/2014 michelle f
Windmill Island is amazing venue if you want something a little different. Our guest loved that they could walk around the grounds. Its was not like your typical wedding. The staff was great! Every part of my day was so great! I would highly recommend Windmill Island to anyone getting married. Windmill Island will hold a special place in our hearts forever. We plan on visiting often
Wonderful Wedding VenueReviewed on 6/20/2014 Mel C
Windmill Island is a great place to get married. They take care of the chairs and tables, and you already have the gazebo and the pavilion there which is all beautiful. Alisa is wonderful to work with; she works with you to understand what you want and help you achieve it. As an out of town bride, finding Windmill Island and Alisa were key to my low-wedding stress. The only reason I gave 4 stars for service was because the day-of coordinator called me a different name during the entire rehearsal, was fairly bossy even though the minister had the rehearsal under control....the big thing though was on my wedding day a tourist on the island decided to photograph my entire wedding, and she didn't say anything to him and his wife until the entire ceremony was done and then acted like I should thank her...fairly annoying. Now its a funny story about how I had a second photographer, who was a little old man and his wife. I would still highly recommend as I said above...just something to keep in mind.
Meet The Coordinator
I joined the Windmill Island Gardens staff in January 2015 as the Event Specialist. I have had the honor of assisting over 100 couples, through current and past employment, along with being the, Mistress of Ceremonies for weddings of family and friends. This is something I love to do, and treasure the opportunities I have had to meet so many wonderful families along the way. I will help guide you as you plan the details for your wedding and/or reception here at Windmill Island Gardens and make your wedding planning experience a stress free and enjoyable time for all,