The Perfect Way To Say “I Do” | Plan your Sleeping Bear Dunes Elopement

An Elopement at Sleeping Bear Dunes is a beautiful way to get married without the pressure involved in planning a big wedding. It does not have to be limited to a handful of people, you can even coordinate parties of up to 50 people with an inexpensive and easy to get permit. Eloping at the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan is easy, probably easier than you think. For $150 you can legally hold a ceremony in the park. That’s a steal of a price on a venue! 

Imagine your day of unity being solely about the love you and your honey share, instead of being filled with the emotional, and financial stress of a traditional wedding!

More and more couples are considering the non-traditional adventures and simply choosing a beautiful location, exchanging vows in private, and making commitments to each other without feeling the need to please a large group of attendees. I fully support this growing defiance of formality and traditions.

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Stunning Landscape Views | Sleeping Bear Dunes 

The Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park is a great location in Michigan to get eloped for stunning landscape views, beautiful sunsets, secluded locations, with plenty of adventure in your day too. 

Scroll down for my favorite places to get hitched at the dunes. 


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Here’s a list of locations where you can get married in the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore

I have some favorite spots underlined and in bold.

  • Good Harbor Bay Beach – County Rd 651, County Rd 669, and Picnic Area
  • Pyramid Point – A 20-25 minute hike to get to some stunning dunes. Definitely a great choice for your elopement.
  • Port Oneida Historic Farms
  • Sunset Shores Road Beach
  • Lane Road Beach
  • Glen Haven Beach – Easily accessible and not too far from some easy dune trails for a sunset adventure later on.
  • Maritime Museum Beach – Historic homes, a beautiful beach, and right next to some amazing dune trails.
  • Glen Lake Picnic Area
  • Picnic Mountain
  • Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive at the Dune Overlook, North Bar Overlook, and Michigan OverlookOne of my favorite drives in Sleeping Bear Dunes. There are so many amazing stops in this loop.
  • Esch Road BeachBeautiful beach with a great backdrop and not far from stunning Empire dunes.
  • Peterson Road Beach
  • Tiesma Road Beach

For more info on the locations mentioned above, their parking situations, and maximum group size allowed, go to this helpful page from Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. 

A Pyramid Point Elopement | Overlooking Lake Michigan

Katie and Bryan got ready together in their rental condo in Glen Arbor. When I arrived to start shooting, they were both calm but ready to embark on their adventure together. Then we headed off for their Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes elopement at Pyramid Point. 

Katie and Bryan ran around the dunes, laughter and play filling the day until they decided on the perfect spot for a ceremony at sunset. Their chosen location was a sandy cliff, overlooking Lake Michigan.

The adventurous couple shared vows and said “I do,” with only 2 of their closest friends in attendance – One to officiate and one as witness. This was actually the first wedding I signed as a second witness for their marriage. Leaving their shoot, I was filled with so much happiness that I carried their energy with me to sleep and was reinvigorated with that energy when I sat down to edit the photos from their special day.

Non traditional couple runs towards glow of sun with Josh HartmanDunes Couple Elopement Sleeping Bear Dunes Couple

Planning an Elopement | Let’s Get In Touch

The National Park Service has a full article on what you need to know to elope at the dunes. As a traveler myself, I thrive alongside others who also seek adventure out of their shoots. If you’re planning an elopement reach out to me through my contact page! I’d love to capture your epic elopement! 

Josh Hartman – Traverse City Elopement Photographer

Eloping couple shares love through hand holding and facial expressions during session with Josh HartmanAdventurous couple climbs tree during sleeping bear dunes elopement session with Josh Hartma


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