The Perfect Way To Say “I Do” | Elope at Sleeping Bear Dunes

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.

Couple holding hands while reading vows during sleeping bear elopement session

Couple Sharing love filled vows at sleeping bear dunes with Josh Hartman

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.

Here’s a list of locations where you can get married in the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore:
I have some favorite spots in bold.

Good Harbor Bay Beach – County Rd 651, County Rd 669, and Picnic Area
Pyramid Point
Port Oneida Historic Farms
Sunset Shores Road Beach
Lane Road Beach
Glen Haven Beach
Maritime Museum Beach
Glen Lake Picnic Area
Picnic Mountain
Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive at the Dune Overlook, North Bar Overlook, and Michigan Overlook
Esch Road Beach
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. 

Non traditional couple runs towards glow of sun with Josh Hartman


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.

Couple says vows on adventure filled day at Sleeping Bear Dunes with Josh Hartman

Couple holding hands while laughing and playing during elopement

Couple exploring the best spot to say I DO

Couple embracing revealing there love for one another through fascial expressions

A Dream Come True | Sleeping Bear Dunes Elopement

Mary and Owen were a dream to photograph. The affection they share for each other shows in their loving energy. We met at one of my favorite, lesser known spots in Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes for our adventure. The only expectation they had from me was at least one “ant shot” focusing on the landscape instead of them. I was ecstatic to share the photos from their special day.

Adventurous couple climbs tree during sleeping bear dunes elopement session with Josh Hartma

Groom leads Bride through trail during at Sleeping Bear Dunes Elopement Session

Eloping couple shares love through hand holding and facial expressions during session with Josh Hartman

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 Wedding Photographer

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