Full Guide for Your Michigan Fall Wedding

As a Michigan wedding photographer, I have had the pleasure of witnessing the enchanting beauty of fall weddings in this lovely state. Michigan boasts one of the most picturesque landscapes during autumn, making it an idyllic destination for couples seeking an intimate elopement surrounded by vibrant colors and crisp air. If you’re considering an elopement in Michigan during the fall season, let me be your guide to experiencing the magic of this breathtaking time of year.

When do the leaves typically turn colors?

The timing of Michigan’s fall foliage can vary slightly from year to year, but generally, the peak season for vibrant leaf colors starts around late September and extends through mid-October. During this period, the lush greenery gradually transforms into a mesmerizing palette of fiery reds, vibrant oranges, and rich golden hues.

Bride and groom in a Michigan forest.

Where to find the best fall colors?

Michigan offers numerous locations that epitomize the essence of fall. Among the top spots for witnessing nature’s colorful spectacle are:

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Located in the Upper Peninsula, this park features stunning waterfalls surrounded by dense forests that turn into a mesmerizing tapestry of colors.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Overlooking Lake Michigan, this area offers striking vistas of rolling sand dunes intermingled with vibrant foliage.

Check out this gallery at Sleeping Bear!

Mackinac Island

Known for its picturesque charm, the island’s natural beauty is elevated during the fall season, with horse-drawn carriages amid a kaleidoscope of fall colors.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Along the shores of Lake Superior, this area showcases towering sandstone cliffs adorned with colorful foliage.

Leelanau Peninsula

Famous for its wineries, this region also features enchanting countryside landscapes that come alive with fall colors.

You can also explore one of our State Forests!

Fall Wedding Decor

Embrace the essence of fall and incorporate it into your elopement decor. Here are some ideas to infuse the season’s charm into your special day:

Autumnal Blooms

Choose flowers in warm, earthy tones like deep reds, burnt oranges, and mustard yellows to complement the surroundings.

Nature-inspired Accents

Incorporate natural elements like pumpkins, gourds, leaves, and twigs into your table settings and venue decor.

Candlelit Romance

As the days get shorter, candlelight creates a warm and intimate atmosphere, adding a touch of coziness to your celebration.

Blankets and Warmth

Provide cozy blankets for you and your guests to keep warm during outdoor ceremonies or receptions.

Fall-inspired Stationery

From invitations to menus, embrace fall motifs like leaves, acorns, and woodland creatures in your stationery.

Temperatures in the Fall

Michigan’s fall weather is delightful, with comfortably cool temperatures and crisp air. September often sees highs ranging from 65 to 75°F (18 to 24°C), while October brings slightly cooler temperatures, ranging from 55 to 65°F (13 to 18°C). Keep in mind that mornings and evenings can be cooler, so layering is key for staying comfortable throughout the day.

Capturing Your Magical Day

As a wedding photographer, I understand the importance of capturing every precious moment of your special day. Fall in Michigan offers a unique and enchanting backdrop for your elopement, and my goal is to preserve the genuine emotions, vibrant colors, and intimate connections between you and your partner.

Whether you choose to exchange vows in the heart of a colorful forest, by the shores of a serene lake, or in the presence of majestic dunes, your love story will be framed by the breathtaking beauty of autumn in Michigan.

Don’t forget to use my checklist so nothing gets missed!

S’mores for Dessert: Embracing the Cozy Season

As the air gets crisper, there’s nothing quite like indulging in the quintessential fall treat – s’mores! Elevate this classic campfire delight to fit your elegant elopement. Set up a cozy fire pit and provide all the essentials – graham crackers, marshmallows, and rich chocolate squares. Your guests will love gathering around the warm fire, toasting marshmallows, and creating personalized s’mores to satisfy their sweet cravings.

Fall-Themed Cocktails: Toasting to Your Love

Raise a glass to your love story with specially crafted fall-themed cocktails that celebrate the season’s flavors. Here are a few delightful concoctions to consider:

Apple Cider Mimosas

A refreshing blend of sparkling wine and crisp apple cider, garnished with a cinnamon-sugar rim and a slice of fresh apple.

Pumpkin Spice Old Fashioned

A seasonal twist on a classic favorite, featuring bourbon infused with pumpkin spice, orange bitters, and a hint of maple syrup.

Cranberry Ginger Fizz

A vibrant mix of cranberry juice, ginger beer, vodka, and a splash of lime juice, garnished with fresh cranberries.

Autumn Sangria

Red wine infused with fall fruits like apples, pears, and cinnamon sticks, creating a delicious and visually appealing beverage.


Ensure that non-alcoholic options are available too, such as spiced apple cider, flavored hot chocolates, or mocktail versions of the fall cocktails.

Fall-Themed Party Favors: A Thoughtful Keepsake

Don’t forget to put together a budget!

Sending your guests home with a heartfelt token of appreciation will leave a lasting impression. Embrace the fall spirit with these charming party favor ideas:

Miniature Pumpkins

Decorate mini pumpkins with your names and wedding date, or have a calligrapher inscribe personalized messages for each guest.

Scented Candles

Select autumn-inspired scents like apple cinnamon, pumpkin spice, or woodland pine for cozy vibes that your guests can enjoy at home.

Customized Maple Syrup Bottles

Michigan is known for its delicious maple syrup. Gift your guests with small bottles of this delectable treat, adorned with custom labels.

Fall Harvest Treats

Create goodie bags filled with local treats such as caramel apples, maple candies, or pumpkin-spiced cookies.

Leaf-shaped Keepsakes

Opt for leaf-shaped bookmarks, coasters, or keychains as a tangible reminder of your beautiful fall wedding.

Remember, the personal touch is what makes these favors truly special. Adding a heartfelt note or a personalized thank-you message will make your guests feel even more appreciated.

A Day to Remember

Check out this fall wedding for more inspo! Or this one!

Incorporating fall themes into your Michigan elopement not only enhances the ambiance but also creates unforgettable moments that reflect the spirit of the season. Whether you’re cozied up around a fire pit with s’mores in hand, toasting with signature fall cocktails, or presenting thoughtful party favors, every detail will add to the warmth and charm of your special day.

If you’re ready to embark on a journey of love and celebrate your union amidst nature’s grandeur, I would be honored to be part of your elopement adventure. Together, let’s create timeless and captivating memories that will warm your hearts for years to come.

Michigan in the fall offers a truly magical setting for couples seeking an intimate elopement. From the breathtaking fall foliage to the cozy and charming decor, everything comes together to create an unforgettable experience. If you’re dreaming of a fall wedding surrounded by nature’s stunning colors, Michigan is undoubtedly the perfect destination for your special day.

August 1, 2023

Aliscia Marie Photography

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