How to Have a Northern Michigan Island Wedding

Dreaming of a wedding on a remote island? Not far from Traverse City and in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, located off of the shore of Leelanau County, North and South Manitou Islands offer stunning locations for a Northern Michigan island wedding.

Home to gorgeous sandy shores, towering dunes, thick forests and historic logging settlements, these islands are full of romance, natural beauty and adventure. For the minimalistic, nature-loving couple, these Northern Michigan island beach wedding destinations are full of potential for the perfect wedding day.

Located a few miles off the coast of Leland, the islands are accessible by private boat or ferry. You can go to South Manitou and back in a day. However, those getting married on North Manitou are also signing up for an overnight backcountry camping trip because the ferry only makes one trip a day.

A roundtrip ferry ticket for Manitou Island Transit costs $40. Depending on the weather, the ferry starts running to North Manitou the first weekend of May, but trips to South Manitou don’t typically start until mid-May. During ideal conditions, the ferry ride from Leland to either island takes about 90 minutes.

Call the Manitou Island Transit office at 231.256.9061 or email [email protected] for the exact date when the ferry will start, and to make a reservation. The ferry schedule is available here.

In addition to the $15 Park Entrance Pass, campers will need an additional Backcountry Use Permit, which can be purchased at the Manitou Island Transit office located in Fishtown or the National Park Service visitor center in Empire. Camping permits are $5 per night per campsite.

Camping on North and South Manitou Islands: 

Both of the islands are a part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. To get married anywhere in the national lakeshore, you must have a permit. The application fee and permit cost a total of $150. Here’s everything you need to know to get a permit.

View the spectacular natural beauty of South Manitou Island in this MyNorth Media video. You could get married on this beach!

Find out how to get married at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (it’s a lot easier than you think!). 


More Northern Michigan Island Wedding Ideas

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