A historic castle, countryside winery, and rustic barn made this top 10 list, chosen by our readers in the annual Red Hot Best contest. Say “I do” at these Northern Michigan wedding venues.
Beth Joy Photography // Castle Farms
1. CASTLE FARMS, CHARLEVOIX
We’re not sure which past life of the “castle” at Castle Farms is more surprising: The fact that the ornate European-inspired fieldstone structures on the property were originally used as elaborate digs for horses and dairy cows; or that from the late-1970s to the early-1990s, it became a storied outdoor concert venue that hosted everyone from the Doobie Brothers and Blue Oyster Cult to Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne. Perhaps it’s the fact that there’s a giant stone castle tucked in the hills around Charlevoix at all.
In any event, you’ll be impressed by the property’s renovation that has completely restored two of the original stone structures and created acres of gardens that mix traditional European design with native Michigan plants.
It’s our readers’ pick for best place to get married (a staff of wedding planners there at the ready), though you don’t have to be headed there for a wedding to take it all in. Visitors can tour the grounds in either a self-guided or guided format, check out the largest outdoor model railroad in Michigan, and explore music memorabilia from the all the great acts that played “The Castle” back in the day.
Photo by Brandon Shafer
Brandon Shafer // The Cathedral Barn
2. CATHEDRAL BARN AT HISTORIC BARNS PARK, TRAVERSE CITY
The beautifully restored Cathedral Barn is magnificent with room for seated wedding receptions of 200 or wedding ceremonies of up to 300 guests. Full rental of Historic Barns Park is also available and includes the Botanic Garden. Have your ceremony or cocktail hour in the garden then head inside the barn for the reception. The rustic venue and lush setting is just minutes from downtown Traverse City and sits between the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas—your guests will love a weekend getaway.
Photo by Lux Light Photography
Lux Light Photography // Black Star Farms
3. BLACK STAR FARMS, SUTTONS BAY
This vineyard and Inn are nestled in the heart of Northern Michigan wine country. The winery estate has indoor and outdoor ceremony sites. The vineyard offers views of West Grand Traverse Bay while the stone patio is a private setting within the woods. The centennial Pegasus Barn (overlooking horse pastures) and Aquarius Room at the historic inn can accommodate 150 guests for a luxurious countryside wedding.
Photo by Siri Salonen Photography
Siri Salonen Photography // Blue Bridge
4. BLUE BRIDGE EVENT CENTER, GRAWN
This woodsy venue is located just 20 minutes outside Traverse City. In addition to the venue, Blue Bridge provides flowers, decorations, DJs/music, bartenders/beverages and rehearsal dinner and Sunday brunch spaces. There’s even a tiny house for the groom and his crew. Your guests can explore walking paths and beautiful gardens or relax by fountains and fire pits. If you’re looking for a true Up North escape, this is it.
Yes, there’s a tree swing under twinkly lights. Take a look at this sweet Blue Bridge wedding.
5. CHATEAU CHANTAL, OLD MISSION PENINSULA
This Old Mission Peninsula winery and inn is perfect for very intimate, boutique wedding experiences. Because of zoning, all wedding guests must stay overnight (and who wouldn’t want to stay at this gorgeous venue). Chateau Chantal offers several options, including an elopement package, Champagne brunches and wine bridal showers.
Megan Slater // Cherry Baskey Farm
6. CHERRY BASKET FARM, OMENA
More than a venue for farm weddings, Cherry Basket has a sense of Up North nostalgia. Hardwoods surround the ceremony site and a century-old barn stands ready for up to 225 guests. Local food packages by Epicure Catering and day-of vendor management are available.
Epicure Catering shared a beach picnic with us. The recipes—amazing. Just imagine what they’ll create for your wedding.
7. CICCONE VINEYARD, SUTTONS BAY
Get married under the majestic 150-year-old maple tree surrounded by panoramic views of Grand Traverse Bay and rolling vineyards. Then, dance the night away under twinkly lights in the historic barn, which can accommodate groups up to 120 for a seated dinner. (Groups up to 250 for weddings in the reception tent.) The winery’s tasting room can also host groups for dinners, cocktail hours and other gatherings.
Photo by Wren Photography
Wren Photography // Willowbrook Mill
8.WILLOWBROOK MILL, NORTHPORT
A wood ballroom floor, three fireplaces and a screened porch create a casually elegant atmosphere at Willowbrook Mill. The Northport venue can accommodate up to 135 guests and offers indoor and outdoor ceremony options. You and your guests will love being able to explore Northport’s sweet downtown and being within walking distance of Lake Michigan.
9. COBBLESTONE FARMS, KINGSLEY
The farm sits on 10 acres just outside Traverse City. Built in 1914, the farmhouse welcomes you to the property and is now a retreat for bridal parties. The centerpiece of the farm though is the barn. The interior looks like it’s straight from an old Western movie set. Bonus: corn hole boards, giant Jenga and a huge fire pit are available for guests during the reception.
10. THE HOMESTEAD, GLEN ARBOR
The Homestead is just a few minutes from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and right on shore of Lake Michigan. Three spaces are available to accommodate large or small weddings. Host up to 180 guests at Mountain Flowers Lodge, 90 at Camp Firefly or 50 at Cafe Manitou. Take the ski lift up the mountain to the ceremony site—a glass of champagne will be waiting.
Just look at those Lake Michigan views! This Homestead wedding was gorgeous.