Over the years, elopements have become more and more popular. What once was considered a daring and irresponsible decision has now grown into something intimate, beautiful and freeing. One of the many reasons why I photograph elopements is the intimacy and freedom behind it. Seeing my couples hike to the top of a mountain, or find an open spot in an empty forest to have memories of just the two of them exchanging vows, lights up my world. I love being able to capture such intimate and loving moments of my couples, no matter WHERE! Being a Michigan native, you are surrounded by so much scenery and beauty it can be difficult to pick the PERFECT spot for your elopement. That's why I've put together my top 5 elopement locations in Michigan so that you and your partner can have the most epic elopement ever. These locations are not only vastly different from each other, but are some of my favorites for the most beautiful and breathtaking scenery that I have ever experienced.

traverse city


Located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Traverse City is the beautiful Bayview Weddings at Gallagher Farms. Bayview Weddings is equipped with many different locations with breathtaking scenery and views. They have hill top views overlooking Grand Traverse Bay, a destination spot that overlooks miles, a calm pond for smaller wedding ceremonies and an orchard that is filled with white blossoms during the Spring and red cherries in the Fall. Bayview Weddings at Gallagher Farms is the perfect spot for any couple looking for more serenity away from all of the hustle and bustle of city life. You are completely surrounded by nature and are able to enjoy wide open space with amazing views.

Bayview Weddings at Gallagher Farms

silver lake sand dunes


Who knew that you could find those perfect desert vibes all within Michigan? The Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Hart, Michigan is the perfect spot for you and your partner to get some incredibly epic wedding portraits. These sand dunes are the perfect photo opportunity for those bohemian vibes. Feel the sand in between your toes and the wind blowing in your hair. If you travel far enough you'll be able to see sand dune cliffs and over those cliffs lay a view of Lake Michigan. The absolute perfect getaway for you and your partner to have those desert feels, minus the heat LOL! If you want to see more photos with these beautiful sand dunes, check out this Silver Lake Sand Dunes elopement!

Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan

downtown detroit


Elopements are not always about the most "epic" view that you've ever seen. It's all about what you and your partner value and your own personal style. One of my favorite elopement spots is actually right in the heart of Downtown Detroit, Michigan! Surrounded by buildings that reach for the sky, history and beautiful architecture, Downtown Detroit is the perfect spot for any couple wanting to incorporate the city life into their elopement day! For Nadia and Mitchell's elopement, they road skateboards, danced in the streets and ran around Downtown Detroit and it was seriously the best. They didn't feel the pressures behind finding permits or renting out a venue, but rather enjoyed the day with their own company. Don't forget to check out more of what Downtown Detroit has to offer on Nadia and Mitchell's wedding day!

Downtown Detroit, Michigan Elopement

Presque isle


Located in Marquette, Michigan, Presque Isle State Park is the perfect spot with beautiful views of Lake Superior. With tons of cliffs and beaches that will melt your heart, probably one of the most picturesque would have to be the Blackrocks. The Blackrocks have ancient rock formations along with views of the crystal clear blue water down below, a perfect elopement spot. I have never met anyone who has regretted taking the time to travel to a scenic spot, much like this one, in fact they cherish these photos forever and I am so glad that I can provide that for them.


*image belongs to Steph Pickard*

Porcupine mountain state park


Contrary to the name, you will not in fact get spiked being here at the Porcupine Mountain State Park. Located in Ontonagon, Michigan this beautiful scenic mountain top has views that can seriously take your breath away. More specifically, if you're looking to elope here, Lake of the Clouds is the perfect spot to do it. This body of water is surrounded by beautiful forest and don't even get me started on the foliage once Fall hits. This state park is perfect for any couple looking for peace, serenity and an incredible view to gaze at while doing their ceremony.


*image is not mine*

Porcupine Mountain State Park

Overall, the most important thing to remember is that when you decide to elope that it is you and your partners decision. This decision can come with some hesitation especially when it comes to telling friends and family, but at the end of the day the happiness of you and your partner is what matters. Don't forget though, elopements don't always have to be with just you and your partner. It can include a small group of friends and family as well, just on a much smaller scale than a traditional wedding. Whatever you decide just know that you have support 100% of the way and if you're in need of some help planning, well.... I'm your gal ;)


P.s. If you're worried about telling friends and family, you can always opt in for a private and intimate ceremony with you and your partner and then a celebratory reception with friends and family after. What's that saying? You get the best of both worlds!


Photos By Gayle does more than just take photos of people. Rather, it is capturing moments of LOVE and HAPPINESS. Singing to the skies, dancing in a field, smiles that hurt because they’re so big. There is nothing else I would rather be doing than photographing these unique details that make you and your significant other a couple. If this blog post puts a spark in you, you know where to click <——— right there!

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I am a Destination Elopement Photographer who specializes in weddings, engagements, elopements, and boudoir. I love to travel to new places so if you are looking for a photographer for any of these events, please contact me here and I will be more than happy to get you started on some beautiful photos of your own!