6 Tips for Selecting an Outdoor Wedding Venue in Michigan

Here’s what you need to know when selecting an outdoor wedding venue in Michigan.

A wedding is a turning point in a couple’s relationship. It’s the beginning of their happily ever after and a celebration of their undying love and affection. Many people have dreamed about this day their entire lives, which is why they spend months or even years taking care of every single detail of the event to ensure everything is perfect.

Of all the elements, where you choose to tie the knot is arguably the most important as it sets the tone for the celebration and speaks to you and your partner’s personalities. Once you have a rough estimate of the number of guests you want to invite to your wedding, it is ideal to start looking at venue options immediately. 

Otherwise, it will be challenging to plan anything else without confirming vital details like date, location, and space constraints. It’s not only the biggest element of your celebration, but it also takes up the biggest chunk of your budget. 

If you’re thinking of choosing an outdoor wedding venue in Michigan, we’ve rounded up some tips on how to select the perfect spot for your big day.

Always have a plan B

Engaged couples planning an outdoor wedding Michigan will naturally hope for a sunny celebration with beautiful weather. However, it is always best to err on the side of caution. Before you sign on that dotted line in your contract, make sure your venue of choice has a contingency plan in place for inclement weather. 

Ask them what they have planned in case of strong winds or downpours during the event. They may have a tent onsite that can be set up right away or they might have spare ballrooms you can use. 

At The Northfork Estate, we have you covered. Our venue is designed to accommodate indoor celebrations without the headache, making the decision to move indoors less stressful. And, with our reliable team ready to assist you and your guess at a moment’s notice, you don’t have to worry about a thing!

Of course, nobody wants to think about a plan B for their wedding day. However, it’s important to know these details early on to put your mind at ease and ensure you’re making the best investment for your big day. The last thing you want for your wedding is for your guests to get drenched in the rain or have all your decor flying everywhere!

Consider the space and logistics

When you’re planning a wedding, you surely want to have all of your friends, family, and other loved ones present to witness this special moment in your lives. That’s why it’s important to choose an outdoor wedding venue in Michigan that is large enough to accommodate everyone comfortably so you don’t have to trim your guest list and leave out important people.

One key factor to consider when choosing an outdoor venue is accessibility. Can your guests easily find the place? Is public transportation an option? A venue with its own parking lot is ideal, but if there are none, find out if there are any lots nearby with sufficient capacity for your event. 

Make sure that you think about the needs of your elderly guests, too. If you know you have guests with limited mobility, check if there are ramps they can use or railings they can hold on to as they enter. Ultimately, you want a venue that is convenient and accessible for everyone.

The Northfork Estate is proud to have a large, well-lit parking lot for guests, along with a complimentary golf cart shuttle to transport guests to and from their cars. We also have a handicapped parking area closer to the property.

Consider venue restrictions

A lot of couples want the freedom to choose their own vendors. If you’re one of them, find a place that permits it. Some venues have strict regulations and will only allow you to book their in-house florists, entertainment, caterer, wedding planner, and so on. Be sure to check with the venue coordinator what policies there are before making your decision.

If you’re looking for an outdoor wedding venue in Michigan that doesn’t limit your freedom, The Northfork Estate is the answer for you! We welcome you to bring your preferred vendors so you can have the wedding of your dreams. Need recommendations? No problem, just ask! We’d be happy to share a list of our favorite vendors with you.

Pick one that adds value to your event

It’s crucial to think about offerings that benefit your guests and make the experience fun for them. For instance, are there unique attractions that can keep them entertained while waiting for the event to start? 

In addition to beautiful photo ops, all Northfork couples get to use our interactive yard games. Why not make the most of all that outdoor space at your wedding?

Check the electricity capabilities

When you’re holding an event at an outdoor venue, you’ll need a significant amount of power to accommodate lighting and audio equipment, ensuring all of your wedding elements are visible and creating the perfect ambiance. Make sure to let the venue coordinator know your power needs and see if they can accommodate them.

The Northfork Estate is fully equipped with power, so there’s no hassle as you plan your outdoor Michigan wedding! Plus, we have outdoor speakers installed throughout the property so your guests can enjoy the DJ or band from anywhere.

Protect yourself and your guests

You put a lot of thought into your wedding and should savor every minute of it. Choosing a venue with event liability insurance will give you peace of mind, so you can fully enjoy your big day. 

In case a vendor accidentally damages the venue at which you are hosting your celebration or a guest gets injured on the dance floor, this insurance can cover repair costs or medical bills if you are found to be at fault. Rest assured, we have full venue liability insurance to keep you protected!

Make the right choice when selecting your perfect outdoor wedding venue in Michigan!

Keep these tips close as you hunt for the perfect venue for your outdoor Michigan wedding. Remember to choose one that will cater to your vision and make this once-in-a-lifetime event truly memorable!

Key Benefits of an Outdoor MI Wedding Venue

While the list of wedding elements that can make or break your event could go on and on, some decisions have a bigger impact than others. One of them is where you choose to hold the celebration! If you are newly engaged and looking for the perfect wedding venue in Michigan, you might be surprised to find that outdoor venues are an excellent choice.

Most couples start exploring different wedding venues as soon as they have locked in their wedding date. This comes as no surprise because most of the other considerations hinge on the location, and choosing where to tie the knot is one of the most exciting parts of planning your big day. But make no mistake, finding the right one among a plethora of choices can feel overwhelming and stressful if you’re not sure what you want. 

There are many things you should know and take into consideration before saying yes to any Michigan wedding venue. It should be able to accommodate all of your guests and provide both them and you with a comfortable and enjoyable experience. 

Likewise, it is ideal to have enough space for other aspects of your wedding that are important to you. Your venue dictates whether you can have lounge furniture, a dance floor, or additional tables for gifts, cocktails, and the size of your wedding cake table! And of course, the overall feeling and vibe of the venue should truly reflect who you are individually and as a couple.

Whether you and your partner are nature lovers or not, there’s nothing quite like saying your vows under the open sky. If you love the idea of being surrounded by the beauty of nature when you say your “I dos,” then an outdoor wedding venue in MI is perfect for your celebration! 

And if you are still on the fence about whether this is the right choice for your event, here are some of the unique advantages of an outdoor wedding to help you decide.

It gives you unmatched versatility.

Here’s a valuable tip: Before you start looking at MI wedding spaces, you should first determine how many guests you are expecting to invite. Some couples prefer small, intimate weddings, while others choose to invite as many of their friends and family as possible to witness this milestone in their relationship. 

As most wedding expenses are dependent on the guest count, having even a rough estimate will help you budget your expenses and save you from headaches during the wedding planning process. The great thing about having an outdoor wedding is that the venue will give your event a spacious yet romantic feel, whether you opt to have 30 or 300 guests!  

It eliminates space constraints.

Did you know that more and more couples are choosing to increase their cost per guest, even if that means making cuts on their guest list? It is becoming increasingly important for couples to ensure that each of their guests’ needs is met and they have a splendid time throughout the entire event!

One of the surefire ways to ensure your attendees’ comfort is to have plenty of space for them to mingle and roam around. An MI outdoor wedding venue will guarantee that they don’t feel cramped. They can stretch their legs, take in the fresh air, and be one with nature!

You can personalize it to your liking.

Couples who choose indoor wedding venues may have to make do with the design of a room. On the other hand, an outdoor wedding venue is as close as you can get to a blank canvas. You can be more creative with your decorations and incorporate personal touches throughout the space. The freedom that lush outdoor spaces provide is perfect for executing your chosen wedding theme or style. 

And if you and your partner prefer simple aesthetics, you can opt to have minimal decorations and, instead, rely on the picturesque natural scenery! This is perfect for those on a tight budget, as décor and floral designs can easily drive up wedding expenses.  

You can take advantage of natural lighting.

Wide outdoor spaces offer natural lighting and gorgeous vistas. Did someone say golden hour? Sunlight will ensure that your venue not only looks spectacular in person but also in your photographs, no matter where your photographer points their camera!

And after months or years of planning, you’ll want to memorialize every detail of your big day. While natural lighting conditions may vary depending on the weather, they give photos a genuine, intimate feel during any time of day. Imagine having albums full of beautiful photos that you can share with your future children and grandchildren!

Your perfect Michigan wedding venue awaits you!

Remember that your venue is a big-ticket item that sets the mood of your event. Before you sign on the dotted line, confirm it meets all of your requirements and expectations to make sure this once-in-a-lifetime event will truly be memorable!

Vendor Expectations: How vendor-friendly is your MI wedding venue?

There’s nothing more romantic and heartwarming than your forever love vowing to stick by you for the rest of your lives. But while preparing for your MI wedding is exciting, don’t get ahead of yourself! All weddings involve many moving pieces, and planning can quickly become stressful and overwhelming.

Your wedding venue determines how easy (or difficult) it is to plan your wedding, so it’s naturally one of the most important decisions you can make on your way to the aisle. Besides size or location, you must consider a venue’s flexibility in satisfying every facet of the dream wedding you have envisioned.

Some wedding venues in Michigan are more selective and limit couples to choose from only specific vendors they have vetted. Others afford you more freedom and allow all vendors to operate on their premises for an event.

While touring MI wedding venues and finalizing your choice, make sure to inquire about vendor policies. For example, are there any vendor restrictions, or is there a preferred vendor list? Are you free to bring in any vendors you please?

A vendor-restrictive venue can be an issue for couples with specific vendors they want to book. For example, you may know a photographer who did an excellent job taking pictures of a friend’s wedding, or you may have a preferred caterer your family always hires for events and already have your heart set on them. If these vendors aren’t on the venue’s list, you will have to scramble to pick out vendors from the available options who can provide the same service and excellence.

This can entail additional time and expense because you’ll need to reach out to see if they can get the job done to your satisfaction or whether adjustments are necessary on your end. For example, you may find that the flowers you want for each table’s centerpiece must change due to the vendor’s supply or availability.

You will also have to make sure their schedule matches your own. Vendors typically work at multiple venues, and your dream provider may already be booked for your wedding day, even if the venue is secured.

On the other hand, fewer options can make it easier to settle on wedding decisions. For instance, some couples may prefer a Michigan wedding venue that only allows specific vendors because it involves less research and provides a shortlist of vendors. The venue coordinators and vendors are also likely well-acquainted with each other, and you can trust them to work seamlessly together on your big day.

If you have any special requests or want a service that a vendor doesn’t typically offer, you can bring it up with them and see if they’re willing to do it. If not, they can likely suggest suitable alternatives according to their capability, which may even be better than what you had initially planned.

At the end of the day, you and your partner need to make sure you both agree on how the wedding will happen, regardless of your chosen vendors. Clear communication and well-defined expectations are vital in making this special event a success for everyone.

And of course, before you book your wedding venue in MI and sign on that dotted line, see to it that you read your contract closely and understand the details fully to ensure the vendor policies align with what you want to happen. If you find certain things are still unclear, continue the discussion with the venue coordinator to provide additional clarity. Only sign the contract when you feel entirely confident and comfortable doing so.

After all, this is your special day as a couple, so you should make sure that it’s as close to perfection as possible!

For those looking for a balance, there are venues like The Northfork Estate that sit in the middle—no vendor restrictions, but happy to help make the research process easier with a shortlist of trusted pros we love. 

Find your dream outdoor wedding venue in Michigan!

You and your partner deserve the wedding of your dreams, and part of that is picking the right wedding venue in Michigan and the vendors that can bring your joint vision to life!

4 Tips for Planning An Outdoor Wedding in Michigan

For those who love nature, outdoor weddings in Michigan are the perfect way to celebrate their love in a picture-perfect way. Fresh air and the sound of birds chirping — there’s nothing better! However, outdoor weddings aren’t always so simple.

Thanks to the unpredictable nature of weather, outdoor weddings require extra planning to mitigate risks and maintain the integrity of the day’s timeline.

Here are four tips for planning an outdoor wedding in Michigan that is as stress-free as it is enjoyable.

Create contingency plans

The last thing you want is for Mother Nature to come in and spoil the day! From torrential rain to extreme heat, there are some things that are simply out of our control. However, with some careful planning, you can ensure there are proactive solutions in place. 

For instance, an outdoor wedding venue in Michigan with an indoor space could easily move the party inside. Or, you may reserve a tent rental in case of inclement weather. Work with your planner and venue to establish backup plans so you won’t have to worry about “what if?” in the days leading up to your Michigan wedding.

Prepare your guests

Whether your guests are close to home or coming from out-of-town, it’s essential to set expectations for your MI outdoor wedding. For example, If it’s in the heat of summer, encourage them to wear light and breathable attire. 

Your invitation and your wedding website are both great places to include this information. Guests will be grateful to know what to expect when packing their bags!

Work closely with your caterer

Not all foods are great for outdoor celebrations, particularly when the weather starts to warm up. Who wants a hot stew when the sun is beating down? Work with your caterer to develop food and beverage menus that match the weather. 

In the summer, salads, grilled vegetables, and light proteins are all great options. We also recommend asking your caterer to set up a hydration station with refreshing beverages like infused water, lemonade, and iced tea.

Get creative

You may not be able to change the weather, but you can still have fun and roll with the punches! We love seeing couples get creative when it comes to outdoor celebrations. For example, if a drizzle is in the forecast, an umbrella station is a cute addition to the ceremony. In the same vein, a basket of shawls can help guests warm up on a chilly day. 

Consider how you can embrace the outdoor experience (unpredictability and all!) with creative favors, signage, and other fun details.

Ready to find your perfect outdoor wedding venue in Michigan?

We’d love to chat! Give us a call so we can start bringing your wedding vision to life.

9891 North Fork Way, Eaton Rapids, MI 48827

We’d like to thank our photographers who provided gorgeous photography on our website: Michelle Lippert Photography and Emily Hary Photography