By MacKenzie Knoll
For most people, the idea of an ocean-front wedding is nothing more than a dream. However, the logistics of booking vendors, finding a venue, and transporting everything necessary for the wedding are complicated and expensive, especially for those in the midwest who might have to travel 12+ hours to get there. The unpredictability of the weather, travel and other arrangements can be hard to manage, especially if you are traveling too.
Fortunately, for Michiganders, there are more than 11,000 lakes in The Great Lakes State which can serve as beautiful alternatives to the ocean. Whether you choose one of The Great Lakes or a small, private lake doesn’t matter; your beach wedding will be stunning either way!
By getting married at the lake, you are able to replicate that destination wedding experience for a fraction of the cost. Here are seven of our favorite benefits of a lake wedding:
1. You can easily recreate the ocean-front experience
Nathan English, a Michigan-based photographer with over 13 years of experience shooting weddings, said that lakes are great places to recreate that ocean wedding ambiance. “Lake Michigan, especially, is so vast; it captures the epicness of the ocean, and the lighting is much easier to work with.” English can be reached at https://www.nathanenglishphotography.com/ or on Instagram @nathanpenglish.
2. There are far more places for exclusivity
One of the biggest perks of a lake wedding is that there are plenty of private venues on the water that won’t break the bank. This exclusivity helps guarantee that there aren’t random beach-goers walking through your ceremony or reception or in the back of all your pictures. Another benefit is that you can choose the type of venue along the shore that you want. “If you are looking for a certain aesthetic, you can choose it,” English said. Pavilions, camps, and parks all provide different looks that complement the scenery, and your decor can vary depending on which location you choose.
3. The lakes are unsalted
While some people love the fresh smell of the ocean, the salt gives the water a different feel and can leave residue on skin and clothing. The water at the lake doesn’t have that salty texture, which makes it easier to take photos in the water, or even underwater, without completely destroying your dress.
4. The humidity levels are lower
Another factor to consider is that the humidity, which can be incredibly high at the ocean, may feel overwhelming to guests and members of the wedding party who are wearing suits or dresses with many layers. A lake wedding may have some humidity, but it often breaks by mid-day, which will have guests feeling much more comfortable no matter what their attire consists of.
5. The weather is more predictable
The ocean can be unpredictable with hurricanes, tsunamis and strong tides which could lead to a wedding getting canceled entirely. The storms that brew over smaller bodies of water often blow over much more quickly and aren’t typically dangerous. English says that “the consistency and calmness of the lake make for higher quality photos.” Along with the consistency of the water, it is also easier to capture the sunset and golden-hour moments at the lake.
6. The array of wildlife won’t mess with your plans
While you may not see any fantastic wildlife such as dolphins, manatees and vibrant fish, you won’t have to worry about sharks, jellyfish or octopi. There are also far fewer seagulls at the lake than at the ocean, so you won’t have to deal with unwanted, feathered guests.
7. It’s easier to use a drone
While an ocean wedding may hold all the extravagance your heart desires, who’s to say some of it can’t transfer to the lake? The trend of drone pictures and videos is even more easily completed at the lake where the water is more shallow and there are multiple access points.
While many still dream of a fantasy wedding in Key West, a lake wedding is a beautiful alternative for those who want the look of the ocean without the hassle or the price.