Waking up to eight inches of fresh snow makes a person dreamy about a white wedding on a warm, sandy beach…well, maybe not any one, but it’s certainly an appropriate time for the bride- and groom-to-be to start planning for a romantic wedding on a Lake Michigan beach.

Despite the thick blanket of snow, Michigan’s Benzie County—tucked on the western edge of the mitten’s pinkie finger—is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. Years ago, I attended a beach wedding on the east coast, in an unnamed state on the Atlantic Ocean. Maybe it was just a bad year, but the beach itself was not very wide and the trapped algae and bits of junk was not, well, very romantic. In contrast, we have the Big Lake. Lake Michigan blesses Benzie County with beaches at the towns of Frankfort and Elberta. The endless stretches of well kept sand offers beautiful views and ample parking. Not to mention the more private, access road beaches; including Grace, Point Betsie, or Peterson roads—all would be great settings for a breath-taking sunset wedding.

But then what, after the ceremony does the whole wedding party have to travel miles inland for the reception? Nope, there are plenty of great wedding reception venues right here in Benzie County. The Grace Road and Elberta beaches are in close proximity to the renovated, historic Elberta Life-Saving Station, complete with outdoor walkways along the picturesque Betsie Bay. Frankfort and Point Betsie beach weddings would be more convenient to the Oliver Art Center, another historic landmark, recently renovated with a gourmet kitchen for cooking courses and reception events.  Depending on size of the wedding party, there’s many gathering places in- and outdoors—from local parks in Frankfort, Elberta, Beulah (don’t forget the gorgeous Crystal Lake), to lodges, bed-n-breakfast resorts, and town halls to rent. The exquisite natural beauty only adds to a stress-free, grand wedding in northern Michigan!

A bride who’s starting to plan her wedding day, really could not find a better place to dream up the perfect beach wedding, situated right here in Benzie County. Just substitute the white stuff on the ground right now for cottony, white clothing and imagine your barefeet massaged by warm sand….ahhhhh, this is the place to make a lifetime of memories.