Following is the segment from Good Morning America on our Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park. On this show, it is the second beautiful location featured, so you need to get past the segment on California - but it is well worth watching to learn the flavor of this fabulous location as your wedding venue:
IT IS OFFICIAL! SLEEPING BEAR WON THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN AMERICA COMPETITION ON "GOOD MORNING AMERICA"!
This is the official website for our beloved Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park:
The outstanding scenic beauty of Sleeping Bear Dunes National
Lakeshore provides a beautiful natural setting for weddings. The
sweeping vistas and Lake Michigan beaches provide wonderful backdrops
for small, intimate weddings. Accommodating weddings that are compatible
with the Lakeshore’s enabling legislation requires careful planning to
protect park resources and limit intrusions on recreational visitors.
Click to download
form (pdf file, 249 kb).
Weddings may be scheduled up to one year in advance and not less than
21 days prior to your ceremony. Applicants must complete the
Application for Special Use Permit Form. Include your telephone number,
address, e-mail address, number of people, date, time, and exact
location from the wedding location list below.
All application and permit fees are nonrefundable and are required to
recover the costs to administer permits. The nonrefundable application
and permit fees paid by check or money order will be made payable to:
“National Park Service”.
Applications and fees should be mailed to:
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Attention: Special Park Uses/Weddings
9922 Front Street
Empire, MI 49630
Telephone inquires: (231) 326-5134
A nonrefundable $50.00 application fee must be included with your
application. After favorable review of your application, a Special Use
Permit will be prepared and mailed to you for signature. At that time, a
nonrefundable permit fee of $100.00 must be remitted with your signed
permit. An additional charge of $50.00 per hour will be incurred for a
National Park Service event monitor for those outdoor activities of 50
people or more.
Entrance fees into the park are not waived for either wedding
participants or guests since recreational benefit is derived.
Applicants can contact the Visitor Center to purchase Park Passes in
- Please note that the wedding permit does not allow the ceremony to
restrict other park visitors from the chosen location; nor does it
guarantee availibility of a specific site.
- The approved permit must be in the applicant’s possession at the time of the wedding.
- The release of any living thing is prohibited.
- Birdseed or rice may not be thrown within the park as this provides an unnatural food source for wildlife.
- The use of balloons, helium, or other types of decorations will not be authorized so as to preserve the natural scene.
- Directional or event signs may not be used within the park.
- Picnic areas may not be reserved and are available only on a first-come basis.
- The permittee is responsible for the cleanup of all trash from the
site. For activities of 25 people or more, all trash generated by the
event is to be removed from the park by the permittee.
- The permittee and guests must comply with all applicable federal, state, and county regulations.
- Tents, tables or other furniture are not allowed at the site of the
wedding unless a picnic area is used. Archways or other artifical
structures are not authorized so as to preserve the natural scene. A
small number of chairs may be permissible for elderly or disabled
- Pets must be leashed at all times.
- Parking is limited in most locations. The use of car pools or
shuttles is recommended and may be required as a condition of the
- Amplified music or public address systems are not allowed.
- No formal wedding receptions will be permitted.
- The time allowed for outdoor events is three hours.
- Wedding Permits will not be issued for heavy use periods – Memorial Day weekend, July Fourth weekend, and Labor Day weekend.
- A visit to the park is highly recommended prior to finalizing your
plans in order to decide on a site for your wedding. Following is a
list of available sites and group size limitations.
See the attached
form (pdf file, 249 kb) for a list of areas in Sleeping Bear Dunes
National Lakeshore where weddings may be held.
If the proposed areas
and parameters conform to this list, standard fees will apply.
However, if an area not listed here is
proposed and/or the proposed group size exceeds the maximum group size
listed here, additional fees of $50.00 per employee hour to manage and
monitor the permit will be required.