I get a lot of inquiries from out of town brides (many from the Chicago area) looking for outdoor ceremony sites in Southwest Michigan. Unfortunately, unless you are familiar with the area, or have the time to really do some investigating on your own, outdoor ceremony locations can be difficult to locate for a destination wedding (unless of course you’re headed to a heavily travelled wedding spot such as the Caribbean).

Southwest Michigan offers some beautiful options for outdoor ceremonies. Kelly, one of my most recent brides, is from Chicago, and planning a destination wedding in Southwest Michigan. Since we’ll have limited time to look at venues together, I snapped some photos this weekend of potential ceremony locations. I thought I’d share for any of you planning an outdoor destination wedding in the area!

Shadowland Pavilion is just a stones throw away from the beach location shown previously. It’s situated on a corner between the St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan. The lighthouse can be seen in the background, and the dunes line the south side. There is even a beautiful sculpture in the backdrop! One thing I love about St. Joseph is that there is sculpture everywhere! There’s at least 6 different pieces along Silver Beach alone! The nice thing about Shadowland Pavilion is that is can be reserved, which means you are free to put up chairs, decorations, etc.! It can be reserved for 1/2 or a whole day, for a fee paid to the city. Also, in the case of inclimate weather, a smaller wedding could be brought up under the pavilion.

The John Howard Band Shell is located on the bluff of St. Joseph (the other 2 locations are below the bluff) overlooking the St. Joseph River. The band shell has nice new benches, which means no chair rentals if you’re on a limited budget! Like the Pavilion, the Band shell can be reserved. There is street parking as well as several free parking lots within a block downtown. The band shell is on the edge of downtown St. Joseph, within blocks of all of St. Josephs adorable shops and restaurants.

Stay tuned for more outdoor locations coming soon!