couple standing on beach

July 15, 2022


5 of the Best Places to Elope in Marquette, Michigan

Table of Contents:

couple standing over ocean

As a photographer based out of northern Michigan + Wisconsin, you better bet I know Michigan like the back of my dang hand. I’m especially familiar with the best, most beautiful locations to elope in Marquette, Michigan, because of how often I photograph couples & elopements there. 

That’s why I wanted to create this guide for couples to the top 5 best places to elope in Marquette. It features details about each location that you need to know to help you figure out which is the right one for your special day! For every location, I’ve included where in Marquette it’s located, how easy or difficult it is to access, any permits you may need to hold your ceremony there, and a brief description of the place itself.

I’m so passionate about making sure my couples have the most incredible day possible. Especially since I’m a recent bride myself & know the big role that location plays in how your elopement turns out! I hope this guide helps you find the perfect location to bring your dream day to life!

wedding ring and bouquet

1. Black Rocks

First, the Black Rocks are a beautiful area of rocky cliffs overlooking Lake Superior, most well-known for its iconic cliff jumping spots 20-30 feet above the gorgeous blue water and its stunning views of the sunset. (How fun would it be to say your vows, have a little picnic, and go cliff jumping with your new spouse?!) This popular & well-loved location in the Upper Peninsula is super easy to access. The pebble beach + epic scenery just steps from your car, and it’s just minutes from town. So you can head straight from a hiking or cliff jumping adventure right to a yummy restaurant for dinner!

Located: Near the tip of Presque Isle State Park

Difficulty of Access: Easy

Permit(s) Required: None, unless you’d like to reserve a pavilion such as the Presque Isle Pavilion

groom kissing bride

2. Wetmore Landing/Rum Runner’s Cove

Next, take a brief 5-minute walk through a beautiful forest of lush green pines and you’ll find yourself at a sandy beach on the shores of Lake Superior, called Wetmore Landing. Or if you’re looking for a slightly longer journey, take the hiking route from Little Presque Isle Point to Wetmore Landing, which is approximately 1.6 miles long!

When you get to this beautiful beach area you’ll see rocky areas on both sides of you, with one that crawls out into Lake Superior + provides stunning views toward Marquette and the beach. Here, you can even see Sugar Loaf peeking out from just a bit!

Take another short 15-minute hike from there and you’ll find Rum Runner’s Cove, an incredible + exclusive spot for you to say your vows. Want to simply explore the caves from below, venture on a hike, go for an easy swim, or jump off the giant rocks? (Who knew that Marquette had so many epic cliff jumping spots?) You can do alllll of that here! Rum Runner’s Cove is a beautiful spot just secluded enough to usually have smaller crowds than in the larger Marquette area. This is fantastic for intimate elopement ceremonies, yet that still has absolutely gorgeous views to offer!

Located: Off of County Road 550, north of Marquette

Difficulty of Access: Easy

Permit(s) Required: None; just a Michigan Recreation Pass to park in the Wetmore Landing lot

bride holding flowers

3. Sugarloaf Mountain

By now you can probably tell that Marquette is filled to the brim with locations that offer amazing hikes + even more amazing views. And Sugarloaf Mountain is one of the best examples of that! Sugarloaf is part of the Huron Mountain range, about 6 miles north of downtown Marquette. The trek to the top of the mountain takes about 20 minutes of hiking (and a lot of stairs). At the end, you’re rewarded with some of the most beautiful views of Marquette + Lake Superior in the area. It’s definitely the closest thing to mountain views that we can get here in the Midwest!

Located: 6 miles north of downtown Marquette

Difficulty of Access: Moderate hiking involved

Permit(s) Required: None

couple walking on beach

4. Dead River Falls

Dead River Falls is a gorgeous waterfall system just a short drive from Marquette that consists of numerous waterfalls, beautiful PNW river vibes, and so much more. And you know I’m always obsessed with any location where we can get PNW vibes here in the Midwest!

The approximately 1.7-mile round trip hike to Dead River Falls is moderately challenging, featuring a river crossing and icy conditions in the winter months. But the end is so worth it! The waterfalls in the rocky gorge are absolutely stunning in the middle of this lush forest and make for an amazing backdrop for any couple’s elopement photos!

Located: 7 miles north of Marquette

Difficulty of Access: Moderate hiking involved

Permit(s) Required: None

groom kissing bride on cheek

5. Little Presque Isle Beach + Island

Finally, Little Presque Isle is another beautiful sand beach on the shore of Lake Superior, within the Escanaba River State Forest. Situated on a peninsula, the beach feels secluded and offers stunning sunset views – it’s often called the “crown jewel of Lake Superior” for a reason! The beach ridges are covered in pine & fir trees, and the textures of the cliffs along the isle are amazing to look at.

From the beach, you can see the island – Little Presque. While you can easily get out to the island, it is important to use extreme caution and go with someone who is familiar with the currents. Otherwise it can be dangerous using the land bridge to walk across to the island. Besides that, the island would be an INCREDIBLE spot to go for your elopement. You could potentially reach it via paddle board as well!

There are also plenty of great hikes in the Little Presque Isle Natural Area if that’s more your vibe, which you can check out on AllTrails

Located: 7 miles northwest of Marquette, in the Escanaba River State Forest

Difficulty of Access: Easy

Permit(s) Required: Potential event use permit needed – apply for the permit here to receive location-specific details

charcuterie board for elopement

Stunning Marquette Beach Elopement Inspiration

Fun fact for you – I actually made the charcuterie board for this elopement myself! I offer elopement charcuterie boards as an add-on for my couples because I absolutely love the option of charcuterie for your elopement food. Whether you want a board to serve as a post-ceremony snack or a full-on, meat-and-cheese-filled meal, I’ll create a beautiful board for you to munch on, full of delicious finger foods to enjoy in a lovely picnic setting. Reach out to me here if you’re ready to book an elopement photographer + charcuterie-board-maker all in one! 😉

bride and groom walking on beach

Marquette Elopement Vendors

Florist: Samara Floral Co.

Dress: Daughters of Simone

Tuxedo: ASOS

Charcuterie Board: Yours truly (Madison Ison Photography)

Beer: Grand Rabbit Beer (my personal favorite!) from Blackrocks Brewery

wedding charcuterie board picnic

More Upper Peninsula Elopement + Engagement Resources

If you loved reading about my top favorite Marquette elopement locations, I’ve got even more blog posts I’m sure you’ll love! Looking for inspiration for your Marquette engagement photos or want to find the perfect cabin for your Upper Peninsula elopement? Check out more of my favorite recent blog posts below.

8 Best Cabins in the Upper Peninsula for an Airbnb Elopement

What is an Intimate Wedding? A Simple Guide to Planning One

Adventurous Fall Engagement Photos in Marquette, Michigan

bride and groom on cliffs

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