The Lake Michigan resort community of Ludington has a new place for couples to tie the knot – The Lake House on Lake Michigan. This new waterfront wedding venue can be booked in late 2020* and beyond. The Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau also launched a new Pure Ludington Destination Wedding Guide to help couples plan a destination wedding in Ludington.
“Ludington has always been a popular wedding destination because of our sugar-sand beaches, dramatic sunsets, historic lighthouses and quaint lodgings that make for a great destination wedding,” said Brandy Miller, executive director of the Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The Lake House is a perfect place for couples to say ‘I do’ that takes advantage of Ludington’s beautiful waterfront assets.”
The Lake House
As the first Lake Michigan waterfront event center in Ludington and one of Michigan’s only purpose-built event centers with views of Lake Michigan, The Lake House is open for events like weddings, receptions and parties. Located at 704 Maritime Dr. between the S.S. Badger dock and Harbor View Marina with views of Lake Michigan, the one-story venue with mezzanine level features more than 5,800 square feet of space to accommodate a variety of guest-count accommodations, from 50 to 300 guests.
The venue has an outdoor patio (complete with fire pit for bonfires) with portable bar plus balcony to take advantage of its lakeside location and views of the pier, lighthouse, sunsets and S.S. Badger. The Lake House can host many large events but is especially designed for wedding ceremonies and receptions, with space on the grounds to get married on the waterfront.
“As today’s bridal couples are looking for a guest experience, The Lake House provides everything ‘Pure Michigan.’ We often pinch ourselves about the gorgeous Lake Michigan views that Ludington has to offer,” said Jean White, co-owner of The Lake House with her husband, Jeff. “The S.S. Badger either docking or departing right next door has been quite an experience for all. Being able to offer these views for a wedding day backdrop has been the perfect scenario for all of us.”
Weddings are being booked out into 2021 with inquiries coming in for 2022, but some Fridays and Sundays are still available in 2020, including in July through October.
Other Wedding Ceremony and Reception Venues
In addition to this new event venue, Ludington offers a variety of venue choices for every wedding style and budget – from formal, indoor settings like Lincoln Hills Golf Club and Stearns Hotel, to outdoor waterfront venues like Waterfront Sculpture Park and Ludington State Park – especially desirable now as couples may be looking for small, outdoor wedding settings that offer more safety precautions due to COVID-19. The Ludington Area CVB lists these and other venues plus related wedding resources in its new Pure Ludington Destination Wedding Guide, with additional information on the CVB’s Wedding Planning page.
Some of Ludington’s one-of-a-kind event venues perfect for weddings include:
- Barothy Lodge – Located on the banks of the Pere Marquette River in Manistee National Forest, this 300-acre wilderness retreat has a pond on site and backdrops of natural forest and greenery. The Main Lodge is ideal for an on-site reception, featuring a 1,500 square-foot (30’x50’) Event Hall. Family and guests can stay on the premises and make a vacation of it as well in one of the 15 well-equipped lodges ranging from one to nine bedrooms.
- White Pine Chapel at Historic White Pine Village – This quaint chapel in Historic White Pine Village boasting 30 historic 19th to early 20th century buildings is a quaint setting for a rustic-chic or vintage-style wedding. The chapel can hold a small group indoors – but if the sun is shining, couples can tie the knot on the hill in front of the chapel.
- Trillium Creek Rustic Barn – Named a 2020 and 2019 ”Best of Weddings” winner for reception venue by The Knot, Trillium Creek Rustic Barn features a restored 1,400-square-foot, 100-year-old barn with adjoining 2,400-square-foot tented deck, plus the use of a furnished 4-bedroom/2.5-bath 1920s Craftsman-style house for up to four days and three nights.
- S.S. Badger – For a truly one-of-a-kind experience, couples can marry on the last coal-fired steamship in the United States. The Lake Michigan Carferry welcomes marriage ceremonies on board during its regularly scheduled cruises, though couples must provide an officiant. Group discounts are available for 15 people or more, and reservations are recommended. Call 800-841-4243 for information.
- Ludington State Park – Nestled between Lake Michigan, Hamlin Lake and Big Sable River, Ludington State Park offers an outdoor amphitheater as an ideal location for a rustic, open-air wedding or reception in a wooded setting. Other unique wedding settings in the park include the Lake Michigan beach (note public can attend) and Big Sable Point Lighthouse. Call 231-843-2423 for details.
- Lake Michigan Beaches – Stearns Park Beach, Buttersville Beach, Summit Park Beach, Ludington State Park Beach – Mason County’s Lake Michigan beaches make stunning wedding backdrops. Some parks feature shelters that can be reserved for a private ceremony (e.g., Summit Park Beach). For more information, call the phone number listed with each hyperlinked beach name above. NOTE: Because these are public places, structures cannot be erected, and the general public cannot be excluded from watching. Other beaches are listed on page 7 of the Pure Ludington Destination Wedding Guide.
- Parks and Gazebos – Waterfront Sculpture Park in downtown Ludington provides views of the Ludington harbor, marinas and S.S. Badger dock, featuring a gazebo and pavilion that can be rented for private events. Copeyon Park, located on Pere Marquette Lake, also rents its gazebo for private events. Contact the City of Ludington at 231-845-6237 to inquire about pricing, rules and reservations at either park. Other parks are listed on page 7 of the Pure Ludington Destination Wedding Guide.
Wedding Professional Services
Ludington also offers other professional services such as florists, photographers, decorators and rental companies, caterers and bakeries, formal wear rentals, and officiants. Contact the Ludington Area CVB at 800-542-4600 for assistance with finding wedding vendors, which also can be found on pages 10-11 in the Pure Ludington Destination Wedding Guide or at pureludington.com/Wedding-Planners.
Ludington offers a number of lodging options for every size group and budget – from a large hotel complex with adjoining rooms and family-friendly amenities like swimming pools, to smaller family-owned motel complexes featuring outdoor common spaces for hanging out together, to resorts and cabins, to historic bed-and-breakfasts (some for adult-only guests). Locations also vary from downtown Ludington with walkability to shops and restaurants, to lake views, to rustic retreats further into the county. See pages 12-13 in the Pure Ludington Destination Wedding Guide, consult our online accommodations directory at pureludington.com/Accommodations, or contact the Ludington Area CVB at 800-542-4600 to discuss lodging needs with our staff. When contacting a lodging establishment directly, inquire about booking room blocks for your wedding party, plus available travel packages and coupons.
*Please consult Michigan regulations about travel restrictions and group gatherings related to COVID-19.
Located on the shores of Lake Michigan with miles of beachfront and water access, Ludington offers a quintessential “Up North” experience close by. Ludington and Mason County deliver the perfect combination of unspoiled natural resources and unrivaled outdoor recreation with quaint, small-town charm – all within easy reach located at the intersection of U.S. 31 and U.S. 10. For information on the Ludington area including lodging, events, and other tools to help plan a Ludington getaway, visit PureLudington.com, facebook.com/ PureLudington, @PureLudington on Instagram and @Pure_Ludington on Twitter; or call 800-542-4600.