This article has now been re-written for the 2013 season. View here
Getting married on Mackinac Island is geared towards big groups and the rich but if you are willing to be less traditional, there are some deals. You may not have one of the parents who hire the entire hotel for $1 million, but you really don’t need to. (That seriously happened)
A few people now have asked me how to get married on Mackinac Island without having to sell a few kilogrammes of blood. It is expensive, but there are ways around it.
The cheapest “traditional” way to get married on Mackinac Island is through Carriage Tours. You can hire a gazebo (min 1 hour) for $150. If you are able to get married during the week, Monday to Friday, they will package together a gazebo and a private horse-drawn carriage for $350. Contact Carriage Tours.
If you intend on bringing a group of people with you, you may save some money by renting a cottage for 3 nights. McGreevy Cottage caters to 8 people (3 bedrooms) and the $350 night entitles you to the entire cottage. You could get married on the premises in the yard if your into that, and even hold the reception at the same place utilising the private kitchen. Bringing your own Champagne and storing it in the fridge for your private Champagne reception could save you hundreds alone. While Veuve Clicquot is nice, it’s also $100 a bottle if you buy it at The Grand. If you brought and stored your own, you could save hundreds. You can also use the property to get dressed in private and hold the private reception. It books out quickly though. The $350 a night x 3 night minimum = $1050 could be your accommodation, wedding reception and ceremony all in one. If there are three couples, each person could pay the $350 themselves. (One night each)
The reason I got to Mackinac is the water as I am sure most of you do too. So if you want something cheaper, more memorable and intimate do something unusual. Get married on a yacht as it circles the island, ($40 an hour for a private yacht per hour and it holds up to 28 people and comes with a driver.) Get married atop of Sheplers Sunset Cruise as it goes under the bridge. (you can reserve a “group” see Sheplers and get a group discount) You could even be married while parasailing.
If your party is larger than 28 people and you need something bigger, try Mission Point. It isn’t in town so offers some extra space and I found that your ceremony, dinner for everyone and arrangements will set you back $2,100.00 for 15 people or less $2,700.00 for 16-20 people $3,200.00 for 21-25 people $3,700.00 for 26-30 people. You still need accommodation but that includes your wedding ceremony in a private gazebo.
Little Stone Church and St Anne’s will set you back around $1500. (Church use only) Here is The Grand, Mission Point Chippewa Hotel/Pink Pony, Iroquois, and the Inn at Stonecliffe Brochures. There are many more hotels on the island but these are some of the most popular.
As mentioned earlier, McGreevy Cottage is available for rent for $350 night and holds 8 people. There is a 3 night minimum but it is private. You can dress for your big day and celebrate privately with family. Youd be renting the entire 4 bedroom house.
If you want to stay in a hotel that’s cheap, most of the hotels are the cheapest outside of June July and August. During these times though, try The Bogan Inn which has rooms starting at around $90. If its you, plus 2 other couples for the weddings for two nights the bill would be roughly $540. If you all stayed one night it would be $370. You could contact the owners here and ask them if its possible to marry on the hotel premises.
If you book in advance, you can get some good deals. Remember that if you are booking for a group of people to ask about group discounts. Use your AAA or military card and scour the net for further mark downs when using the internet to book.
The best thing to do is to buy whatever you can off the island. Whatever is $3 off the island will probably be close to $6 on the island. Bring your wine, champagne, dresses, food. Anything to save some money. Book well in advance, look for packages or group discounts, bring your discount cards and have fun! One last idea, if you have a night or two on the island before you get married, use the post office. Get the stuff you need sent, it might end up being cheaper than buying it on the island. You don’t need a Po Box to get it send, just send it to your hotel or General Delivery at the Post Office and pick it up.
If worse comes to worse, and you can’t afford to stay on the island and get married there try staying at St Ignace and going to the island for the day just to get married and staying at a cheaper hotel. Or get married at home and go to Mackinac for your honeymoon. $800 on Mackinac will hire you a gazebo for one hour to get married, or it can pay for a weeks accommodation at a hotel for your honeymoon.
Whatever you decide to do, have fun! A marriage on the island is always something to remember, but a marriage anywhere is something to remember too. If I had a choice of one day to get married on Mackinac or 6 day honeymoon there for the same price, I’d go the Honeymoon route. Does it really matter where you say, I do as long as you say it and you mean it. Then come to Mackinac and go parasailing to celebrate for 1/10th the price.