If you’re planning a Detroit wedding, you already know how unique, diverse, and beautiful this waterfront city can be. Whether you’re a Metro Detroit native, or you’ve picked Detroit as a wedding destination, you’ll find what you need to know about how to get married in Michigan in this guide. From marriage license requirements to must-see attractions for out-of-towners, you’ll want to bookmark these Detroit wedding planning requisites as you’re working through your checklist.
Here are all the necessary things you need to know before planning your ultimate Detroit wedding.
Settle in for more than a year of planning your Detroit wedding day. If you’re like the average Metro Detroit couple, you’ll spend about 15 months getting ready for your nuptials, hire 13 wedding vendors and host 139 wedding guests, according to WeddingWire data. August and September are the most popular months to be married in Metro Detroit.
Getting Here and Getting Around
If you’re arriving in the region for your Detroit wedding, or expecting guests from points elsewhere, the Detroit Metro Airport, a buzzing international hub airport just outside of the city, will be your first destination. Detroit is also a relatively close drive from many other major cities, including Chicago (about 300 miles), Indianapolis (about 300 miles) and Cleveland (about 170 miles).
Once you and/or your guests arrive in Detroit, a rental car will likely be the most cost-efficient way to get around. If you’re staying in the downtown region, you will also be able to make use of the Detroit People Mover light rail system, which encircles downtown with 13 stations.
Thanks to its proximity to the Great Lakes, Detroit experiences a humid continental climate with an average level of annual precipitation.
- Winter (December to February) temperatures stay in the mid-20s. There’s an average of about nine inches of snow per month this season.
- Spring (March to June) temps rise to the mid-30s to high-70s.
- Summer (July to September) weather is warm in the 70s and 80s.
- Fall (October to December) weather is pretty varied, falling from the low-60s to the high-20s.
The summer and fall represent peak wedding season for this region and winter is off-season for the wedding industry here.
Venues for a Detroit Wedding
Your wedding venue search is one of the first things you’ll do (after setting a budget!), so give yourself lots of time to look. Metro Detroit is home to a wide range of venues, from renovated industrial spaces to glitzy hotels to Jazz Age mansions. Your venue is a big turning point in your wedding planning timeline. This decision will inform your guest count, wedding theme and, in many cases, your catering options.
Here are some of our favorite Detroit wedding venues:
- Outdoor Detroit Wedding Venues
- Inexpensive Detroit Wedding Venues
- Downtown Detroit Wedding Venues
- Unique Detroit Wedding Venues
Local couples or those coming from out-of-town wondering how to get married in Michigan should know there is a 3-day waiting period between the marriage license application submission and when the license is valid. Both parties need a valid driver license or state ID and must be 18 years of age or older. If one or both people in the couple are under 16 or 17, you’ll need parental consent. For people under 16, court approval is needed.
To apply for a marriage license in Michigan, you must apply in in the county where you live, or, if you’re a non-resident, the county where you’ll be getting married. You don’t have to be a resident of Michigan to receive a marriage license in the state.
You don’t need witnesses for the application. The marriage license is valid for 33 days.
Wedding Accommodations & Transportation
If you’ll have guests arriving from other states for your Detroit wedding, you’ll definitely want to create a hotel room block. To help guests save money on accommodations, you might also want to create a few different blocks in the same neighborhood, so you can be sensitive to different budgets.
Don’t forget about transportation, either! Your guests will need to get to your ceremony venue, reception venue and back to their hotels, at the bare minimum. Consider renting shared transportation for your guests, particularly those who aren’t local.
Things to Do in Detroit
With easy access to the Great Lakes, a unique American industrial history and a booming arts culture, there’s lots for your out-of-town Detroit wedding guests to get into when they come to town. Here are a few of the sights you can point them to:
- Great Lakes or River Cruise: Many vessels dock on the Michigan side of the Detroit River and sail to one of the Great Lakes, offering short sightseeing or dinner cruises.
- Metro Detroit beaches: If you’re hosting a summer wedding, invite your guests to enjoy the region’s lakeshore beaches, all within driving distance from the city. Some of the popular points are Metro Beach, Kensington Beach, and Stony Creek Beach.
- Detroit Zoo: Among the many unique exhibits at this tourist attraction is the 300,000 gallon Arctic Ring of Life. Visitors walk inside of the temperature-controlled tube to experience what underwater life is like for polar bears and seals.
- International Riverfront: This 5.5 mile river walk spans from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle and includes cruise ship docks, retail shops, restaurants, skyscrapers, hotels and parks. Depending on when your guests come to town, a music festival, pride parade or auto show might be taking place on any given weekend.
Detroit Wedding & Michigan Inspiration
With so many venues and styles to choose for as you plan the ultimate Detroit wedding, it’s nice to see how the details came together for other local couples. These real Michigan weddings serve up major inspo.
- Colorful Michigan Brewery Wedding: Carly & Chris
- Vintage Michigan Market Wedding: Blair & Jamal
- Festive Michigan New Year's Wedding: Sterling & Sam
- Spring Michigan Greenhouse Wedding: Mallory & Christopher
- Whimsical Michigan Summer Wedding: Stacy & Chase