Here at the Visitors Bureau we receive calls, emails, and visits asking about South Haven’s opportunities for weddings and receptions. This being the case, I’m happy to put together this wedding guide for those who are interested in marrying, having a reception, or simply having engagement photos taken in the South Haven area.
Photo credit: Katlyn Eltzroth
If you’re interested in getting engagement photos taken in South Haven, you have many scenic options to choose from:
South Haven Piers
Our iconic red lighthouse is a popular backdrop for many people who wish to capture their experiences in South Haven.
South Haven Beaches
Walking on the beach, whether during the day or during sunset, is always so picturesque.
Photo by Josh and Andrea Photography
As you walk south along South Beach, you’ll start to walk along the side of the bluffs. Standing or sitting atop the bluffs with Lake Michigan as a backdrop is a beachy must.
If you would like a bit of greenery (or fall colors) to your photos, head out on the Kal-Haven Trail or the Van Buren Trail.
Photo by Josh and Andrea Photography
South Haven’s downtown area has a very quaint charm. There are also a couple hidden gems for unique photos – check out Old Harbor Village or the alleyway where Cookies on Call is located. The hanging string lights are a bonus.
Old Harbor Village
South Haven has many parks with different types of scenery. Riverfront Park is a stretch of green along the Black River, with a view of the piers and lighthouse. Stanley Johnston Park is a former grove that is lush with trees and a backdrop of the harbor. Dyckman Park contains the antique-style clock tower. Here’s a list of our parks for even more options: http://south-haven.com/parks_and_recreation/parks.php
Looking for even more nature, maybe off the beaten path? Pilgrim Haven Natural Area, Casco Township Nature Preserve and Black River Preserve are just a few options in the immediate area.
When it comes to tying the knot, there are many indoor and outdoor choices to suit your interests. The area boasts many types of houses of worship, including St. Basil’s Catholic Church which has an overlook of Lake Michigan and South Beach. The First Hebrew Congregation was built in 1924 and is a gorgeous building for your ceremony. In addition, there are many other Christian Churches throughout the area, here is a link: https://www.southhaven.org/places-of-worship
A common question we hear concerns having ceremonies on the public beaches. Yes, you certainly can have a wedding on the beach. The caveat is, since the beaches in South Haven are public, you cannot reserve the beach to yourselves. Regardless, there have been many weddings on the public beaches and the photos we have seen are gorgeous. Here is a link to the City of South Haven's website regarding beach weddings: http://www.south-haven.com/parks_and_recreation/weddings.php
Let’s talk venues!
The Black River Barn is South Haven’s newest wedding venue construction. This is a gorgeous luxury construction with indoor and outdoor capabilities. Max capacity is 350 people. http://www.brbsouthhaven.com/
South Haven Creations is newly refurbished and looks crisp and stunning! South Haven Creations has indoor and outdoor capabilities as well, in addition to their own catering services. Max capacity is 215 people. https://southhavencreations.com/
Big Red Barn is located just outside of town and offers exceptional weekend packages. You’ll love the aesthetic of the luxury barn. Max capacity is 200 people. https://www.bigredbarnsouthhaven.com/
Want to go even more rustic? The Black Sheep Shelter is located between South Haven and Fennville and hosts small weddings. https://www.theblacksheepshelter.com/
Our two top-rate golf courses also double as hosts for weddings and receptions. Beeches Golf Club and HawksHead Links are each located about ten minutes from South Haven’s downtown and offer gorgeous scenery to accompany your celebrations.
Another ten-minute drive from South Haven is the small town of Bangor, which is home to the Historic Bangor Elevator, a National Historic Place. https://www.facebook.com/BangorElevator/
The South Haven Center for the Arts is a beautiful location with plenty of natural light opportunities in the upstairs event space. Max capacity is 80 people. https://www.southhavenarts.org/
Michigan Flywheelers Museum is located on 80 acres with wooded areas, flower gardens and historic buildings. You can reserve their Stephenson Barn, Peaceful Knoll Church, or the museum grounds. https://michiganflywheelers.org/
Lake Bluff Inn and Suites provides the perfect backdrop of Lake Michigan to your outdoor ceremony and reception. Plus, you’ll have rooms to sleep in! http://www.lakebluffinnandsuites.com/
The Kal-Haven Outpost offers a unique and beautiful take on an outdoor wedding. They have several areas that can accommodate groups large and small, including a large woodland glade perfect for a sun kissed ceremony. At the Kal-Haven Outpost there's a stay for every style including vacation homes, cabins, RV and tent sites all within our property. The Kal-Haven trail runs along their property, perfect for evening strolls and amazing photo opportunities. Plus, they are just a 10 minute drive to town and all that South Haven has to offer!
Sun n’ Sand Resort is a refurbished 1920’s resort that is sure to add a certain charm to your day. This unique resort has options to stay, play and celebrate together with an outdoor pool, dining room, fire pit, open grounds and more. https://southhavenresort.com/
Channing has long history of making lasting memories as a historic southwest Michigan YMCA camp, and offers a casual or elegant intimate setting for your special day. From massive wood beams and vaulted ceilings, to the majestic stone fireplaces in both the cocktail area and dining hall, to the spacious back deck with stunning views of the sprawling yard and peaceful 100-acre lake. http://www.campchanning.com/
For smaller, more intimate weddings and elopements, check out:
Carriage House at the Harbor - https://www.carriagehouseharbor.com/
Martha’s Vineyard - https://www.marthasvy.com/
Yelton Manor Boutique Hotel B&B - https://www.yeltonmanor.com/
For a list of accommodations, click here: https://www.southhaven.org/lodging
On top of venues and scenic locations for photos, planning for weddings also involve caterers, florists, salons, and more. I encourage you to check out our wedding planning page with a further list our local vendors: https://www.southhaven.org/wedding-planning
As you can see, there are many options in South Haven to have your perfect wedding, reception and photos. The charm of our quaint downtown, beaches, indoor venues and outdoor spaces provide excellent backdrops for your special day.
If you have any questions about any of this content, we are more than happy to help. Call: 269-637-5252 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy wedding planning!
Prohibition and Pearls website: www.prohibitionandpearls.com
About the Author
Amanda Owens is a resident of South Haven, MI and is the Guest Services and Social Media Coordinator for the South Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in Public History, and is delighted to help visitors with their visits to South Haven.