Planning Basics

All the Detroit Wedding Planning Essentials Michigan Couples Need

By Whitney Teal, May 30, 2018
Whitney Teal
All the Detroit Wedding Planning Essentials Michigan Couples Need
Jack Hoyle Photography

Find out what you need to know before planning the Detroit wedding of your dreams with these essentials.

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.

E Schmidt Photography

The Basics

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.

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:

Marriage Licenses

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.

Amber Marie Photography

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:

Jack Hoyle Photography


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.

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