“Let’s take our hearts for a walk in the woods and listen to the magic whispers of old trees…”
Picture this: you and your partner exchanging vows in front of a picturesque log cabin chapel in the rustling embrace of towering pines. It’s easy to dream about an intimate elopement at Hartwick Pines, one of Michigan’s most beautiful state parks.
If you’re dreaming of a private, intimate ceremony in a stunning natural setting, The Chapel In The Woods at Hartwick Pines is the perfect spot. This hidden gem is located in Grayling, Michigan, surrounded by 80 acres of old-growth forest. The Chapel itself is a beautiful hand-built log structure with a glass cross window and a lush forest view. After your ceremony, you can spend the rest of the day exploring the woods. When it comes to eloping, Hartwick Pines is an unbeatable choice for couples who value privacy and intimacy.
The Chapel is conveniently located just a short drive from Traverse City and a 2-3 hour drive from Detroit. And, because it’s located in Hartwick Pines State Park, you can also take advantage of the scenic hiking trails and pristine lakes nearby. Surrounded by beautiful forests, this all-natural venue provides a stunning backdrop for your ceremony. The Chapel can accommodate up to 18 guests, making it the perfect size for an intimate elopement. There are plenty of activities for guests (if you are having any) to enjoy before and after the ceremony.
Here are some tips on making the most of your elopement at Hartwick Pines.
For a truly magical experience, exchange vows in front of The Chapel, surrounded by towering pines and soft sunlight filtering through the trees. Or, say “I do” inside the historic chapel, with its rustic log cabin interior and stunning cross-shaped glass window. Whatever setting you choose, The Chapel will provide a beautiful and memorable setting for your special day.
Because there is no electricity at The Chapel, all decorations must be free-standing or taped. This can actually be an advantage, as it allows you to really get creative & keep it simple with your decorations. Candles, for example, can create a lovely atmosphere both inside and outside The Chapel. Lanterns can also be used to great effect, providing both light and decoration. So don’t let the lack of electricity hold you back – The Chapel at Hartwick Pines is a magical place.
You can bring along a small picnic-like bite to eat, your favorite drink to toast with and a small cake or cupcakes for after your ceremony. What could be more perfect? Hartwick Pines is the perfect place to start your new life together.
After a long day of celebrating your love, there is nothing better than retreating to a cozy spot where you can relax and spend some quality time together. If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, consider spending your wedding night camping at Hartwick Pines or a stay at a bed and breakfast like the Hanson House located within walking distance to downtown Grayling. If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, the AuSable Riverview Resort, located 12 miles east of Grayling at McMasters Bridge, features cozy cabins with a stunning view of the beautiful AuSable River. Not only will you create lasting memories, but you’ll also get to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. You may even want to take a hike or go fishing together before retiring for the evening. Whether you’re looking for a rustic or romantic experience, spending your wedding night in nature is sure to create memories you’ll cherish forever.
Finally, make your elopement even more memorable by adding personal touches. Whether it’s writing your own vows or having a friend play acoustic guitar during the ceremony, personalizing your elopement will make it truly one-of-a-kind and even more meaningful. Eloping at The Chapel In The Woods is a truly unforgettable experience and one that you will cherish for a lifetime.
Inside the chapel on the altar is written Nature’s Prayer:
Our Heavenly Father, creator of all that is nature, we humbly come to you in the midst of nature’s splendor, to thank you that as Americans we are free to worship as we please, work as we please, and move about as we please to enjoy all that is nature: Its mountains, its hills, its valleys, its lakes, its streams, and the living things that dwell therein; We pray unto you that someday the world may be at peace and all men be free to enjoy nature’s abundance. We ask you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that we be guided to protect this priceless heritage that we, in America, are privileged to enjoy.