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A beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes Elopement on the Winter Solstice

Two fish scientists, eloping at the Sleeping Bear Dunes, on the winter solstice. Is there a more amazing concept in the english language? Yes, the amazing light that Northern Michigan has in the middle of winter, on a sunny day. We do not have a lot of them around this time, but when we do, damn.

Timing on this one was paramount. The goal is to hit the peak of the dunes, have the wedding ceremony, plus enough time to get to the other side and explore, on the day with the shortest daylight (at 45° North, which means even less light).

This ended up being SUCH a beautiful layout. A simple, yet beautifully emotional ceremony, with a SEA of freshwater cascading towards the horizon. The feeling of the fresh, crisp air, mixing with the warm sun on your face, combined with a brisk hike all created a truly unique experience.

This is the point that we broke away from the rest of the party, hiked further into the dunes, and took a some time to REALLY soak in the Sleeping Bear Dunes for all of their magic. There really is something special about this place. When you are there, alone, with only those close to you, there is a calm that washes over you. What a special feeling to have on your wedding day.

With all of the insanity going on in the world, it is a pleasure to look back at this serene set of images, and remember the cool air and the warm sun.

Sitting here in May of 2020, with the world locked down, and everything closed, these moments are such visceral reminders that there is love, there is magic, and there is calm.

Thank you, stay safe, and keep your loved ones close!



I am a coffee loving, extroverted nerd who is always ready for a great conversation. I dream big, I’m terrible at directions, yet I can explain in detail how a black hole works. People describe me as a golden retriever, which I take as the highest of compliments.


  • Andrea Brandt says:

    These photos are AMAZING!!! Makes me want to elope all over again! It looks like such a beautiful winter day, too!

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