Planning a Mackinac Island Wedding from Five Hours Away

Native Michiganders Mark Jordan and Kristin Yash are in the process of planning their dream wedding on Mackinac Island. Today, they give us an inside look at the process and their reasoning behind choosing the picturesque island for their wedding location.

We chose Mackinac Island as our location because it is the most beautiful place in Michigan and because it was where we had our first vacation together.

When we first picked our location we were not sure how it was going to work since it was five hours from home but the staff in particular the wedding coordinator, Alana, at The Island House changed our mind in an instant.  We had never been to The Island House previous to booking our venue. We fell in love with Alana and all of the staff we met that would be a part of our special day.

The best part about being five hours away is there was an excuse to travel to the island multiple times before the wedding. Not to mention that working with our wedding coordinator has made my life a breeze. She is so attentive to our needs, responds to emails and phone calls within seconds even after 11pm at night.  She is helping me the day of the wedding with setup and when we come up to visit it is like we are spending time with family and friends we have known for years.

Alana provided us with a detailed list of Mackinac Island Wedding vendors that again made for simple planning. In total, Mackinac Island Wedding vendors are providing flowers, party favors, carriage tours, wedding cake, DJ, Pastor and the rehearsal dinner.

We are so in love with where we picked, we would do it every year if we could. Best planning experience I have ever had due to amazing staff and location. For anyone planning a wedding with travelers coming from far distances, I highly recommend the Pellston airport; it is only 15 minutes away by taxi.


Mark Jordan (groom) is from Livonia, MI and Kristin Yash (Bride) is from Hartland, MI. We met in August 2011 in Royal Oak, MI. We currently live in Royal Oak, MI where we just built our first home in 2012. We got engaged on July 8, 2013 at Cliff Bells in Detroit, MI and we will be celebrating the big day on Sunday September 1, 2013 at The Island House on Mackinac Island. 

For more on Mackinac Island, visit

You’re Invited: Pure Michigan Weddings Live Web Chat

It’s wedding planning season in Pure Michigan, and we’re excited to speak with local weddings expert Megan Swoyer as brides-to-be plan their special days.

Megan will be joining us for a live chat on Wednesday, February 27 at 7:00 p.m. right here at the box below. Learn more from Megan below and get your questions ready for the chat!

Michigan is the proverbial oyster for brides and grooms when it comes to great places to marry. 

Although I followed a traditional path, marrying in a church and hosting a reception at a nearby established country club, attendees still were able to bask in a bit of Michigan’s beauty.

A mid-June affair with temperatures hovering in the low 80s and a golden sun popping from cerulean-blue skies, the event of my life took place on a perfect Michigan late-afternoon and evening.

Touches of the Great Lakes State peppered my day, from the glaciated rolling golf-course fairways and greens just off the reception patio to the Gayle’s chocolate desserts, straight from Royal Oak’s sweetest kitchen (Gayle uses Michigan cherries and syrup in many of her treats!) to the Michigan wines that filled our glasses. Nothing could have made it more special.

But for the next wedding in our family, I’d love it to be a 100 percent Pure Michigan experience. I’d say there’s a good chance my two sons and their many cousins will, in the not-too-distant future, make that very decision.

But where? I’ve interviewed enough brides, grooms and wedding planners as part of my magazine- and newspaper-writing career to know about a lot of tantalizing locations. Not to mention the weddings I’ve attended. One of the more vivid and intimate affairs I recall took place on the lawns and in the gazebo of a Northwest Michigan hotel (that bride sure didn’t need anything ‘blue’ — Lake Michigan was just steps away).

From Upper Peninsula log-style facilities a Petoskey stone’s throw from the shores of Lake Superior to a country road leading into a covered bridge to the grounds of an historic lighthouse to a vineyard path to a cherry farm (are you tired yet?), there’s a lot of ground to cover when selecting a romantic site that suits you.

As a bride and groom — or someone looking for a romantic site to celebrate an occasion (hey, I’m celebrating 20 years of marriage this June!) — your only dilemma will be narrowing it down to one special location.

There truly are almost as many options as there are grains of sand on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (and yes, you can marry there, but you’ll need a permit).

Check in with me during Pure Michigan’s live chat at 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 27. We’ll gallivant in vineyards, stick our toes in lakeshore sands and glimpse a stunning panoramic view from the top of a lighthouse tower, all in the name of love … and discovering the best spots in Michigan to say “I do!”

Megan Swoyer is a freelance editor and writer based in Michigan. She covers topics ranging from travel, food and interior design to gardens, fashion, the arts, bridal and entertainment.

A Charming Mackinac Island Wedding

Tarra Blakstad grew up in Michigan and fell in love with Mackinac Island as a little girl. Although she and her husband reside in Chicago, Illinois now, Tarra was able to have her fantasy wedding on Mackinac Island. Below she shares her experience with us.

What I love about Mackinac Island is that time seems to stand still. Alan and I currently live in downtown Chicago and we really enjoyed the fact that our wedding location is not where most people have visited, even if they are from the Midwest!  The scenery is gorgeous and romantic with all the hydrangeas in bloom in the summer months.  What makes this place unique is that there aren’t any cars allowed on the island.  What you will see, is many well taken care of horse and carriages that will take you anywhere you want to go.

Mackinac Island holds a special place in my heart because I remember traveling here with my mother, father and brother as a little girl.  I have fond memories of my first experiences horseback riding and watching the process of fudge getting made in the aromatic shops.  

Words that would best describe my wedding vision were romantic and slightly vintage. It was important to me to have a variety of lace, chiffon, soft burning candles, ivory lanterns and a sea of champagne, peach and pinks to highlight the beauty of the day.

Our message in a bottle from Etsy served as our guest book.  After the little notes were full, the remaining advice slips were neatly rolled and put into empty bottles of our Terra Valentine Marriage bottles.  We’ve decided to hold off reading any of the messages until our one year anniversary while enjoying our Bella Dolce cake topper. 

Alan and I have enjoyed our very busy year together and the wedding was the icing on the cake!  The two notable biggies were that Alan graduated from Kellogg School of Management with his MBA and I was honored to accept a traveling position in online marketing with Apple.

We are honored to have such a beautiful family and friends to share in our special day as we became husband and wife. We hope you enjoy our photos and captured moments.*

Tarra Blakstad had her dream wedding on Mackinac Island in 2012. For more on weddings in Michigan, see our Pure Michigan Weddings board on Pinterest.

*Please note that all photos are courtesy of Tarra, photographed by Dennis Lee Photography