Take one creative couple (and one amazing beard), throw in an 1800’s lighthouse overlooking Lake Superior, add a cookie cake, and you have everything you need to make up today’s magical Michigan elopement.

After 7 months of dating, Destiny and Jess decided to make things official atop the Big Bay Point Lighthouse with just their officiant, their talented photographer Jesse David Green, and their witness – the owner of the inn – present, in what can only be described as one of the most romantic elopements we’ve ever seen.

Michigan B&B wedding

Destiny, 23 & Jess, 28

Big Bay, Michigan

Wedding Date: May 23, 2014

Number of Guests: 0

Wedding Cost:  $2,500 with two nights in a lighthouse and outfits and cookie cake

Wedding Ceremony Location: Big Bay Point Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast

Wedding Reception Location: Oh, we are having a party at our good friend’s diner in Atlanta, Georgia. Homegrown is where Jess used to have breakfast every day before we moved and they are the best folks around.

cookie cake

bearded groom

bride portrait

bride and groom in porthole

bride and groom fists with rings

bride wearing groom's jacket

bride and groom kissing

groom carrying bride over his shoulder

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We wanted to focus on one another and not worry about trying to please everybody. As selfish as it sounds, we wanted this event to be about us and what we wanted to get out of it.

bride and groom going to the courthouse

bride and groom getting marriage licence

bride and groom getting marriage licence

bride and groom kissing on courthouse steps

couple jumping off steps

bride in lace backed dress

bride getting ready

tattooed bride sitting on bed

bride portrait

bearded groom

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

Well Jess was already working in Michigan, and Destiny was still in Atlanta, Georgia so that presented some difficulty in planning. On top of that, finding a lighthouse that will let you in the top is tough, but finding a photographer and a minister locally (or willing to travel up to the only available lighthouse) made for a lot of phone calls. Big Bay is north of Marquette and was the closest courthouse to get our marriage license, but we ended up finding the marriage license laws and our awesome minister via my grandmother who once we put the word out started calling around. In fact, when we got out marriage license, Tanya at the Marquette courthouse said: “How is Lynda (grandma) doing?” and they had spoken six weeks prior.

first look

first look

first look


bride and groom portrait

black and white bride and groom portrait

bride fixing groom's hair

groom embracing bride from behind

bride and groom walking away

lighthouse B&B

bride and groom head to head

looking down on bride and groom

bride and groom climbing stairs

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

Surprisingly, no. We told our families together at dinner a few weeks before and they were very supportive; surprisingly supportive.

lighthouse elopement ceremony

bride at elopement ceremony

officiant passing rings

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

Getting to yell that we were married from the top of the lighthouse. And Destiny got us a cookie cake as our wedding cake and we didn’t have to share it with anybody, ha!

lighthouse elopement ceremony

bride and groom first kiss

bride going to hug groom during ceremony

happy bride and groom

bride and groom kissing

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

We were relaxed and did things on our own time. Nobody had a schedule for us to adhere to.

bride and groom iphone photo

bride and groom lighthouse portrait

bride sitting on groom's lap

bride and groom looing over lighthouse railing

bride and groom portrait

groom carrying bride

bride and groom with large heart shaped cookie

bride and groom sharing heart shaped cookie cake

bride and groom eating cookie

bride and groom walking by lake

bride and groom portrait by the lake

bride and groom feet

bride and groom kissing at sunset

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Make sure not to stress, and focus on creating the memories you want to keep with you FOREVER. And hire a good photographer to capture those memories, especially since you’ll need to share the moment with your friends and family.

bride and groom on cliff


Photographer: Jesse David Green