Duluth Elopement in Northern Minnesota

Tali      March 30th, 2024

If there is something more magical than a Duluth elopement in the fall as the leaves on the trees in northern Minnesota are changing, than I just can’t picture it. Imagine a bustling port city on the shore of Lake Superior, old charm meeting modern amenities… all surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes the state has to offer. That, my friends, is Duluth in a nutshell.  

Keep reading for the story of A & T’s magical elopement day plus my top tips for planning a Duluth elopement, favorite things to do, the best places to eat, and more. But be warned, reading this blog may have you planning your own wedding in Duluth, MN!

MEET THE SWEET COUPLE OF THIS DULUTH ELOPEMENT

Angell and Trevor knew Duluth was the perfect place for their elopement as soon as they started planning. Duluth has been such an important place in their relationship, from favorite dates to getting engaged on the shore of Lake Superior, they knew there was no better place to start the rest of their lives together.

Their day started with close family and friends getting ready in their hotel right on the shore of Lake Superior. Large picture windows framing the dramatic landscape of Lake Superior on an overcast day. Once the crew was ready, we headed off for their first look!

A & T wanted to be sure not to see one another before their first look, so we hiked up to their location in two groups. I set off with the guys on a more adventurous route up the mountain and Dom followed the ladies on an easier hiking trail giving us updates over the walkie-talkie on their progress to avoid any surprises. Their first look was such a touching and emotional moment accentuated by the incredible views of fall colors all around. 

A bride and groom kiss on the moody shore of Lake Superior during their elopement in Duluth, MN. The weather is overcast and they hold lanterns that glow brightly.

After a fun morning of adventure, we met up with A & T’s families for a beautiful, touching ceremony. Close friends and family gathered around as Angell and Trevor said their vows. 

A bride and groom exchange rings during their wedding ceremony in front of a fall backdrop during their northern Minnesota elopement in Duluth.
A bride and groom share their first kiss in front of a fall backdrop during their northern Minnesota elopement in Duluth.

There is nothing like a good beer and pizza to celebrate tying the knot, so the crew headed over to Ursa Minor Brewing in Duluth to kick off the celebration! When the crew wrapped up to head back to the hotel for dinner, A & T snuck off to the Lift Bridge in Canal Park for a little stroll in a favorite place and some just married photos.

A couple kiss in front of Ursa Minor Brewing during their Duluth elopement.
A bride and groom dance in front of the Duluth Lift Bridge during their fall elopement in northern Minnesota.
A bride and groom embrace in front of the Duluth Lift Bridge during their Midwest elopement in northern Minnesota.
A bride and groom kiss below the Duluth Lift Bridge during their elopement in northern Minnesota.

The day wrapped up with dinner and celebrations back at the hotel, a moody Lake Superior providing five star views for the evening. It was such a perfect day filled with love, adventure, and joy. Such a magical elopement day in one of our favorite elopement locations in Minnesota!

A bride and groom smile at the camera on the moody shore of Lake Superior during their elopement in Duluth, MN. The weather is overcast and they hold lanterns that glow brightly and light up their faces.

The Vendor Team

Photography: Forever and Evergreens

Videography: Limited Edition Productions

Lodging: Beacon Pointe

Brewery: Ursa Minor Brewing

Wedding Dress: Our Shop Bridal – Woodbury, MN

Flowers: Flora North

 This entire day was incredible and we would fully support including any of these vendors in your day. <3

Double exposure image of a drone shot of a couple on their elopement day in Northern Minnesota (one of the best places to elope in the midwest!) overlaid with an image of the couple embracing,.

TOP TIPS FOR PLANNING A DULUTH ELOPEMENT

THE BEST TIME OF YEAR FOR A NORTHERN MINNESOTA ELOPEMENT

Duluth, Minnesota can be a beautiful place to elope year round, depending on what you are looking for. Minnesota experiences all four seasons in their full glory, so the weather is going to vary pretty drastically depending on when you decide to elope. Additionally, because Duluth is in the northern region of the state, spring and summer are going to start a bit later while fall and winter start a bit earlier than they do in the rest of the state. 

Fall Elopements in Duluth

Duluth is known for being an incredible fall destination. With forests of maples, aspens, and oaks the fall colors in this area area hard to beat. I also love all of the evergreens mixed into the forest adding contrast to the colors and giving the forest body even when some of the leaves start to fall. Crisp evenings are perfect for spending around the campfire and the moderate temperatures during the day make for great hiking and adventuring.

Summer Elopements in Duluth

It’s hard to beat summer in Duluth. Long days provide plenty of time for exploring the shore of Lake Superior with hundreds of miles of hiking trails. The great lake helps keep temperatures moderate when you are around the lake, providing an easy way to find a variety of temperatures all in one day! If you are lucky, you might even see fireflies dancing around in the forest on a warm summer night!

Spring Elopements in Duluth

While spring can bring muddy trails (which may lead to some trail closures), it also brings fresh leaves, flowers, rushing waterfalls, and some of the smallest crowds of the year. If you are looking for a lovely places for a “shoulder season” elopement, this charming town might be just the place!

Winter Elopements in Duluth

If you are looking for cozy winter wonderland vibes, a winter elopement in Duluth might be just the thing! Lodges and hotels will have their fireplaces going, hot chocolate is abundant, and the icy shore of Lake Superior is a gorgeous sight. Because the lake is so big, most of Lake Superior stays open the entire winter. This makes for some epic ice formations and on really cold days, “sea fog” forms over the open water. Harbor areas of the great lake freeze over (and lots of other lakes in the area) making for the perfect skating rink! Being an “up north” town, Duluth fully embraces the winter and you’ll find plenty of winter activities to keep you busy.

HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR PLANNING YOUR MINNESOTA ELOPEMENT

FUN THINGS TO DO WHEN GETTING MARRIED IN DULUTH

You definitely won’t be bored if you decide to get married in Duluth! Besides the bustling city, there are so many incredible natural spaces to explore.

• Head up the Shore! – One of my favorite things about Duluth is that it is the perfect home base for exploring the North Shore of Lake Superior. Apart from hundreds of miles of hiking trails and dozens of stunning waterfalls, the Minnesota North Shore also boasts eight incredible Minnesota State Parks! If you are looking for stunning views, you just found them.

• Canal Park – Check out the lift bridge, lighthouses, and cute shops that make up this adorable neighborhood in Duluth.

• Visit a Museum – Duluth is full of interesting museums from the Railroad Museum to the Glensheen Mansion and even a freighter ship that you can explore!

• Parks, Gardens, and Hiking Trails – Duluth has a bunch of local parks, gardens, and hiking trails that make for a perfect adventure.

• Breweries – The city is full of some great breweries! Check out our recommendations below to get started on your list of places to check out.

• Outdoor activities – A doorway to the remote areas of northern Minnesota, you’ll find all sorts of outdoor activities from incredible rock climbing to mountain biking, fishing, hiking, camping, bird watching, paddle boarding, and more!

THE BEST PLACES TO EAT FOR YOUR DULUTH ELOPEMENT

There is absolutely no shortage of good food in Duluth. In fact, one of my all time favorite restaurants is in Duluth! If you are looking for some good eats on your elopement day, here are some places you might want to check out.

The Duluth Grill – One of my all time favorite restaurants. They put an emphasis on fresh, local, and organic food and I don’t think there is bad thing on the menu. You can’t make a reservation, but pro tip, you can call ahead 30 minutes before you show up to get your name on the wait list (and there will be a wait list). They have outdoor seating (a dog friendly patio area!) and also offer take out. Dom and I love to get take out to take and eat down by the lake! Duluth Grill also offers catering and event space. They have incredible breakfast and lunch, but unfortunately close at 3pm so they aren’t a dinner option.

OMC Smokehouse – Part of the Duluth Grill family, OMC Smokehouse is a great dinner option and also offers catering.

Northern Waters Smokehaus – A Duluth classic, this unique gourmet specialty market and eatery is the perfect place to grab a lunch that screams “Minnesota!” As they claim on their website, it’s a great spot for a “slow fast food” option.

Va Bene – The perfect place for an Italian meal with a view! They also have a private dining area (although the view here isn’t quite as good) and do take reservations!

There are SO many incredible places to eat in Duluth, so if one of these doesn’t jump out to you, a quick google search is sure to find something you’ll love.

A couple shares a pizza at Ursa Minor Brewing during an elopement in Duluth, MN.
A bride and groom cheers their drinks at a local brewery in Duluth during their elopement.

Duluth also has a great selection of breweries and cideries. You could easily put together a whole tour and still not get to them all. I love that Ursa Minor offers a great variety of foods including wood fired pizzas, making it a great happy hour spot (also their outdoor seating is great!). Bent Paddle Brewing has made quite a name for itself in the area and Duluth Cider is a delicious alternative to beer, plus they let you bring your own food into the taproom!

If you are dreaming up your own Duluth elopement or intimate wedding and are looking for the perfect photographer to photograph those precious memories, we would love to tag along and capture your story. Get in touch and let’s get rolling!

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