Wedding Talk with Grace and Mariah: In Defense of the October Wedding

Wedding Talk with Grace and Mariah is a blog series about KML weddings, with expert insights and advice from Marketing and Events Manager, Grace Schmitz, and Events Coordinator, Mariah Summers.

It is now high summer in Copper Harbor, with warm days and the sun setting late, allowing visitors and denizens alike to enjoy long days of adventure in the forests and on the lakes. Summer also means weddings. Some dream of breezy outdoor ceremonies, photos set against Brockway Mountain, and blooming lilacs and roses. But soon, these long days will shorten and the leaves will change. Around here, late August and September mean blazing colors in the forests and the smell of wood smoke throughout the Lodge grounds. In 2018, our first snow was on a Saturday morning in late September; the bride and groom that day joked they had worried about rain, but didn’t plan for snow.

Brockway Mountain, Autumn 2017

By October 1st, things slow down, both for our staff and couples planning weddings, but the worst of winter is still far off. Some snow may be falling, but October is still early enough that a massive blizzard is not as likely. We love this time of year, with the cold, clear air and Lake Superior turning dark blue-grey and stormy.

Grace about to be swallowed by Lake Superior, October 10, 2018

This morning, during one of our many brief, impromptu meetings, we were discussing the ebb and flow of weddings throughout the season. Each year, it’s the same; summer and early fall are popular, but October is quiet. Of course, the Lodge closes mid month, but that leaves us with at least two good weekends that no one seems to want. We might have one wedding in October of any given year, but most inquiries are for June through September. For a moment, we both got a little glassy-eyed, envisioning what a good October wedding could be. What we came up with is cozy, warm, and full of soft light.

So, picture this…

An October wedding in the Keweenaw means the benefits of a winter wedding with fewer of the drawbacks. Summer is definitely over, the skies will probably be grey and the winds higher. There might be snow on the ground, in fact, it’s more likely than not. It’s cold and both of our fireplaces have roaring fires, with plenty of cozy seating in the bar and Library, with its spectacular view of Brockway. Wedding guests are given favors of warm blankets embroidered with the couple’s initials, or perhaps handmade candles and jars of thimbleberry jam from the summer harvest.

Check out the weather history for Copper Harbor here. (Photo by Chris Guibert)

Tables are decorated with gourds or pine cones, soft strings of lights, candles, and flowers in rich jewel tones. Dinner is hearty, warming, and comforting. The bar serves a Porter and an Oktoberfest, Argentinean Malbec and buttery California Chardonnay, and hot toddies and spiked cider. Instead of the traditional cake, the couple cuts a pumpkin pie and guests help themselves to a hot cocoa bar. Later, as you admire your wedding photos set against the whitecaps of Lake Superior, you find a new appreciation for frigid weather and the warmth that comes with time spent with those you love.

If any of that appeals to you, contact us at We still have the first two weekends of October 2019 and 2020 available. To learn more about Grace and Mariah’s vision for an October wedding at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, check us out on Pinterest!

Stay tuned for Edition 2 of Wedding Talk “Incorporating the Non-Traditional”!

Love, Grace and Mariah

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