How to Elope on Black Beach in Minnesota

How to Elope on Black Beach in Minnesota from a Minnesota Elopement Photographer

If you’re looking for a gorgeous and unique spot for your elopement or intimate wedding in Minnesota, then Minnesota’s black beach is such a perfect location for you!! I totally understand how overwhelming it can be when you first start planning your elopement, so this guide is to help take that stress off your shoulders! This guide will give you all the information you need on how to elope on Black Beach in Minnesota, and give you some ideas on what you can do to make your elopement even more special up there!

Leave No Trace on Black Beach

Before I give you all the details on how to get married on Black Beach in MN, I want to tell you how important it is to follow the Leave No Trace principles. This beach has gained LOTS of popularity over the last few years, and if we want to continue to have the privilege of visiting this beach, we need to take care of it!

  • Pack out what you bring on the beach! There’s one solo garbage can on the main part of the beach, and that’s it. Make sure you bring all of your garbage + everything else you bring back with you.
  • Have a campfire SAFELY. There’s designated campfire pits, so make sure you use those when there’s no fire ban.
  • Be considerate to others! This is a public beach which means that you will not be able to section off a portion of the beach for your wedding, etc. You’ll be sharing the beach with visitors, so make sure to be respectful of others!
  • Leave only footprints, and take only photos.

When To Elope on Black Beach

With the popularity of this beach, you’ll want to consider the timing of your elopement/intimate wedding to make sure you have the best experience! This is one of the MOST popular spots up on Minnesota’s north shore, so let me give you all the tips on the best times to get married here!!

First things first — I highly don’t recommend planning to get married here (or nearly anywhere up here outdoors) in the dead of winter. The wind that comes off that lake is FREEZING and you will have no shelter from that wind. The temperatures (without the windchill) can reach to -30 to -50, and that’s simply dangerous to be outside!

The best time of year to elope on Black Beach is June to mid October! Even by mid-October, it’s starting to get cold and windy so keep that in mind when planning your elopement on black beach. Keep in mind, this is also tourist season for the north shore, so if you’re wanting to plan your elopement around sunset, the chance of the beach being busy is quite high (especially over holiday weekends and regular weekends!

If you want to have the most privacy as possible, I highly recommend planning your day around sunrise and early morning during a weekday!! The beach is usually very quiet in the early morning hours, but will fill up by late morning, early afternoon in the summer.

Peak Fall Colors on the North Shore

The fall season up on the North Shore usually happens earlier than southern Minnesota (twin cities area). Typically, the fall color peak happens between September 21st and October 10th, but can happen earlier or later depending on the year! The fall season can be the busiest season of the year for the North Shore, so plan accordingly! Lodging books up quickly during these weeks, and parks can be chaotic! But it’s worth it for the gorgeous colors the north shore provides.

Click here to view the Minnesota Fall Color Finder

How to Elope on Black Beach in Minnesota

  1. Decide on how big your elopement/intimate wedding is going to be! It’s important to keep in mind that this is a public beach, so it’s important to be respectful of other visitors!
  2. Decide on a date! (I highly recommend sometime between the end of May and the beginning of October so it’s not freezing)
  3. Book your black beach mn elopement photographer (contact me for your complimentary elopement consultation!)
  4. Book your other elopement vendors (florist, videographer, caterer, baker/desserts)
  5. Decide + plan out your elopement vision! What activities do you both want to include? Where do you want to adventure to, other than Black Beach? Are you getting ready together or seperately?
  6. Book your lodging + accommodations!
  7. Apply for your marriage license (you can apply in any county in MN & it has to be 5 days before your ceremony. Your license is then valid for 6 months)
  8. Decide who’s going to be your officiant and witnesses! (Minnesota requires an officiant + 2 witnesses)
  9. Pick out and choose your wedding attire!

Permits & Rules for Black Beach MN Elopements

When it comes to getting married on Minnesota’s black beach, you actually DON’T need any wedding permits or photography permits, as of right now (2023) — and it’s subject to change. With this, you can’t block off any portion of the beach for your ceremony and portraits, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your elopement day!

One of the most important rules for this beach is to pack out when you bring in. Clean up any garbage you bring, along with any decor, flowers, etc. Be respectful of the beach!

Where to Stay around Black Beach

Americinn (1 minute from beach)
Grand Superior Lodge (23 minutes from beach)
Bluefin Bay (33 minutes from beach)
Superior Shores (35 minutes from beach)
Larsmont Cottages (45 minutes from beach)

Wild Pines Cabin (10 minutes from beach)
Superior Hideaway (10 minutes from beach)
Cabin Beck (8 minutes from beach)
North Shore Camping (10 minutes from beach)
Pincushion Dome (1 hr 10 minutes from beach)

Where to Eat around Black Beach

Casual Dining:
Northwoods Family Grill (4 minutes from beach)
Zoe’s Pizza Kitchen (4 minutes from beach)
Betty’s Pies (33 minutes from beach)
Cascade Restaurant (50 minutes from beach)

Elevated Dining:
Bluefin Grill (33 minutes from beach)
Silver Creek Chophouse (35 minutes from beach)
The Strand (42 minutes from beach)
Moguls Grille (43 minutes from beach)

Activity Ideas for Your Black Beach Elopement

palisade head mn elopement

Where to Hike near Black Beach

Looking to Elope on Black Beach in Minnesota?!

Are you ready to start planning your elopement experience along the gorgeous black sand of Black Beach?! Along with being an elopement photographer, I also help my couples plan their dream elopement experience. I’d love to chat with you and your partner, and help make that experience come to life while taking the stress of your shoulders!

Black Beach Wedding Advice:

  1. The quietest time on the beach is around sunrise and sunset, and on the weekdays. The best light for photos also happens around this time!
  2. Pack + bring LOTS of water, especially in the summer! It can get warm!
  3. Bring your own snacks + food! Being hangry is never fun, and can damper your elopement experience.
  4. Wear appropriate shoes! The beach is more rocky than true sand, so be prepared. Always bring an extra pair of shoes!
  5. You don’t need a park pass for this beach.

Elopement Resources For Your Minnesota Elopement

Black Beach MN Elopement || Kayleigh + Gage

15+ Ideas to Make Your Elopement Even More Special

Airbnbs For Your Elopement in Minnesota

Lyndale Park Minneapolis Elopement || Abby + Chris

Superior Wisconsin Elopement || Lexy + Kaine

Samantha Burke is a Minnesota elopement photographer for the passionate and bold lovers! Samantha is also a travel addict that’s always looking for somewhere to travel too! Sam is also obsessed with Star Wars, Marvel, and Chai Tea! Please contact Sam if you would like to have her be your elopement photographer or if you have any questions!



If you're ready to go on a wild adventure with me and get freaking married in a way that calls to your heart - let's start planning! Use the contact form here to start the process of making your dream elopement come to life! 

P.S. I cannot WAIT to hear from you!!!

are you ready to say yes to the elopement you deserve?

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