I know this is a very stressful time for everyone and couples who are planning a wedding right now have lots of questions. I wish I had lots of answers for you and could tell you when the right time to have your wedding would be, but unfortunately, no one does. What I will promise though is to keep this page up to date with what is going on with our local county clerk offices and what I can offer during this time. I will try to update this weekly (or as new developments happen.)
As of July 19, 2020:
Currently – the Stay at Home order in Michigan has been lifted. However, there are still restrictions on gatherings. I have personally spoken to the Governor’s office to get full clarification on event restrictions. In the Metro Detroit area, while we are in Phase 4, indoor gatherings are still limited to 10 or less, outdoor to 100 or less. With the uptick in cases, there is a hold on moving to Phase 5 and that is not going to change anytime soon. When we are in Phase 5, events 50 or less indoors, 200 or less outdoors, can take place. Phase 6 will not happen until there is a vaccine and/or herd immunity has happen, and this will not happen for a long time. Please keep this in mind in your planning. If an event is held that breaks the rules, all vendors that are participating can given a $2000 fine as well as have their business closed or lose their license.
As far as when full weddings will be allowed, I am telling clients to talk with their venues, but reminding them that social distancing and masks usage will be in place until vaccines and/or herd immunity is reached and that could take a year or so.
I am willing to perform small ceremonies during this time. Social distancing must be followed and masks must be worn. (See below for options/details.)
Some counties have made licenses available. For each county – one of you must live in the county you are applying but you can get married anywhere in Michigan once you get the license.
Oakland County Clerk Offering an online and mail in option. You will need the application to be notarized. Office itself is by appointment only.
Macomb County Clerk Offering an online option. You will need the application to be notarized. Please note it can take 2 – 3 WEEKS to process right now. Directions are on their website. Office itself is closed.
Wayne County Clerk is closed. There is info on their site about applying online. They are offering an appointment system.
Washtenaw County has appointment options.
What happens when things start opening up but large gatherings are still not allowed? We still want to get married!
I will be taking precautions – masks, gloves, hand sanitizer – the whole thing – and we can keep people safe. I have a small garden in my backyard in Ferndale that was created in part to do weddings in. I was even able to do one before all gatherings were shut down and here are pictures of it. My fee for small elopements is $150 and if you want to use the garden it is just $50 additional. Go to my Contact page and send me a message for further info!
And since this is still your wedding day, you still want pictures, right? Even if you are going to be doing that big celebration in the future. If so, check out my fellow wedding pro photographer Ashley from Smitten Mitten Photography. She has put together some smaller packages for elopements.