Situated in the Kalamazoo River Valley and surrounded by several lakes and streams, Kalamazoo is an outdoor-lover’s paradise. It’s also home to cutting edge science and technology exhibits, an aviation museum and many arts and cultural attractions, making it a destination city everyone can enjoy. Golfers will find themselves at home among Kalamazoo’s six beautiful public courses, or, for those who want to try something a little different, one of its six disc golf courses. Despite its Midwestern meat-and-potatoes appeal, Kalamazoo is also a prime destination for foodies young and old, with craft coffee roasters and breweries, fine dining, many vegan options and a wide variety of ethnic cuisines. With so many different kinds of activities and local flavor to experience, Kalamazoo is perfect for planned events with family and friends.
Surrounded by lakes, streams and rivers, Kalamazoo becomes a lush, green summer vacation destination, with temperatures in the low 80s during the hottest months of July and August. Its also perfect for hosting in summer and autumn months as well, given the city’s many outdoor venues and fresh farm-to-table cuisine. The city can even make an idyllic winter wedding destination, as well, given its above average snowfall and eclectic and creative venues. Whatever season you choose to host your special day, Kalamazoo offers the weather, attractions, venues, and services to make it all that you envisioned it to be.
- Fun Fact
Kalamazoo is also a very dog-friendly city, offering attractions and events for furry family members year-round.
Wedding Options in Kalamazoo
Whether you’re planning an extravagant event for 200 or a simple outdoor ceremony for a few, Kalamazoo’s experienced and creative vendors can help you choose the services that will make your day shine.
Kalamazoo’s food scene is a wide and wonderful array of local farm-to-table favorites, ethnic specialties and down home cooking. Catering companies specializing in everything from barbecue to breakfast are available to provide a memorable meal for your wedding or pre-wedding events, and some can provide tasty vegan fare.
- Wedding Equipment Rentals
No matter where you choose to say your vows, a beautiful wedding venue is part of the excitement for both you and your guests. The city’s variety of equipment rental vendors can provide everything but the building, from chairs to signage and decorations to gazebos and arches. Designers are even available to help you plan the perfect setup for your ceremony.
- Live Music
Music is often an integral part of the wedding experience, from the processional to the classic wedding march to a special song that represents the couple. Kalamazoo is home to many talented musicians who can lend atmosphere to your ceremony, including classical string quartets, harpists, jazz bands and vocalists.
After meeting at Western Michigan University, these young string players decided to combine their considerable talents to provide music for weddings and special events all over Michigan. The group offers packages for one, two, three or four players for both the ceremony and reception, and has been featured in online wedding resource sites like The Knot and WeddingWire.
Finding the perfect wedding cake to complement your style and taste amazing can be a fun, easy process at some of Kalamazoo’s best bakeries. There are many styles to choose from, from over-the-top decorations to simple and traditional. Most cater to special dietary needs and can provide gluten-free or vegan options as well.
Wedding Planning Companies in Kalamazoo
- Stellaluna Events
The wedding planners and coordinators at Stellaluna events specialize in bringing guest happiness and comfort to the forefront while at the same time creating a unique and beautiful experience for the bride and groom. Stellaluna offers a full-service experience, including set-up, take-down, styling, flowers, stationary and more. The company has received the Couple’s Choice Award from WeddingWire three years in a row and is featured in The Knot.
- Chastain Charm
With more than a decade of experience in wedding and event design, owner and lead planner Liz Glaab of Chastain Charm strives to add a personal touch to every wedding, down to the smallest details. Services include partial and full-service planning packages, floral design, consultations, styling and more.
- Simply Unforgettable Occasions
Established in 2009, Simply Unforgettable Occasions focuses on keeping the planning process calm and stress-free. The one-stop-shop for wedding planning offers a variety of packages, from full-service design and coordination to simple set-up and tear-down activities. Designers are also available to help couples put their vision on paper and get started with their wedding planning process.
Pros and Cons of Hosting a Wedding in Kalamazoo
- Natural surroundings
Kalamazoo’s natural areas are expansive and easily accessible any time of year.
- Craft beer scene
Kalamazoo is home to numerous craft breweries, including the seasonal, regionally famous Oberon.
- Unique shopping experiences
In addition to modern shopping centers, Kalamazoo is home to its own open-air, cobblestone street mall lined with boutique shops, restaurants and galleries.
- Long winters
Kalamazoo averages about five feet of snow per year, and temperatures can bottom out in the low teens for weeks.
- Sunday closures
Several shops and businesses, aside from chain or big box stores, are likely to be closed on Sundays.
Some neighborhoods have a rundown feel and homelessness and panhandling can be a problem.
Famous Wedding Locations in Kalamazoo
- Air Zoo Aerospace and Science Museum
One of Michigan’s most unique museums, the Air Zoo is home to more than 100 air and space artifacts, interactive exhibits, flight simulators and more. Visitors of all ages can learn something, from the earliest days of flight to the future of space exploration. The museum even has a 26-foot tall indoor ferris wheel and a parachute jumping experience. For adventurous guests, the museum offers open-cockpit biplane rides from June through September. The Air Zoo is a thrilling way to spend a day before or after the ceremony, or treat the bride and groom to the ride of a lifetime.
- Vicksburg Historical Society and Historic Village
Step back in time to Vicksburg Village, located just a short drive from Kalamazoo. Originally founded in the 1830s by John Vickers, the village is restored to its former 1880s glory, with the original cemetery, newspaper office, township hall and school, along with other buildings that have since been acquired or restored.
- Kalamazoo Mall
Kalamazoo is home to the country’s first outdoor pedestrian mall, with Art Deco buildings lining cobblestone streets right in the middle of the city’s downtown entertainment district. Along with boutique stores, craft coffee companies, brewpubs and unique galleries, the Kalamazoo Mall also offers events throughout the year, art walks, terrific sidewalk sales, and some of the town’s best live music. It's a great place to shop, dine and find quality entertainment all in one place.