Photo: Laura Kleinhenz of Docuvitae
Remember the old days when summer's toughest decision was whether to choose crafts or water activities at camp? Well, good news: Your nostalgia for campfires in the great outdoors, and sleeping in cabins makes for one epic wedding weekend. A camp wedding isn't as out-there as it sounds: Even Kim Kardashian had a camp-inspired baby shower last year. Most venues cover catering, activities, and accommodations, so all you need to do is gather wildflowers and a crew of fun-spirited guests. Here, check out six of the best places around the country to relive the magic of summer camp on your big day.
Photo: Courtesy of Camp Wandawaga
Camp Wandawaga in Wisconsin
The camp has been luring Chicagoans to southeastern Wisconsin for almost 100 years — first as a Prohibition-era speakeasy and later as a Latvian church camp. These days, it's hosting the weddings of Windy City and Wisconsin brides looking for a hip, rustic venue to fulfill their camp-wedding dreams. After the ceremony in the outdoor chapel, the party heads to the tent for dancing. There are no-frills teepees, cabins, and even a tree house to choose from for sleeping accommodations.
Photo: Courtesy of Ohana Family Camp
Ohana Family Camp in Vermont
Ohana translates to "family" in the Hawaiian language, so it's a fitting place to welcome your guy into yours. The camp sits along Lake Fairlee in Vermont and offers picturesque rolling hills in the backdrop. The sit-down dinner reception can take place in the lodge, which holds 170 people. During the rest of the weekend, you'll have the entire camp to yourselves, with access to the main lodge, 20 cabins, six tent cabins, and waterfront grounds. The camp is still in use during the summer months, so wedding dates are restricted to late spring and fall.
Photo: Courtesy of Camp Lucy
Camp Lucy in Texas
What was once a private family ranch just outside of Austin, Texas, is now a stunning wedding venue. Choose to exchange vows in a reconstructed French colonial church that dates back to the 1930s or forgo the chapel setting altogether and host the ceremony outdoors beneath ancient oak trees with lights dripping down. The rest of the property and accommodations are just as glam.
Photo: Courtesy of Camp Pendalouan
Camp Pendalouan in Michigan
To get as close to recreating your childhood memories as possible, choose Michigan's Camp Pendalouan. The YMCA still holds summer camp here, so you know the camping vibe is authentic and not just for show. You can even welcome your guests to the reception in the mess hall. Rest assured: The food served will be better than the Sloppy Joes you remember from your camping days.
Photo: Courtesy of Camp Navarro
Camp Navarro in California
Silicon Valley heavy hitters come to the former Boy Scout camp for team outings and corporate retreats. And with redwood trees towering above, it's also a romantic spot to get married. The camp features closed and open-air cabins to sleep all of your guests with plenty of room to spread out. Embrace the setting's laidback vibe and participate in a tug-of-war game (bridesmaids versus groomsmen, perhaps?) before slipping into your wedding white. End the night with a bonfire beneath the stars. After all, s'mores make the ultimate late-night treat.
Photo: Courtesy of Cedar Lakes Estate
Cedar Lakes Estate in New York
New Yorkers looking for an escape from the big city will find the wedding venue for them in the Hudson Valley, just over an hour from the city. There, amidst rolling hills, green forests, and open water, two sisters have transformed their childhood home into a setting that every rustic bride will swoon over. Just picture a great grass lawn with the Shawangunk Mountains in the distance, a 5,400-square-foot reception area with views of the tree-lined lake, and a range of accommodation options including rustic dormitories and luxury cabins.