Sleeping bag. Pillow. Playing cards. Flashlight. Bug spray. Is this the packing list for summer camp or a wedding? For Adrian Ohmer and Darren DeWitt’s friends and family, the answer was both. When the Ann Arbor, Michigan–based couple announced that they’d be saying “I do” on August 12, 2017, at Camp Smitty, a nearly-100-year-old summer camp on Mink Lake in Ontario, they made it clear: What the festivities might lack in five-star amenities, they would more than make up for in good old-fashioned fun. Mink Lake is where Darren, a singer and merchandiser at a vintage shop, spent his childhood summers. But it’s 90 miles north of Ottawa, in what some might call the middle of nowhere—and even Adrian, a financier and part-time law professor, had his doubts. “I worried it would be too much of a schlep for everyone,” he says. It took a year for Darren to persuade him—then a year of planning—but they were both ultimately charmed by the idea of doing something “so different and so memorable,” Adrian says. The result was a gloriously rustic retro-styled event: Camp A.D.
Keep reading to see more of Adrian and Darren's special celebration, as photographed by Kate Headley.
Adrian and Darren dubbed the weekend’s events Camp A.D. after their initials. Upon arrival, guests were welcomed with custom T-shirts and assigned bunks by “camp counselors” (a.k.a. the wedding party).
The grooms gathered their 130 guests, all in matching T-shirts, for a quintessential camp photo.
In lieu of a formal rehearsal dinner, the couple hosted a spaghetti supper and an ’80s-themed dance party in the main hall. Darren wore a wedding dress, channeling Shelby from Steel Magnolias.
Everyone spent the day relaxing by the lake, canoeing, swimming, and sunbathing on the dock.
The couple got ready together in their cabin. Darren recalls, “When Adrian was helping me with my cuff links, I looked at him and thought, We’ll be there to help each other from this day forward.”
Adrian splurged on Harrys of London loafers, which he knew he’d wear after the wedding. Darren, of course, wore red Gucci loafers to match the rest of his ensemble.
Adrian (in a navy blazer and pink pants) and Darren (in a floral Gucci ensemble) took portraits around the camp grounds. Camp Smitty is run by the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa; proceeds from the weekend’s rental supported local kids.
For his look, Darren was inspired by the Unskilled Worker, an Instagram account he follows. "When I saw her first 'Gucci Boy,' I did a deep dive into the wonderful world of Alessandro Michele and his inspired work at Gucci," he explains. "I was drawn to his floral pieces, and felt it would embody a flamboyant, vibrant outdoor setting."
Over the course of the weekend's festivities, the drinks were abundant—but the fancy packaging was not! Cocktails were served in red solo cups, while wine was poured from a box.
At 6:30 p.m. on the wedding day, the group gathered on wooden benches, in front of a colorful totem pole.
During the ceremony, a choir of opera-singer friends sang “Chapel of Love,” speakers read excerpts from Loving v. Virginia and Obergefell v. Hodges (the landmark civil-rights cases that paved the way for interracial and same-sex marriages).
Adrian and Darren walked hand-in-hand down the aisle, led by the camp choir singing “Going to the Chapel.” Once at the altar, the grooms exchanged handwritten vows. Adrian wrote his six weeks before, while Darren penned his that morning.
The couple in all their newly married bliss!
Adrian and Darren found linens printed with historic letters (like one from Thomas Jefferson) and gave them to their attendants.
And while the buffet dinner, cooked by the camp’s chef, Jessie, was no-fuss (think chicken served on cafeteria trays), nobody seemed to miss a thing.
The night ended in classic camp style with a talent show, bonfire, and stargazing. “The Perseid meteor shower was at its peak that night,” says Darren. “It was magical.” But then again, so was “seeing a diverse set of people—race, gender, sexual orientation—in one place, happy and enjoying their time in the countryside.”
Venue: Camp Smitty
Wedding Planner: Thistle & Bess
Darren's Outfit: Gucci
Wedding Bands: Cartier
Darren's Hair: Ryan Groesbeck / Oz Hair Studio
Adrian's Hair: Taylor & Colt (Kyle Mitchell)
Invite & Program Design: Kim Scafuro
Dessert Table: Sweet Heather Ann
T-Shirts & Sweatshirts: Let Love Rule
Sound & Light System Rental: Music Mill
Camp Flag: Custom Flag Company
Camp Signs: Westwind Signs
Camp Stamp: Worthwhile Paper
Photography: Kate Headley