There's nothing quite as exciting as getting a wedding invitation in the mail—although sending out your own invites might do the trick. A wedding weekend is a prime time for quality experiences with friends and family you don't often get to see. However, between wedding obligations, people staying in different hotels, and the general chaos of a big event, the bonding time can get lost.
Enter camp weddings. These unique wedding venues allow you to bring guests along on a relaxing destination wedding weekend that gives everyone time to catch up and make lasting memories. After a welcome bonfire on Friday night and dancing beneath the stars on Saturday, your guests will be thrilled that they were invited to camp.
Cedar Lakes Estate: Port Jervis, New York
At Cedar Lakes Estate, camping meets high-class luxury. You can opt to stay in the modern Garden Suites, complete with air conditioning and wifi, or the more rustic cabins, where guests can get cozy in bunk beds. Jump into the lake (or bounce off the giant blob) or swim in a pool fit for Hollywood. Ceremonies can be held at mountaintops, poolside, or lawn locations, allowing you to craft an event that is uniquely yours.
Kingsley Pines: Raymond, Maine
At Kingsley Pines, you can enjoy the Maine wilderness along with 275 friends. The camp has lodging options ranging from basic to deluxe and has plenty of activities to keep guests entertained, whether they prefer paddling a kayak or zipping along behind a ski boat rental. The camp encourages Thursday through Sunday rentals for the wedding weekend.
Camp Lucy: Dripping Springs, Texas
Camp Lucy will give your guests a taste of life on a Texan ranch. From fishing to bike riding or walking through the on-site vineyard, the setting offers plenty of entertainment during a weekend escape. The property has 26 rooms and a single suite (for the newlyweds), as well as two family cottages that each sleep 10. For the big day, you can have the ceremony at a Southwestern-inspired chapel where you can even ring your own wedding bells.
Camp Twin Creeks: Marlinton, West Virginia
At Camp Twin Creeks, just three hours from Washington, D.C., your guests can enjoy activities ranging from water skiing to a ropes course. They can also take in more mellow options like a canoe ride or swinging in a hammock by the lake. Up to 500 guests can stay in rustic cabins or a restored schoolhouse that has been completely renovated to modern standards. The camp staff will work with you to design a wedding weekend that will give your guests as much structure or free time as you want. The nearly-weds can stroll the property ahead of time to find a ceremony site that is perfect, then get ready to let the good times roll.
The Preserve at Chocorua: Tamworth, New Hampshire
At The Preserve you can keep your wedding party and family close since the property—which dates back to the 1800s—boasts lodging for 50 guests in the massive farmhouse-turned-inn and various cabins. With a fire pit, pickle ball, croquet, and hiking trails all nestled in the rolling foothills of the White Mountains, The Preserve will give your guests a mini-vacation from Thursday to Sunday as they celebrate your nuptials. The property can accommodate up to 225 guests on the day of the ceremony in the historical barn or as a tented wedding.
IslandWood: Bainbridge Island, Washington
By day, IslandWood is a 250-acre outdoor-learning property where people can get close to the magnificent wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, exploring trails and a canopy walk. On the weekends, the property transforms into a luxury wedding venue. Up to 207 guests can stay on-site in the modern lodges and cozy cabins, catching up around the roaring fireplaces or on a walk through the bog. There are indoor and outdoor ceremony sites that will wow guests no matter what the weather.
Camp Wandawega: Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Camp Wandawega is rustic pine camping at its finest. In fact, brands like Land of Nodd and Anthropologie have sent their designers to the camp to be inspired by the Wisconsin wilderness. Guests will love that the camp is less than two hours from Chicago but a world away from the big city. The camp sleeps about 50 overnight guests and can hold up to 125 for your celebration. The staff takes a hands-off approach to weddings, giving you free rein to make your event just the way you want it.
Camp Newaygo: Newaygo County, Michigan
Camp Newaygo has been helping people make lasting memories since 1926, and the staff will be sure to put together a weekend full of fun for you and your guests. On a typical wedding weekend, guests and the wedding party arrive on Friday evening just in time for a campfire. Saturday is full of activities like morning yoga, hiking, and beach volleyball before the main event—the wedding! On Sunday the camp will coordinate your brunch before giving your guests a trolly ride before they depart.
Camp Navarro: Navarro, California
This 200-acre property is in the heart of the Redwood forest, giving your guests an experience that is quintessential California. The camp has beds for 325 people (including beds in teepees) and allows unlimited tent camping for more adventurous guests. For your weekend camp experience, staff will work with you to throw a rocking dance party beneath the stars or design a more tranquil escape. On the day of the big event, the Redwoods provide a breathtaking backdrop for your ceremony.
The Retreat at Balcones Springs: Marble Falls, Texas
Located 45 minutes north of Austin, Texas, this 250-acre property epitomizes Texas's natural splendor. With a luxury-meets-summer-camp-vibe, the property's cabin-style accommodations bring all the summer camp feels, as do plentiful opportunities for outdoor activities. Between celebrating lakeside with your guests, horseback rides, canoe trips, and more, this is the ultimate Texas countryside retreat for a camp-themed wedding down south.
Loloma Lodge: McKenzie Bridge, Oregon
Tucked into the woods of Oregon above the McKenzie River, this historic 1930s lodge is an idyllic backdrop for a nature-centric, camp-themed wedding in one of the Pacific Northwest's most beautiful venues. Guests can enjoy sumptuous accommodations in the beautifully crafted lodge, which offers stunning views of the surrounding lush vegetation, or camp out around the striking PNW property while celebrating the happy couple's love.