Camp weddings are hands down some of the most fun weddings we have ever been to (yes, even the ones we are “working”!) Basically, the couple gets to relive their childhood with their closest friends and family for an entire weekend…and no camp counselors! In the case of Samantha’s camp wedding, this was more than true as she had attended New Hampshire’s Camp Takodah as a child.
Friday afternoon starts the fun as everyone converges at the camp. Samantha and John’s two stars, her mom, Lynn and their dog, Molly (with a mysteriously blue belly) oversaw the rehearsal before celebrating with a buffet dinner, ice cream truck and campfire.
With each cabin settled in with sleeping bags, a range of casual to fancy clothes and plenty of games, the night was long and laughter echoed through the woods.
Wedding day began with fog skimming the lake, a few Dirty Dancing moments and hefty appetites (and a sideshow of pajama onesies!) Now it’s time to tell you a bit about the couple being celebrated!
No, not John and Molly (although she’s an awesome dog!) Samantha is where it all began. Way back in junior high she met John and crush-at-first-sight began. However, not much more than a few slow dances in 8th grade were shared before Samantha transferred to Dublin High, leaving John with no number to call. Her journey began, with adventures back packing through Europe, kayaking down the Sea of Cortes and eventually graduating from Keene State with a degree in Geography.
John moved on past his down trodden heart, venturing into the world of motocross and then joining the Army, serving two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He then moved to Phoenix for five years.
Wait, wait! John’s not getting off this easy! Let’s not forget to reveal what was really going on around the camp while Samantha and the other ladies were hard at work getting ready and decorating the reception hall!
I mean, this is the fun of camp weddings, right? Lawn games, swimming, canoeing, trespassing…the usual. Anyway, on to 2012 when John returned to New Hampshire and a mutual friend reconnected him with Samantha. It was as though time had stood still and their connection remained innocent and pure, bursting to be renewed.
And so the road to Camp Wedding Extravaganza 2015 began, filled with hiking, travel, tons of Molly love and adventure along the way! Leading to a Takodah convergence with an extremely fun-loving crowd!
Samantha and John based their ceremony off The Road Ahead, written by her grandfather. Officiated by a friend, many organic elements were integrated into the ceremony, with a family-built stone cairn, sage burning and words of love and wisdom.
And so the union was born, in a wood surrounded by late afternoon sun, a lifetime of memories and a family spanning beyond that of blood.
While guests met in the warmth of the boat house for cocktails, Samantha and John enjoyed a few moments of solitude to absorb the long awaited reason for celebration. It’s here where we revisited the “power pose”, throwing arms into the air and gratefully receiving all the earth’s many wonders and joys. (We learned this one during the engagement session and have busted it out on more than a few mountain tops since!)
Another reason why we adore camp weddings, especially in New England, is for the gorgeous settings with woods, lake and many recreational opportunities. Sam and John chose the lake to stage a little reenactment.
Then it was off to the reception in the camp’s main dining hall, decorated with handmade centerpieces, messages in bottles, and honey gifts from the family farm.
So began a night of rambunctious fun, with dancing, a guest appearance by Camp Takodah’s awesome staff and the party spilling out of the hall for an evening under the stars.
Congratulations to a couple whose sense of adventure and love of life is infectious! Their road has been paved with the love of many!
Are you having a camp wedding? They are probably the most relaxed, enjoyable wedding you could possibly plan! Tons of time with friends and family rather than trying to squeeze all that love and fun in to six hours. We would love to chat with you about it, head over to our contact page, and send us a note.
Camp Takodah – Venue
Memorable Events NH – Planning
Sarah Mustin Flowers – Flowers
Doug Boucher of Sowa Entertainment – DJ
Emily Megas-Russell – Officiant
Maggie Sottero – Bridal Dress
Sugar Bits – Bridesmaids Dresses
Modern Bride – Bridal Shop
Jamie Teague – Catering and Cake
Betsy at B & B Style Salon – Hair
Jeni Skin Care – Makeup
Mister Frosty – Ice Cream Truck
Stoneman Custom Jewelers – Rings