It’s so fun and refreshing to see more and more couples crafting a wedding experience that’s as memorable for their guests as it is for them. Some beautiful, creative examples of these ceremonies take place at campsites. A campsite provides a gorgeous natural backdrop, plenty of space for post-ceremony recreation and bonding, and great lodging options for turning a wedding day into a wedding weekend. Here are five stunning weddings held in the woods or at a campsite that are equal parts whimsical and mystical.
Photos by Ashley Courter
Mikhail and Whitney had been together almost eight years before they decided to get married, so their focus was on celebrating their friends and family. They were married in a field under an altar made of thin logs and white fabric and held a reception in an absolutely breathtaking cabin. With string lights, a buffet-style dinner, and a three-legged race (the bride and groom changed into more three-legged-race friendly clothes before they participated), their wedding was a celebration of love between Whitney and Mikhail and their family and friends who have supported them.
Photos by Leah Moyers
Avid campers PK and Korel knew right from the start that they wanted an outdoor wedding. They found a “group only” campsite outside of Alsea, Oregon, called River’s Edge Campground. The location was also perfect for PK and Korel because they wanted to take several days to allow both of their families to get to know each other. Their guests really got into the spirit by sleeping in tents, having a bonfire every night, playing lawn games, and having fun with good company. Not only that, but family and friends did all they could to help the couple make sure the weekend ran smoothly and everyone got to enjoy their time bonding with one another.
Photos by C Wagner Photography
An outdoor wedding was one of the most important planning details in Carri and Roz’s wedding. Luckily, they found the perfect spot: Pema Osel Ling has an amphitheatre surrounded by towering redwoods, cabins and camping areas for guests who wanted to spend the night, and plenty of space for the tables, dance floor, bonfire, VW bus-turned-photobooth, and all of their family and friends to celebrate with them. The couple put a deep amount of thought into every wedding aspect that was important to them, which included local LGBTQ+ vendors and vendors of color and traditions to celebrate Carri’s Jewish background and Roz’s African American family. The traditions and conventions that they didn’t find important were cast aside with little stress, allowing them to focus on representing themselves as individuals and as a married couple to those who mattered most to them.
Photos by Michael Tallman
Nodira and Alex’s wedding was a memorable experience for them and their guests filled with fun, magic, and surprises. The couple chose Moon Mountain Lodge in northwest Washington, which has an area where most of the guests camped out for the two-day celebration. The first ceremony featured pagan rituals to pay homage to Alex’s upbringing, while the morning after was a traditional Uzbek wedding. Between the two wedding ceremonies was a Burning Man camp surprise, a performance by Nodira after taking secret voice and piano lessons for two years, and a little game where guests had to find keys strung from tree branches in the forest to indicate which table was theirs. The surrounding cedar grove and a star-filled night sky added to the enchantment of the celebrations for an unforgettable time.
Photos by Heidi Uhlman
A six-hour round trip drive several times before their wedding was absolutely worth it for Alex and Frances to have their outdoor wedding in Spring Green, Wisconsin. The venue itself is primarily a girls’ summer camp, but the architecture was designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s students in the midst of rolling hills and stretches of forest. The ceremony was on top of a hill under a Catalpa tree, where Alex and Frances stood in a ring of flowers and recited their own vows. The ceremony was less than a half hour, allowing the newly married couple to enjoy the company of their family and friends, some of whom had flown in for the ceremony.
If you or someone you know might be looking to have a campground or park wedding, Catalyst has a guide with tips to help you plan: Everything to Consider for Your Camp or Park Wedding
Michaela Dietz is a graduate from the University of Cincinnati, where she studied English Literature, Women’s Studies, and Electronic Media. What started as an internship with Catalyst turned into writing and editing the lovely Real Couples posts regularly featured on the site. When Michaela isn’t working, she’s reading, watching movies, or researching for fun like a huge nerd.