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There’s nothing like a childhood friend’s wedding invitation to inspire a person to travel from Los Angeles to Boston to Maine, all over the course of a two-day weekend. (Time difference, schmime difference!) Last weekend, one of my oldest friends got married at a summer camp in Maine, and it couldn’t have been a lovelier wedding. The best part about it was the love we were celebrating, but the second best part was the venue: a summer camp wedding is the best idea I can think of if you don’t want a super formal wedding.

I whine about destination weddings often, but this one would have been worth the trip, even if I didn’t know the bride so well. The wedding guests were also old family friends, so that definitely was an added bonus. This was my first camp wedding, and I had elected to stay in the cabins — which required our own bedding, but were way more substantial than I had realized. I hadn’t been to sleepaway camp since the ‘90s. Camp circa 2018 is rad. I could shower in my bunk, plug my curling wand into the wall, and even pee without heading to an outhouse. Yipee!

But beyond the modernized bunks and truly special humans from my childhood, a camp wedding also seemed really smart in terms of logistics and ease of guest experience. Here are some of the other aspects of having a summer camp wedding that make me wish I had more of a connection to my own childhood camps.

**There’s Something Magical About The Atmosphere **

Whether it was because being at summer camp inevitably triggers memories of younger years and zero responsibilities, or because of the particular camp venue is part of one of the couple’s memories, camp has a je ne sais quoi aura around it. Being on a lake in the woods surrounded by little cell service also allowed me to disconnect, and leave my phone alone. (But of course I posted Instagram stories the next day.)

There’s No Need To Travel Once You Arrive

I couldn’t have been happier with my choice to stay in the cabins. Getting an Uber to a hotel would have been impossible and driving the car we arrived in would have meant that I couldn’t have had half of the rose I indulged in that night. A summer camp is a great way to have a wedding that’s entirely on-location, from ceremony to next-day brunch. Guests will love this, and so will the couple getting married. My friend’s close family and friends actually stayed at the camp the entire week before, which allowed even more memories to be created.

There Are So Many Different Locations On-Site

My friend’s wedding was seamless, thought it was held in many different spots on the camp. The ceremony was outside by the lake, as was the cocktail hour, but the dinner was held in the mess hall, and the band and dancing were in another room on the property that had a stage. At night, there was a bonfire, and subsequent nightswimming off the dock. All of these locations were within 20 steps of each other, too.

The Wedding Can Be Super DIY

Summer camps are beautiful, but they are not fancy. This is perfect for DIY touches like picking your own wildflowers and hanging sparkle lights all around the venues. While DIY details can look sloppy sometimes at formal venues, a summer camp practically begs everyone to be DIY — arts and crafts, anyone?

Written by: Kimmy Foskett