Here's How to Pull Off An Amazingly Personal Wedding
November 30, 2016
New England
Al FrescoRusticRustic Weddings
There's no denying we've seen our share of super sweet and personal celebrations, but it's no exaggeration when we also say that this one right here, well, it takes the cake. From the handwritten notes for every single guest, to the happy tears that flowed nonstop, this rustic chic wedding - at a summer camp in Maine - is one that we'll be taking ideas and inspiration from for quite some time. Lucky for us, Janelle Carmela captured it all so our Vault has the goods that keep on giving.

Escape to Summer Camp for the Wedding Weekend!

From the Bride... When we started to think about and plan our wedding (and with a 2+ year engagement, we had lots of time to think about it!), we wanted to make sure our wedding represented not only our relationship and love, but our relationships with all our guests as well, who had provided us with love and support throughout our lives and relationship. And honestly, we just wanted it to be fun for everyone! We envisioned people coming, parking their cars, and having a relaxing, fun weekend! So, where better to have our wedding than at summer camp?! All our guests were invited to stay in the cabins for the whole weekend and use all the camp facilities throughout the weekend - the waterfront, campfire, basketball courts, etc.

Surround Yourself With Meaningful Beauty

Since we were surrounded by nature and so many colors, we wanted the flowers to be bright and locally-grown and the attire to be neutrals. We found a flower farm and designer who was able to plant bulbs based on the colors and types of flowers we wanted. This was particularly important to me because my dad was an avid gardner, and since he has passed away, flowers were one of the ways I wanted to make sure he was included in our big day. We tried to make lots of details and DIY projects polished, with a camp theme. Our welcome bags were care packages in cardboard boxes filled with our favorite snacks, reminiscent of what I remember my mom sending me when I went to overnight camp. 

Make the Ceremony Magical + Truly YOU

My favorite part of the day was our ceremony. We had one of our friends officiate the wedding, and wrote the wedding script ourselves. We met at work, so we had our boss at the time do a reading. Then, my dad's best friend did a gardening reading in his honor and read a letter he wrote from my dad. Not having my dad with me on my wedding day was so hard, but his friend brought him to life through his reading. Then, we had our bridal party tell stories and memories of our relationship over the past seven years. Their short stories ensured our ceremony was full of laughter, and reminded us of how much we'd gone through during our time together. We ended the ceremony with our writing our own vows. It was one of the scariest things I've ever done, but both of our personalities came through and just topped off a really personal ceremony that was better than I could have ever imagined!

Share That Special Love With Lots of Little Details

One of my favorite details - we wrote notes to each guest individually, which was waiting for them at their seat at dinner. One of my favorite parts about camp as a kid was getting mail, so we wanted all our guests to get mail too! And we wanted to make sure each guest knew how happy we were to have them there celebrating with us! Seeing people's faces when they opened and read each card was so special.

Soak It All Up

From Janelle Carmela Photography... As a photographer, I go to hundreds of weddings, but none have left me with chills more than Sara and Tony's wedding that took place this August at Camp Mataponi in Naples, Maine. Sara and Tony had a goal to make the wedding as personal and sincere as they could and you'll see that they achieved this with flying colors.
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From Janelle Carmela Photography... Between the personal notes that were waiting for each and every guest at their seat (that were beautifully addressed by the amazing calligrapher at Posh and Prep), to the gorgeous flowers that Sara carried down the aisle that were grown by the amazing Carolyn Snell especially for Sara (dahlia's, which were her father's favorite), to the arch that Tony's father built for them to get married under, to the ceremony which included a letter her late father wrote to her and stories from individual bridal party members... The day left us all in tears - myself included! Camp Mataponi was the perfect spot for a wedding. Guests were able to stay right in the bunks and spent the weekend together instead of doing there own thing since there were no sights to see or TV's to be watched. During the first look, you could see Sara and Tony's guests floating on rafts in the distance - it was truly a bonding experience for all who attended. Sara and Tony tied camp details into the ceremony itself: between the paddles that guests signed as a guest book, to a late night snack of s'mores, a post wedding camp fire, "Camp Freelovo" (their names combined) flying on the flagpole. I'm delighted to share this very special and touching ceremony with you!

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