My husband and I met six years ago while working at a summer camp and decided to get married last year. We wanted our wedding to have both a meaningful ceremony that incorporated the people we love and a really fun reception with lots of dancing and good food. We wanted to have some traditional elements (a bridal party, vows, and the giving of rings) but still have a wedding that reflected us.
We decided to rent a summer camp that was about 30 minutes away from where we live in Baltimore. They gave us a great price and we were able to rent the entire camp for the night so all our guests would have accommodations if needed. We did basically everything ourselves with lots of help from awesome friends and family. My husband and I designed and made the invitations and save the dates. We bought our wedding clothes online (we both wore vintage bought on e-bay) and had it tailored by an amazing local tailor. We told our bridal party to wear whatever they wanted, and I made embroidered bow ties for the boys and hair garlands for the girls. We had several talented photographers, including two good friends, and two hired photographers--a wonderfully talented high-schooler who was a past student of my father (and who took all the pictures shown here) and the other was a co-worker of my father.
The ceremony was held in the woods on the camp property. The guests all walked there as a group. We were married by my husband's best friend who got licensed online. We really wanted our friends and family to be incorporated in the ceremony so we asked my husband's uncle to play trumpet and his parents to play recorder, and my parents and sister spoke. It was one of the most wonderful, touching, and magical moments of my life, filled with both tears and laughter.
After the ceremony we all walked back to the camp's dining hall, a rustic wood paneled hall that we decorated with zinnia's my bridesmaids and I had picked on a farm the day before, white dove garlands I made, and mismatched tablecloths bought from thrift stores. The food was prepared by a local chef and family acquaintance. It was middle-eastern/french inspired and insanely good and affordable. It was really important to us to have great food and we got so many compliments on our food. We bought cakes from a local restaurant we love, and my mom's close friends brought some amazing home made treats as well. My husband and I love to dance so he worked for months preparing a play list which we played on his ipod.
It was a wonderful night--I really felt like since we had all put so much work into the wedding it really felt personal and unique to us. It was not perfect, and we had a very small budget to stretch, but the kindness of others who pitched in, from the farmer who gave us a special deal on the flowers, to the tailor who let us swap her skills for a painting, to all our friends who worked their butts off getting set-up really made the day so special and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.