A calm lake, tall pines, and cabins... a perfect summer retreat! Summer camps sit in some of the most breathtaking land in Maine and with a short camp season they are more than willing to host the Maine wedding of your dreams. Yes, campers take over from mid June to mid August, but there is still plenty of great weather left. September is one of my favorite months for a summer camp wedding. Lately, weather wise, September seems to be the new July! Like my wife isn’t ready for back to school teacher life because it sooooo nice out still.
Beyond the amazing lakeside most summer camps offer other benefits as well.
1. DIY heaven- For the diy wedding couple, you can do a lot of your own decor and ideas. Check out Pinterest. Don’t worry you don’t have to DIY if you don’t want to. There is plenty of help out there!
2. Lodging- If your guests don’t mind bunks and cabins you’ll have plenty of room. Camp Mataponi on Sebago lake offers logging for 300 plus! If they don’t want to camp, there are camps located close to hotels as well.
3. Tables and Seating- They often feed hundreds of campers, so a large wedding will be a piece of cake.
4. Outdoor Ceremony Sites- Whether you are looking for view or rustic charm, they’ve got it covered. From benches overlooking the water to an amphitheater draped and decorated, you can go rustic or more stylish.
5. Inside Ceremony/ Reception Spaces- Larger camps often have some pretty cool inside spaces as well. Old gymnasiums, dining halls, and rec halls can be great indoor locations should you be worried about the weather raining on your day.
6. Activity Space- Beaches, fields, tennis courts, and water sports. If you are making it multi-day event there will plenty for your guest to do! If that isn’t their cup of tea, there is also plenty of space to relax. More on this below...
7. Alternative “camp style” transportation- Instead of taking a limo to your ceremony… how bout a canoe? But really most camps have boats and I’ve seen some pretty cute photos of couples in a canoe...just saying.
8. Catering- Some offer onsite catering to suit your needs. It could be hamburgers and hot dogs, a traditional Maine lobster bake, or a gourmet meal. You name it!
9. Real S’mores- Instead of having a s’more bar with people roasting their s’mores over a sterno heater... You can have a real campfire! While there is always the original Hershey version, I suggest spicing it up with some Reese’s Cups or fun size MilkyWays. Seriously though, if you haven’t tried these alternatives yet, you’ve been missing out.
I’ve coordinated a wedding for a couple at Camp Manitou that looked like so much fun it made me want to be a guest instead. They made it an extra long weekend event for their wedding party and guests. Their wedding was Saturday, but they invited guest to come early to enjoy the whole camp experience. The wedding party arrived Thursday. They decorated and turned the dining hall in to their reception hall. After decorating was done the wedding party had lobster bake and some bonfire fun. Other guests could arrive Friday and stayed in the camp’s cabins. Once settled in they found a whole host of camp activities set up from kickball to stand up paddle boarding. Don’t forget the brews, they had kegs readily available to add to the fun. If you were hungry there was a food truck...YUM! Friday led into their wedding day, with some activities in the morning for the “campers.” The wedding took place at the camp amphitheater. The party continued with a reception, more bonfires, and plenty of s’mores. Guest were again invited to stay Saturday night into Sunday. Overall this was such a fun event to coordinate. It really made me wish for some time camping with friends. So check out those summer camps in Maine, especially if you like the outdoors and want to share it with your guests.