Post # 1
Getting married June 2018 on our 7th anniversary at a lakeside campground 1/2 mile from our house late evening/sunset-ish time. I was thinking that we’d just have a few friends and family but it’s looking like a “few” is going to be 30 – 50ish since Fiance seems to invite everyone he sees lol.
Open grill out with meat and bread provided (we do all our get together’s like this and friends bring sides)
We’ll have a s’mores bar and bonfire. Provide regular drinks plus beer & wine.
And I’m good for all that. I do that all the time (minus s’mores bar) it is adding the wedding aspect I am clueless on. I know I’ll put lights in the trees and have my daughter and a couple friends stand with me as informal bridesmaids. Fiance will have some on his side too. And that’s the whole of my plan thus far.
Campground does have electricity and bathrooms so that is good.
I’ve read articles online and downloaded apps for wedding plans but I find them all SO overwhelming – all the checklists have so much stuff on them! I like simple. Not doing seating charts, no videographer, no wedding planner…
So Bee’s help me out. All who spend summer nights around a bonfire and/or at a lake – how would you incorporate a wedding into that?
Post # 2
Sounds fun. You just might want to check that the campground is okay with you having that many visitors, if they can accomodate parking, rules for quiet hours, and their rules for alcohol.
Post # 3
darkwater67 : I would love that as a guest because it sounds relaxing and chilled out! Especially, if your guests are “evening by the lake people” I think they will enjoy it as well.
Just make sure you have enough food, beverages, and seats and you will be fine. Wedding planning is stressful, so if you are comfortable with a non-traditional wedding, I think you will be very happy!
It sounds romantic and intimate to me!
Post # 4
HoneysHoney : Campground checked Alcohol is allowed but still don’t have seating arrangements. There are 11 picnic tables (only 11 camping spots but the camp ground is about 3 – 5 acres) so we’re reserving for the entire campground (still under $200) and there is an overlook right beside the campground with room for 30+ cars.
Post # 5
Your plans sound so awesome that I’m jealous!
My only concern would be the weather- do you have a back up plan for rain? Is it do-able at your house if necessary?
Tree lights sound perfect. I would leave these as the decorations.
For you and your daughter and other Bridesmaid or Best Man I would choose simple pretty flowers for casual bouquets- wildflowers or sunflowers or daisies.
Sparklers would add an inexpensive festive touch- and if you live in North America, they’re available everywhere right now with both Canada Day & the 4th of July coming up. Just make sure these don’t violate campground rules (I don’t think they would fall into the firecracker category but better to be sure). Have a steel bucket filled with water or sand for people to put them in when finished.
Another optional idea: A few bottles of champagne or a bottle two of something suited to shots (like Baileys or Tequila Rose). You can get plastic champagne or shot glasses at the dollar store. Ditto the sparklers.
I love your plans Bee, my only concern would be rain.
lol and tell your cutely enthusiastic fiance to chill on the invites before you have 200 people turn up!
Post # 6
Sounds amazing to me, and you definitely don’t need all the checklists of the “traditional” stuff. One random thought I had was citronella torches? I don’t know how bad the mosquitoes get there, but it would have the double benefit of keeping them at bay and also adding a little firelight, which is always a nice ambiance.
Post # 7
I’d have someone in to oversee the catering. As others have said just make sure it’s all a-ok with the site and you have a clean up team in place.
lots of food and booze and all will be well 🙂
(veggie burgers if you have any veggie guests?)
sparklers would be fun and make lovely photos.
get a load of blankets from ikea or something for people to bundle up in if it gets chilly later on.
Are you having music and dancing? Again check with site regarding rules for this.
As a guest it sounds brilliantly relaxed and fun.
Post # 8
I love the idea! Sounds great! I think the difference between a camping trip and your wedding would be that you should provide all the food though and not have friends bring sides. Maybe find some nicer plates, utensils, plastic glasses (could still be throw away), add some flowers around the site for a romatic flare. Just up the ante a bit with some extra wedding decor and I think it would be fantastic. Something like this….
Post # 9
My two concerns are weather and food.
Will you have some sort of backup plan in case it rains? A tent? Pavilion?
It sounds like you’re going for a super casual vibe, and I’m all for that. I’d be happy to eat burgers or hot dogs and hang out by a campfire. It’s great that normally everyone else brings sides but this isn’t a casual friend get-together, this is your wedding, that YOU are hosting. For that reason I think you should provide all the food yourself. I’d be a little irritated to be invited to a wedding with 30-50 people and have to bring a side. You’re basically asking me to pay to come to your wedding. Plus there’s dealing with transportting it, and keeping it cold/hot, food safety, etc.
I get where you’re coming from with your vision, but if you want casual I’d maybe look into some local BBQ restaurants. A lot of them tend to cater off site (I’m a wedding photographer, I’ve had some of my nicest weddings be catered by BBQ and it can be amazing!) and are usually really affordable.
As for the wedding aspect I’d plan your ceremony, and if you’re going to have dancing you’ll likey want to invest in a DJ. With the whole campfire atmosphere I honestly don’t think you’ll really need to PLAN much other than decor. People will most likely naturally migrate their way to the campfire.
Post # 10
Are you asking friends and family to bring sides?
Post # 11
Our house could be used if it rains, it is large enough to fit everyone. And I haven’t decided on anything about the food except for the s’mores and wine/beer just because sundown in June here is around 9 – 9:30 pm which makes for a very late dinner. I don’t know about dancing – there is an asphalt parking lot that would work for a dance ground if anyone wants to dance but if you start catering and hiring DJ’s I think you’d lose the summer country night feel to it.
I don’t necessarily want it to be about a wedding party as much as a summer night with friends where we get married. If that makes ANY sense at all. We have dozens of nights every summer where 20 – 30 of us just meet out a the out to the lake, light up a bonfire and watche the stars with the radio playing. That is what I want it to be about. Cool summer breeze, night sounds and the crackle of the fire.
So if you’re a Bee who knows these kinds of nights… How would you fit a small/short wedding ceremony into one of those nights?
Would you start it off with the ceremony or wait until the night was in full swing with everyone there together?
Show up in the dress or change into before the ceremony part?
I only live a 1/2 mile from the house so it would take nothing for me to run home and get changed or can slip into the dress in the (large) bathroom.
Do you have people stand since it is short or arrange seats?
I LOVE the idea of the citronella candles and the sparklers though! Thank you so much for that and all the other comments/ideas.
Post # 12
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
I love the bonfire idea. Also agree with you about the atmosphere. If you start with catering, fancy decor and DJ now its turning from a casual hangout with friends to an event. Personally, I would prefer the hangout. 🤗 Your friends are used to this kind of environment, your timing doesn’t require a full meal and you have a plan B just in case. Perfect! I would show up in the dress and get the ceremony out of the way then change. If its 10 min or less I don’t think your crowd would mind standing but seats are always appreciated.
Post # 13
darkwater67 : Ooh! Loving this idea! I’d get ready at your house, you can snap a couple of photos with your family/bridesmaids getting ready. I would probably have the ceremony no earlier than 6 (my June wedding was at 7:30pm and we went right inside to dinner. I didn’t feel it was too late at all!). If it’s hot that day, it gives it time to cool off, or makes for enough time earlier in the day to do Plan B if it rains. I’d maybe look into catering chairs for your guests for the ceremony only. If you want music, I’d just stick with an ipod on shuffle and a portable speaker – skip the dj. I also like the idea of a local bbq place catering in – unless you have a relative who would be willing to do that, some families love to be able to participate any way they can – you’re really not going to want to be in charge of everything, you’ll want to be able to bounce around with your friends for a bit. Unless your future husband is super set on grilling it himself. (I’d see if dad, or Future Father-In-Law could do it, honestly.) Also, I’d find out about the campgrounds bug control. June, and if you’re by a lake, and in the evening, could get buggy! As them if they do any kind of spraying, and if not, I’d definitely consider ways to cut down on that. Lemongrass, rosemary, catnip, lavendar – plants like this cut down on mosquitos – if you’re going for a naturalist look, you could always incorporate them into your flowers. I’m pretty obsessed with lavendar and my next wedding (I’m unfortunately divorced now) I am going to be all about the lavendar!
Post # 14
MargaritaVille : I love lavender! Unfortunately it doesn’t love me back lol. I end up sneezing my way to a bloody nose and that’s about as unsexy as it gets lol I’ll check into the lemongrass though thanks for the suggestion!
And Future Brother-In-Law may want to man the grill if we have one. Both our families and our friends are super big into summer cookouts so we may go that way.
Unfortunately my father is unable to walk and his has alzheimers so we won’t be putting any stress on dad’s for anything. My mom will probably end up doing the photoshoots as she is a kick ass photographer but only does it as a hobby.
Post # 15
heavenlyflower : We don’t have the ceremony timed out or anything yet but we are just saying our own written vows & ring exchange – then kiss the bride and pass her a beer LOL
Okay, being slightly silly there, but I can’t imagine it would be long. He and I both despise being on the spot in front of a crowd.