Camp Wedding Location for Your Destination Wedding: Camp Wandawega

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Have you thought about a camp themed wedding?  Perhaps disconnecting, reconnecting and saying “I do” in nature?!  Well, we just visited the absolutely perfect place for you if that’s your style.  How about a destination wedding in Wisconcin?!  Yep, on Lake Wandawega.  I recently spent a few days at the secluded oasis, Camp Wandawega, for an amazing wedding industry conference called, appropriately, Camp Wedding.  And what I discovered is that a camp wedding could be just what couples need to fully connect their families.  Think about it, no pretense, no fancy formal events, just beauty in all its forms.  But not to worry, there’s still hot running water, a roof over your head, and comfy beds to tuck into at night.  I wouldn’t call this glamping, but it’s not exactly roughing it either.

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Camp Wandawega was built in 1925 and originally housed a speakeasy, among other things.  Those original buildings remain today, now peppered in between hammocks, a tree house, tents and even a teepee to sleep in if you so choose!

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The small lake can be accessed from two small docks or a tiny beach on the property, complete with canoes for your taking any time you want.  There’s also archery, hiking trails, huge fire pits for late night bonfires and plenty of exploring to do throughout the camp.

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The beautiful venue also has wide open grass areas, perfect to put up a tent and celebrate under like we did at Camp Wedding.  You can setup ice breaker games by day and dancing under the stars by night!  Either way, just be sure to end the festivities with some s’mores by the campfire!

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The vibe at this one-of-a-kind camp is one that’s relaxed, quiet, comfortable and fun – it might remind you a little bit of summer camp as a kid.  So if you’re up for anything and looking for a totally unique destination wedding experience, one that is routed in nature and totally private for you and your loved ones, then call Camp Wandawega home for your big day.  About an equal distance from Chicago and Milwaukee, there are plenty of ways to get there, but we’re warning you, you may not want to leave.

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First Three Images: Camp Wandawega, All Other Images: Lexia Frank Photography

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Wedding Industry Conference: Engage!16: Sea Island

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Are you in the destination wedding industry or luxury wedding market?  Then it’s time to pack your bags because this December the Engage! Summit is hitting the road again and heading to beautiful Sea Island, Georgia.  We’re huge fans of this bi-annual event, we’ve watched it help grow our business, we’ve learned tons over of the years, and let’s be real, it’s pretty fun too!  It’s three days of mingling, learning from amazing speakers, experiencing some of the best new food trends, decor ideas and even gift concepts in weddings, and you’ll make great industry friends along the way.  If you’re scouting locations for your destination wedding clients, it’s a great bonus too that we get to stay at and check out the fabulous property The Cloister at Sea Island.  The event is just around the corner so if you haven’t signed up yet, you’re running out of chances.  And signing up is one business decision we promise you won’t regret!  Pack your bags and we hope to see you soon at the wedding industry summit, Engage!16: Sea Island.

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Festive Beach Wedding in Tulum, Mexico

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Jennifer and Dylon tied the knot at their destination wedding at Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya in Tulum, Mexico. The darling couple (who embraced their social media side) shared with us the details of their big destination day!

From Jennifer…

There were several people who made our day perfect. Elisa Guadarrama, the wedding coordinator at Secrets Akumal. Elisa made sure that every little detail was taken care of so that we didn’t have to worry about anything. I thought a destination wedding would be so much easier than one here, but coordinating with someone in another country proved to have its challenges. Elisa was great to work with- very responsive and helpful. She is very laid back and has it all under control. 


Since the resort had only opened a few months prior, I had my concerns. My sister, mother and I ended up visiting the resort in February to meet with Elisa. It was nice to be able to see everything in person and finalize details. She spent a lot of time walking us through everything. And then once we arrived for our actually wedding, she was right there for us—from arrival, to rehearsal dinner, to ceremony. I couldn’t have asked for a better wedding coordinator, we had ZERO complaints about our wedding, it was such a great experience.

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Inspiration for the big day design? The beach! I knew all along that I wanted a destination wedding. I didn’t really have a color scheme in mind. When looking for bridesmaids dresses, I knew I didn’t want the typical bridesmaids dress. I found a navy silk print dress at J.Crew that had some faded flowers in different shades of blue. So, shades of blue with touches of gold became my color scheme, which fit nicely with a beach wedding.

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We had welcome bags for each our guests that included a personalized canvas bag (we screen printed on the bags), sunglasses, koozies, a rally towel, playing cards, aloe, some aspirin and Pepto tablets, an itinerary of events along with some drink suggestions for the resort, and a “Clark” candy bar to represent our last name. I (with the help of my super talented mother) also designed, printed, and made the wedding day programs. I was really pleased with how they turned out and several people asked what company we had print them. They looked very professional, but had lots of personal touches that made them just the way I wanted! My original plan was to order a design from Etsy, but I found the designs were limited in what I could change, the organization of the layout, etc. 

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Favorite moments from the day?

Having the 1st time my husband see me be when I was about to walk down the aisle towards him. We chose not to do a first look before the wedding (even though it would have made pictures a lot easier!). It was such a magical feeling. I’m really glad this is something we didn’t budge on. 

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We had my maid of honor (my sister) and his best man (his brother) help officiate the wedding. We put a lot of time and energy into thinking exactly what we wanted to include and what wasn’t as important to use as part of the ceremony and had it all typed up for them, but they added their own personal touches. My sister had asked us the reasons why we wanted to marry the other, and she read our responses. His response was so touching and was the part of the ceremony that meant the most to me. Having them officiate the wedding versus someone who hardly knows us meant the world to us!

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The week of our wedding, we decided to add fire-dancers and extend our reception an extra hour. Even though this put us above our budget, it was so worth it! Some other touches I really liked was the guitar player for our ceremony and a Caribbean trio playing during the cocktail hour.

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I married into a family of really talented singers. My husband’s brother sang a song to us at the reception just after dinner was served. And then as the night when on, other people felt enough liquid courage to grab the mic and sing along to some of our favorite songs and they ROCKED it! 

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Be Photography 

Wedding Vendors: Venue, Catering, and Accommodations: Secrets Akumal, Wedding Dress: House of Brides (Chicago), Dress Alterations: Classic Tailors (Houston), Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew

 

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Temecula Wedding Location: Pechanga Resort & Casino

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Did you know that Southern California has a wine country?  And a beautiful one too!  Temecula is home to rolling hills, boutique wineries, and even a fabulous resort to call home for your destination wedding!  Set just outside of the wineries, a few minutes from the vines is Pechanga Resort & Casino, the perfect place to wed when heading south for an outdoors wedding in wine country.  I recently got to test drive what a wedding would be like here…and let’s just say, I’ll be back!

You may think you want to say “I do” among the grapes, but once you set foot on Pechanga’s private garden ceremony site, you may think again.  A beautifully manicured lawn and garden with a raised platform just for you, your ceremony point will be protected by trees yet overlook the beautiful golf course and valley beyond.

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Then head to the patio nearby for a fire pit-clad cocktail hour (perfect for s’mores) and enjoy a jaw-dropping setting complete with old-fashioned bridge just beyond, where most brides and grooms can be found taking portraits in a place unlike any other.

For dinner, dine under the stars or indoors at Journey, a swanky restaurant the property shuts down just for you and 180 of your closest friends and family.  You’ll enter by a large, two-story stone fireplace and head into a space that’s already dressed up so you need not do much to make it picture-perfect.

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Then it’s time to eat.  And eat you will!  The food at Pechanga Resort & Casino is something to write home about.  Wow, it’s better than good.  Your first meal as newlyweds will be one you remember.

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But a destination wedding to Southern California’s wine country isn’t all about the wedding day.  What I love about Pechanga is all there is do on property AND nearby.  You can take your guests to a comedy show in their comedy club instead of hosting a stuffy rehearsal dinner.  If there’s a concert in town, you can catch that too in their theater.  If you like to gamble, there’s a major casino on property.  And if you don’t, it’s housed a shuttle ride away from the wedding space so you’ll never even know it’s there.  But if you do like to play a little, might we suggest a family round of bingo or a poker tournament for your group?  Pechanga can set up gaming activities for your group too – even lessons for those needing a little help!

Then don’t forget to arrange a shuttle to the wineries for some tastings along the way and perhaps even a day after trash the dress session!

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The rooms at Pechanga Resort & Casino are lovely, the staff knows their stuff, the activities are endless, and the wedding spaces and menus are surprisingly unique and delightful.  Home run if you’re looking for a domestic destination I do and a wine country that’s a little more relaxed with a lot more to do.  Oh, and did we mention Pechanga is undergoing a 285 million dollar expansion and renovation?  That means this time next year, you’ll find even more to do on property with even more luxury at your fingertips.  Booking now means getting in before it’s booked later.

{Photos: Image 1: Pechanga, Image 2, 3, 6: Hulse Photo, Image 4, 5: Jenna Joseph Photography}

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Boho Chic Dreamcatcher Wedding Ideas

If you’re getting married and looking to weave in elements of that boho chic vibe on your wedding day, then take a look at the dreamcatcher!  Once considered a symbol of unity of nations, today it can enhance the design of your wedding.  If you want to catch a few big day dreams on your big day, then consider these creative ideas to dazzle your wedding guests before and on the wedding day.

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{Photos: Couple: Emily Katharine Photography, Save the Date: Not on the High Street, Dessert Table: Brenner Liana, Ceremony: Let’s Frolic Together, Wide Table with Arch: Bobby Kiran Photography, Napkin: Tory Williams Photography, Cake: Julie Cate}

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