Peninsula National Park, Egg Harbor, Wisconsin
Shelly and David wanted something close to their hearts for their wedding day. They wanted an August, authentic wedding experience with less stress and more fun, a rustic outdoor theme, and a great adventure. They also wanted to come back with amazing pictures.
“We are campers, hikers, and bikers. Our vacations are always outdoors in nature," Shelly explained during our initial meeting. Her vision of the wedding day was so vivid—the ceremony location, the vibe, the places where she wanted their pictures taken.
The couple had camped the year before at Peninsula National Park, They decided to go back there again to tie the knot.
“If you want to get married in a pile of dirt, let me put some flowers on it!” This is what Lisa, Shelly’s sister, told her when she shared her vision with her. And she did! Flowers were a part of the wedding. There was also an old-fashioned touch: handmade decor for tables, a rustic wood cake stand, lanterns, burlap, and lace at the tables.
The first look took place on top of a cliff. The groom, dressed in his white shirt and blue tie, and I climbed up to a beautiful lookout point where we waited for the lady in the white dress to arrive for the first look.
David and Shelly wanted to offer their 50 guests an adventurous experience. Better than being in a confined venue space, they thought. So they rented a secluded campsite and mapped the location for their guests. The trail to the camp was a dirt road; nature and trees surrounded the camp base, which also had access to the lake.
The whole wedding was a collaborative effort from family members and close friends. Shelly’s makeup was done by her sister-in-law, Katie. A friend delivered food to the site from Green Bay. The officiant was the couple's friend as well.
Even though the couples went the non-traditional route for the day, they did not miss out on cutting the cake, making speeches, or enjoying their first dance, and Mr. and Mrs.
After dinner and speeches came a surprise visit from the couple’s friends, who showed up rowing the canoe they bought as a gift!
It was time for the bride & groom’s pictures. We had to drive to be able to get to all of the sites that the bride and groom had requested. We raced down the curvy road to the lighthouse, then to the pier to catch the sunset hue on time.
The drive was full of great camping adventure stories that Shelly and David shared. They talked about how scared they were the day they had to bike back to their camp base for more than an hour on a pitch-black night because they wanted to watch the sunset at the pier. They recalled a night when it was storming while they were inside their tent trying to get warm.
Despite some rough nights encountered while camping, Shelly and David agreed that spending nights under the stars makes it all worth it.
Being part of a wedding and capturing a love story is always an extremely rewarding experience, but being part of an adventure wedding is unforgettable!
Venue: Peninsula State Park Lakeshore Campsite, a photography permit is required.
Catering service: Qdoba.
Wedding dress: David’s Bridal.