Lauren and Craig bring Camp Champagne to Camp Wandawega over a long, beautifully intimate weekend in autumn
*The preface here is, it takes every ounce of my self-control not to just post this entire wedding gallery online. It's my opinion that the world truly needs to see every photo. Along with reading every email exchange and text thread I've had with Lauren and Craig throughout the year - because it's all wonderful. It's all warm, funny, amazing, authentic and true.
The coolest couple - truest relationship, most welcoming families...all set at - arguably the best wedding venue in Wisconsin - Camp Wandawega.
I always laugh thinking of Lauren's initial inquiry because she was waffling between two wedding venues: Milwaukee Art Museum and Camp Wandawega. Their aesthetics differ considerably, but Lauren explained it's all rooted in her and Craig's love of architecture and history.
Ultimately they selected Camp Wandawega because of all the things we love about camp...and the correlation to an annual event that they host called Camp Champagne.
Every summer, Lauren's family welcomes friends and neighbors to their lakefront home to partake in wildly competitive (and fun) field day activity games. Events include kickball, dodgeball, mesh pinnies, and (of course) bottles of champagne for the competing athletes.
For Lauren and Craig's wedding, the goal was to recreate the same love-filled, playful event that is Camp Champagne...and elevate it substantially.
Predominantly traveling in from the East Coast, weekend campers arrived on Thursday to explore the grounds and settle into their bunks. Cocktail hour and a Southern California-inspired rehearsal welcome dinner awaited guests on Picnic Hill that evening.
Getting ready on Friday morning, wedding day, included coffee campfires and vow writing. Lauren and her siblings got their hair and makeup done in the Hillhouse, while Craig and the guys hung around the Main Lodge...occasionally poking about the Wardrobe Dept.
It was decided that the couple's first look would take us deeper in the Camp Wandawega woods - showcasing the magnetic Love Nest.
A little side note since you've just scrolled through their wedding portraits: Physically, Lauren couldn't get any more beautiful, right? She's stunning. But for those reading who won't ever meet her, I just want to enlighten you. She does actually have the capacity to get even more beautiful; and it's when she speaks.
Everything that she says comes from a place of love. She is incredibly thoughtful, warm, witty and creative. Her unique grace and attraction comes beaming from inside...and that exterior beauty is ultimately just icing on the cake.
After playing around Camp Wandawega during couple portraits and getting a 'lil silly, Lauren and Craig refreshed up before their wedding ceremony.
Lauren and Craig held their wedding ceremony in the Chapel along Camp Wandawega's main entrance. Colorful flowers wrapped the infamous ceremony aisle tree trunk, and guests began filing in.
A dear friend of theirs officiated the ceremony, and did a phenomenal job. For 20 minutes, this little pocket of camp held decades worth of memories, and meaningful promises were made.
Please note the flower girls who handed out champagne in lieu of tossing flower petals.
An epic reception dinner display stretched across the entire Main Lawn with the iconic Camp Wandawega treehouse on display.
Our color palette was juicy with contrasting colors and nods to Dutch Masters designs and styling. I played with velvet, sky blue runners, and had the stationer incorporate champagne coupes, butterflies and other subtle salutes to our newlyweds throughout the tablescape.
This setting was one of the most specular vignettes of my career...in one of my favorite places! A true honor to produce this magical scene in celebration of such a wonderful couple.
This group loves to party - and one of their non-negotionables was having a full dance floor. Between the band's music and everyone's enthusiasm, that was an easy goal to meet.
Lauren returned to the reception tent with a sensational outfit change - then the dancing really took off.
Saturday morning started out a bit slower, with breakfast sandwiches and more coffee campfires. But serious business was imminent.
Athletes were given their pinnies and assigned teams. Field day games began across the Main Lawn and into the Camp Wandawega woods for archery. I'd imagine it was the most momentous season of Camp Champagne to date.
You could easily fill an entire book with the details of Lauren and Craig's wedding. Every guest who attended could include a heartfelt anecdote - every tear could be explained - every laugh could be relived in the written words of this love story.
Designing, styling and producing this wedding felt like a huge gift. Meeting these families and getting to know this couple were bonus presents. And ultimately sharing this wedding with you feels significant.
Thank you to the unimaginably talented group of wedding professionals who worked this wedding alongside me: Uttke Photography, Gione da Silva, Celebration on Wells, Sunborn Gardens, Bluewater Kings Band, Chance Productions, Relics Vintage Rentals, Julie Michelle Cakes, Paige Wallace Makeup, Tate Design Co., Nüage Designs