13 Mar

Michigan camp wedding: Michael + Hillary

categories Real Weddings

Minus the ghost stories and panty raids, going off to camp as a kid is a fun childhood memory to have. Hillary never had a chance to go, so when she decided on her wedding being at Camp Pendalouan in West Michigan, you better believe guests packed up their sleeping bags and hunkered down on bunk beds. It wouldn’t have been a true camp style wedding without some DIY – bunting flags, matchbook programs, floral arrangements, and even a custom built bar – the crafty hands were sure at work on this one!

grand rapids michigan camp wedding

The Grecian look and feel of Hillary’s Tibi dress is completely winning us over. Classy, soft and contrasts nicely against the fallen leaves of the campsite.

tibi new york wedding dress

grand rapids michigan wedding

outdoor ceremony grand rapids michigan

Guests were given such creative DIY programs! They looked like over-sized matchbooks and had confetti packets inside.

diy matchbook program

bunting banner ceremony decor

We’re so used to seeing bunting banners strung high up and love how they placed it below the stage. Gives a nice touch of decor in an unexpected place.

outdoor wedding grand rapids michigan

bunting banner reception decor

Even the bar was DIY. Hillary’s father built it for her brother while he was in college (nice gift dad!).

white and pink flowers

They thrifted a ton and recycled bottles and jars for the flowers + candle holders.

post card wedding favors

A custom made rubber stamp, vintage postcards and you’ve got yourself the perfect camp-inspired guestbook.

post card wedding favors

cabin wedding reception

bunting reception decor

sparkler send-off

Sneak a peek at where all the inspiration for their campout wedding came from in Hillary’s “Wedding Camp Inspiration” Pinterest board.

Congratulations Michael + Hillary!

Photography: Steven Michael Photo / Venue + food: Camp Pendalouan / Band: Wagon / DJ: A.M. Garcia / Photobooth + video: George Aye / Invitations: designed by couple, printed at Smartpress / Guestbook postcards: Bursts of Creativity / Rubber address stamps: Simon Stamp / Vintage postage stamps: Stamp King / Flowers: bride + friends / Bride’s dress: Tibi / Shoes: Lori’s / Wedding bands: Jeweler on the Roof  / Groom’s suit: De Louice / Shoes: Nunn Bush

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  1. This is gorgeous. Camp Pendalouan sounds like an awewsome place for grownups in love, and we’re quite fond of the matchbox programs and hardwood guestbook.

    This is a very creative wedding that must have been a blast to shoot.

  2. Such a cute and unique wedding idea! I love all the DIY decor!

  3. This is great! We talked about doing a wedding at a camp or state park. This wedding makes me wished we had gone that route!

  4. thanks for sharing this great wedding. It was a privilege to photograph Michael & Hillary!!!

  5. The programs are just gorgeous. And the floral arrangements are perfect!

  6. I love the bride’s skinny gold belt – would love to know where it is from!

  7. What a beautiful wedding. I love that they had it a camp!

  8. I’m really loving this rustic wedding! and I loved seeing the cans used with the jars as flower vessels. Very different. :)

  9. I love the simple and pleasant vibe of this wedding. Her dress is beautiful!

  10. Love love love!!! Love the details! Thanks for posting! – Jessica

  11. Oh, Hillary! I love it! It looks absolutely wonderful. It makes me feel a swelling of wonderful for you and your happiness.

  12. Amazing wedding photo album.Her wedding dress looks beautiful and pleasant.Wedding dress addresses the wedding occasion perfectly.

  13. What a great feature and yet another really neat idea for using a rubber stamp, ours certainly has been very popular…


  14. it must be very romantic to have a forest wedding. wishing the new couples happy forever. :)

  15. LOVE LOVE LOVE! I always wondered what a wedding at my own YMCA camp would be like… This is perfect, down to every last detail!

  16. Love the details!

  17. Hi, all! Thanks for the compliments. It was really the most fun ever and totally fantastic. I’d recommend the idea of a camp wedding and Pendalouan specifically for any laidback, fun-loving couples.

    Thanks for the dress compliments. Before the wedding one of my husband’s friends told me I looked “beautiful…and comfortable!” That was really important to me – to not feel held-back by a giant dress.

    Britt – the belt is old. I am not even sure where it’s from (H&M, I think) but I’ve owned it forever. I wore shoes and jewelry I already owned, too. I looked for new pieces but never found anything I loved (lots of returns).

    I’m hoping to eventually get a TON of details up on my own blog – so follow up if you are interested in more details!

    Thanks again to everyone involved in the wedding (esp. Steve, our awesome photographer, and Pendalouan) and to everyone who checked out the wedding, pinned images and commented. Thanks to 100LC for the feature! xo

  18. Oh, and, actually, I was just re-reading this post: we didn’t “thrift” the flower containers – we saved them all up ourselves. We washed and de-labeled wine bottles, pickle jars, soup cans, etc. :)

  19. Hilary — beautiful bride and amazing wedding!

    I feel in love with your matchbook program and working on a similar project. Any way you might share the template for the design?

    Many thanks from one bride to another and congratulations!


  20. HI! I’m looking to have an outdoor wedding and was searching the internet recently and changed my mind to have our wedding at a camp site/ group camping facility. I live in MI too, this article was inspiring. Do you have any suggestions on sites in MI, near Grand Rapids (within 40 miles). Thanks

  21. Lovely wedding pictures and a very novel way to get wed, wouldn’t happen in the UK (probably because of the weather!) but I like it and wish you a happy life together…
    From all at Custom Stamps Online

  22. Hi, I’d love to know where the bride got her blanket wrap! I’m getting married at the YMCA camp where I met my fiancé five years ago… it will be kind of late fall and I’m looking for something to wrap up in that is not going to take away from my dress. Anyone know where I can get this one, or one like it? Thanks!

  23. Melinda:
    My husband bought me the wrap (which is more of a poncho/serape). I THINK it may have been from Belkina (http://www.beklina.com/) but I got it from him 2 Christmases ago (the only new thing I wore at my wedding was my dress). You may be able to email them and ask if they know the brand (it doesn’t have a label in it). Although, sorry, I’m not positive that that is where it’s from.

    Actually, not that many people in the Midwest have outdoor weddings because of the weather. We had a back-up plan and when the weather turned really cold, we moved everything inside except the ceremony. I really really wanted to be married outdoors.

    I mean, THIS wedding is near GR. It’s linked in the post. We otherwise didn’t find many that allowed booze. If you aren’t serving alcohol there are tons of options.

    Congrats! I have been meaning to do a tutorial for the matchbooks but have not got around to it.

    Thanks, all!

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  26. Lovely wedding and such unique ideas; thank you for sharing!

    Toby had asked about venues for outdoor weddings in West Michigan – Camp Pendalouan is a YMCA Camp; I would think if you googled YMCA Camps in Michigan you could come up with a few within 50 miles of GR. Another option is the Muskegon State Park. It has a Winter Sports Complex/small lodge area and is not utilized much in the off-season. It would be a great venue for a woodsy wedding. Lastly, I am not sure if Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp is still offering its site for weddings, but I was married there 25+ years, ago. BLFAC is a gorgeous location with many option for outdoor/indoor events.

    In addition to the comment about Michigan’s weather being difficult for outdoor weddings; the other aspect for Michiganders to shy away from outdoor weddings is because many of the outdoor venues are booked with other events during the optimal, warmer, Summer months. This leaves nuptial seekers booking in the off-season, which again would be risky with the weather.

    I hope this helps! Happy Nuptials to All :)

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