5 Reasons to Have a Michigan Summer Camp Wedding


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Liv Lyszyk is a queer and LGBTQ+ wedding photographer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Focusing on capturing diverse and fierce love for the everyday couple.







5 Reasons to Have a Michigan Summer Camp Wedding

Summer camp weddings have become the next biggest wedding trend for 2021 and beyond. Couples have realized just how many benefits there are when booking a camp versus a traditional venue. Michigan summer camp weddings especially have become more popular and after reading this you’ll see exactly why!

Summer Camp Wedding in Michigan at Camp Newaygo photography by Liv Lyszyk Photography a queer Grand Rapids wedding photographer

The Cost

Many Michigan summer camp weddings are cheaper than traditional venues. Often times these weddings take place before or after summer camp programming and camps are looking for extra revenue and have lower fees for rentals. Camps usually will rent for the whole weekend giving couples the chance to have a longer rental without the higher cost. Because of the gorgeous natural settings it also cuts down on decor costs. You’re surrounded by the natural beauty without needing to add much extra. Michigan summer camp weddings also allow you to offer a place for guests to stay included in your rental cost. All those little things can add up with traditional venues and cause lots of hidden costs you don’t account for.

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Ease of Locations

Couples can usually book the whole camp for the weekend giving guests a convenient place to crash after the party. Who doesn’t love a good nostalgic cabin getaway?  No drinking and driving, no worry about hotel blocks, no need for a limo or bus to transport everyone. It literally is all included in the camp rental! Lots of Michigan summer camp weddings have multiple locations for the events all on the property. Perhaps a lakeside ceremony, then cocktails by the main house, and reception in the pavilion. No matter what your style it’s easy to have a variety of spaces for your guests to move to throughout the wedding.

grand rapids wedding photographer Liv Lyszyk Photography at Camp Newaygo for a Summer Camp Wedding in Michigan

Built-in Theme

The whole idea of a Michigan summer camp wedding evokes lots of ideas for activities, food, games, and vibe. Couples can run with the nostalgic theme and create really unique things. One of my couples who got married at a camp DIYed a giant jenga game, cornhole board, and other camp themed activities. Guests loved being transported back to the days of hanging by the lake and making those memories. That same couple also make camp packets full of info, maps, timeline, and other important stuff for all the guests. The bride designed it as if it were a camp handbook and it was one of the few times guests actually kept wedding info since it looked so good! Even if you don’t go full on camp theme, the outdoor setting can inspire you to create a unique wedding!

Camp Merrie Woode Girl Scout Camp Wedding Michigan Wedding Photographers Liv Lyszyk Photography

Choice of Vendors

Because summer camp weddings are a newer thing many times the venues will allow you to bring in your own vendors. This can play into the cost aspect as well, but you aren’t limited to one caterer or bar etc. By choosing your own vendors you can craft the wedding into exactly what you’re envisioning. Tacos, BBQ, Pizza, literally anything is possible, and Michigan summer camp weddings can take advantage of the kitchen facilities on site. If you’d prefer to DIY the whole catering aspect you can have folks cooking in the kitchen the day before to prep and get ready. That full weekend rental thing can really come in handy!

Availability and Guest Count

Since Michigan summer camp weddings are still gaining popularity most times these venues have a pretty open calendar. If you need a last minute venue, or just want to know you have lots of options, camps can be the solution. Some of my favorites are Camp Blodgett, Camp Merrie Woode, Circle Pines Center, Sherman Lake, Camp Linden. One of the advantages to having the whole camp is not needing to cut your guest count due to space. These outdoor facilities can accommodate larger groups than most traditional venues. If you have a ton of extra cousins, aunts, step siblings, etc. this can be a great venue to consider!

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As you can see there are tons of benefits to having a Michigan summer camp wedding, if you want to see more for inspiration check out Morgan and Abe // Camp Merrie Woode // Michigan Wedding Photographers, Nicole and Rob | Camp Newaygo | Michigan Summer Camp WeddingNikki and Carolyn | Delton, MI | Queer Wedding Photographer and Ashlee and Allison | West Olive, MI | LGBT Wedding Photographer. All of these couples used their camp spaces in different ways and made it unique to their love story. I’m definitely excited to see these camp weddings making their way into the wedding industry. It’s a great cost effective alternative than just a banquet hall or church! I’m also kind of a self appointed expert in photographing Michigan summer camp weddings so if you need someone to document I’m your girl!

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