A Summer Camp Wedding in the Poconos

September 14, 2012 ,
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A true love story dating back to when the bride and groom attended Pine Forest Camp as campers themselves, then as camp counselors and administrators. They even shared their first kiss under the Friendship Tree. Their charming country wedding took place at the end of summer when the last of the young campers had headed home, the football fields were quiet and the wildflowers were at their peak. Owned by the bride’s parents, Pine Forest Camp is a coed sleepaway camp with a sprawling compound that supports sports, arts, theater, cooking, horseback riding and more. Truly, the camp is a labor of love for this family and choosing a location for their daughter’s wedding was a no-brainer. It could only happen at camp! The 400 wedding guests were invited to their own “mini wedding camp” weekend packed full of activities, such as a welcome luau, aerobics classes, flag football, fishing, tented barbecue rehearsal dinner, fireworks, bonfires, lunches in the dining hall and horseback riding. In addition to the camp cabins, every hotel, motel, and bed and breakfast for miles was filled with guests. It was a warm, inviting and playful wedding celebration that made everyone feel like part of the family.

{Photos: Love Shack Photo}

Bride and Groom Portrait Pine Forest Camp Wedding


white country bridal bouquets snow berries ranunculus lily of the valley evantine design

The bride had a clear vision of her wedding from the beginning, wanting an organic, natural elegance that felt “traditional wedding” without stuffy formality. The idea was to reference the beautiful natural landscape, rather than work against it. Our mission was clear, and tones of taupe, ivory, blush, green and white were layered with linens, flowers, and lighting for a soft, heirloom aesthetic. The personal flowers embodied the design as well, beginning with the bride’s hand-tied bouquet of garden roses, lady’s mantle, arabicum, lily of the valley, ranunculus, stock, scented geranium, and snowberries.

Bridal Party Photo Cabin Marigold Pine Forest Camp Weddings-c

Bridal Bouquets Country Flowers Modern Styling Evantine Design-c

The bridesmaids were dressed in fawn dresses and rather than bouquets, each attendant was given a floral bracelet. Each bracelet was designed differently using flowers such as Helleborus, lotus pods, orchids, nigella, Lysimachia, viburnum berry, hydrangea, chinaberry, rose hips, roses, fiddlehead ferns and sedum.  Only the maid of honor carried a bouquet and it was a stunner made with textural flowers like antique hydrangea, hosta leaves, fiddle head ferns, scented geranium, spray roses, scabiosa, and stock.

Bridesmaids Floral Bracelets Evantine Design Love Shack-c13

Country Chuppah Camp Weddings Evantine Love Shack

Despite a devastating summer storm that destroyed half of the Friendship Tree, the bride and groom were determined to hold their traditional Jewish wedding ceremony under the sentimental tree. In fact, they had a local artist design their Chuppah, Ketubah easel and ceremonial table out of the broken pieces of the tree. We then went to work, creating a base for the poles to appear “planted” with a natural design of flowers and foliage hiding the mechanics, as well as visually anchoring the posts to the ground. Long 20 foot garlands of white flowers were suspended from the Friendship Tree behind and over the ceremony Chuppah. The bride’s mother collected vintage handkerchiefs that were offered to guests on a simple wooden table along with suede yarmulkes and ceremony programs.

Vintage Hankies Kippot and Program Table Camp Wedding Evantine Love Shack-c

jewish wedding ceremonies outdoor chuppahs country weddings

Recessional Camp Wedding Kissing Tree Evantine Love Shack-c

After the ceremony, while the bride and groom returned to the Guest House for their Yicchud, their guests headed down to the Girls Camp for an open-air cocktail reception. A folk music group provided lively background music while guests enjoyed seasonal fare from Max Hansen Caterer, including stylish passed hors-d’oeuvres and an elaborate Tomato Station. We covered our custom-built 18-foot whitewashed table with various bowls, trestles and vases filled fresh flowers and vibrant produce. Additional tasty food stations and full-service bars were placed around the lawn for guests to sample until sundown.


cocktail reception summer camp weddings pennsylvania

cocktail reception summer camp weddings pennsylvania

country cocktail arrangements pennsylvania outdoor weddings evantine design

Throughout the cocktail space, we dressed the cocktail tables, bars, and stations with mismatched rustic tins and jars filled with textural floral arrangements. Ornamental cabbage, viburnum berry, rose hips, hydrangea, stock, hosta leaves and roses in different soft shades added subtle coloring to the natural setting.

fun bride and groom formal photos summer theater love shack photo

Together with their entire bridal party, the bride and groom took photos all over the campgrounds including the playhouse.

Stone Placecards Escort Card Table Outdoor Weddings Organic

As guests made their way from cocktails up to the Dining Hall, they first stopped at the place card table to find their seating assignments. We created a 24-foot display using rustic wooden tables covered with moss, rocks, lanterns, branches, bird’s nests, candles and landscape foliage.  Nestled in and around the moss and flowers were hand-calligraphed place card stones.

Rock Placecards Country Weddings Evantine Design Love Shack

Camp Cafeteria Wedding Poconos Evantine Design Love Shack

The existing camp Dining Hall was the ideal location for the dinner dance celebration. Not only did it have the space needed, but it was also weather-proof and conveniently located next to a large commercial kitchen. The dinner tables were designed using rectangular tables covered in a variety of natural fabrics in ivory, champagne, and taupe. The existing ladderback chairs were perfect and added another layer of country chic to the look. The floral centerpieces were also varied across the tables in depression glass, ceramic, silver, iron and tin vessels. Flowers such as amaryllis, astilbe, fiddlehead fern, garden roses, Helleborus, hydrangea, ranunculus, hyacinth, Lysimachia, Lotus Pods, queen Anne’s lace, rose hips, nigella, orchids, phlox, stock, chinaberry, viburnum and viburnum berry, ladies mantle, mountain mint, rosemary, scented geranium, bush ivy, privet berries, scabiosa, sedum, freesia, lilies, and other landscape materials like dusty miller were used. Heck, we even used whole Seckel pears and lady’s apples in some of the designs!

Centerpieces Camp Wedding Evantine Love Shack

Dance Floor Summer Camp Weddings in the Poconos Philadelphia Weddings

One of the biggest design challenges in the space was what to do with the industrial lighting fixtures across the ceiling. Unable to get them totally removed (darn it), we instead covered all 100 fixtures with stylish rice paper lanterns.

Tall Wedding Centerpieces with Branches Ivory Linens Weathered Iron Urns Crystal Stemware

Wildflower Dinner Tables Camp Wedding Evantine Design Love Shack

Country Flowers Polka Dot Linens Camp Weddings-c

Max Hansen designed an incredible dinner, beginning with a trio of sweet pea soup with preserved lemon and curry oil, a roasted beet Napolean and a summer ratatouille with Sungold cherry tomato coulis. The entree was a tableside choice of braised beef short ribs or halibut served with sweet pepper jam and lemon Aleppo oil. A whole host of seasonal vegetables accompanied the meal, like Blue Lake beans, snap peas, cranberry beans, and mashed Yukon Gold potatoes. Delicious!

Pre-plated first courses late summer wedding menus max hansen caterer-c

Garden Roses Fiddlehead ferns china berries whole pears hydrangea hosta evantine design

Sid Miller Dance Band Poconos Camp Wedding Evantine Design

Dancing the Hora Jewish Summer Camp Weddings Evantine Design

The Sid Miller Dance Band had the dance floor PACKED all evening, beginning with the Hora. So packed that it was impossible to get the wedding cake rolled onto the center of the dance floor!

Plated Apple Tarts Max Hansen Weddings

A ton of dessert was served throughout the evening, beginning with alternating plated desserts of dark chocolate pudding and caramelized apple tarts. Then, out came the large Sweets Tables all around the Dining Hall laden with croquembouches, chocolates, cakes, pies and fresh fruit. THEN, the wedding cake was served. This lovely three-tier carrot cake was created by both Lynn Morrow, who baked the cakes, and Sheelah at Torte Knox, who decorated the cake with elegant string work. The whimsical topper was provided by the bride and groom (of course!).

traditional wedding cake with elegant string work and a whimsical topper

Even after the band stopped playing, and the bonfire went out on the terrace, the bride and groom still managed to find the time for one last memorable photo. That is, until the morning, when brunch began… then the baseball game…

Bride and Groom Portrait Camp Weddings Pennsylvania Evantine Design

A special, heartfelt word of thanks to Love Shack Photo for these amazing photographs! Thank you for sharing them with us.


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