A Charming Cottagecore Summer Camp Wedding in Wisconsin

Anyone who’s ever spent a summer away at camp will tell you: there’s just something inexplicably magical about the connections you make there. And if there was ever a love story worthy of an epically immersive summer camp wedding, it’s Maeve + Ryan’s. 

Maeve + Ryan met at camp in Indiana when they were only 13. The two quickly became close friends and later were counselors together at the very same camp where they first met. From there, Maeve + Ryan headed off to the same college and becoming a couple not long after.

To pay tribute to their relationship’s summer camp rom com-worthy origins, Maeve + Ryan took over Camp Wandawega in Elkhorn, Wisconsin and with the help of Rosewood Weddings created “Camp Smitty.” 

Guests stayed in bunks for the weekend as “campers.” To set the playful, outdoorsy tone, the celebrations began the day before the wedding with tons of lakeside fun + games, and the wedding day itself was a dreamy cottagecore fantasy full of whimsy + nostalgia. 

Floral arrangements of airy baby’s breath and earthy mosses seemed to blossom magically from trees and tabletops. Deep greens and summery neutrals created a romantic, woodsy energy. And Wanderlynn Photography perfectly captured the way that Maeve + Ryan infused every element with the childhood joys of their history.

Lakeside Fun

To kick things off, Maeve + Ryan joined their guests for some sunny, festive watersports on Lake Wandawega. LOVE Maeve’s retro tennis gear-inspired matching set! Check out this one from Nordstrom Rack for a similar look!

SO cute that both Maeve + Ryan added retro custom embroidered logo patches to their looks to make them “Camp Smitty” official.

Nothing brings wedding guests together like some friendly competition!

Taking over an entire summer camp with all your favorite people for a whole weekend literally sounds like a childhood dream come true…

That’s why summer camp weddings and multi-day celebrations are two of our favorite wedding trends to watch right now!

These two are too cute: even their cornflower blue swimsuits are coordinated 💙

A Camp Wandawega Wedding Day

Bride Maeve decided to dive into the world of DIY, creating paper goods and handmade details for her big day herself and in the process discovering a new passion.

“When researching paper goods and signage vendors,” Maeve says, “it never felt like any options were totally “us” or felt as unique and special as we wanted our day to be. This drove me to spend hours hand painting our invitations and envelopes, ceremony programs, 200 candle sticks, drink menus, dinner menus, welcome sign, seating chart, “just married” sign, our Camp Smitty logo and patches for guest party favors, and more! I loved this process so much that I started my own design business, Al Dente Designs Co, and have since been helping other couples create event decor that reflects their unique personalities, creates a lasting impression on guests, and fits cohesively into their venue and one-of-a-kind event.”

How cute are the matching gingham cami + shorts sets that Maeve’s besties rocked while they got ready! Charming cottagecore bridesmaid gift perfection. Shop the Papinelle Gingham Cotton Blend Seersucker Short Pajamas from Nordstrom to recreate the look!

Obsessed with the fact that Ryan’s groomsmen’s bowties all match his forest green wedding suit.

Wide Eyed Bride created Maeve’s effortlessly glam loose curls and dewy neutral makeup look.

How romantic is Maeve’s wildflower-inspired white, blush, and yellow bridesmaid bouquet?! And that’s just the beginning of the floral magic that Sunborn Gardens made for this whimsical, woodsy day.

Check out our favorite sage green bridesmaid dresses to recreate this bridal party’s earthy vibe.

It was the first one I tried on!” says Maeve of her ethereal, structured bodice, tiered skirt fairytale princess wedding gown. “I tried about twenty more after that and just kept going back to it. I wanted something that felt like an extension of myself and of the vintage, outdoor, lake house venue. Fashionable and functional. She even had pockets!

If you’re loving the look of Maeve + Ryan’s summer camp celebration as much as we are, definitely take a peek at this “Camp Champagne” Wisconsin wedding, also held at Camp Wandawega!

Love getting a peek of Maeve’s fab floral Brigitte mules in Raw Linen from Larroude! Floral wedding shoes are a fun + subtle way to include some whimsy in your wedding day look.

The Ceremony

Leave it to baby’s breath to take our breath away 🤍 So into these stunning floral hanging installations.

Fun fact: Maeve’s mom sewed trim from Etsy onto Maeve’s veil to give it that vintage feel.

Our Musical Choices

Processional: “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap + “O” by Coldplay (piano instrumental versions)

Recessional: “There She Goes” by The La’s (piano instrumental version)

First Dance: “500 Miles” - piano cover by Sleeping At Last transitioning into the original version by The Proclaimers.

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

From the bride: "Do things your way. It’s your day and there are no rules! If you’re inspired by getting married in nature, do it! If you want to wear a dress made out of your Nana’s old tablecloth to your rehearsal dinner, wear it! If personal touches are important to you, spend the money on those and skip the five-tier cake cutting or boutonnières! We made a lot of decisions that are considered non-traditional, like a rehearsal day consisting of cannonballs and canoe races, adding my mom into the father-daughter dance and speech because she’ll never have the chance and deserves the memories too, taking a moment away from the crowds to cut our mini cake up in the treehouse and providing guest’s with a giant bonfire and s’mores charcuterie board for dessert instead. We made these decisions because it’s how we envisioned our day, and because it was all so personal to us, it left our guests feeling closer to us as a couple than ever."

The Reception

We spy another Maeve-made creation from Al Dente Designs Co!

Dark wood tables + guest seating from Event Essentials created a whimsical outdoor picnic energy.

Another example of Maeve’s DIY handiwork! Loving the delicate florals of those hand painted taper candles.

You can tell by this smile: custom baseball caps are a unique + creative wedding guest favor everyone will love.

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

From the bride: "Our reception entrance! We didn’t have anything planned and the thought of the announcement and attention made us a little uneasy. We ended up throwing on sunglasses last minute, held hands, and were so pumped up by our favorite song “Love You Like That”, that we just started skipping through the main field. We had the tables set up in a giant “U” shape on the lawn, so every guest could see each other during dinner, and ended up skipping around the tables high-fiving and hugging friends and family, totally unplanned! If you would’ve told me we’d be skipping at our wedding, I wouldn’t have believed you! And it was a blast."

Gather Mobile Bar pulled up to pour drinks for all of the guests at “Camp Smitty.”

Maeve + Ryan skipped a giant wedding cake and instead went with cute custom cookies, all the campfire-ready fixings of a s’mores bar, and other delicious wedding desserts.

Heirloom MKE catered the evening’s fresh + summery feast.

Guests danced all night on the checkerboard dance floor to tunes courtesy of Milwaukee Airwaves.

Look through our collection of first dance songs for every couple’s style to find the right musical moment for your big debut as a married couple.

We love that Maeve + Ryan snuck away to do a private wedding cake cutting by themselves!

“At the end of the day, what everyone remembers is how the day made them feel,” say Maeve + Ryan of how they dreamed up the ideal energy of their big day. “We wanted that feeling to reflect the magic and simplicity of the purest form of happiness we’ve ever known: being thirteen years old at summer camp.”

This wedding day video by Sydney Clarson Photo + Film is absolutely not to be missed.

Congratulations, Maeve + Ryan, on your summer camp cottagecore wedding day! We are absolutely smitten with “Camp Smitty.” Wishing you both all the very best!

photography: Wanderylnn Photography // venue name: Camp Wandawega, Elkhorn, Wisconsin, US // event design: Rosewood Weddings // planning: Rosewood Weddings // florals: Sunborn Gardens // hair stylist: Wide Eyed Bride // makeup artist: Wide Eyed Bride // videography: Sydney Clarson Photo + Film // paper goods: Al Dente Designs Co. // calligraphy: Al Dente Designs Co. // handmade details: Al Dente Designs Co. // catering: Heirloom Mke // tabletop rentals: Event Essentials // furniture rentals: Event Essentials // music: Milwaukee Airwaves // cocktails: Gather Mobile Bar