We both love the outdoors, and A has fond memories of summer camp out in the woods in Maine. He even proposed while we were wandering around an uninhabited island (except for vacationers) off the coast of Sweden. So a big function hall just didn't feel very us.
It was a struggle. I was excited about this lovely historic carriage house in my hometown, but A claimed that any wedding there would be too cookie-cutter. I found old barns and interesting museums. They were all expensive and it was hard to get much information from people about dates, drinks, and other details. (In case I forgot to mention already, I live in California and the wedding is in the Boston area, so planning takes even more Internetting and phoning and trusting my mother's judgment on the looking at places and sending back pictures aspects).
And then my brother's fiance, who had been planning for a few months already and is magical, sent me a link to an old summer camp that now hosts vacationers and functions. And it's amazing! A loved it because it brings back his own summer camp memories. I love it because we can make a weekend of it and have a campfire barbecue welcome ("rehearsal"-esque) dinner with silly songs and s'mores. We get to think of it much more like a family reunion, a fabulous idea I got from 2000 Dollar Wedding. And it's just gorgeous!
The outside (cocktails, hanging out, and rain-plan ceremony site) looks like this:
The inside (dinner, dancing, the rest of the reception site) looks like this (twinkly lights included!):
The outside outside (sunny day ceremony site) looks like this:
And the campsite/fire pit looks like this!
So with smiles from the weather-gods, we can have the ceremony outside, under a tree, and then party it up in the lodge, and then go hang out around a campfire and drink some beers. How exciting is that! I even get to have a second wedding outfit!* Because, really, sitting on a log in front of a potentially-coal-spewing fire is just not a good way to ensure I can dye, hem, and re-wear it.
* NB: "second wedding outfit" will be jeans and a hoodie, with my hair still up. Ain't no way I'm buying a special outfit to sit around a fire drinking beers in. The point here is comfort, people! Comfort! And beer and fire!