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Everything You Need to Know About a Camping Wedding

February 16, 2023

Every year, and especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more couples are reevaluating what their wedding day will look like for them. With 62% of couples open to considering an elopement-style wedding (and that number is on the rise), more brides and grooms want to focus on making their wedding day intimate and unique. Camping weddings are one of my favorite themes for making your scaled-back wedding more intimate and special.

My husband and I love to go camping together, we’ve done our share of both tent and RV camping trips. In my opinion, there’s no better way to have an epic adventure elopement

Field of Michigan | Couple Eloping at a Campsite | Brit Rader Photography

Keep reading as we dive into all things camping weddings. Find out what they are, why you should consider one, and I list a few great locations to hold yours. 

What is a Camping Wedding? 

Camping weddings are a special kind of wedding gaining tons of popularity. Maybe you’re thinking right now that “camping” and “weddings” go about as well together as orange juice and toothpaste. Yuck! If that’s you, consider glamping! Glamping is, as the name suggests, ”glamorous camping”. Glamping gets you the best of both worlds: you get to enjoy being out in stunning nature but also enjoy comfy modern luxuries. Electricity, A/C or heat, delicious meals, plush blankets, and a real mattress. These comforts and more are what make glamping so great! 

A camping wedding or a glamping elopement is just that: choosing to tie the knot and share your vows while enjoying the great outdoors and spending time closer to nature, as opposed to a church or traditional venue. Which sounds like the best day ever! 

Why Plan a Camping Wedding? 

There are many types of weddings, but more and more couples are finding that a private, two-day camping trip can be more memorable than a large party that only lasts for a few hours. You simply need a photographer who knows how to take photographs in nature and can take you on an exciting adventure together (hi!). 

Field of Michigan | Couple Eloping at a Campsite | Brit Rader Photography

As a destination wedding photographer, I have had the pleasure of being that photographer for some couples and capturing their special wedding moments while glamping. In my opinion, here are some of the top reasons why you should plan a camping wedding. 

Incredibly beautiful backdrops.

Where can you find more stunning and captivating backgrounds for your wedding photos than from nature itself? Forests, mountains, streams, valleys, all these places make for great photos and can really enhance the imagery of your special day. I always get a little giddy when I know I get to shoot a couple’s photos when they’re staying at a glamping site because I know they’ll have awesome photos!

Cheaper Accommodations.

There’s a fair chance that the cost of the wedding played a factor in your choice to hold an elopement-style wedding. If it did, you’ll be happy to hear that glamping is a great way to keep your wedding affordable but also have a high-quality, comfortable venue. At a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding venue, glamping sites offer comfort and style that allows you to savor the intimate experience with those closest to you. 

Camping perks without the downsides.

Due to glamping being a form of camping, you still get all the benefits of camping! Meaning you can enjoy starry nights, campfires and s’mores, hiking, and more. However, you also get much better accommodations than you do traditional camping. You can enjoy comfy beds, nearby 5-star restaurants, electricity hookups, etc. You get to experience the great outdoors without having to pack all of your camping gear. It’s the best of both worlds!

Field of Michigan | Couple Roasting Smores at their Elopement | Brit Rader Photography

Great accommodations.

Spending your weekend glamping doesn’t mean you are “roughing it” out in nature. Not many couples truly want to rough it for their wedding… but in my experience, most glamping sites have great accommodations for getting ready and enjoying yourself. For example, many glamping sites have electricity for doing your hair, giving you light to see when it gets dark, or plugging in some speakers for a dance party. 

Other great locations nearby most glamping sites I’ve seen include delicious, high-quality restaurants for enjoying a meal out together as a couple and national parks for enjoying the scenery and natural landscape around you.

Knowing Where to Hold Your Camping Wedding

The first known recorded glamping trip was way back in 16th century France. This was a huge diplomatic summit, known to history as the “Field of the Cloth of Gold”. It included some 2,800 people surrounding a fountain flowing with red wine! Talk about luxury! Really speaking my language now 🙂 

Okay, I’m only kidding. Kind of… Although that can be considered glamping, the term was coined back in 2005 and officially added to the dictionary in 2016. As you can see, the trendiness of glamping has skyrocketed since its beginning. That being said, there are tons of glamping sites with a large range in quality.

Field of Michigan | Glamping Tent | Brit Rader Photography

Keep in mind that there are perks and unique experiences found in every glamping site. However, I do want to warn against jumping straight to the cheaper option. Cheaper glamping locations (about 1-10 sites) will cost less but offer fewer accommodations, such as nearby restaurants, comfy beds, places to get ready, electrical outlets, or proximity to national parks. 

Make sure you do your research: look up the glamping location website, read the reviews, and even give them a call. Make sure they have everything you need and can accommodate the number of friends and family you might be bringing along. 

Best Locations

Without further ado, here are some of my top picks for where to hold your camping wedding:

Fields of Michigan, South Haven, MI

A perfect location for intimate weddings and elopements, the Fields of Michigan really highlights how powerful it is for a couple to come together in marriage. From spas and movie rooms to fishing and sailing, this place has everything you’d want to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and the comfort of the indoors. 

Bloomfield Meadows, Morrow County, OH 

Bloomfield Meadows is a charming and picturesque glamping site on a u-pick berry farm. It’s home to a cute small wedding venue and a few glamping tents that are perfect for the fanciful and romantic couple. And for you berry lovers, they offer a jam-making lesson! How fun is that?!

RoamBeyonder, Glacier, MT

Only a short drive from the breathtaking scenery of Glacier National Park, this Glacier location is a dreamy winter getaway. Anyone wanting to unwind and play in the snow, skiers looking to hit the slopes, and couples seeking a romantic weekend against the backdrop of a classic northern winter will find this to be the perfect location. 

Kissing Oaks at Tarahill Venue, St. Augustine, FL

Florida is a great destination for year-round elopements. For outdoor weddings and elopements, the Kissing Oaks at Tarahill offers a lovely setting among moss-covered oak trees. A wedding ceremony tree, glamping tent, mobile bar, and sweetheart table are all decorated with beautiful flowers.

MMW Retreat, Cassopolis, Michigan

Not too keen on camping, but still want the camping wedding aesthetic? This gem tucked away in Michigan takes camping weddings to the next level. With the cutest little newlywed suite, and rooms available for guests on the grounds, they can accommodate larger weddings and events and still hold on to the outdoorsy wedding vibes. 

These are just a few samples of great camping wedding locations. There is seriously no shortage of great places just like these all over the country! Glamping is a great way to celebrate the beginning of your marriage. The experience will be one you will never, ever forget! 

When you’re searching for a destination photographer who can capture the beautiful scenery of your camping wedding, make sure to send me a message! My role in your adventure is to inspire your wedding to be unapologetically catered to you. I can help plan it and bring it to life, then capture those memories for you and your partner to look back on for years to come.

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