authenticity 101

camping wedding

Did You Say Camping Wedding?


Camping Wedding

If there is any event in your life where having a vision is really quite important, it’s a wedding. No matter how big or small, casual or formal your ceremony and reception are, the day you get married should be full of good moments and feelings of happiness and love. The part we often forget though is that the months (or weeks in our case) leading up to it should also be fun and that we can’t get lost in the details.

Visioning has become such a big part of our life that when Phil and I talk about planning things, we start with the end in mind. What was the overall feeling we wanted at our wedding? That our guests feel comfortable and at ease in a casual natural environment that allowed for organic conversations and a moments of connection. Hmmm. That sounds a lot like sitting around a campfire. Which is exactly how we met each other. So we decided to turn our backyard into a camping retreat in the city. In the space of 5 weeks, we created a space which included a true campsite area with picnic tables and a fire pit on cedar mulch under a canopy of mature maples. We had a “glamping” lounge with rugs, sectional furniture and a chandelier for the non-camping crowd and our own backyard with a deck and a willow tree for the ceremony. Oh, and a 50’ by 30’ white tarp over our entire back yard, 30 feet in the air above the willow. The people who saw the “before” and “after” shots were incredulous that we pulled it off. They never could have imagined it.

The part that is hardest to explain about visioning is that
you don’t have to know how you will accomplish it. You just have to envision it and then take the steps to make it happen. The universe will support your vision as long as you have faith, apply your time and energy to the details of supporting your vision and do the work. Each step in the direction of your vision will bring it to reality.

When we first thought of using the back yard, we had to pause as our yard is tiny. It meant really scaling back our guest list which we were loathe to do. As we continued working through the details of how to make our vision a reality and accommodate our guest list of 140, we approached our neighbours with the idea of knocking down the fence between our yards in order to add extra space for our event. Since we were offering to re-landscape their space and pay to re-build the fences, they agreed. So our vision of a camping wedding in the city was suddenly completely possible as we had 3 distinct yards to create outdoor “rooms”. From that point on, hard work, lots of helping hands and a open mind to accept ideas from friends all came together to create our ideal wedding. The best part? Phil and I rarely disagreed. We tore down fences, built a deck, bought dishes and lanterns, put up a tarp, created an invitation, wrote our vows ... you name it, we did it. Together and with a lot of laughter and ease. How is it possible that planning the wedding was so much fun? I truly believe it’s because we were doing exactly what we wanted to do and we had a common vision that we kept in sight. We were doing this wedding for us, and it reflected our values and the things we cherish: our children, our families and friends, our home and our love of community and entertaining. And camping!

It really was magical. Everything fell into place, including the weather, and we have incredibly beautiful memories of our wedding. An event that reflected our values and even included my ex-husband. The fact that he was present and supportive of my new life was priceless and part of my vision for a healthy and loving future for my girls and new blended family.

So once again, I have proof positive that the “how do I get there?” is not important. It’s the “what do I truly want?” that’s crucial. A clear vision from a heart-felt place is all you need. The how to make it real will show up and you just have to be ready to do the work.