Planning your Minnesota Camp Wedding – recommendations from a photographer

If you are planning your wedding at a camp in Minnesota or Wisconsin, you probably have a real love of togetherness, the outdoors, and camp fires.

The right photographer for you should be able add to your camp experience while documenting all the fun!

As a former camper, counselor, frequent photographer of outdoor weddings, and lifelong camp person at heart, I definitely have some recommendations when looking for a camp wedding photographer:

TIP ONE: GET IN THE CANOE. If you are getting in a canoe, your photographer should get in a canoe. Just trust me on this one, no other explanation needed.

minnesota camp wedding photographer at Voyegeur
Voyageur Wedding – minnesota camp wedding photographer

TIP TWO: FIND SOMEONE WHO LOVES CAMP AS MUCH AS YOU DO. You will want to make sure your photographer enjoys outdoors and camp life. This should be totally obvious, but you don’t want someone so scared of ticks that they avoid the forest. They should be comfortable running through the woods and following the action from campsites to docks. (Bonus: able to start campfires AND put them out)

minneapolis camp wedding with jamaican style
minnesota camp wedding photographer

TIP THREE: GENTLE CORRALLING OF YOUR TIMELINE AND GUESTS. Many couples plan a camp wedding so that they can spend extended time with their friends and family – you might even make a weekend of it! Because things are in one place, the schedule can remain pretty laid back. Your photographer should be direct enough that the photos happen but still laid back enough to keep the camp vibes flowing. (Bonus: a camp counselor voice and ability to convince people that being by the dock is the best idea ever!)

Norskedalen driftless WI wedding camp photographer
Fireworks in the foggy night sky at the end of this Norskedalen wedding reception

TIP FOUR: THE BAG OF TRICKS. Your outdoor wedding will be unpredictable, and a camp wedding photographer should have a plan for all eventualities. In my days as a camp counselor, we often talked about having a “bag of tricks” so that you were prepared for all situations: ice breaking games, ways to deal with over active campers, diffusing tension, songs to pass the time.

The idea of a “bag of tricks” is maybe even more useful for photography: sun dappled lighting, capturing a campfire, getting photos on canoes, super windy days, and even rain plans. Is your photographer ready to make great use of the dark skies or make awesome portraits inside the lodge?

TIP FIVE: YOUR CAMPFIRE. Lastly, make your timeline based on your campfire. Why? Because a camp wedding isn’t over until there is a campfire, and your photographer should be there until the s’mores come out.

MN camp photography - night by the campfire
MN camp photography – night by the campfire

Some local camps to check out:

Not exactly camp but close:

Lastly, you might enjoy Chef Camp, a weekend-long chef-driven camp for adults who like to eat. My husband is the co-founder, and I’ve had a blast documenting several of their sessions – you can check out my photos from Chef Camp.

Planning a camp wedding?

Oh, if you are planning your wedding at camp lets talk about your photography! I will always get in the canoe, bring my own bug spray, and want to document the amazing moments that come with a celebration in the woods!