You all know that Camp Wedding is one of my favorite wedding industry conferences- and i'm so happy to be asked to speak and teach again this year, and i am going ALL OUT ya'll. i have some surprises up my sleeve, i'm not telling, but it's gonna be goooood.
But seriously, it is a ridiculously good time because it's just not pretentious. you know what i'm talking about- we, in the wedding industry- can sometimes put on airs. it's all 'look at all the amazing weddings i've worked on' or 'i'm so fancy' and that can be really intimidating in a learning environment.
This is NOT that type of learning experience. Yes, we may get pampered to the max with gifts, experience incredible food prepared by celebrity chefs, relax by the lake with a cocktail, awaken (in the cutest little rooms or teepees you've ever seen) to a breakfast spread you can only imagine in your wildest dreams already prepared for us by magic elves working before the sunrise (seriously)- but it's the 'camp' environment that allows everyone to loose their intimidation factor and really let down to create meaningful networking connections and create a safe place to ask questions and really learn.
Everyone smells like campfire and has camp-hair and probably some stray seaweed hanging off their shoulder from the lake. no one is too cool to approach, no one is worried about their image, everyone is there for the same goal- to unwind, to network, to learn, to be inspired.
But the best part is the fact that all types of wedding professionals are there. it's not just a conference of one genre- because do we realllly need to network with more people of our same industry? As a photographer, i want to be spending more time with planners, florists, magazine editors, bakers, calligraphers, watercolor artists- other creators that are doing game-changing things in their own field that i can take inspiration from. and i have things to teach those people too (like, how to take ridiculously awesome pictures of your own creations even if you're not a photographer, or how to set up your work at the wedding so the photographer can get the best photos of your creations as well). it's this type of give-and receive that is so valuable.
here is what we were up to last year, and i really hope you come join us this year at camp wandawega. there are a few gifts left if you sign up ASAP (like free post-camp webinars with your favorite speakers for follow-up education).
Here is what i'm looking most forward to: sunrise canoeing the epic rope swing straight into the lake, lunch on the pier, hikes in the woods to the teepees on the hill, smores by the MASSIVE 10 foot tall bonfire, the wild dance party at the end of camp, celebrity dinners (for once we get to be the wedding guests!), A-list speakers and education, watercoloring (!), and making new friends at one of the most wonderful venues.
Go register here
Tickets are going fast, and if you register before tomorrow you'll receive a free gift! http://www.campwed.org/contact/
here is what we were up to last year.
the swag bags were ridiculous. no joke, i'm literally in a battle with my 5 year old son about who's backpack this gets to be. i say it's mine, but he claims i have no use for a backpack and since he's in kindergarten, this gets to be his.
If you aren't familiar with Camp Wandawega, it is a restored summer camp that has kind of a saucy history. The owners have renovated in the most kitchy and authentic ways... but dont misinterpret 'restored' and 'renovated' for luxury- this place is as rustic as it gets. they actually make you sign a disclaimer saying that you understand that this is more 'glamping' than resort style living. that you'll have a 'no big deal' attitude if, you know, toilets wont flush or the electricity goes out.
not going to lie- it made me want to stay there even more. i was like 'GAME.ON.'
you want to know what is really silly, but really made me feel amazing? seeing my own placecard for seating done in beautiful calligraphy. i'm so used to photographing events and eating a crappy cold sandwich in a backroom somewhere while everyone else is enjoying some luxurious meal that i was literally taken aback when i realized that i was meant to sit at an actual table, that i was a guest, that the food was meant for me.
holding that placecard with my name on it was such a reminder that as industry professionals we MUST take time out to re-energize, to invest in our own education, to practice self-care.
swag bags are awesome... but that placecard and the food that was meant for me was worth so much more.
this is my dear friend Jenna. she cries every time she speaks, and i totally love her for it.
we learned how they do chalkboard transfers! dude- it is NOT EASY. i have a degree in art and about halfway through i was like 'yep. i'm done.' i literally only finished the task so i could take this picture.
I rolled my pregnant self out of bed every morning to find the most incredible spread of breakfast treats you can imagine. who the heck wakes up at 6am to put out a spread like this?! i'd take my little nummies and go sit down by the lake and watch the sun get higher. perfection.
WHHHHHHHAAAAT. you guys. those are cinnamon roll cupcakes. to the person who invented cinnamon roll cupcakes- you are my hero.
stillllll more photos of breakfast. it goes on and on. seriously you guys.
last year i did headshots of all the attendees! look at these beautiful people! they cleaned up so nicely after the lake water and late night bonfires.
Photography: Lexia Frank | Venue: Camp Wandawega | Breakfast Sponsor (Day 2): Batch Bakehouse | Breakfast Sponsor (Day 3): Bloom Bake Shop | Camp Backpack Candle and Mini Pins: Big White Yeti | Camp Backpack Chocolates: Red Elephant | Camp Backpack Keychains:Permanent Baggage | Camp Backpack Mugs: Saffron Avenue | Camp Backpack Notebooks:Field Notes | Camp Backpack Notecards: Karly K Designs | Camp Backpack Pencils: GoHobo| Camp Backpack Postcards and Stickers: Camp Wandawega | Camp Backpack Preserves:Quince and Apple | Camp Backpack Shortbread Cookies: Bloom Bake Shop | Camp Backpack Toiletries: Fern and Nettle | Camp Backpack Water Bottles: BKR | Cocktail Sponsor (Day 1):Quince and Apple | Cocktail Sponsor (Day 2): Gibs Bar | Dance and Farewell Dinner Lighting:Sound by Design | Farewell Dinner Catering: Chef Scotty Wagner | Farewell Dinner Floral Design: Flora By Jamae | Farewell Dinner Letterpress Menus: Flying Rabbit Press | Farewell Dinner Rentals: Event Essentials | Farewell Dinner Wood Place Cards: Grain Deep | Graphic Design and Details: Mint & Lovely Studios | Host, Production And Event Design: Cherry Blossom Events | Lunch Sponsor (Day 1): Bluephies | Lunch Sponsor (Day 2): Fromagination| Speaker: Jenna Kutcher | Speaker: Ali Phillips | Speaker: Christi Andringa | Speaker: Amy Johnson | Speaker: Emily Balsley | Speaker: Lexia Frank | Speaker: Sarah Mullins | Speaker:Michael Betters | Tents and Reclaimed Wood Bar: Sperry Tents Great Lakes | Welcome Dinner Catering: Underground Food Collective | Welcome Dinner Floral Design: KP Designs | Welcome Dinner Gold Foil Cards: Grace and Lace Designs | Welcome Dinner Menu On Canvas: Love Letter Calligraphy | Welcome Dinner Rentals: Lakes Area Rentals