We captured this documentary image of a bride just minutes before her wedding ceremony at Aloha Camp on the shores of lake Fairlee on a gorgeous summer day in Fairlee, Vermont.
Fairlee’s Aloha Camp holds a special place in many people’s hearts, but this bride’s connection was decades old and many layers deep. She chose to have both her wedding and engagement session around the camp, incorporating a few of the many photographic opportunities that exist around this picturesque summer destination in the Green Mountains. During the engagement session we explored some of the higher terrain behind the cabins that are just off of the road. Hiking trails lead to ledges that look out over the valley, providing a view of nearly all of Lake Morey. Fairlee’s most visited body of water, it inspired both the name of the Lake Morey Inn on its southern shore as well as this couple’s adorable dog, Morey, who managed to sneak into a few pictures during their engagement session. The bride has been coming to Aloha for years, both as a camper and counselor, but her father has been doing the same since the 1970s.
The wedding reception was held in the Main Lodge adjacent to the lakeside ceremony location. (Aloha Camp has a meeting space that is actually called “Wedding Ring,” but the walk up to it can be challenging for some older guests, and the dirt road is nearly inaccessible to any vehicle that isn't four wheel drive.) The couple decorated the lodge with personal effects, long table runners, birch candles, and hanging lanterns, but one feature of the lodge is always there for them. Multiple ceiling and wall panels correspond to specific years that the camp has operated, and each panel contains the list of names of both campers and counselors. Knowing their last name makes it easy to find the names of both the bride and her father who appear on dozens of wooden boards, sometimes together as counselor and camper. Having our client’s name already permanently etched on the walls of their wedding venue is a rarity but one that was appreciated by everyone present.
Cabins around the camp house the counselors and youths during the summer months and are easily transformed into rustic spaces for wedding preparations. The two cabins closest to the lodge served as separate spaces for the bridal party’s and groomsmen’s getting ready spots. Just prior to the ceremony, Em went down to the lake and aimed her camera back up at the bride’s cabin. After the girls had all congregated in the windows for a few whimsical shots, the bride turned to leave the cabin and walk across the short stretch of grass to her ceremony. This transitional image shows not only the bride’s dress and her bouquet, but incorporates the wooden structure as well as the reflection of the beautiful, partly cloudy Vermont sky. Incorporating so many elements into a single photo tells a story by itself and helps to encapsulate the feel of the camp, the area, the wedding day, and the bride-to-be. This is just one of the reasons we are so enamored with Aloha camp and camp-themed weddings across Vermont.