Mike and Amy gathered family and friends at New Hampshire's Rockywold-Deephaven Camps for a wonderfully rustic and romantic wedding on Squam Lake.
The story of this New Hampshire wedding begins nearly 30 years ago, when my friend Amy's Uncle Bryan and Aunt Donna went looking for the lake house where On Golden Pond was filmed.
By pure accident, on the completely wrong end of the lake, they instead stumbled onto Rockywold-Deephaven Camps, a rustic family retreat, home to cabins nestled along the shore of the peaceful Squam Lake.
Since then, the family, with then-toddler Amy in tow, began coming to the summer camp year after year. For the last three decades, their family has spent a week every year swimming, hiking, boating, and square dancing at RDC.
Is this about Mike and Amy—or about me and Amy? A little of both, hehe.
Amy and I were assigned to the same room during our study abroad semester at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus. Inseparable during our time abroad, together, we barely passed European cultural studies, shared a wardrobe of sequin Forever21 tops that we maybe wore as dresses, and finished each other's gyros with our adopted third roommate, Brittany.
Though we've never been in the same state, much less bedroom since our fateful semester abroad—our summer-camp-esque Cyprus bond kept us visiting each other in San Diego, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Seattle, and Denver over the years.
A Rockywold-Deephaven Wedding Dream
Since the day we met on a Mediterranean island nearly 10 years ago, I've heard about the wondrous RDC and the chapel on Church Island where Amy wanted to get married. Having grown up on Squam Lake summers, there's no place more special to her and her family in the world.
Because RDC is sacred for family vacations all summer long, they only allow a handful of weddings on 2-3 specific weekends per year. Amy booked her venue years ago... before the engagement was even official. ;)
This past weekend, her dreams came true at the most magical wedding, ever. Amy and her now-husband Mike's New Hampshire whole celebration was postcard-perfect. I can't wait to share a few photos below.
In each of our cabins, Mike and Amy had prepared personalized schedules, plus goodie bags filled with snacks, maps, cookies, and bug spray wipes. Of course!
The bridal party got ready in one of the bigger cabins where several of the group were staying, El Dorado. A screened in front porch looked out over the lake—an ideal setting to calm wedding day jitters!
Our bouquets were a mix of soft fall colors and greenery that perfectly complemented the group's blush, nude, and burgundy dresses.
The Wedding Ceremony on Church Island
Wedding guests departed by pontoons from the Deephaven docks to the ceremony on Church Island, reachable only by boat.
Church Island, or Chocorua Island, is the site of America’s first resident boys’ summer camp. Today, it's a nondenominational chapel, open to anyone between sunrise and sunset.
The chapel itself is in a clearing, with painted grey wooden pews that are hidden among pine and birch trees. When the wedding guests were quiet, the silence was meditative, with only the sound of waves as they lapped against the shore.
Amy's Uncle Brian officiated the ceremony, which had all of us dabbing at our eyes. (Mike and Amy had an unplugged ceremony, but I snapped a few photos of the chapel during rehearsal.)
Mike and Amy's plans to depart the island in a vintage wooden boat fell through the weeks leading up the wedding. But a few sneaky family members pulled off a last-minute surprise for the two of them. We waved them off as they cruised off to married life together!
The Reception at Rockywold Dining Hall
Rockywold Dining Hall was transformed into a twinkly, light-filled space for the evening reception. Branches of leafy greenery adorned the walls—the perfect setting for a newlywed celebration!
The wedding party was seated at a long farmhouse table decorated with succulents, rosemary sprigs, candles, and gold accents—before indulging in incredible ravioli! stuffed sole! cider doughnuts! pie! It was all. So. Good.
Our couple of days celebrating Mike and Amy were so very Mike and Amy—full of nature, relaxation, laughter, leggings, and joy. Only these two could pull off a planning a 130-person Labor Day vacation. Wishing them the happiest of lifetimes together!
P.S. A rustic farm stay in Italy.