Pacific Northwest Summer Camp Wedding | Shelby & Zack

Pacific Northwest summer camp wedding

One of the most unique and authentic celebrations I’ve ever gotten to photograph – this Pacific Northwest summer camp wedding will forever hold a place in my heart as one of the highlights of my career for many reasons, but I’ll do my best to sum it up and be brief(-ish). 

“Our wedding will feel like you're going back to your favorite summer camp. But with a wedding. And booze.”

That’s what Shelby said to me about a year ago when she first told me about the summer camp celebration they were planning, and I had no idea what a perfect description that would be haha (just wait until you see the portraits on the school bus!). She described their wedding as creating a piece of art – performance art. The intentionality behind every decision they made while planning this wedding was something I’ve never seen before. I could do my best to sum it up, but Shelby herself did a beautiful job explaining all the different decisions and elements to their wedding in a blog post on her personal site. If you’re curious about that, I encourage you to look through that and read her beautiful words as she reflected on her wedding day the months following it. A little preview: the big themes and values at the core of their planning were community, sustainability, equality and intentionality and it’s soooooo cool to see how it all plays out. 

 From my perspective, there were some really obvious highlights. Shelby is a wedding photographer herself (she photographed MY wedding back in 2015). A theme I notice in working with other wedding photographers is since we see so many weddings, it’s easy for us to keep the parts we love and ditch the stuff and traditions that don’t feel important to us. Instead of waiting until the ceremony (or doing a traditional ‘first-look’), they woke up together and spent the morning together, only separated for a few hours to hang out with their friends, then they came back together to help each other get ready. Zack helped Shelby into her dress in their tiny home, which was by far my favorite alternative to a traditional first look I’ve ever seen. They also walked down the aisle, with both parents, at the same time (because equality!). Their entire community came around them with all the ‘vendors’ and people contributing being their closest friends and family. It truly felt like a team effort on the day-of and it was so fun. The property the ceremony was where Zack has spent most of his life – his parents built their home on that lake and Zack and his friends rented that house later. A giant school bus transported the guests and wedding party to and from the reception. A few friends filmed some footage for them throughout the day and Shelby made her own wedding film (I’ve attached it at the end of the post – scroll down to check it out!). 

I’ve explained a bit of my history with Shelby, and a bit more of Shelby and Zack’s story when I blogged their tiny home engagement session a few months ago!