Gather round the campfire and get those s’mores on the go, because we have Julie and Greg’s summer camp-themed Jewish wedding to tell you about this sunny Monday morning!
It is fitting that this gorgeous wedding was submitted by videographer Daniel at Latimer Studios, because we’re big enough to admit that the wedding video (below) genuinely made us ugly cry.
We’ll get to the aesthetics of this very beautiful big day in a moment, but first, what struck us so profoundly about Julie and Greg as a couple was their charm, their intelligence, their sparkling sense of humour and their deep and sincere love for one another. Watching their cinematic wedding film, it’s abundantly evident that they are the real deal and then some. With such articulate loved ones speaking so eloquently about the happy couple, we’re treated to a real insight into their unique and wonderful connection to one another, and we feel privileged to watch.
Julie and Greg planned a fun summer camp theme at Kamp Kohut in Oxford, Maine, which is run by the bride’s parents. The theme juxtaposed the venue’s natural leafy greens, with a pretty pastel color scheme and stunning metallic accents (that CAKE!) and fabulous florals (that CHUPPAH!!).
The couple described their meaningful Jewish ceremony as a ‘dream ceremony’, which is just a delight to hear. The day was bursting with personal meaning – a prime example of how to do things your way, and make a wedding all about who you are as a couple.
We’ll hand over to beautiful bride, Julie, for her full writeup on the day, along with the fabulous spread of images by photographer, Lara Kimmerer. Enjoy!
How we met
Julie, the bride: We met on the dating app, Hinge. We both swiped right on each other, and began our conversation. We had three friends in common, so that helped us feel more comfortable.
Our first date was over coffee and sweets at a coffee shop in Los Angeles, and from there we were off to the races. We very quickly knew that we had found our person.
After two months, we were both thinking to ourselves that we would marry this person. After six months, we decided to move in together. We got engaged at a year, and then married a year later. Our officiant was one of our mutual friends from Hinge, Benji Samit.
A summer camp venue
We got married at Kamp Kohut in Oxford, Maine. When we got engaged, we both instantly knew we wanted to have a summer camp wedding, because we are huge summer camp people.
My parents have owned and run the camp for 25 years, and I grew up going there. Greg also grew up going to summer camp (Camp Alonim in Simi Valley, California). We knew it would be perfect and a dream come true having it there.
A summer camp theme
Our theme, as you can guess, was summer camp – officially: Camp Rapaport Levine. The wedding was over Labor Day weekend (September 2-5, 2016) with the official wedding date of September 4.
The color scheme was light pastels, pinks and purples with metallic touches of gold and silver. We wanted it to blend in well with the natural greens and browns of the location.
Our planner was Janie Haas of Janie Haas Events.
An invitation packed with info
Our invitation was designed specifically for us by Molly Myers of Paisley Quill. We included a weekend schedule, as well as a packing list, as our wedding was a weekend long event.
Many of our guests had never been to Maine, or camp, so we wanted them to come prepared.
I had the same woman do my hair and makeup – Colleen Brink from Freeport, Maine. She listened to exactly what I wanted and was great with adjustments.
I decided to wear extensions for the first time, which I was very nervous about, but she made them look natural and awesome. She brought two other women from her salon, who helped my bridesmaids get ready.
A textured Amsale dress
My dress was Amsale. It had a sweetheart neckline and a mermaid train. There was something really unique about it in that a floral design on the fabric actually had texture to it, making it feel almost 3D.
At first, I wanted to avoid the sweetheart neckline, because I’d seen it so many times before, but the moment I put it on I just felt great!
A delicate tiara
I wore a tiara that was delicate and with a few gems. It was made by Twigs & Honey. I was supposed to wear a veil from Anthropologie. But in one of the few mess ups at the wedding, I forgot it back at the house we got ready in! So I went veil-less, and it was fine.
Badgley Mischka wedges
Since our wedding was on the grass, I didn’t want to wear heels. Instead I wore Badgley Mischka wedges that were silver with some gem detailing.
They were distinct, but something I could wear again.
The handsome groom
Bridesmaids in mismatched dresses
I had 12 bridesmaids and one maid of honor (my younger sister). They wore Joanna August dresses. I picked three colors, and split them up among the bridesmaids so there was an even number. They could then pick any style they wanted in that color. They looked beautiful!
A birchwood, floral chuppah
Our chuppah was provided by the inimitable Jackie Gardner of Moonset Farm Floral. It was made of birch, and was tastefully adorned with flowers.
The ceremony of our dreams
Our wedding ceremony was the stuff of dreams. It really was our dream come true. It was officiated by our great friend Benji Samit, we each knew him before we met – I through his wife Madeline, and Greg through being comedy writers and members of the WGA.
It was at the shore of the lake, with a magnificent view of the lake and the lush wooded pines across the water. For the Seven Blessings, we had friends and family reinterpret the blessings and write something specific for us. This made it personal and also let us include more people. We signed our ketubah during the ceremony which was also special.
Meaningful music choices
That final song has significance for us. When Greg proposed, it included an audio tour of sorts of our relationship – like a personalized podcast. As he concluded the audio tour, “Dear True Love” played. There’s a line in the song… “So with this ring, may you only know one thing: the little that I have to give I will give it all to you. You’re my one true love.” And that’s when Greg got down on one knee, took out the ring, and proposed.
And so it came full circle, with this song playing as I walked down the aisle to the chuppah.
Our recessional song was Kodaline – All I Want (instrumental). Our first dance was to Kodaline – The One. Our father/daughter dance was to The Temptations – You’re My Everything. The mother / son dance was to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Teach Your Children
Light pastel flowers
Our florist, mentioned above, was Jackie Gardner of Moonset Farm Floral.
Her style was incredibly beautiful and natural, including lots of light pastels that complemented the rest of the colors of the wedding.
She did a combination of round centerpieces for our round tables, and long ones for our rectangular farm tables.
Our fabulous photographer…
Our photographer was Lara Kimmerer. As we pored over photographers’ portfolios, we knew instantly that Lara would ‘get’ us.
We loved her point of view, how she captured candid moments so elegantly, and found beauty in the tiny details.
She and her husband Peter are wonderful people, and we instantly felt comfortable with them – which is paramount in a photographer since you spend so much time with them and need to trust them.
Our videographer was Daniel Latimer of Latimer Studios. We both wanted a wedding video that felt cinematic and emotional, and Daniel’s video not only lived up to our hopes, but eclipsed them.
He beautifully weaved our vows and various speeches throughout the video, allowing the words that filled our wedding to be the narration. Do we watch our wedding video a lot? Yes. Too much? Who’s to judge?
A gorgeous, gold-accented cake
We both have a big sweet tooth. Our cake was a three-tier marble cake, layered with vanilla buttercream and crushed Oreos (Greg’s favorite), white buttercream exterior, gold leaf cascade, and fresh flowers. We also included on every plate several pieces of marzipan fruits (My favorite).
Our caterer was Kitchen Chicks catering. We know we’re partial, but Peggy Liversidge and her team made the best wedding food we’ve ever had. Greg still dreams of the BBQ pulled pork sandwiches on mini corn muffins.
A dream wedding band
Well this is where things get really exciting. We have a favorite band: Great Good Fine Ok. We go to see a lot of live music, and we went to their show in Los Angeles in 2015 and were blown away.
We got to talking to the band after their set, and found them so nice. Later, in wedding planning, when we talked about our dream wedding band, we both thought how cool it would be if Great Good Fine Ok played our wedding.
Well, we connected with their manager, got talking, and lo and behold it happened! The guys even stayed at camp with us. They DJd for the start of the wedding, and then closed the night with an hour-long set of their music.
Like we said, we go to see a lot of live music, but there won’t be any topping our favorite band, playing a concert for our favorite people, at our favorite place, on our favorite day. Their music is upbeat and perfect for dancing, even if you’ve never heard it before. It was a dream come true!
Summer camp gift bags
Our gift bag included things specific to camp, but also to us. For example, we included mini Kohut flashlights, water bottles with a Camp Rapaport Levine logo, and Camp Rapaport Levine T-shirts. Greg loves Oreos, so obviously those were in the bags too!
Games and activities the day before
The day before our wedding, we did a camp day. It started off with color wars (camp olympics). Julie’s family and friends wore white T-shirts and Greg’s wore green, both with the wedding logo. We raised a flag.
From there, we did several hours of games and activities, including: Minute To Win It, basketball, Celebrity, soccer, volleyball, trivia, and tennis.
After lunch, we concluded color wars with a softball game. My team won color wars (not that anyone was counting…). From there, everyone had time to enjoy the camp, relax and canoe in the lack, and participate in various camp activities, all staffed by some of the amazing Kamp Kohut staff, who stuck around after camp to help with our weekend.
This camp day was capped off by our rehearsal dinner, which was a classic Maine lobster bake, and a campfire… where, yes, we sang songs and made s’mores.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
If you’re moving around a lot (ie. getting ready offsite, then heading to the venue) make sure you have a checklist of everything you want and need. Because we moved around a lot, it made it stressful to remember things like spanx or my veil!
Julie & Greg’s little white book
Videographer – Latimer Studios
Photographer – Lara Kimmerer
Wedding Planner – Janie Haas Events
Venue – Kamp Kohut
Bride’s dress – Amsale
Bride’s accessories – Twigs & Honey
Bride’s shoes – Badgley Mischka
Groom’s attire – J.Crew, Asos and Allen Edmonds
Bridesmaids – Joanna August
Hair + Makeup – Colleen Brink
Flowers – Moonset Farm Floral
Band – Great Good Fine Ok
Cake – Let Them Eat Cake
Catering – Kitchen Chicks
Invitation – Paisley Quill
Ketubah — Ketubah.com
Lighting – Event Light Pros
Sound – AV Technik