I have a niche client that brings me great joy.  This particular segment of the wedding market is “summer camp weddings.” My ideal client may sometimes be seen rowing a boat to their own wedding, hosting a bike parade at their reception, wading through rivers for portraits, or cutting a cake with a chainsaw. They can definitely be found hosting a Pinecrest Chalet wedding that feels like adult summer camp at which I am invited to spend the entire weekend with their guests. Don’t tempt me with a good time!

Jesse and Megan are close friends with a handful of former clients, so not only were they a wonderful word of mouth referral, but they had been at previous weddings and watched me work.  They are an incredibly outdoorsy couple so a summer camp Pinecrest Chalet wedding fit them perfectly.  They wanted a location where everyone could stay together for an entire weekend, creating a sense of connection and shared experiences. From lakeside games, beaching with the families, nature walks (or in our case, runs!), or campfire whiskey drinking under the stars, Pinecrest Chalet was the perfect location for these two to celebrate with their loved ones.

Tucked up in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is the tiny little getaway of Pinecrest, CA.  The Pinecrest Lake Resort sits on the edge of the tiniest, cutest most adorable lake I’ve been to recently.  So tiny, in fact, we ran all the way around it one morning.  Nestled into the woods just off of Sonora Pass, and just southeast of Angel’s Camp, Pinecrest offers fantastic wedding destination option for adventurous couples. There’s plenty of outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking to keep the athletic guests entertained and for the lushes: there’s an abundance of wine tasting just down the hill.  It’s a win-win in my book: rustic, small town, outdoorsy charm.

Summer camp wedding at the Pinecrest Chalet
Summer camp wedding at the Pinecrest Chalet
Summer camp wedding at the Pinecrest Chalet

Holding a Pinecrest Chalet Wedding

Founded in 1952 as a rustic three-story dorm room, the Pinecrest Chalet is steeped in history. I can say with experience that the property makes for a perfect location for a destination Pinecrest Chalet wedding if you’re looking for summer camp vibes.  Today, the property has a wide variety of accomodations.  There are chalets that sleep up to 14 and intimate cottages perfect for couples or small families. There is a wide variety of community areas that include a pool, a garden, and with Pinecrest Lake so close by there’s a wealth of outdoor activities for everyone.  Bonus – this place is pet friendly!

If you’re going to throw a summer camp wedding, get fully in the spirit: summer camp inspired accents, fun camp activities, smores and campfires?  The sky is the limit.  Bandanas as napkins!  Lanterns as centerpieces!  Smores for dessert!  Mountains for table assignments! While I don’t normally share details around these parts, Jesse and Megan had such a elegant beautiful table settings that captured their vibe, but with a touch of class. Also their food was INSANELY good – Jesse is vegan and their dinner that evening was entirely vegan and entirely delish.  Lentils, falafel and perfectly grilled veggies!

Summer camp wedding details

Travel Guide for Angels Camp, California

A destination wedding in Pinecrest, CA wouldn’t be complete without at least a day or two getaway to Angels Camp.  Slightly lower in elevation, Angels Camp is known for its Gold Rush heritage, vibrant artsy culture, relaxed atmosphere and my favorite reason: WINE.  Make sure that you explore historic downtown, which is walkable and filled with charming shops, art galleries and historic buildings. Much like Tahoe, Mark Twain is well known around these parts. So well known they have an entire Mark Twain Wild West Fest dedicated to him. Pop into Calaveras Big Trees State Park to marvel at giant trees.  Last but not least, make sure you go wine tasting!  My recommendations are Hatcher and Locke Vineyards.

Venue: Pinecrest Chalet | Coordination: My Wildflower Events | Florist: Sweet Lilacs Studio | Bakery: The Sugar Shack | Catering: The Branch | Wedding Attire: Jenny Yoo and Isaia | Hair and Makeup: The Wright Face for Every Occasion | Rentals: Premiere Sonora