Amber and Keith, one of the most fun couples I’ve ever met, live in Maryland, but their White Mountains wedding was held in Effingham, New Hampshire on Province Lake at Camp Independence. They had been dating for years, having met in high school when they both lived in New Hampshire. I can remember the first phone call I had with Amber, when she explained to me how she had no idea how she’d come across a Virginia-based wedding photographer’s work. She gushed about how she’d seen my work pop up in her Facebook feed, over and over, but figured I wouldn’t want to travel to New Hampshire to photograph their wedding. Thank goodness she contacted me.
What she didn’t know was that my father was born in New Hampshire, and many, many, MANY memories from my childhood were made there. Just the year before, I was finally able to bring Herrick and our girls up to New Hampshire to experience the White Mountains, where we spent time in Lincoln and Woodstock. Teaching them about the Old Man in the Mountain and taking them to Clark’s Trading Post are just two of the many memories I now have with my own family. They fell in love with the mountains I knew as a child, and with “The Kanc”, and I was more than happy to bring them back again. Amber and I talked for over an hour, and by the end of the conversation, she’d invited my little family to their wedding as guests. To enjoy the camping and the food and fun. When you have a couple willing to invite your family to their wedding within one phone call, you know you’re about to meet some good people.
I met Keith and Amber in Annapolis for their engagement session, where we spent time at the United States Naval Academy and Quiet Waters Park. (I’ll certainly be sharing that in the archives soon!) I knew the moment I met them that I had one entertaining couple on my hands. Keith has an insanely goofy sense of humor, with barely a serious bone in his body, and Amber, whose accent was so much stronger in person, was just as fun but made it so easy to get that romantic side of Keith to come out. By the end of the session, I had no doubt that a trip to New Hampshire for them was going to be every bit worth the drive.
On the way up, we were able to stop and see my very pregnant sister in Massachusetts and got to spend some time at Hampton Beach – another place at which I’d spent many of my days! It was amazing to drive around New Hampshire, pointing out all of the connections between my past and Herrick. Who would have thought that the flea market I’d spent so much time at in the early morning hours with my grandparents was located on Durham Road? We arrived at Province Lake the day before the wedding, and it was absolutely gorgeous. (And how appropriate is it that an American Bald Eagle flew across the lake as we arrived? Camp Independence. How suiting.) The weather, which is typically scorching in Virginia on Labor Day weekend, was perfectly in the 70s, with this cool, crisp breeze. This also meant that camping overnight would be chilly, and there’s nothing better than that. (Honestly. I swear it.) After meeting Keith and Amber’s families and scouting the location for their wedding, we found ourselves setting up camp at the sweetest little campground next door.
You guys, I have to tell you, this campground was adorable. The camping trailers, owned by families who spent year after year at the campground, were surrounded by little gardens and some of the coziest looking outdoor spaces decorated in garden lights I’d ever seen. We were probably one of the only newcomers, standing out like a sore thumb setting up this tiny little four-person tent, but never once did we feel out of place. Many of you are probably thinking I was nuts to be camping in a tent the night before a wedding. You guys. There’s something about being out in the fresh air, in the middle of the mountains, because I never slept better. I woke up the morning of the wedding feeling ready to go, and normally I have a hard time falling asleep after a wedding. My body, still pumped full of adrenaline and happy, is typically wide awake when I go to bed and I always wake up sore. Not this time.
I think it’s time I start camping out at my wedding venues. Don’t you? I think I’m on to something here.
Keith and Amber’s wedding day was absolutely gorgeous. Camp Independence is this quaint little privately owned property, typically rented out to vacation goers, with a large stretch of land that leads out to a small private beach on the lake and the perfect location for a white mountains wedding. The main house is an 18th-century classic farmhouse that has been renovated, with an additional guest cottage where the gentlemen got ready. With floor to ceiling windows out front and wide open living space, it was the perfect place for Amber and her ladies to get ready that morning. The weather was perfect, everything went smoothly, and y’all are going to LOVE their energy! Instead of the traditional processional, everyone danced down the aisle. And I mean everyone! The bridal party, Keith and Amber’s parents and grandparents, and yes, even the two of them. Honestly, I’ve never seen such a perfect mix of down-to-earthiness and glamour! Amber was dressed in a stunning lace Pnina Tornai gown from the infamous Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City. The gown was head-to-toe lace, with this insanely gorgeous neckline and plunging back. Amber was such a vision that day. Her bridesmaids were dressed in a variety of cafe au lait colored floor-length gowns, which went perfectly with their bouquets of peach peonies, succulents, dusty miller, and eucalyptus. I absolutely loved the color palette from their wedding! The gentlemen went simple, with rolled sleeves, black pants, and suspenders.
The ceremony site overlooked Province Lake and was decorated with two extra-large lanterns adorned with gorgeous arrangements of peach peonies and ivory roses. If you’re in the New England area, you must contact Chalifour’s Flowers. Must. The reception setup was the perfect way for Keith and Amber to tell their guests to get comfortable and enjoy a vacation. The entire top portion of the reception area was filled with hors d’oeuvre stations and yard games, while the tent was decorated with simple, rustic tablescapes and decor. From a handmade wine cork “Keith & Amber” to the bar, which was covered in guest signatures and sentiments. It was such an awesome piece that Keith and Amber were able to take home as a guestbook!
Amber and Keith, I love you both. Thank you so much for not only allowing me the privilege of capturing your wedding day and for trusting me with your memories, but even more so for welcoming me and my family into yours. I am beyond grateful for your hospitality, and it was an honor being a part of your day.
Venue // Camp Independence
Makeup Artist // Makeup by Sarah Alicea
Hair Stylist // Trisha Bodwell, Blank Canvas Salon
Floral Design // Chaliflour’s Flowers
Wedding Gown Boutique // Kleinfeld Bridal
Wedding Gown Designer // Pnina Tornai
Bridesmaids Dresses // Alfred Angelo Bridal
Catering // Generals Sports Bar & Grill
Cake // Bittersweet Bake Shoppe