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Most summer camps have bunks, but this former one boasts 13 luxury cottages and four dormitory-style rustic cabins, which can house up to a total of 76 friends and loved ones. With indoor and outdoor event spaces and 500 acres of views that include pine tree-lined lakes, the mountains, and upstate scenery, there are multiple options for the various parts of your big day at Cedar Lakes Estate, just 70 miles from New York City. It’s sure to provide the backdrop for a memorable experience—or shall we say, something to write a letter home about.
We suggest the weekend package for tying the knot, but the venue does offer single-day rentals for Sunday through Thursday.
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The Wedding Weekend
Plan a slew of outdoor activities for your guests to enjoy. Cedar Lakes Estate has two lakes and two pools for boating and swimming. On land, there’s hiking, fishing, tennis, basketball, and field games. If zooming down a zipline entices you, it’s another option. The venue will help you bring in a certified staff to facilitate that.
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Take a cue from your boy and girl scout days and craft custom buttons to dole out as part of your welcome goodies. Call them “marriage badges,” like this couple did, and watch the conversation start flowing between your guests.
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Exchange vows atop a hill with panoramic views of the Shawangunk Mountains. The location can hold up to 300 people. If you’re looking to go bigger, there’s also the venue’s great lawn.
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Intimate I Do’s
For a smaller ceremony, consider the outdoor amphitheater, where 200 loved ones can occupy bench seating on a sloping hillside and watch you make it official on a small wooden porch among the pine trees.
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There are two sisters at the helm of the venue—Stephanie, who coordinates the events, and Lisa, who serves as executive chef. They pride themselves on culinary excellence and their use of seasonal ingredients. With neighboring farms and an on-site garden, they craft menus highlighting local fixings, like this smoked brisket on honey cornbread with purple horseradish slaw.
Their favorite appetizer to serve? Crispy maple-glazed chicken on a tiny buttered waffle using Cedar Lakes’ own maple syrup.
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Celebrate the region by serving a signature cocktail made with local liquor from the Black Dirt Distillery. Cedar Lake concocts a signature Root Beer Old Fashioned, which they mix using Black Dirt Distillery’s bourbon, root liquor, vanilla simple syrup, and orange bitters, topped with a ribbon of orange zest.
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Get into the spirit and grab some oars, taking a newlywed glide across a lake in a canoe made for two.
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Since it’s a camp after all, use a canoe to hold the beers. Want to play up that theme? Consider serving your cocktails with oar-shaped stir sticks from Sideshow Press.
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Taper candles, twinkle lights—you can have it all at your reception in this old barn, outfitted with reclaimed wood and offset with a wall of glass panels overlooking the lake on the property. With a capacity of up to 350, even large parties can dine and dance comfortably into the wee hours in this space.
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Top off your gown with a flannel shirt to stay cozy as the temperatures drop. Snuggle into it following the big day and it’ll remind you of your first special moments as newlyweds.
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All Fired Up
Adirondack chairs are perfect for late-night lounging while roasting marshmallows, noshing on s’mores, and relaxing by the campfire.
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The Day-After Brunch
Before your guests depart, gather everyone together for one final meal—in the garden. Surrounded by many of the ingredients that will end up on your plates, 50 of your loved ones can take their places at one long table and soak up the sunshine together as a final farewell.