Sandy Island Family Camp Wedding :: Lake Winnipesaukee, NH :: Laura + Mike (Part I)

Long term blog readers might have noticed that at the start of 2013 I started blogging each wedding in one big post (vs. the three or four smaller posts) - I felt like I could tell the whole story of the day better that way. However when the wedding involves taking over a whole island in the middle of Lake Winnipesauke and I'm photographing the rehearsal dinner, the pre-wedding 5k run and all sorts of other fun then I just can't fit it all into one.

So without further ado, here's part 1 of Laura + Mike's Sandy Island Family Camp Wedding.

I'm saving the pictures of the boat ride over and the beautiful signs and other wedding related details until part II. In the meantime, if you're not familiar with Sandy Island you can find out a little more and see Laura & Mike's engagement pictures here:
Sandy Island Family Camp NH Photographer

Guests arrived on the island and were welcomed to the beach with wine, cocktails and a keg of beer to watch the sunset. Leslie and The Wedding Belle team made everything happen so smoothly - more about them in part II also!

As the sun started to set guests wandered across the island to enjoy delicious barbecue, cornbread and burgers on the grill. The biggest shout out to Kate Lemay and the Sandy Island staff - they couldn't have been more welcoming and helpful over the weekend. Happily carrying equipment and cases to the cabins, working tirelessly in the kitchen, setting up and breaking down all sorts of things. I was shocked to find out from Laura that the majority of the Sandy Island team were actually VOLUNTEERS, they were there for the weekend just because they love Sandy Island and Laura & Mike.
Christine masterminded the food and when I mentioned how much I loved these old school dinner trays  she laughed and said that on the rare occasions they have an event on Sandy most of the time people want "proper plates" but not Laura & Mike. I want to start serving dinner in these trays :)

Here they are! The almost-newlyweds Laura & Mike. I loved Laura's cute little dress and was wowed to find out it was originally her Mom Nancy's wedding gown!
Is it just me or does dinner always taste better cooked outside and enjoyed under the night sky?
With dinner over it was time to head into the lodge where Mike's dad Mark welcomed everyone with a funny toast and then Mike's brother Mark shared a slideshow. I've seen quite a few slideshows in my time but this one had video interviews with family members, hilarious childhood pictures and a look back on Laura & Mike's relationship
Guests headed out to enjoy a few more drinks and s'mores around the campfire but Audrey and I headed back to our cabin to recharge the batteries and get a good night of sleep because 7am came around pretty quickly...

This was the first wedding I've photographed that started with a 5k run around an island. I was most impressed with the running outfits (I think Laura's brother wins the most patriotic award) and the turnout! 

Laura had thought of every detail and her sister in law and cousin were on hand to award the winners with their medals:
Once all of the runners had made it safely back they all gathered to run off the dock into the lake.  My initial plan was to kayak out and get pictures of the runners jumping in but Laura kindly arranged for a boat to take me - probably safer. I'm not going to lie - I might still have had my PJs on under my sweats in this picture - rest assured I got changed for the ceremony! Mike's Dad Mark wanted to take some pictures but wanted to be very considerate and stay out of my shots, before I knew what was happening he'd jumped in and was wading out with his phone - Audrey got this shot :)

One, two, three, run....
I'll leave you with this last shot - you do NOT want to miss part II with the actual wedding coming to a blog near you on Thursday....

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