A Camp-Inspired, Destination Wedding at Clearwater Forest in Deerwood, Minnesota

Sarah Lick (27 and a nonprofit project manager) and Alex “Finn” Macartney (28 and a doctoral student at Georgetown University) met in college while studying abroad in England. Sarah, from Minnesota, and Finn, from Oregon, wanted the focus of their wedding to be as laid-back as their home states, a celebration of their legal commitment—without “getting lost in the details of the party,” Sarah says. Few details were needed at Clearwater Forest, a campground and resort community in Deerwood, Minnesota, about two hours north of the Twin Cities (and not coincidentally, across from Sarah’s family’s cabin, one of her favorite spots). 

Sarah and Finn exchanged vows lakeside before 100 guests in a stone-walled gathering space. “Our only decorations were the rustling trees and the lapping water,” Sarah says. It was peaceful and relaxing, just as they envisioned. The dinner was outdoors on the lawn—Sarah insisted on not having a tent—and the weather thankfully cooperated. Dinner, catered by Chowgirls, was served family style on farm tables, decorated with pink and red wildflower arrangements. Chocolate and coconut cakes from Yum bakery were popular among guests, as were local brews from Minnesota and Oregon. True to the authentic camp setting, the weekend included not only naturally beautiful scenery and dinner under the stars, but also games, bonfires, laughter and a reminder that when you unplug, you reconnect with nature and with those who matter most, notes the bride. —Chrissy Sorenson