A Romantic, Waterfront Wedding at Camp Birch Hill in New Durham, New Hampshire

Chrissy Morell and Mike Carter kept things close to home for their wedding, hosting their intimate celebration at Camp Birch Hill, which Chrissy owns

Chrissy Morell and Mike Carter kept things close to home for their wedding, hosting their intimate celebration at Camp Birch Hill, which Chrissy owns and operates in New Durham, New Hampshire. With a striking natural setting, the couple chose details and decor that play up the venue’s unique features, rather than distract from them. “Rather than focusing on small details, I worked hard to keep our gardens vibrant, the buildings painted and grounds beautiful,” Chrissy says. With the help of close friends, the pair got to work beautifying the camp’s grounds, creating a vibrant daylily garden where they would say their “I dos.” 

The day of the wedding, Chrissy and Mike gathered their closest family and friends there for their heartfelt ceremony. A longtime friend officiated, sharing anecdotes and insights that gave the proceedings a truly personalized feel. “The ceremony script was written by Sarah, our officiant, who mentioned all the work we did to make the camp so beautiful, including the garden,” Chrissy says. The couple included family members as much as possible, inviting their mothers to share an Indian and Buddhist prayer and asking Mike’s father to be the ring bearer. After exchanging vows, the couple headed to the waterfront for photos and a few quiet moments together to take it all in, before joining their guests, including those who were not at the ceremony, for cocktail hour and the reception. Cocktail hour took place on the lawn, where guests noshed on fresh, seasonal charcuterie and cheese and sipped on signature drinks and local beer served from a renovated Airstream trailer. Acoustic renditions of Grateful Dead tunes filled the air, where Chrissy and Mike and their families and friends enjoyed lawn games like corn hole and explored the grounds. Dinner and dancing took place in the camp’s rec hall. Farm tables with white French country chairs dotted the room, giving the venue a quaint country feel, while bunches of vibrant dahlias, roses, hydrangeas and wildflowers brought the expansive space to life with their fresh scent and bright palette. Dinner was served family style to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, and strings of bistro lights filled the space with romantic ambiance. “A highlight was when Mike’s band got on stage to perform three songs. Everyone was blown away,” Chrissy says. “Your wedding day is a celebration of your love among family and friends, so enjoy it.” —Libby MacCarthy

Chrissy and Mike created an outdoor oasis for their ceremony. The pair planted a vibrant daylily garden at their camp and designed a stone aisle leading to a quaint wooden arbor covered in lush vines, under which they would say their “I dos.” On the day of the wedding, Cymbidium Floral decorated the arbor with a beautiful, cascading arrangement of dahlias, roses and hydrangeas.
A cascading arrangement of playful pink dahlias, romantic roses, fluffy white hydrangeas and an assortment of textured vines was draped along the top of a wooden arbor, where Chrissy and Mike exchanged vows, adding a pop of vibrant color to the wooden green landscape.
Wanting the ceremony to feel as intimate and personal as possible, Chrissy and Mike had only their closest family and friends present, and asked their longtime common friend to officiate. “Sarah has been my best friend for years. She moved to the US from New Zealand for middle and high school, where we met and became close friends,” Chrissy says. “After high school, she moved back to New Zealand, and years later she came back to the US to work for Birch Hill for a few summers, where she became very good friends with Mike as well. Mike suggested that she marry us. She knows us so well, and we knew she would have the insight to make our ceremony special.”
The groomsmen matched Mike's gray suit but donned light blue-gray ties.
With Chrissy and Mike’s rustic theme in mind, Cymbidium Floral created a textured arrangement of roses, wildflowers, hydrangeas, mint and more for Chrissy to carry down the aisle.
Chrissy’s bridesmaids, her sister and two best friends, donned convertible knee-length dresses in soft, pale shades of gray and strappy white sandals that fit perfectly with the wedding’s laid-back vibe.
The couple celebrated at Camp Birch Hill, which Chrissy owns and operates.
The couple’s close friends renovated an Airstream trailer and repurposed it as a bar for cocktail hour, where an assortment of local beers, plus two signature cocktails—hibiscus fizz and sidecar—were served.
To achieve the rustic aesthetic Chrissy and Mike were after, Cymbidium Floral created an assortment of small and large floral arrangements in an array of vessels, including of small glass jars, bud vases and wooden planter boxes, to place atop the farm tables.
Having shared their vision for a relaxed event with a rustic feel, Chrissy and Mike let Cymbidium Floral take matters into their own hands—and they didn’t disappoint. The team of talented florists created arrangements of wild, textured bouquets of seasonal, local flowers, including hydrangeas, roses and dahlias, that gave the day a romantic, country flair.
Loosely arranged bundles of dahlias, roses, hydrangeas moss and wildflowers in antiqued wooden planters brought a pop of color to the charming farm tables that filled the rec hall during the reception.
Trying to support local vendors wherever possible, Chrissy and Mike sent their guests home with locally made honey, which they purchased from a man they met at a farmers’ market. “I purchased glass jars and had the beekeeper put honey into them,” Chrissy says. “We also attached a wooden honey scoop.”
The newlyweds and their guests moved inside to the camp's rec hall for dinner and dancing under a series of string lights. Mike's band even jumped on stage to perform during the celebration.