A Wedding Weekend at Maine's Camp Wohelo
Teresa and Pepin
Neither Pepin Gelardi nor Teresa Herrmann attended traditional summer camp growing up. He was more of a Space Camp geek, and she did diving and gymnastics programs during school breaks. “As kids, we were both fascinated by the idea of sleepaway camp,” Pepin says.
It was just one thing they had in common when they met in 2001 as freshmen at Columbia University in New York City. They became tight pals and stayed that way after graduation, when each moved to Maine in 2006, he to save up for grad school and Teresa to be a baker for the summer. It wasn’t until a friendly vacation to Italy that she started seeing him in a new light: “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, Pepin, hello.’” That was just what he’d been hoping for. “I had been smitten with her,” he admits. A few months later, they were an item, eventually moving to Brooklyn and getting engaged in 2012.
When it came to wedding planning, the duo -- today, she’s a stylist for One Kings Lane, and he’s an industrial designer -- knew they wanted one big, communal setting that would bring all of their friends together for a long weekend.
Teresa and Pepin decided to give themselves the summer-camp experience they’d never had. So the couple transformed Maine’s Camp Wohelo into Camp TeePee (a playful use of their first initials). Ninety of their 130 guests stayed on site, participating in hall meals, morning yoga, and nightly campfires.
The Campy Stationery
The invite suite (designed by Guts & Glory) included a wheel for finding your spirit animal and a guidebook with packing tips and spoof ads.
The Bride’s Entrance
The walk down the aisle commenced at the dining hall, a coming-together spot that also hosted arts and crafts, as well as a talent show, that weekend.
A Waterfront Ceremony
During the August 31, 2013, wedding’s nondenominational lakeside ceremony, officiated by a friend, a neighbor played music as they walked down the aisle. Though it was cloudy, the rain held off throughout the vows. Friend and environmental designer Sam Wheeler, of Aux Armes Etc., built the ceremony arbor from timber found on-site.
Designed with Love
Pepin’s cousin designed Teresa’s gown, which used lace from her mother’s dress.
No. 6 lace-up heels helped the bride navigate the terrain.
A Lake Break
“Everybody said we should take a moment for ourselves,” Teresa says of her impromptu, postceremony canoe ride on Maine’s Sebago Lake with new husband Pepin. “So we paddled away!”
Teresa and Pepin relished homemade, organic details, including their wedding arbor constructed by a friend.
Pepin’s dad constructed 25 mini paper teepees to cover votives.
Teresa’s mother, Marion Herrmann, who also made the littlest attendants’ dresses, had to bribe the flower girls with gummy bears to complete their duties.
A Special Song
Camp TeePee even boasted its own theme song, by Anna Muessig and Patrick Gerety, written and performed in lieu of a speech.
A Casual Dinner
Pepin and Teresa opted for a family-style dinner. “It was important to us to take the formality out of it,” says Teresa. As for the tent, the pair wanted a clean aesthetic. She adds, “The camp itself is really pretty; we wanted to make sure people were looking up and looking around.”
The skies cleared during the dinner of grilled Atlantic salmon and chimichurri-dressed hangar steak -- and then it poured, sending the festivities indoors. There, everyone danced into the wee hours yet still managed to rally for Sunday’s color war and talent show.
To play up the camp theme, the couple had a teepee design, made by Guts & Glory, printed on tin cups to give as favors.
It was just like real sleepaway camp, with one exception -- no one got homesick. In fact, the newlyweds are now “camp-sick.” The cure? They’re already planning an anniversary trip back to TeePee with family and friends.
The Love Boat
The lemon-ricotta pound cake was decorated with simple piped icing and fresh greenery and wildflowers, with a special topper as the finishing touch.
A Mini Keepsake
Bob Collins, family friend and husband of cake-maker Kate Adams, carved the tiny canoe and oars that now sits on the couple’s fireplace at home in Brooklyn.
Location: Camp Wohelo
Catering: Kitchen Chicks Catering
Wedding Arbor: Aux Armes Etc.
Photography: Nina Westervelt
Stationery: Guts & Glory
Music: The Resolutions
Rentals: One Stop Event Rentals
Makeup: Nancy Neville of Merle Norman
Bride’s Gown: Savania Davies-Keiller of The Little House
Groom’s Suit: Shipley & Halmos
Beer and Wine: Good Life Market
Dance Instructor, Flash Mob Coordinator, and Yoga and Pilates Instructor for the Weekend: Philippa Anderson
Officiant and Singer: Adam Schatz