When we decided to get married last year, it almost went without saying that our campervan, Fleur, would play a big part on the day. We’ve been together for 7 years, and for 5 of those we’ve been converting Fleur and taking her on adventures in her various unfinished states.
This big blue van is very much a part of us and there’s nowhere we’d rather spend our wedding night (or our honeymoon) than cosied up in our handmade home on wheels.
The only issue for us was that we had no idea how to go about planning wedding around our campervan…
We started our journey, as you might expect, with an internet browser and a search engine. It turns out there’s far more out there than we’d expected!
Choosing a Campervan Wedding Venue
To narrow down our options, we needed to establish our priorities. After our main priority of being able to stay in our van, this is what we came up with…
Find a licensed wedding venue
In Scotland, couples can legally get married anywhere as long as the ceremony is carried out by an approved celebrant. Unfortunately this isn’t currently the case in England and Wales (although the law is soon being changed to loosen the criteria for licenced venues!)
Initially we weren’t looking at licensed venues as we didn’t think it was a priority, and for many couples it won’t be. We knew that heading to the registry office beforehand would give us more freedom on our venue choice, but in the end we wanted the simplicity of just one ceremony that we could share with our family and friends at our venue.
We have to admit, finding a licensed venue that can also accommodate campervans is tricky… but they are out there, and they don’t necessarily cost more than unlicensed alternatives.
Here are some of the best licensed campsite venues we found:
- Welsh Green Weddings, West Wales
- Llyn Gwnant Campsite, Snowdonia
- Cornish Tipi Weddings, North Cornwall
- Gwaenynog Farmhouse, Mid Wales
- Boveys Down Farm, East Devon
And, for the record, here are some of the unlicensed campsite venues that caught our eye:
- Celtic Camping, Pembrokeshire
- Field 725 Frome, Somerset
- Out to Grass, Worcestershire
- Forest Oak Farm, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
- Field Good Bar, Somerset
All of the above venues tell us they can accommodate campervans.
Bring vans, tents, glampers, non-campers and dogs
Our wedding party is an eclectic bunch – as many are – with a range of budgets and conflicting views on what constitutes comfort. We wanted to cater to everyone and allow furry friends to come along too!
Many of our guests will be bringing vans, caravans or tents. Others could be persuaded to glamp but not camp, and then there are those that shudder at the very thought of sleeping in a field.
Some campsites do have limited space for campervans, so if you’re arranging a campsite wedding it’s worth getting an idea of how many you’re expecting before booking your venue.
We wanted some of our guests to have the option of hiring campervans or getting bell tents or tipis installed on site, so they could stay in the thick of it without sacrificing home comforts. We also ensured there were some nice local hotels for anyone who needed one.
Celebrate the wedding over a few days
We knew right from the start that we wanted our wedding to be a multi-day affair. Once all of our favourite people are in the same place at the same time, it would be a tragedy not to be able to spend some quality time with them.
This is actually a huge benefit of having a wedding on a campsite, as they tend to be a bit more flexible than traditional venues and costs are less likely to spiral out of control if you want to extend the celebrations.
Feed our guests
On the wedding day we’ll have 150 mouths to feed, so while we wanted a relaxed and informal campsite venue, we still needed to have either a fully equipped catering kitchen or space to accommodate mobile catering vans.
We had considered holding our wedding in a private field or a village hall with grounds, but we quickly felt this might present logistical challenges for food and facilities. Many of these spaces are also not particularly well set up for campervans, so we decided we needed somewhere with decent infrastructure.
We’ve gone down the route of a wood-fired pizza trailer and a mobile ice cream parlour to feed our guests on the wedding day. On the other days we’re planning to fire up every BBQ we can lay our hands on and ask our guests to bring something to throw on them!
Enjoy the view
While looks aren’t everything, on your wedding day they are kind of important. We knew we wanted a nice setting, ideally with a not-too-hideous building to hold the ceremony in and escape to during the inevitable downpour.
We were up for putting some work in to get a rustic venue looking the part, but once we’d factored in materials, manpower and the additional days needed to prepare, we realised this might not be cost effective. In the end, we found a campsite venue in beautiful surroundings with traditional stone barns that are perfect just as they are.
Our Campsite Wedding Venue
So, where is this magical place that ticks all of these impossible boxes?
The venue we’ve chosen for our campervan wedding is Llyn Gwynant Campsite, nestled in the heart of Snowdonia on the edge of a vast swimming lake. For four days we’ll have exclusive use of a camping field, barn buildings and commercial kitchen, all of which are set apart from their public campsite.
The main barn is licenced for weddings, dogs are allowed and we can fit all the campervans in. The campsite staff have been fantastic too – really flexible, helpful and accommodating.
So, it took a bit of work, but frankly I think we’ve smashed it.
Now we just need to decide where to take Fleur on our honeymoon…