Camp Weddings through the Years

As a girls camp, it’s no surprise that we love a wedding, especially when it’s a camp wedding! While we don’t host weddings very often, we’ve had some very special ones here in the past, and we couldn’t resist walking down memory lane together in honor of Valentines Day.

So come along with us today as we talk to a few alumnae who had incredible weddings here at Greystone. Their stories, memories, and pictures are not to be missed, and you might just see a few familiar faces along the way!

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Elizabeth and David

My name is Elizabeth Pehrson but most people at camp just call me Madden. I worked on staff from 91-98 as counselor, group leader and Program Director. I also had the privilege of working with Stuart on the restart of Family Camp (which was SO MUCH FUN!!) I LOVED every single second of those eight summers! (Except maybe the countless times I got called into Laura’s office… but that’s another story for another day.)

My husband David worked Family Camp the summer before our wedding. He immediately understood the depth of this place in my heart!

When we got engaged, we wanted a wedding that was something special, something different and something so much FUN! And the only place we knew like that was Greystone! We got married September 26, 1998.

What happened at our camp wedding that didn’t happen anywhere else??? What didn’t happen??? A bridal luncheon at Libby’s house! Waterskiing, archery, riflery, arts and crafts, cooking, tennis, a square dance in the pit, bridal party pictures on Apple Hill and LIFELONG memories from a WEEKEND wedding!

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After leaving our reception in the gym, we left Lake Edith on a 1955 restored Criss Craft boat under a beautiful sky filled with Jimboy’s famous fireworks and the hallelujah choir blaring over the speakers! (I think my parents were elated that I finally got married! :)

Every detail was absolutely perfect from start to finish! Wes King sang one of my all-time favorite songs, The Love of Christ. I had my family and friends at my favorite place on earth, with my camp friends standing with me on one of the happiest days of my life! I mean seriously… think about ALL of your VERY FAVORITE people ALL in your VERY FAVORITE place!

I always wanted everyone to understand what camp meant to me. And on that weekend, everyone finally did! We are forever grateful for the wedding of a lifetime!

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Rebecca and Dave

My name is Rebecca Stokes Latham, and my husband is Dave Latham. We met at Greystone in 2000, my third summer on staff and Dave’s first summer. I was the co-head of the ropes department, and Dave was on my staff. We pretty instantly hit it off.

We dated long distance for 3 years while Dave was an undergraduate at Presbyterian College in SC, and I was in graduate school in Colorado, only really spending time together each summer at camp. Dave worked full time on camp staff after we were married, and we lived on camp property for almost 4 years. It seemed completely logical to get married at Greystone because that had been the hub of our relationship: we met there, dated there, and lived there. It felt like home! We got married on October 4, 2003.

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It was such a joy to share with our friends and family all of our favorite things from camp: from bread pudding at the rehearsal dinner to the ropes coarse activities the morning of our wedding to partying with camp friends at the reception (It felt like the ultimate Evening Program). We left our reception by boat from the Blob dock while Jimboy and John John shot off fireworks. It was like a miniature 4th of July celebration!

It was an opportunity to reconnect with our long time camp friends and show those who had never been why camp was so important to us.

After nearly 20 years of marriage, we now live in Fort Payne, Alabama (along with our son Stokes and daughter Ellie Grace) where Dave is the senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, and I work from home as a geologist for a small company in Asheville, NC. We are so grateful that the Lord brought us together through Camp Greystone!

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Kathleen and Mike

We are a Marine Biologist and IT specialist that live in Charleston SC with our three children (two that will be future Greystone Girls!).

I am Laura’s daughter so I spent all my summers and the majority of my weekends at camp. Camp was where I found my best friends and where I discovered my faith. Plus I worked at a lot of weddings there so when it came time to get married I knew exactly what I wanted and how to plan it. I wanted to start my married life of in a place where I knew God was present and where I already had so many wonderful memories. It was a no brainer. We got married in May of 2013.

The groomsmen got pictures in their tuxs and in canoes, we left on the party barge, and canadian geese were in the background of all my photos, but I think my favorite is that when we were finishing up with photos it started to rain everywhere around us but not on the wedding party, so when we went to the dining hall porch we were able to watch as the rain crossed the Lake toward us. It reminded me of so many times I sat on the porch and watched the rain move across camp. It was very serene!

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So many favorite memories but really dancing the night away with Kat Williams as our singer and all my friends and family was the best. My husbands face when I gave him a sword to cut the cake with was pretty fantastic too!

One of the funnier stories was when I got my wedding present from Dwayne. Dwanye owns a pig farm up the road and uses the slop from Camp to feed his pigs. I allways talked to him and fed him breakfast when I worked in the kitchen. We were going to have a pig picking for my rehearsal dinner, so Dwayne showed up in he old truck with a freshly slaughtered hog in the back, entrails and all, that was still warm. We put it on the smoker and it was delicious, but that has to be the strangest wedding gift I received!

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Leland and Mark

Camp is probably the most important place in my life. I grew up at camp, met my best friends, and had my most significant spiritual growth there. Not to mention its just absolutely gorgeous! I couldn’t have imagined a different place to get married.

We got married on October 5 of 2013- after the summer of rain! I’ll never forget just hoping hoping the ground would dry between July and October. hah! Thankfully it did!

The coolest thing about getting married at camp is having everyone in one place together the whole time. We let our guests choose to stay in cabins and so no one had to go anywhere all weekend, which led to lots of amazing quality time with our family and friends- even people who hadn’t met each before.

After our rehearsal dinner at the Blob Dock, everyone just kind of gravitated toward the kitchen as they were heading back to their cabins. It turned into this unbelievable unplanned party with all of the people we loved most- some of them knew camp and some of them didn’t, but by the end of the night we were all doing Greystone Groove and grabbing snacks out of the coolers. I will NEVER forget it.

I loved every second of that weekend, but a few things that still come up regularly:

Because it had rained every day of Main Camp that year, we never got a chance to do 4th of July Fireworks. A couple weeks before the wedding, I emailed Jimboy to ask him if he’d be wiling to sell us some of the extra fireworks. So we ended up getting to leave our reception to a camp fireworks show! My mom also still talks about panicking that one of the guys almost set the blob dock on fire shooting them off, but that’s another story for another day…

Communion! We both felt very strongly about having everyone at our wedding do communion and it turned into the coolest, most camp thing. We asked people who had influenced us growing up (including JB and Margaret) to help serve, Mary Ellen played her violin, Ellen Anne made special wine goblets in ceramics for us, and we served Greystone Bread! It was the coolest example of how camp really is a slice of Heaven.

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After the ceremony, we stayed down by the lake to take pictures, while all of our guests went to the Dining Hall Porch for cocktail hour and appetizers. As Mark and I were walking up to join them, our photographer said “STOP, turn around real quick!” He started waving at the guests and everyone started waving back. We got this great picture of the pageant court, the flag, the Dining Hall and all of our guests waving behind us. It wasn’t planned at all, but is one of my absolute favorites.

While we were at the rehearsal, a candle apparently fell over on one of the picnic tables at the blob dock and caught the table cloth on fire. Caroline Giraud was working that weekend put it out! We knew each other at that point, but weren’t super good friends- now she is one of my dearest friends and we still joke about how she saved our wedding!

It was just so fun to get to celebrate with my camp people and to show all my other people this place that I love so much! I think everyone got to get a glimpse into the bubble, and people GOT IT. Even in just those few days. I still have people tell me that it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to, and I am convinced its because of the magic of this place.

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Mallie and Tyler

My name is Mallie Given Heath and I was a camper and counselor at Greystone collectively for 15 years! My husband is Tyler Heath, from Tampa, Florida, and we met at Auburn University in 2015.

Having a camp wedding has always been a dream for me and it was the greatest and most generous gift form the Millers allowing us to use camp for our wedding. Camp has always been my home away from home and slice of heaven. Greystone taught me how to seek after the Lord and constantly encouraged me to be myself. It brought me lifelong friends and truly shaped me into who I am today.

For so many campers it is a safe place where you can be fully yourself and pursue God whole heartedly. The second you step foot into camp you feel an overwhelmingly sense of peace and know that this place is different. It’s our beautiful miracle in the mountains and I couldn’t think of a more perfect place to honor our marriage than at camp.

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We were married on September 26, 2020 on the Pageant Court in the Shepherds Gazebo. Our rehearsal dinner took place in the Dining Hall surrounded by of course delicious food and wonderful fellowship. We were so fortunate to have our family and good friends in attendance for our wedding. It was a surreal moment looking back and seeing so many loved ones, family and friends from all walks of my life gathered in my favorite place to celebrate our marriage.

It was so fun having my friends stay in the Tentalows and seeing them explore camp over the weekend. I loved being able to share this place with them and finally after talking about camp so much they were able to see why it is such a remarkable place and means so much to me.

We took communion before our rehearsal up at Council Fire, which was incredible. Having our family and wedding party pray over our marriage in one of our sacred camp spots was moment I will never forget. Another of my favorite moments from our wedding was hearing Holy, Holy, Holy played during the prelude during the ceremony. It brought the biggest smile on my face remembering all of those Sundays in the Pavilion opening our church service with this hymn.

I wanted everyone in attendance to understand and experience part of what makes Greystone so special and honoring God through it all. This day was full of so much love and joy and I truly could not be more thankful to the Millers, it was truly a dream come true!

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Payton and Burton

My name is Payton Palmer (formerly Culler) and my husband is Burton Palmer. I was a camper for 10 years and a counselor for 4 years, and camp is my absolute favorite place on the planet!

During one of my summers on staff, I became best friends with Elizabeth Palmer, a fellow counselor who was also a former camper. Eliz had mentioned a few times over the course of that summer how she thought me and her brother, Burton, would be really great together, so after camp ended she promptly introduced us. Turns out Eliz was right - we are great together!

Burton’s entire family (sisters, cousins, mom, grandmother, aunt, LITERALLY EVERYONE) was a Greystone girl and Burton even worked on kitchen staff one year!

Camp is such a special place to both of our families and (in a very roundabout way) is what brought Burton and me together. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect spot for us to get married or to bring our 2 families together. We got married October 16th, 2021 - Fall is THE BEST at camp!!!

We did a full camp weekend and had our guests stay in the cabins Friday and Saturday nights. They LOVED IT. I had so many people tell me they woke up Saturday morning and went and drank their coffee on the DHP, so they are true camp veterans now.

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I will NEVER get tired of hearing people talk about how great our wedding was. I obviously love that people had a great time at my wedding, but it’s so much more than that - people had a great time because they got to experience how incredible of a place Greystone is.

When I look back on our wedding weekend it is truly unbelievable to me that I was able to have all of my favorite people from all different stages of my life together in the one place that means the most to me. Throughout my entire life it was always so hard for people to understand why I loved my summer camp so much (which was fair because they had never gotten to experience it). I’m just so grateful that I got to share Greystone with all of my people, even if it was only for a weekend.

I have always thought camp is the most magical place on earth and it was truly a dream come true to have my favorite day ever at my favorite place ever.

ALSO trying to figure out cabin assignments for the weekend was a nightmare, so shoutout to Laura for making it seem so effortless!

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Caroline and Brandon

My name is Caroline (Giraud, now Jones) and my husband’s name is Brandon! I worked at camp all through college and then had a stint working at camp full-time as well. Camp has been where some of the most meaningful moments of my life have taken place. My husband’s work brought us to Hendersonville, and now we live within walking distance of camp. We also wanted a spot where our families could all stay for the weekend and have a great time. Camp was the perfect spot to get married on August 20, 2022.

It meant the world to me to be able to share camp with my friends and family. I am still hearing about what a great time everyone had and how much everyone enjoyed spending a weekend at camp.

We started off the weekend with a rehearsal dinner and welcome party at White Hall. We kept things really laid-back with wood-fired pizza, salad, and ice cream sandwiches for dinner! On Saturday, we had a group run and coffee in the morning. We spent the day hanging out at camp and getting ready.

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The coyote meant to keep the geese off the dock ended up on the dance floor, as did one of the foam fingers from one of this summer’s Evening Programs. Also, apparently after Brandon and I left, some camp folks fired up the fryers that are usually used for Carnival and made late-night fries! I also have a selfie of my mom and my friend Shaye Sullivan riding to family photos on Apple Cart.

What sticks out to me the most is how much everyone LOVED camp. No surprise, of course, but it meant so much for everyone to really enjoy and appreciate Greystone. My family had never really spent much time at camp, so it was so special to get to share it with them for the weekend, even though the feeling at camp is different than it is in the summer.

Camp was the perfect backdrop to an incredibly meaningful, extremely fun weekend to start my new life with my husband with all the people that mean the most to us!