A-Camp 5.0 Recamps Part Three: Can I Get A F*ck Yeah

Sunday Evening

Wedding Ceremony // Dapper Hour // She’s All That: Femme Meet-Up

Sidenote: We actually already published an extensive recamp of the Wedding ceremony back in June, but nobody on staff was able to restrain themselves from re-camping the wedding all over again, so here we go!

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Robin Roemer, A-Camp Co-Director & Photographer: Sunday for me was all about the wedding. We spent the morning decorating at fire circle one with paper lanterns and big balloons and fresh flowers in mason jars that Alex so generously drove to Big Bear to get. Alex is the best driver, designer and whiskey instructor we could ever hope for.

Riese Bernard, Runaways Counselor & CEO/Editor-in-Chief: The morning of the wedding I took a hike with some campers so that my shoulders would be nice and sunburnt for the ceremony, which I was officiating.

Robin: The aesthetics of the wedding were simple and elegant. I was so grateful we had design and DIY expert AB Chao there to help us make everything look so beautiful. Kara, who had been cutting and styling hair with Kip all week long, did Carrie’s hair and Marla did her makeup.

Riese: Kara and Marla did my hair and makeup too, which was fun! It felt so fancy. I was really excited about my first-ever wedding officiating.

Robin: The entire camp turned it out and looked so adorable! Bow ties and cute dresses as far as the eye could see!

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Whitney: The day was lovely – it was sunny and warm, and everyone at the wedding just looked so beautiful. Absolutely handsome, beautiful, dapper queers looking their best for this wonderful occasion. I got myself dappered up and borrowed a silver tie clip and black tie from Cee, who always comes prepared when it comes to looking great.

Ali: This what happens when you put a bunch of really happy queers on a mountain to celebrate two really happy queers spending the rest of their lives together and you tell everyone to wear things that make them feel the best. IT LOOKED LIKE THE BEST QUEEREST FASHION SPREAD OF ALL TIMES EVERYONE WAS SO PRETTY OMG.

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Liz Castle, The Craft Counselor: I even changed out of my flying squirrel onesie for the occasion, which was kind of a big deal.

Gabby Rivera, Mockingjays Counselor & QTPOC Editor: I got to be Usher and help people find their seats and their bottles of bubbles. I also had the joy of watching everyone stroll down the rocky hill in their wedding best, looking so fresh and so clean.

Carmen Rios, Gladiators Counselor & Feminism/Straddleverse Editor: The day of the wedding, all I did was think about the wedding. I got decked out in a peach dress, white strappy sandals, and white shades. The #SlutShack showed up in full force to the ceremony, where we shined bright like a million diamonds. Cabin 8 forever, y’all.

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Stef: As everyone started arriving for the wedding ceremony, I was blinded by how DAMN GOOD everybody looked. “Jeez, I wish we had Joan Rivers here to do red carpet coverage,” I told Cara.

Cara Giaimo, Ghost World Counselor & Writer: Stef and I were so floored by how great everyone looked at the wedding that we decided we needed red carpet coverage, so Stef grabbed a stick-microphone and we set to filming.

Stef: I wandered up and down the fire circle, interviewing campers and staff alike about their wardrobe choices. I used a stick as a microphone, which lent itself to terrible audio but gave my interviews a really rugged, rustic quality. I’m starting to think mountaintop red carpet interviews might be my actual calling.

Cara: Everyone we found was willing and able to explain their fashion choices to us in great and hilarious detail, confirming even further that A-Camp attendees are uniformly fashionable, clever, quick on their feet, and cameragenic.

Marni Kellison, A-Camp Co-Director: So my mom is a commissioner of marriages in Ontario, Canada. Back before gay marriage was legal in California, she wrote a letter – a LETTER – to Ellen DeGeneres offering to marry her and Portia in Ontario if they wanted. You guys, a letter. Anyway, when we were prepping for Bren and Carrie’s wedding before camp I asked my mom to weigh in on the ceremony and she provided the templates for several same-sex ceremonies she had performed in the past. It was so sweet, you guys. We ended up using one of her scripts almost to the letter, with some personalization from Carrie and Bren, and Riese – as the officiant – modifying some parts to make everything a little more badass and Autostraddle in the delivery. It was so beautiful and perfect and I cried and tried to hide it but I couldn’t and it didn’t even matter.

Riese: Robin, Carrie and I were running late to the wedding and they started without us! THEY STARTED WITHOUT THE BRIDE AND THE OFFICIANT AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER. Robin went into BO$$ mode and radio’ed to Carly to stop the music and start over, because Robin needed to photograph them walking down the aisle, obviously.

Bren Christolear, Editorial Assistant & Merch Girl: The best, the absolute BEST thing that made our wedding day perfect for me was walking down the aisle with all the energy and love of the campers and then get to do it AGAIN!

Mary Tully, Panthers Counselor: Bren walked down the aisle and then Grace came with Tinkerbell and then our flower girl, Vanessa, sprinkled flower petals — only to have to do it all again. Vanessa had to re-gather her petals she had sprinkled – everyone went back up the aisle – and we had a do-over. That was a wedding first for me.

Riese: I’d also decided it would be the cutest if Vanessa was a flower girl and Grace was the Ring Bearer. Bren and Carrie agreed. I was right. IT WAS THE CUTEST.

Robin: Grace and Vanessa were the most adorable ring bearer and flower girl I have ever seen.

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Robin: Riese conducted a perfectly balanced and eloquent ceremony. Her words were touching and sentimental, but somehow also hilarious as only Riese can manage.

Riese: I also held the paper with my wedding words on it right in front of my face throughout the entire ceremony, thus blocking my face, as all our photographs demonstrate. #rookiemistake.

Carolyn Yates, Bloody Valentines Counselor & NSFW Editor: This was the single most adorable wedding I have ever been to.

Chelsey Petty, Blackhearts Counselor & Editorial Assistant: Bren is one of the kindest, most giving and amazing humans I know, and I was so happy to see her marry her person on that beautiful mountain. I think everyone could agree that there was something pure magic in the air that day.

Mey: Now, I’m a Catholic from a very large family, so I’ve been to more than my fair share of weddings, but I can tell you without any doubt that Bren and Carrie’s wedding was my favorite wedding I’ve ever been to.

Laneia, Executive Editor & Runaways Counselor: I was so grateful that Bren and Carrie shared this with all of us! They were both just glowing and I couldn’t believe how lucky we were to get to witness their wedding. I wish we could go back in time 19 years and tell them they’d eventually get legally married on a mountain in California, surrounded by adoring, super well-dressed queers from around the world! Life is so wild, you guys.

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Mey: The brides walked down to Joan Jett’s “Crimson and Clover” and Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away,” which was a masterful move. Just brilliant.

Whitney: Before the wedding my heart felt like it was beating outside of my chest. I knew, then, that I would cry 40 times because of the beauty of everything. And lo and behold I did cry 40 times during the course of the wedding – the whole thing was just so beautiful and heartfelt and lovely – and seeing the happy couple just made me feel like my heart was jumping on the world’s largest, queerest trampoline.

Liz Castle: I was really glad to be sitting next to Kip who seemed to be handling all the wedding feelings similarly. By the time the vows were over, I’m pretty sure our combined tears could have filled an Olympic size pool, which is definitely not the kind of crying that turns Mickey on.

Whitney: I forgot to bring tissues, but Liz did think ahead and brought one tissue to the wedding, which she divided up into small squares for everyone on our log.

Rachel: I really thought there was a chance that I was not going to cry at Carrie and Bren’s wedding. I mean, I had cried at the proposal, but that was different because it was a SURPRISE. Obviously I was lying to myself and to God.

Ali: Of course I cried out of my face so hard because Carrie and Bren you guys. Carrie and Bren. CARRIE AND BREN. Ugh, I cannot even. I am crying again right now.

Carmen: Also, I totally cried. I know you all know this, but I totally cried. But only a little. And B cried first!

Brittani Nichols, Firebrands Counselor & Sports/Comedy Editor: This is the only wedding I’ve been to as an adult and now there is precedent on whether or not I cry at weddings. During this momentous occasion, Taylor asked me for my crying shades so at some point, someone coined the term “crying shades” for which we should all be grateful. Also, everyone looked unbelievably good which is a thing you think every day of camp but this day I think we collectively ran the risk of falling off the mountain because of staring/general optical distraction.

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Gabby: Can we also talk about the exchange of the second set of rings? Because when it was announced that Bren & Carrie were exchanging rings they’d given to each other at Wal-Mart when they were 19, every tear inside of my being released itself onto the mountain. I legit couldn’t hold it together.

Rachel: I was doing a low-grade teary eye pretty much ever since I saw the tiny bubble wand containers. When the sale at Wal-Mart came up, I LOST MY SHIT. I was not alone.

Laneia: NO OH GOD the second set of rings nearly killed me! I was sobbing and trying to keep it together but it wasn’t possible.

Mey: I started crying pretty early on, but then when Bren and Carrie exchanged their second set of rings, the ones they first exchanged 18 years ago I really started to lose it (again, I’m crying as I write about it now). This was all so perfect.

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Gabby: That admission of love, like we’ve been together since we were gaybies kinda of love, was so powerful and gave me such a deep surge of hope and faith. I wept for the love I have now, for the loves I’ve lost, for the loves I never thought I’d be allowed to have. I wept for their love, for Bren and Carrie’s pain and struggle. I wept for every single beautiful soul on that mountain.

Rachel: The crying was unreal. Which is a way of saying that while I can be cynical about weddings and the emphasis we often place on them, this wedding was truly and simply a really special way for Bren and Carrie to honor their love for each other and for all of us to show our support and happiness for them. God it was so perfect I have to stop thinking about it it’s upsetting me.

Soph, Cat Power Counselor: Everyone looked too lovely and fantastic even through the tears. (my tears, their tears! Happy tears!)

Lizz: Bren and Carrie had the cutest wedding vows. I would tell you what they are are specifically but I was actually crying so my memory is a bit blurry.

Bren: It is super hard to pick my favorite thing about our wedding day. I mean it was all so so great and memorable, but I’ll try…

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graphic by Intern Raquel

Robin: The ceremony was so special. Carrie and Bren have been together for 19 years and Bren works so hard for A-Camp and Autostraddle that there could not have been a more perfect couple to share their special day with us.

Whitney: This is hands down one of the most beautiful, most heartfelt, most wonderful weddings I’ve ever been to. And it was so lovely to be able to share the event with Bren and Carrie and 300 queers on a mountain.

Gabby: Literally, Carrie & Bren’s wedding is in my Top Three most beautiful moments of my entire life.

Liz Castle: It was just as magical and queer and amazing as everyone thought it would be.

Gabby: Bren and Carrie, I’m eternally thankful you shared your moment and your love with all of us.

Carrie: “I do.”

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38 Comments

  1. Ooohhhh my godddddd the quotes with the photobooth pictures

    Are you guys trying to kill me or something?!?!

    • Also, the part with the Wal-Mart rings in Bren and Carrie’s ceremony is where I totally lost my shit too. WATERWORKS FOR DAYS

  2. I Think I’m gonna cry, that photobooth photo. I had a rough weekend, and this is totally what i needed right now. A-Camp really changed my life, I cant wait to be back on Mt Feelings!

  3. I haven’t been to A-Camp before because of the Atlantic Ocean but I’ve been living vicariously through recamps since 2012. Pretty sure that’s gonna change this summer though!

  4. I made it all the way through the wedding rerecamp without choking up but then outsiders and THAT PHOTO THAT I TOOK which has also been the greatest desktop background for an entire year and WITH MY NAME ON IT I cant

    It was awesome. The photo booth with quotes was perfect. My terrified and confused face was pretty accurate. Camp this year- Can. Not. Wait.

  5. I think i went to self defense because it helped with my hangover? Yep. I spent probs a good hour or two or more lying on the picnic bench behind eagle staring at the sky. Every time I looked at the trees or ground, they swayed. Lol.

    I loved the wedding. You guys…i havent experienced another moment than the wedding where I wanted my wife to be next to me to hold hands with.

    You guys, we started crying then did the whole thing over only to cry again!! Lolz.

  6. You guys the only way to pre game for a wedding is Whiskey Tasting where I enjoyed th3 Brenne Whiskey. THANKS GUYS. And also learning about barrel proof whiskey that will always kick my butt. It smells your fear.

  7. Also also also this was the first camp that I managed to wake up and go to every yoga session. Love Dani O’s class. The outdoors one was beautiful.

  8. While I was reading the other recamps last week I was so sad knowing I won’t be able to go to A Camp 6.0. But the magic of camp still exists off the mountain! All these people who make camp feel so powerful and welcoming don’t stop existing when camp ends. So even though I will miss being there, A Camp is in my heart forever.

  9. i feel like i need to mention again that carrie’s wedding bouquet was made out of tiny strips of paper from love notes that bren had given her over the years.

  10. I have never been to camp but I always enjoy reading these recamps anyway. A mountain full of queer folks is, like, the dream. I feel so isolated from other queer people in my day to day life so I reaaaaally hope I can go next year.

  11. All these gorgeous humans…. I can’t – I need to get to Mt. Feelings so bad – being at uni sucks – exams are always at the same time as camp :(
    Until I can get there (also known as the right side of the Atlantic) – I hope everyone has even half as much fun as it seems to be from the recamps – safe in the knowledge that queers everywhere are soooo jealous.

  12. oh jeez, that last time I shaved my head was the week before these photobooths were taken

    I have no idea what I’m doing.

    Please send help.

  13. the picture of me biting magda’s face is my favourite thing oh god
    i can’t wait to get back to this mountain

  14. “I have a massive crush on all of you!”
    ^^ very accurate

    my bank account says no, but my heart says “you need this”, so i’ll see all your wonderful faces on the mountain!!

  15. I cannot wait for the next one. I’m on a mission to get over my fear of dancing in public, and feeling awkward about being in photos. I danced to one Robyn song at the wedding reception, so I’m already on the road to recovery.

  16. So much cuteness! Watching the red carpet video was so fantastic. Everyone looked AMAZING. I was really impressed.

  17. Is it weird that I’m tearing up looking at these when I didn’t even go

    And also that I’m registering next week but I’m terrified I won’t make friends

    /sob

    /goesanywaybecausefuckfear

    • Not as weird as me spending a whole day refreshing the page waiting for the recamp to be uploaded when I didn’t even go! I mean, to my credit I am ill right now but it’s still kind of tragic.

    • Haha. Being afraid of not making friends is the last thing to be worried about, trust me. Especially if you take a shuttle from the airport. Jetlag plus camp excitement plus a terminal full of queers who love a majority of things you do on the internet?

      Yeah, I think you’ll be just fine :)

    • I’m with you here. I’ve decided I’m going, and seeing everyone look so ridiculously happy is both affirmation for the positive experience A-Camp must be, but also terrifying to think, ” What if I don’t make any friends?! What if no one likes me?!”

      I’m with you. We won’t make friends, if we don’t go!

  18. That picture from the photo booth is awesome. The wedding was my favorite thing ever. Also I am going to be the officiant for my friends wedding this July and I’d love to see the resources Marni’s mother provided!

  19. Yassssss!!! Can’t wait to get back to Mt Feelings! Who is that handsome boy with the Spike Lee shirt and the shades tho?! She is fine!!! ;) lmao

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