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Relaxing destination weddings make for happy campers

More and more, couples are forgoing the pomp and circumstance associated with traditional weddings and venues and opting for intimate campground celebrations–trading in grand entrances for wooded walkways and opulent cakes for fireside s’mores.

“Swanky and often expensive reception areas won’t provide the same kind of fun and relaxation as a horseshoe throw-off and pig roast,” mused Ernie Ramstetter, who along with co-owner Dave Muscoreil opened Niagara Shores Campground & Conference Center, an all-inclusive resort that is ideal for weddings, honeymoons, retreats, reunions and other gatherings.

With over 60 years of combined wedding-related experience, Ramstetter and Muscoreil saw a real need for couples to de-stress and take the pressure off on their big day. “They are looking to get away and unplug,” said Ramstetter. “Most want back-to-basics style with simple camp cookouts, live music by the lake and the chance to get in touch with nature.”

Niagara Shores can accommodate more elaborate visions too, such as outdoor chapel ceremonies and custom menus through partnerships with local high-end caterers. Ramstetter and Muscoreil are also working on getting a large tent that would seat 200-300 people, complete with chandeliers and air conditioning. The campground’s lakeside dining room seats up to 100 guests and their pavilion-like 5,000-square-foot tabernacle holds up to 400 people, so the more the merrier.


Plenty of lodging options

Not everyone revels in the idea of roughing it in the woods. If tenting isn’t your (or your guests’) thing, Niagara Shores boasts an 18-room bed and breakfast, 20 cabins and two houses that can sleep between 8-20 people, accommodating up to 250 guests all told.

Make a weekend out of it

A constant concern among couples is that everyone has fun at the reception. Niagara Shores not only guarantees that guests will enjoy your wedding day, but it is the ideal spot for family and friends to extend their stay. Located on Lake Ontario, Niagara Shores offers sweeping views and tons of activities for the entire guest list, like rock climbing, mini golf, volleyball, basketball, swimming, fishing and nature walking.

“It’s all about good times, good food and creating lasting memories,” added Ramstetter.

For more information about Niagara Shores, visit their website or call 716-778-8568.