The great outdoors: Camping with a luxurious twist

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Ruckersville-based Solid Ground Shelters marries outdoor charm and indoor comfort with luxury tents. Photo: Solid Ground Shelters Ruckersville-based Solid Ground Shelters marries outdoor charm and indoor comfort with luxury tents. Photo: Solid Ground Shelters

Weddings and camping go together like…Actually, weddings and camping haven’t traditionally gone together at all. Until now, that is. Welcome to the luxurious, wonderful world of glamorous camping, otherwise known as “glamping.” Think outdoorsy with all the trimmings: heated tents, comfy beds, luxury linens, and upscale furniture, all delivered to the locale of your choice. In other words, camping with all the creature comforts—including not having to share your tent with too many creatures.

This marriage of outdoor charm and indoor comfort makes perfect sense to Lauren Cecil, co-owner with Jason Johnson of Solid Ground Shelters, a Ruckersville-based glamping company. The pair, who initially catered to local music festivals, does lots of wedding business these days because the mobility of their structures provides plenty of flexibility for wedding parties and out-of-town guests.

Cecil, who met Johnson when both were adventure travel guides, explained the inspiration for Solid Ground Shelters: “People want a good outdoors experience, but they also want to sleep.”

Rates for local weddings range from $200-250 per tent per night, but Cecil and Johnson are sensitive to couples’ budgets, and said lower rates can often be negotiated for larger weddings. Each tent sleeps two to four people, including families, with queen beds and cots available.

And then there’s the bridal suite: an extra large tent—designed with photo ops in mind—with a living room space that can be customized to for the happy couple’s big day.—Kate Coleman

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