As soon as you step foot onto the grounds of Cedar Lakes Estate, it feels as if you’ve just arrived somewhere truly special. You are enveloped in a sense of peace and tranquility. A place out of time, where you sense an interconnectivity to the land, blending the unique history of a summer camp with a modern-day oasis for couples to plan a unique, magical wedding.

The sprawling 500-acre estate, located just 90 minutes from NYC, boasts lush greenery, towering trees, and the sparkling waters of their own private lake, creating a serene, peaceful, authentic atmosphere that is made for celebrating love and union.

Imagine a kind of luxury adult summer camp, where your every need has been anticipated and specifically curated for you to experience a seamless, one-of-a-kind event. This private resort, located in the heart of the Hudson Valley, truly reflects the owners’ and the staff’s dedication to making each wedding a milestone event filled with fun and treasured memories that will last a lifetime.

Whether you envision an intimate ceremony by the water's edge on their authentic 85-year-old deck with amphitheater-style benches and panoramic lake views, a mountain top open-air affair looking out over the Mountains where NY, PA and NJ meet at their States highest points, or a grand reception in their restored barn, Cedar Lake Estate offers a variety of stunning indoor and outdoor spaces to bring your dream wedding to life.

The property operates as an exclusive wedding venue with only one event per weekend, three season of the year, with the fourth seeing the property open to outside guests and transformed into a winter wonderland escape, complete with igloos, ice skating rinks and cozy fireplaces.

In season couples take over the entire resort for the weekend, allowing their guests to exclusively enjoy all manner of outdoor activities. This includes hiking, row boats, fishing, court sports, lawn games, zip lining or lounging on the sandy beach or by the infinity pool.

Cedar Lakes Estate is a true family affair with a fascinating history. A camp was opened here in 1929 named Camp Minisink – part of the Fresh Air Fund – in collaboration with several Harlem churches. Serving African American children from the inner city, this camp was deeply rooted in tradition and served the children of the Harlem, NY communities for 50 years. To this day, Cedar Lake Estates still welcome some of the original campers, now well into their 90s, every year for reunions.

After Camp Minisink closed and fell into disrepair, Steve Karvellas purchased the entire property in 1986, complete with multiple “villages” of overgrown cabins and cottages. For the next two years Steve, along with his wife and three young daughters, began the repair and renovations of the land and cabins.

“It was a true labor of love,” his daughter, Lisa, says of her father’s commitment.

The original 94 buildings of the old camp are the still on the property, and the family have made a conscious decision to keep the footprints and spirit of the former property alive. After he finished the initial renovations, Steve opened the camp as “Team USA Sports Camp,” hosting training camps for the US Olympic teams for many years.

Upon his retirement, daughters Stephanie (who worked in PR) and Lisa (a recent graduate of the French Culinary Institute), decided to join forces and take over the property to host weddings. Reborn yet again as “Cedar Lakes Estate,” they set about transforming the camp into a unique, luxury resort experience that honored the properties’ history. With design help from their mother Lisa, they created thoughtful exterior and interior spaces. Embracing the natural beauty of the raw materials of the land, they would often repurpose fallen trees from the land and stone from their own on-site quarry.

Their interior design vision combines earth tones, exposed wooden beams, reclaimed wood, and iron to create a sense of warmth and coziness that can be felt the minute you arrive at the estate. With meticulous attention to all the little details, they’ve created the perfect harmony of luxury and nostalgia of a bygone era.

“Our true self shines through the design element of the cabins and land,” says co-owner Lisa Karvellas.

The estate can now sleep over 200 people and offers a variety of lodging options, from cozy family accommodations nestled in the woods, to clusters of luxury cabins surrounded by nature, to spacious cottages and houses overlooking the lake or pool. This ensures a comfortable and memorable stay for families and friends of all size groups. Each space is elegantly appointed with private bathrooms, modern amenities, and stylish thoughtful touches are everywhere.

The family has kept an authenticity to the camp and cabins, maintaining the original footprint of the grounds while creating modern spaces. It is this emphasis on honoring the past with an eye for the future that sets this estate apart from the many options a couple may have in planning their wedding

Family traditions – as well as the strong work ethic of the sisters – echo in Camp Minisink original director Alberta Kline’s words, that can be seen hanging over the great fire place in the general store: “What you do today matters forever.”

This sense of pride also extends to the staff, many of whom have been with the property for years. The sisters encourage their team to make real connections with the guests and couples, and to show true authenticity in their service. It is this dedicated personal approach that makes stays at Cedar Lake Estate a truly memorable experience.

Did we mention the food and dining? 

The culinary team here is dedicated to creating a dining experience that is as unforgettable as your wedding day. The estate's talented chefs work with locally sourced ingredients to craft a delectable menu of gourmet dishes that will delight your guests' palates and satisfy their appetites. Whether you prefer a formal sit-down dinner, a casual buffet, or a lively bespoke cocktail reception, Cedar Lake Estate's culinary team will ensure that every bite is a curated, culinary delight.

Rehearsal dinners can be held in the middle of the massive Chef’s Garden with a 50-person farm table, surrounded by the bounty of the property, harvested all around you for a true farm-to-table experience.

Cocktail hours are held at the covered Pavilion with blue stone patio and a central stone fire pit. Alternatively, cocktails could be served poolside by the lake.

Receptions are held in the 5400-square-foot barn (which served as the gym during its Olympic days), now outfitted in spectacular style with a 24-foot wooden bar, barn-wood walls, and gorgeous crystal chandeliers for a memorable celebration.

The estate's picturesque landscape provides a stunning backdrop for wedding photos, with endless opportunities to capture the romance and magic of your special day. From the lush gardens to the tranquil lake, to the afterparty-ready Treehouse Space with wood-burning fireplace, to the bar and decks – every corner of Cedar Lakes Estate offers a unique and enchanting setting for creating lasting memories with your loved ones.

Nestled amidst the serene beauty of nature, Cedar Lake Estate emerges as a breathtaking venue for couples (and many celebrities!) seeking a picture-perfect setting for their wedding day. With its tranquil surroundings, luxurious accommodations, and impeccable service, Cedar Lakes Estate provides an idyllic backdrop for creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

With the incredible success of the venue, Lisa and Stephanie are doubly thrilled that their third sister, Gina, will also be planning her wedding on this unique property. Once again, they will be able to experience Cedar Lake Estates from the perspective of their guests – a full circle moment for the family. They have restored the camp spirit and have honored a legacy that has brought hope and happiness to so many children. This legacy lives on, bringing that same love and joy to the families and guests that come to experience all that is Cedar Lake Estates.

>Written By: Kellie Walsh & Rupert Rogers