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5 Ideas for a Forest Wedding

Bride and six bridesmaids in forest weddingPhoto: Bella Scottsdale / Vienna Glenn

Newly engaged? Congratulations! Now you get to share that amazing news with your family, friends, and all of your followers on social media.

And we’re about to share some good news of our own:

Wedding planning isn’t nearly as complicated as you may think. There’s no need to get overwhelmed with cake tastings and catering options. Likewise, you don’t have to stress out about which wedding photographer, band, or DJ to hire. 

All you really need to do is find a wedding dress you love and decide where you’re going to celebrate the big day.

And if your dream is to get married outside in the woods, you’ve got it made! Forest wedding venues are everywhere. And there are dozens of ways you can make a woodsy setting work for your wedding day, no matter what your style or budget may be.

Dreaming of a wedding amongst the redwoods in Big Sur, California? Planning to say your vows in a lush national forest on the east coast?

Here are five ideas for how to throw a forest wedding:

1. Keep It Natural

Bride and five bridesmaids in forestPhoto: Bella Grand Rapids / Taylor J. Photography

One of the reasons we love a woodsy wedding is because nature has its own color palette. Celebrate that beauty (and embrace those colors) by throwing a rustic wedding with beige or sage bridesmaid dresses and brown and green wedding décor.

Want to make your outdoor wedding ceremony feel like it’s part of the natural environment? Provide wooden chairs or tree stump seats for your wedding guests. Or carry natural greenery bouquets.

Create small centerpieces for your cocktail hour tables with flowers that are native to the environment. Use round wood slabs as a base for your wedding cake or as chargers beneath your dinner plates.

If your dream is to throw a forest wedding, it’s probably because you love nature. So embrace that and play up that beauty by throwing a wedding that blends into the natural surroundings.  

Related: Everything You Need to Know for a Glamping Wedding

2. Make it Magical

Chairs and wedding aisle set up in forestPhoto: Joseph West

Remember waaaaay back in 2010 when we were all deciding whether we were team Edward or team Jacob? Regardless of whose side you were on, you have to admit that Edward and Bella’s Twilight wedding was one of the most majestic and beautiful ceremonies of all time. 

Make your wedding ceremony in the woods a memorable and magical fairytale moment of your own by saying your “I Do’s” amongst lush greenery or under a canopy of trees. 

Reserve a ceremony space in a redwood grove, amongst some giant sequoia trees, or beneath a cluster of weeping willows. Saying your vows beneath (or in front of) a huge tree is the perfect natural backdrop, and you won’t need to rent or build an arch! 

For an enchanted forest wedding reception, you can make it fairytale-inspired with colorful floral arrangements and draped fabrics. Or, you can make it a bit more moody and dark by decorating the space with deep red roses, vines, and twigs. But, of course, you can also forgo the flowers altogether and play up the space's natural beauty by simply hanging or draping string lights from the trees.

3. Host a Woodland Wedding on the Water

Bride and four bridesmaids standing near a pond in the forestPhoto: Bella OC / Chrissy Gilmartin

You don’t need a destination wedding on a tropical beach to have an outdoor ceremony and reception on the water. 

There's no need to turn your big day into a weekend getaway. Instead, consider having a One Tree Hill moment and saying your vows in a nearby forest near a beautiful lake!

There’s something serene and calming about a woodland wedding on the water. Plus, the contrast of blue water against a brown and green landscape sets the perfect stage for incredible wedding photos!

A forest wedding at the edge of a lake also presents you with many color options for bridesmaid dresses. Dress your wedding party in shades of light blue or green to blend in with the landscape. Or opt for dresses in burgundy or pink so that they contrast with the natural surroundings and stand out!

Shop our bridesmaid collections:
 

4. Say Your “I Do’s” in a Winter Wonderland

Bride and three bridesmaids in snowy forestPhoto: Bella Cleveland / Jenna Greenawalt

If you love the cold, have a winter or late fall wedding in the snow!

We love any occasion that gives us an excuse to glam it up with a faux fur stole or wrap. And an outdoor wedding amidst snow-covered pine trees calls for exactly that.

For a snowy forest wedding, dress your bridesmaids in dark green or deep burgundy stretch velvet gowns. Add pine cones and twigs into your bouquets. Opt for chunky heels (or even a pair of cute little booties) so that you don’t have to worry about your heels sinking into the snow. 

If your dream is to get married in the snow, go for it! Just be sure to let your guests know that your ceremony site will be outside.

Telling your guests that you have a winter wedding in the woods isn’t enough. They may assume you’re getting married at a private estate with an indoor space. It’s best to let everyone know what temperature and climate to expect so that they can dress accordingly.

5. Create Whimsy in the Woods

Bride, groom, and bridal party in outdoor forest weddingPhoto: Bella Jackson / Brooke Davis

We love a little whimsy, and you can make a forest wedding whimsical in lots of different ways.

One option is to find wedding inspiration in the Alice in Wonderland tea party. Do so with colorful table settings, mismatched chairs, vintage dinnerware, and twinkling lights.

Another option is to embrace some garden wedding vibes with rustic, distressed wood décor, lounge spaces with a mix of different chairs and benches, and farmhouse-inspired accents.

When it’s time to order bridesmaid dresses, any color will do! For your groomsmen, consider keeping it on the more casual side by dressing them in blue or grey suits rather than formal black tuxedos.  

Keep in mind that whimsy can be vintage or modern or a little bit of both. You can add all sorts of contemporary and industrial elements, like metal chairs and geometric pendant lights, to create some contrast against the natural environment of the woods.

Conclusion

Planning to go into the woods for your big day? We love it!

It doesn't matter whether you’re having an intimate wedding with a few guests or a massive celebration with hundreds of invitees. You can make your forest wedding anything you want it to be. 

Natural and rustic, enchanted, or whimsical, there’s one thing we know for sure:

No matter what your wedding theme may be, your wedding day will be one for the ages! 

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