Forest Wedding 2024: Your Wedding Guide!

The concept of a forest wedding is completely magical, isn’t it? The notion of exchanging vows amidst the splendor of nature appears to me as genuinely splendid.

You can find out what to consider, decoration ideas and everything else in my article, which I have carefully prepared for you.

Let my design ideas inspire you and have fun planning.

Selecting the Perfect Venue

When planning your forest wedding, finding a venue that resonates with your vision is key. Here are some tips to guide you.

Location: Start by deciding whether you prefer the grandeur of a redwood forest, the tranquility of a hardwood forest, or the charm of a pine forest. Consider exploring venues in the Sierra National Forest or the White River National Forest for their breathtaking landscapes.

Venue Type: Are you dreaming of an intimate ceremony in a redwood grove? Or perhaps a grand affair in a meadow or garden near a river? Venues come in various shapes and sizes, so think about the kind of natural settings that feel right for you.

Accessibility: Outdoor weddings need to be accessible for all your guests. Ensure there are clear paths for everyone, and consider proximity to necessary facilities.

  • Amenities: Look for venues that offer the basics: electricity, restrooms, and shelter options in case of unpredictable weather.
Forest TypeFeatures
Redwood ForestMajestic trees, serene backdrop
Pine ForestFragrant air, rustic feel
Hardwood ForestChanging seasons offer different colors and atmospheres
National ForestsExpansive spaces, often with permit requirements

Forest Wedding Decor and Themes

When planning your forest-themed wedding, the natural beauty of your surroundings should be at the forefront of your decor. Picture lanterns hanging from tree branches, illuminating your evening with a soft, warm glow. These can be classic metal lanterns for a touch of vintage charm or clear glass ones for a more modern twist.

Your natural backdrop is an asset when considering what decorations to use. Embrace the setting with minimalistic touches; let the towering trees and dappled sunlight create a naturally enchanting atmosphere. If you’re incorporating flowers, consider those that complement the forest, like ferns and wildflowers, to enhance the woodland feel.

For your tablescape, consider using bold elements such as:

  • Log slice centerpieces
  • Moss accents
  • Floral arrangements with local foliage

Creating a rustic wedding theme in the heart of the forest allows for an authentic experience that feels both personal and connected to nature. Textures like burlap, lace, and raw wood add to the rustic charm. You could incorporate wooden signs with calligraphy that guide your guests along a forest trail to your ceremony.

Planning the Ceremony

When you envision your forest wedding, imagine the ambiance of the outdoors wrapping around your special moment. Your ceremony can embrace the beauty of nature at a variety of unique venues, each offering its own charm and personality.

Venue Choices:

  • Outdoor Ceremony: Take advantage of natural beauty under an open sky. Whether it’s the lush greens of a nature preserve or the rustic charm of an island farm, these spaces offer a tranquil backdrop for your vows.
  • Open-Air Pavilion: For a bit of cover without sacrificing the outdoor feel, an open-air pavilion provides shelter and structure. This is a great compromise if you’re concerned about weather.
  • Unique Locations:
    • Flanagan Farm: Nestled in the woods, Flanagan Farm offers an intimate setting that combines elegance and nature.
    • Vail: Known for its stunning mountain views, Vail could be the perfect choice for a breathtaking ceremony amidst the trees.
    • Treehouse Point: For a truly whimsical feel, saying “I do” in a treehouse adds an element of childhood dreams and adventure.

Ceremony Ideas:

  • Create an aisle adorned with natural elements like fallen leaves, wildflowers, or stone pathways.
  • Incorporate local flora and fauna into decorations for a seamless blend with the surroundings.
  • Use the natural daylight to your advantage for beautiful, soft-lit photographs.

Keep your guests comfortable by providing clear directions and perhaps some light refreshments or blankets if the weather calls for it.

Reception and Celebration Details

For your forest wedding, imagine dancing under a starlit sky on a dance floor surrounded by towering trees and the sounds of nature. Whether you decide on a simple wooden platform nestled amongst the ferns, or a grander setup with fairy lights and lanterns, ensure it complements the forest’s natural beauty.

Organizing your wedding reception in a log cabin or a charming barn gives a rustic yet elegant feel to your celebration. These venues often feature exposed beams and large windows which offer stunning views of the forest, creating an inviting atmosphere for you and your guests.

Cocktail hour offers the perfect opportunity for mingling. Host this in a clearing with rustic bar stations serving forest-inspired drinks, or set up tastefully decorated tables with a selection of appetizers that reflect the woodland theme.

Consider the warmth and communal vibe a bonfire brings to the evening. It’s an excellent choice for post-reception relaxation. Provide cozy blankets and s’mores kits for an added touch of comfort as your guests enjoy the fire-lit glow.

If you’re looking for a unique overnight experience, offer glamping accommodations. Chic tents with comfortable beds and luxurious decor can be arranged, allowing your guests to enjoy the full forest experience without sacrificing comfort.

Forest Reception FeatureDetails
Dance FloorNatural wood, fairy lights
Log Cabin/BarnRustic charm, forest views
Cocktail HourForest-themed drinks, rustic decor
BonfireCommunal vibe, s’mores, cozy blankets
GlampingLuxurious tents, comfortable overnight stay

Accommodations and Comfort

When planning your forest wedding, choosing an accommodation that provides both comfort and convenience is essential.

Log Cabins: For a truly rustic experience, you might consider staying in a cozy log cabin or the idyllic Moon Log Cabin. These cabins offer a perfect blend of comfort and wilderness charm.

Cabin Retreats: Venues like Copper Creek Inn provide a picturesque backdrop with cabin-style accommodations. Escape to the woods with modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay for you and your guests.

  • Pinehaven: A serene retreat nestled among the trees.
  • Stonebridge: This place offers a mix of natural beauty and guest comfort.

Venue-Specific Accommodations:

Luxury in the Woods: For those looking for more luxurious accommodations, venues like RT Lodge offer a perfect mix of nature and opulence.

  • Cedar Lakes Estate: Enjoy the high-end amenities in the midst of natural surroundings.
  • Lord Thompson Manor: Experience elegance surrounded by forests.

Kentucky Charm: Hemlock Springs offers not only a stunning woodland ceremony but also comfortable lodging for you and your guests.

California Dreaming: Chalet View Lodge, located in Portola, California, not only charms with its forest setting but also pleases with a luxurious poolside terrace for relaxation.

Historic Hideaway: For an intimate and historic feel, check out Twenty Mile House, which combines old-world charm with the comfort of modern amenities.

Finally, immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature at Deer Park Villa, with its blend of forest beauty and guest comforts. Your forest venue can not only fulfill your dreams of a natural wedding setting but also ensure a comfortable and memorable stay for everyone involved.

Vendors and Services

When planning your dream forest wedding at venues like Arrowhead Pine Rose, selecting the right vendors and services is crucial to bring your vision to life. Here’s a guide to help you:

  • Caterers: Make sure to find a caterer experienced with outdoor settings. Ask if they provide eco-friendly options to complement your forest theme.
  • Photographers: Look for a photographer skilled in capturing natural light and the beauty of the outdoors.
  • Decorations and Florists: Choose decorators who can enhance the natural beauty without overpowering it. Florists with experience in wildflower arrangements can add a magical touch.

Essential Vendor List

CateringOffers menu tasting and outdoor service options.Consider dietary requirements.
PhotographyFamiliar with the forest venue for optimal shots.Check portfolios.
Music/DJProvides appropriate audio equipment for outdoors.Account for power sources.
Florist/DecorUses local foliage and complements the venue.Align with your theme.
  • Music and Entertainment: Ensure your DJ or band can adapt to the unique acoustics of a forest setting.
  • Transportation: Arrange for shuttle services if the venue is remote.

Photography and Videography

When organizing your forest wedding, considering how you will capture the day is crucial. Forest settings offer a natural backdrop that provides a unique and enchanting atmosphere for both photos and videos.

  • Photoshoot: In a forest, you have the luxury of utilizing the stark contrasts in light and the lush greenery, which can make your wedding pictures come alive. Your photographer might suggest timing your photoshoot during the ‘golden hour’ for soft, warm lighting.
  • Videography: Capturing the essence of the forest in your wedding video can be magical. The rustling leaves and the natural sounds make for an authentic and rustic cinematic experience. It’s important to work with videographers who are experienced in outdoor settings to successfully navigate the variable lighting and terrain.
LightingBe mindful of the changing light within the forest; plan with your photographer for the best times.
EquipmentEnsure your videographer brings equipment suited for the rugged outdoors.
ExperienceLook for a professional with experience in natural settings.

Choosing the right professionals who resonate with your style and understand the nuances of a forest setting will help you relive your special day for years to come.

Attire and Styling

When you’re envisioning your perfect forest wedding attire, think of merging elegance with the natural landscape. Opt for a neutral suit or gown that complements the serene setting. A neutral palette for your dress or suit can range from soft greys to beiges, reflecting the understated beauty of the wilderness.

For the bride:

  • Consider lightweight fabrics like chiffon or lace that move gracefully amidst the trees.
  • Choose a gown with floral elements or vine-like lace to echo the forest’s flora.
  • Accessorize with nature-inspired jewelry—think leaf designs or wood accents.

For the groom:

  • neutral suit in earth tones aligns seamlessly with the environment.
  • Consider a vest or a wool-blend suit for a rustic yet polished look.
  • Play with textures – a tweed tie or boutonniere with foliage can add depth to your outfit.

Bridesmaids and groomsmen:

  • Stick to a neutral palette; mismatched dresses in complementary earth tones build a cohesive aesthetic.
  • For groomsmen, suspenders and bow ties can balance formality with fun.

Guest Experience

When you choose a forest wedding, you’re inviting your guests to step into a scene straight from a storybook. A serene setting among the trees offers a unique and memorable experience. Here’s how to ensure their comfort and enjoyment:

  • Venue Size: Make sure your chosen venue can comfortably fit your guests. Some forest venues, like the Woodend Sanctuary, can accommodate up to 170 guests, offering both intimacy and ample space.
  • Accessibility: Forest venues often mean uneven terrain. Ensure pathways are clear and accessible for all guests. Consider providing comfortable seating or even a cozy blanket for an outdoor ceremony.
TerrainProvide appropriate footwear
TemperatureOffer hand fans or blankets
SignageClearly mark ceremony and reception areas
  • Nature’s Backdrop: Embrace the natural elements; for example, a reception by the vineyards can add to the enchanting atmosphere while rolling hills offer stunning vistas for photos.

Unique Local Venues

If you’re dreaming of an enchanting forest wedding, you’re in luck! Picture yourself exchanging vows surrounded by lush greenery and the tranquil sounds of nature. Here’s a curated list of unique venues across various locations that might just be the perfect spot for your big day.

  • Woodend Sanctuary & Mansion
    Nestled in Chevy Chase, Maryland, this venue offers a grove for outdoor ceremonies and space for up to 170 guests. The rental fee even includes a tax-deductible donation! Learn more about Woodend Sanctuary & Mansion.
  • Hemlock Springs
    In the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky, Hemlock Springs boasts gorgeous forest views for a ceremony and a spacious black barn for receptions. Check out Hemlock Springs.
  • Boulder Creek by Wedgewood Weddings
    Located in Lansing, Michigan, this venue is popular for its picturesque woods, especially appealing to those seeking a destination wedding or a local favorite. See Boulder Creek by Wedgewood Weddings.
  • Nestldown
    Over in Los Gatos, California, near the Santa Cruz Mountains, Nestldown is a beautiful escape for a forest wedding, immersed in fairy-tale woodlands. Discover more about Nestldown.
  • Burlap & Bells
    Discover one-of-a-kind ceremony spots in Whitsett, North Carolina, and revel in the charm of the outdoors. Explore Burlap & Bells.

Legal Considerations and Permits

When planning your forest wedding or elopement, navigating the legalities is crucial to ensuring your day goes smoothly. Here’s what you need to know:

Permit Requirements:

  • National Forests: Typically, a special use permit is required if you’re considering a national forest as your venue. This ensures the protection of natural resources and may also limit the number of guests you can have.
  • State Parks: Similar to national forests, state parks often require reservations and permits for wedding ceremonies. Check with the specific park for their rules and application process.
  • Private Property: If your enchanted forest setting is on private land, you’ll need permission from the owner, possibly in writing, to avoid any legal issues.

Regulations to Consider:

  • Guest Count: Limits may be imposed based on the venue’s capacity.
  • Environmental Impact: Your ceremony and activities should comply with regulations designed to preserve the area’s natural beauty.
  • Accessibility: Ensure that your guests can safely access the location.


How do you make an enchanted forest wedding?

Create an enchanted forest wedding by choosing a woodland venue and incorporating natural elements like moss, ferns, and branches into the décor. Use fairy lights, lanterns, and candles to add a magical glow. Consider whimsical touches like hanging floral arrangements and vintage furniture for an ethereal atmosphere.

What do you wear to a Woodland wedding?

For a woodland wedding, wear attire that blends with the natural setting. Opt for earthy tones like greens, browns, and neutrals. Choose comfortable yet stylish clothing such as a flowy dress or smart casual attire. Consider practical footwear for navigating uneven terrain, such as boots or flats.

Can you get married in the woods UK?

Yes, you can get married in the woods in the UK. Many venues offer woodland settings for outdoor ceremonies, providing a magical backdrop surrounded by nature. Ensure to obtain necessary permits and permissions, and consider logistics such as seating, shelter, and accessibility for guests.

What is a whimsical wedding theme?

A whimsical wedding theme is characterized by playful and imaginative elements, often inspired by fairy tales or fantasy. It includes quirky décor, unconventional details, and a sense of wonderment. Think vibrant colors, eclectic decorations, and unexpected touches that create a whimsical and enchanting atmosphere.

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Sophia Ziessler
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