The sun peeked through the copper trees and spread its rays in all directions, illuminating her path and warming the cool forest as she walked towards him. His back was turned and, though he looked small among the majestic redwoods, he seemed every bit as strong and certain as the trees. She took in a deep breath of fragrant forest air and gently tapped his shoulder. As he turned to look at her in her long white gown, the leaves above them began to rustle, as if to applaud their sacred moment of love.
Getting married in the beautiful redwood forests of northern California is an experience that can only be described as magical. From the first look before the ceremony to the last dance at the evening’s end, the natural setting creates an effortless and enchanted atmosphere that is perfect for celebrating the joining of two hearts.
Personally, forest weddings are my favorite when it comes to planning, and I love working with the forest to create an effortless, natural aesthetic. So, if you are in need of some redwood forest wedding ideas, I’m going to share some inspiration for my favorite aspects of a forest wedding—decorations, photos, and dessert—to help you start to envision all the little details of your big day.
Redwood Forest Wedding Ideas for Decoration
One of the many perks of being married in a redwood forest is not having to decorate excessively. The forest is so naturally stunning that really all that is needed is a few subtle touches to make it your own.
For forest weddings, it is a good idea to keep the decor as simple and as effortless as possible. Opt for an earth-toned color palette; let the colors of the natural world inspire you. Avoid anything too opulent or bold as it will distract from the natural beauty of the forest rather than enhance it.
Below are a few decor ideas to spark inspiration for your special day.
For the ceremony:
- A willow or wooden arch wrapped in twinkle lights or adorned with wildflowers to stand under while you say your vows
- A rustic wooden sign welcoming guests to the outdoor venue
- A string of precious photos of you and your fiance wrapped around trees
- A few rustic wine barrels with flowers and lanterns on either side of the aisle
- Flower petals lining the earthen aisle
For the reception tables:
- White tablecloths with burlap table runners
- Wildflowers in mason jars or tin buckets
- Cream colored tea lights
- Earth-toned napkins (think forest green or tan)
- DIY s’mores packets with name tags that double as fun wedding favors and place cards
To keep all of your ideas in one place, start a wedding Pinterest board and save images as inspiration for the aesthetic you want to create for your wedding. This will keep things cohesive and help focus your energy when it comes to choosing or making decorations.
Forest Photo Ideas for Your Special Day
Getting married among the redwoods means that you will have beautiful wedding photos! Not only do the glorious trees make a stunning backdrop, the calming energy of the forest has a relaxing effect, making the photos look less forced and posed.
Because of the asymmetry of the forest, photos that are more natural looking typically turn out much better than those that are overly arranged. Be sure to have a conversation with your photographer to communicate your particular aesthetic. Finding photos that you love as examples is a great idea, as well as ones you don’t like. This will ensure that you and your photographer are on the same page the day of.
Here are a few fun tips and ideas for photos among the redwoods:
- Find a beautiful spot in the forest to have your first look. A natural clearing, a unique tree, or a sunlit spot are a few ideas that will surely make stunning photos.
- Play with the natural landscape and let it inspire authentic movement and exploration. A game of hide-and-seek among the trees with your bridesmaids can result in some artful, candid pictures.
- Accessorize with forest-inspired items like flower crowns or earth-toned umbrellas. Little details or additions like these can really add to a photo, making it more visually interesting.
- Encourage guests to take photos during the day and to use a photo sharing app like WedPics so that you can see them too! Include forest-themed props and backdrops at the reception so they can have fun snapping pics all night long. Who knows, they may end up capturing your favorite shot of all!
Nature-Inspired Dessert Ideas to Celebrate Your Nuptials
We can’t talk about forest weddings without touching on the subject of desserts! I say this because there are so many wonderfully unique ways to pay tribute to the forest with your sweet treats.
If you opt for a wedding cake, I’d recommend skipping the fondant and choosing a more natural looking cake with buttercream. “Naked” cakes sans fondant are also beautiful and well suited for a redwood wedding. The layers of cake and frosting peeking through a rough, semi-transparent, rough coating of icing to create the perfect rustic effect.
Of course, don’t forget the woodsy cake garnishes like leaves, cranberries, and pinecones. These really stand out against white or cream colored buttercream.
If cake isn’t your thing, consider having a table of homey desserts like pies or mini tarts, sandwich cookies, mini cupcakes, or doughnuts. Platters of fruit and a variety of cheeses also look incredibly natural and harmonious with the overall theme. You want your desserts to reflect the overall relaxed feel of the wedding, so anything too refined or fancy will seem out of place.
Whatever details you decide on for your redwood forest wedding, remember that finding the perfect forest venue that supports your vision and is aligned with the aesthetic you are looking for is really the most important thing. Choosing an all-inclusive venue with an on-site planner who has professional relationships with Northern California’s best vendors will ensure that the planning process and your special day in the forest is a dream come true—from decorations to dessert.
Image 1: Feature image | Image courtesy Unsplash user photo-nic.co.uk nic
Image 2: Flowers | Image courtesy Annie Spratt
Image 3: Bridesmaids | Image courtesy Unsplash user Omar Lopez
Image 4: Wedding cake | Image courtesy Unsplash user Jeremy Wong