Since Covid-19 thwarted many a bride’s plans, we have seen an increase in demand for small, intimate, outdoor weddings.

A simple ceremony in the beautiful redwood forests of northern California is an experience that can only be described as magical. Surrounded by your nearest and dearest in a safe and private space, the natural setting creates an effortless and enchanted atmosphere that is all you need.

At Kennolyn, forest weddings are our favorite. We love to see how couples work with the forest to create an effortless, natural aesthetic. Here are some of our favorite outdoor Elopement ideas that just go to show that you don’t need a large party to celebrate your love.

Elopement Ceremony in the Redwood Forest

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. If your goal is to keep things simple and let love be the hero, the forest is a perfect backdrop.

For the ceremony:

  • Choose one of our beautiful wooden arbors or make your own from woven willow branches
  • Wrap the arbor in twinkle lights or adorn it with simple wildflowers while you say your vows
  • As you are a small and special gathering, you don’t need much signage, perhaps just a rustic wooden sign welcoming guests to set the scene
  • As you’ll be only using the outdoor areas, decor will be kept to a minimum, how about a string of precious photos of you and your fiance hanging from a natural twine or displayed inside a simple frame?
  • Contrast the rustic backdrop with the softness of faux fur with some fluffy rugs in cream or ivory on wooden benches, these could also mark the spot where family groups can sit with safe social distancing
  • Whether you have a flower girl or not, let petals lie alongside fall leaves to line your earthen aisle

Forest Photo Ideas for Your Special Day

You may have to forego some of the traditional parts of a wedding when you opt for an Elopement, but fortunately, photos are not one of them!

Getting married among the redwoods means that you will have effortlessly beautiful wedding photos whether you have your guests snap them with their smartphones or hire a professional. Not only do the towering and glorious trees make a stunning backdrop, having a more intimate gathering has a relaxing effect, making the photos look less forced and posed.

Because your Elopement will focus mostly on the ceremony and photos, you can get really creative and continue with the spontaneous vibe of the day. Work with the asymmetry of the forest and beams of sunlight to capture in-the-moment photos that are more natural-looking rather than those that are overly arranged. Be sure to have a conversation with your photographer to communicate your particular aesthetic but, like everything in 2020, let go of trying to control things. Find photos that you love as examples is a great starting point, but trust that your love and happiness will radiate through, and that is what makes a capture truly beautiful.

Here are a few fun tips and ideas for photos for your outdoor Elopement:

  • 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 props like flower crowns or a jewel-toned wrap to create movement. Little details or additions like these can really add to a photo, making it more visually interesting.
  • Encourage guests to take photos during the Elopement and air-drop them instantly or create a special IG handle just for your big day. Video can also be taken on phones and shared with guests who couldn’t be there, this is a much more popular option than trying to live-stream the event unless you have professional equipment.

Kennolyn offers a beautiful, outdoor redwood forest Elopement wedding package in the Santa Cruz Mountains. To learn how we can help you bring your wedding vision to life, contact us today.

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