How to Plan a Forestcore Wedding

Experts share how to achieve the woodland wedding of your dreams.

Forest wedding ceremony set up with wooden arch with greenery and white flowers, wood benches with blankets, and florals lining the aisles

Photo by Jordan Voth

Does the idea of exchanging vows with your special someone surrounded by trees and the soft sounds of nature sound like a dream? Then you should consider hosting a forestcore wedding. This whimsical and rustic wedding aesthetic is inspired by the unique ambience created by a woodland setting. "There’s a reason the magical forest is the setting of so many stories," shares wedding planner Jason Mitchell Kahn. "Forests are places where you can get lost in, and that inherent beauty allows your guests to get lost in both the love story of the wedding and the nature surrounding it."

If you are hoping to host a wedding in or inspired by the woods, then you should definitely think about what elements of nature you will want to incorporate into your wedding aesthetic. "Think about what you might find in the forest and try to use that throughout your concept," explains Manda Worthington, owner and creative director of Mae & Co. Creative. "Leaves and lush foliage from trees can be used in your table setting arrangements. Maybe incorporate a campfire and create an interactive s’mores experience. Think about how beautiful the stars are at night and use that to come up with a lighting installation over the reception seating."

How to Plan a Forestcore Wedding

Dreaming of a forestcore wedding? Start by choosing the right color palette. Worthington shares that earth tones of browns, hunter green, navy blue, and asphalt gray are ideal options for a forestcore wedding. "Don't try to make the forest anything it's not," she shares. "Don’t fight it. Lean into the surroundings and focus on enhancing the beauty of the space you're choosing to get married in instead of changing it." Wedding planner Jacqueline Hallgarth adds that you should look to how the foliage changes throughout the year before choosing your grounding hues for décor. "You always want to consider the natural seasonal surroundings," she says. "For example, a fall wedding in the woods will have autumnal foliage throughout. It’s important to coordinate these color tones in the other design elements—such as floral and stationery—so the wedding design is intentional and cohesive in a woodsy setting."

For unique elements to include at your nuptials, Hallgarth notes, "When guests think of a woodsy wedding, they can’t help but go back to fond childhood camp memories. Depending on the venue, I would lean into this theme and elevate it by incorporating local seasonal flowers, providing spiked apple cider and hot chocolate, and [planning] fun guest activities such as a morning polar plunge and hiking." Kahn chimes in that you can channel the whimsicality of the forest for a unique guest experience. "Most of us don’t regularly spend time in forests, and the very nature of them being a bit mysterious allows you to go in any direction. If possible, create an unexpected path to get to the ceremony location. It builds the mystery of what lies ahead," he suggests.

Bride in Long-Sleeve Lace Wedding Dress Walking in Meadow of Flowers

Photo by Emmy Lowe

Forestcore Wedding Fashion and Beauty

Your wedding day fashion and beauty can also reflect this natural and whimsical aesthetic. Consider suits in deep greens and ethereal dresses with lace and long trains to wear down the aisle. Then, you can enhance a natural beauty look with soft florals in your hair or a crown with leaf motifs.

Outdoor wedding aisle and alter in the middle of tree-studded woods

Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings

Forestcore Wedding Venues

Hallgarth advises that if you are taking guests into the woods, you should prep them in advance. "For a wedding immersed in nature, it’s important to share thorough details on the wedding website with your guests so they can be prepared and comfortable on the event day. Relating to attire, it's essential to note the ground conditions, which will determine appropriate footwear, such as a chunky heel in lieu of stilettos," she shares. The planner also advises to consider the high altitude of many forest locations. "For a summer wedding, always have water and sunscreen available for your guests," Hallgarth says. "It's also important to note this to the bartenders, especially if the guests are traveling and not accustomed to alcohol consumption in a higher elevation."

A final word of advice? Be wary of uninvited guests. "This might be a simple one to overlook if you don't spend a lot of time in the forest on a day-to-day basis, but when you are in the forest, you are in the wilderness," says Worthington. "There will be bugs and there might be animals. Keep bug spray nearby for your guests and at the end of the day, just embrace nature."

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