Image courtesy of Camp Katur.
There’s something quite enchanting about choosing a woodland to celebrate your love story – from the beautiful backdrops or the sense of freedom the setting offers. Whether a woodland venue reflects your lifestyle or simply because it’s something a little more unusual, it can really be a magical place to say ‘I Do’.
If you’ve been browsing through the Venue Finder, you’ve probably fallen for some of the woodland wedding venues in the #CocoCollection – I know there’s a few that I’m currently obsessing over! Although woodland weddings are undeniably dreamy, there are a few tips you need to know along the way to ensure a stress-free celebration.
Without further ado, let’s get started…
It may be a woodland but you still need consider it as a wedding venue. All of the tips, tricks and checklists from our planning series with Katrina Otter Weddings still apply. In fact, you’ll need to add a few more items to your to-do-list, such as making sure you have booked facilities that may not be provided, including toilets, water and electricity etc. The Oak Grove in Kent offers the best of both worlds, with a wildly romantic and rural location as well as furniture and luxury toilet facilities for up to 120 guests, not to mention their woodland kitchen and antique bar!
Explore the various ceremony options on offer at your woodland wedding venue. For instance, the GreenAcres collection is licensed for legally recognised wedding ceremonies in their award-winning buildings, not to mention humanist and celebrant-led ceremonies. If you want to tie the knot under the trees their brand-new outdoor ceremony space, Beech Dell, will be right up your street and it’s on the blog here, so make sure you have a nosey.
Consider your guests
Be thoughtful when it comes to your guest list and plan ahead, it will make life easier in the long run! Ask your potential woodland wedding venue about parking, contingency plans for wet/warm weather and even little things including if the paths are wide enough for less mobile or elderly guests to use. If you’re concerned about location and guests who are travelling far and wide, ‘woodland’ doesn’t necessarily mean rural. Arnos Vale is set in the very heart of Bristol, yet you will be transported from a city setting to an outdoor paradise with birds singing, twinkling fairy lights and marshmallows around the fire, thanks to their gorgeous Underwood Centre. Essentially, make sure you do your research and take into account your loved ones before you start booking.
Leave the heels at home
Let’s talk about footwear. A woodland wedding venue doesn’t really lend itself to 5-inch heels but if you can’t resist rocking a pair of Jimmy Choos, we’ll let you off. Pop a pair of sturdier (okay – more sensible) shoes for the ceremony and swap into your heels for the reception and photographs. It may also be worth reminding your guests to wear heel protectors, they’ll thank you for it. However, if the thought of footwear is causing a planning-induced headache, we suggest you take a look at the ultra-stylish indoor venue at The Woodlands. This light-filled ceremony space has floor-to-ceiling sliding windows that offer a hint of nature while you exchange your vows indoors. The views are enough to make you feel at one with nature – while wearing your heels.
Flooring and furniture options
Rugs are brilliant for outdoor weddings, especially if they’re in a woodland. Line the aisle with some antique rugs – not only will they look stylish it will be easier to walk down and you’re less likely to get the trail of your dress muddy. Also consider outdoor lounge areas, we love the juxtaposition of this elegant furniture by Hire Love set against the trees here at GreenAcres Woodland Weddings!
If you don’t want your woodland wedding to end, make the most of the space and camp with your guests under the stars. At Wildflower Wood, you and your loved ones can dance the night away before camping in the woodland and wildflower meadow. Have you got guests who are after something with a little luxury? Then their beautiful bell tents await. For the newlyweds, you will be spoilt with the Treehouse Bridal Suite at Wise Wedding Venue – the perfect woodland retreat for the night of your wedding.
Embrace the natural beauty of your surroundings when it comes to styling your woodland wedding. This is a chance to really throw out the rulebook when it comes to florals, details and décor. Embrace the outdoor elements and work in harmony with your surroundings. From wild, rambling floral design to wooden elements, you can really make a woodland venue your own. The team at Camp Katur love nothing more than seeing how couples style their wedding and they’re open to the wackiest of suggestions!
Celebrating the season
When booking a woodland wedding venue, carefully consider your wedding date. May – September is generally the most popular time of year for an outdoor wedding as you’re more likely to have warmer weather but it’s not guaranteed. If you love the idea of a romantic autumn affair in the great outdoors or the thought of a winter woodland wedding is making your heart flutter, it’s still possible! Fforest is an outdoor venue for all seasons – you can celebrate in the sunshine amongst the wildlife and woods, or you can wrap up warm and roast marshmallows around the firepit in the autumn.
Visiting your venue
No matter what season you have chosen to get wed, we really encourage you to visit your wedding venue around the same time of year that you’ll be hosting your wedding day. This gives you the opportunity to see the lighting throughout the day and the colours of surroundings in that particular season. With a choice of natural wedding ceremony areas available, Wellington Wood looks beautiful throughout the year, rain or shine, and you’re guaranteed to see a different side of it throughout the year and/or season. Quick tip, remember to bring your phone along to any venue visits so you can snap away and refer back to the images.
The practical stuff
Ah – the practical stuff. If your heart has just dropped, don’t fear! There are just a handful of things you need to be mindful of when planning a woodland wedding. If your ceremony or reception is taking place outside, make sure you tie down any decorations or stationery – the slightest gust of wind can cause some serious havoc.
Consider covering wooden benches with rugs or throws to protect your guests’ outfits from sap – this will also add to your ceremony décor and give your woodland venue a pop of colour. If the weather is looking a little unpredictable, a basket overflowing with blankets and brollies will go down well with your guests. The team at Somerley Woodland Weddings will have your back when it comes to thinking of all those outdoor details and logistics.