Often found in nature? Then go for a wedding in the forest. Instead of formal, get married among the tree leaves, beautiful flowers and shrubs. In this blog, we discuss all the ins and outs Of getting married in the woods.
Inviting a master of ceremonies, setting up some chairs and arranging an altar: it would be nice, but unfortunately it is not that simple. Not every forest allows marriages. Here's how to get married in the forest.
A recognised or symbolic ceremony
If you want to get married in the forest, do it at a recognised venue, in a Forestry Commission area, or hold a symbolic ceremony. We will discuss all the options.
You can hold your wedding at a hotel, restaurant, farm or other recognised event venue by the forest. If you get married at a recognised venue, the catering and decoration will (often) be arranged for you. Therefore, the reception and party are often celebrated at the same venue.
You can also choose to get married ín the forest. This is possible at various locations of Staatsbosbeheer. No facilities are available at these locations, you have to arrange this yourself. Because there are many arrangements to be made, it is nice to get help. For example, choose a package from 'Getting married in the woods.' This is an organisation by Lianne Balduk that has selected beautiful woodland wedding venues for true nature lovers. The reception and party can also continue in the forest. For this, however, sufficient lighting, food and drinks must be arranged. In addition, of course, no loud music should be played.
Not every venue allows an official ceremony. Do you still want to get married here? Then opt for a symbolic ceremony. You get married in the town hall first, after which you invite your guests to the 'ceremony' in the woods. This may sound crazy, but it's actually fun! You can now make up your own rules, choose your own master of ceremonies and make your vows as crazy as you want. You are also allowed to have a party after a symbolic ceremony. This is allowed until midnight in most forests, as long as noise and light nuisance are taken into account.
Arrange a plan B
We live in the Netherlands: unfortunately, it is not sunny every day! If it rains, there is not much we can do about it. Going into the ceremony soaking wet is not an option for most couples. Therefore, arrange an indoor location in case of bad weather. This is often easy to arrange at a hotel or restaurant; they are prepared for this. If you marry in the middle of the forest, this is more difficult. In this case, many couples keep tarpaulins and tents in reserve, or start the ceremony later in the day.
Different wedding venues
For inspiration, we have listed several wedding venues; each venue in a different style. Which one suits you?
Festival style - The Empire of the Emperor
At Amsterdam you will find Empire of the Emperor. It is a beautiful wedding venue in the middle of nature, with cool indoor party space. At this venue, you will find the perfect combination between peace and nature , and a big party including a DJ. The menu features delicious organic local produce.
"We work with daily fresh products as much as possible and do not use products from the convenience industry. After all, nature offers plenty of variety and we make grateful use of that."
City Park - Dudok
In Rotterdam's city park, you'll find a venue of DUDOK in one of the most beautiful villas in Rotterdam. You are close to civilisation, but surrounded by greenery. There are also beautiful party rooms in this villa, where there is enough space for a cosy wedding party!
"Get married in a green oasis of peace, right in the middle of Rotterdam's dynamic city centre! Dudok in the Park is a monumental villa built in 1750. An authentic building with contemporary interior."
Remote - The Thatched Roof
For a wedding in the middle of nature, you are in the right place at The Thatched Roof at Delft. At this beautiful location in the middle of the Delft wood you will get married under a gazebo with beautiful views over the landscape. Even on a rainy day, you'll be in the right place at this venue: you get married in the glass conservatory, which still gives you views over the landscape.
"A small and intimate garden party or a sparkling and exclusive one. We have everything you need to make your wedding an unforgettable day. Our team knows better than anyone how important your wedding day is and of course you want everything to be right down to the last detail. The possibilities are endless."
Luxurious castle - Kasteel de Haar
At Haarzuilen, near Utrecht, you will find Castle de Haar. In this luxurious castle, tucked between trees and parks, you say yes to each other in the rose garden, inside the castle, or in the flower-lined chapel.
"Kasteel de Haar is the most luxurious castle in the Netherlands and offers a variety of unique places that will give your day an extra special atmosphere; the Rose Garden, beautiful gates, the romantic little bridge and a history that says 'you'. Like a true fairytale castle, it rises from an imposing park surrounded by ancient gardens and water features."
At the edge of De Lier find the beautiful farmhouse Zwethburch. Surrounded by nature and water, you get married here in the open air, then continue the party inside in a beautiful, old ballroom. This farmhouse is the perfect combination between rural and luxury.
"To the choice of this venue, your guests will immediately recognise your sense of taste and exclusivity. And count on a party that will also hold a special place in their memory."
Advantages and disadvantages
All wedding venues have pros and cons, and so does getting married in the forest, although as a nature fanatic you might not care about this. We discuss the biggest pros and cons.
A forest wedding has a few (minor) drawbacks. We discuss the 3 biggest ones.
An outdoor wedding means insects. Especially around water in summer, you will be stung by a mosquito sooner or later. Bees and wasps will also be around the corner regularly. This is part of the deal! You are outside. It is up to you whether this is seen as a problem. Just one tip: instead of ordinary candles, buy candles with citronella scent; this will keep most mosquitoes at bay.
Arrange plan B
It's a bit more arrangement: two plans. Still, with an outdoor wedding it is essential to have a back-up plan in case of bad weather. If you are not planners, you can always outsource this to a wedding planner.
We have talked about rain. Don't forget that there could also be a heat wave, strong winds or cold temperatures during the wedding. It is important to take these into account as well.
We name the 4 biggest advantages of a forest wedding.
The scenery: that's what you do it for. You are not getting married in a hall, but in beautiful nature. Wedding stress will vanish like snow in the tranquil landscape.
Little decor needed
Nature is a beautiful backdrop in itself, so you don't need to dress up the surroundings elaborately. A few garlands with cosy lights and/or candles are enough!
With an outdoor wedding, there is more space than between four walls. You can therefore invite more guests to the wedding ceremony and/or party. You put up as many chairs as you want!
In rooms with a lot of (fluorescent) light, it is more difficult to take charming photos. In contrast, outdoor photos often look beautiful and natural. Especially in the famous GoldenHour, when the sun is low, you can take beautiful outdoor photos. An outdoor wedding is therefore ideal for the most beautiful wedding photos.
As you have read, getting married in the forest has many advantages, especially for nature lovers. To make the wedding as optimal as possible, we have compiled some additional tips.
Think of the seasons
It's a clue, but an important one: with an outdoor wedding, you need to take the seasons into account. For the best outdoor dance party, it's best to pick a summer month. Are you a fan of autumn leaves or the winter cold? Then a forest wedding is also possible. In this case, though, you choose a venue where you are guaranteed to be covered, with heaters and fire pits available.
Specify a practical "dress code"
It is important that guests know that the wedding will take place (partly) outside. Clearly state that guests should bring warm, cold, or extra rainwear. In case of a summer wedding (at the water's edge), mention that the guests can bring mosquito spray and sunscreen, if necessary. You can also buy this yourself and have it ready on a side table. Is your wedding taking place on woodland, grass or sandy soil? Please mention that heels are not the most comfortable choice of footwear on these surfaces.
Even in the summer months, it can cool down considerably in the evening. Therefore, make sure there are enough plaids and blankets available for all guests. This is not only practical against the cold, but also looks cosy!
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In my opinion, I have the most fun profession in the world. Together with Nathalie, I have been photographing for just over seven years now and I have learned the most by getting to know many people. I think the camera is just a tool and it is the people who make the photo.