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How to Plan a Forest Wedding or Elopement in 2024 [Venues + Packages]

Dreaming of a magical wedding surrounded by lush green forests? Look no further! In this guide, I'll share everything you need to know about planning a forest wedding or elopement. From choosing the perfect location...

Dreaming of a magical wedding surrounded by lush green forests? Look no further! In this guide, I'll share everything you need to know about planning a forest wedding or elopement. From choosing the perfect location to finding the best vendors and creating a stunning atmosphere, I've got you covered. Let's dive in!

Step 1: Choose a Location

The first step in planning your forest wedding or elopement is selecting the perfect location. With so many beautiful forests around the world, you have endless options to choose from. Whether you prefer a fully outdoor wedding or a venue with indoor areas, you'll find the ideal setting for your special day. Check out this list of forest wedding venues to inspire you.

Forest Wedding Venue Image source: Provided image

Step 2: Hire Your Vendors

To ensure a seamless and unforgettable experience, it's important to hire experienced vendors who specialize in forest weddings. Florists, photographers, hair and makeup artists, and stylists can provide invaluable guidance and expertise. Here are some of my favorite vendors on the West Coast who have experience with outdoor weddings and elopements:

Officiant:

  • Officiant Jimmie
  • Ceremonies by Meredith
  • Another One Ties The Knot

Styling and Coordination:

  • Tapestry Event Co.
  • Bixby and Pine
  • The Slow Cult

Hair and Makeup:

  • Anne Timss
  • A Vow to Artistry
  • Angie Evans

Florist:

  • Millsweet Flower Co.
  • Petals by Piper
  • Olive and Sage Floral

Photographer: That’s me! I specialize in adventure elopements on the West Coast and absolutely love shooting in lush forests in California, Oregon, and Washington. If you don’t choose me as your photographer, be sure to hire one that has experience shooting in the forest.

Step 3: Acquire Your Permits

Obtaining the necessary permits for your forest wedding is crucial to ensure a smooth event. Different locations have varying permit requirements, so it's essential to research and comply with the regulations. National forests usually require permits for weddings and elopements, while certain forest wedding venues may not. Your elopement photographer can assist you in obtaining the required permits for your ceremony.

Permit Image source: Provided image

Step 4: Purchase Your Decor and Attire

When it comes to decor, it's important to consider the guidelines and restrictions of the forest or venue you've chosen. Some forests have limitations on certain decorations to preserve the environment. To gather inspiration for your forest wedding decor, Pinterest is an excellent resource for modern, bohemian, woodsy, and enchanting styles. As for attire, there are numerous dress shops and designers that offer stunning forest wedding dresses. Here are a few notable options:

  • Lillian West: Known for whimsical and romantic dresses with elegant details.
  • BHLDN: Offers dresses that perfectly match the forest vibe, with various colors, styles, and fabrics.
  • Rue De Seine: Renowned for unique and modern bohemian dresses that will make you stand out.
  • Free People: Surprisingly, Free People has hidden gem dresses that blend beautifully with tall pine trees.
  • Etsy: Explore thousands of one-of-a-kind dresses from talented designers and dressmakers.
  • Dreamers and Lovers: Located in Long Beach, California, this bridal shop specializes in vintage-inspired wedding dresses.
  • Daci Gowns: Based in Boise, Idaho, Daci creates one-of-a-kind dresses for a truly enchanting experience.
  • ASOS: Don't overlook ASOS for budget-friendly wedding dresses in a variety of styles, colors, and patterns.
  • Reclamation: A favorite bridal shop for bohemian and whimsical fashion lovers.

Forest Wedding Dress Image source: Provided image

Step 5: Have a Backup Plan

Forest weddings are known for their natural beauty, but unpredictable weather can sometimes interfere with your plans. It's essential to have a backup location or date in case of unexpected rainstorms or other weather-related challenges. By preparing for such scenarios, you can ensure a stress-free and unforgettable experience.

Step 6: Book Your Flights and Lodging

Forests are often isolated and require extra travel time. Make sure to budget enough time for transportation, whether you're driving or flying to your chosen forest wedding destination. Consider booking accommodations in forest Airbnbs to immerse yourself in the natural surroundings. Here are some highly recommended forest Airbnbs:

  • The Majestic Treehouse - South Carolina
  • Wander A-Frame - Washington State
  • Quiet A-Frame Cabin - Northern California
  • Cedarwood Cabin - Oregon
  • The Cabins at Kenai Lake - Alaska
  • The Cabin at Little Pine Mountain - North Carolina

Airbnb Image source: Provided image

Step 7: Celebrate Your Forest Wedding

Finally, it's time to celebrate your forest wedding! After all the planning and preparations, immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and enjoy this special day with your loved ones. Forest wedding venues throughout the United States offer breathtaking settings that will leave you in awe.

Forest Wedding Packages

As an elopement photographer based in California, I offer forest wedding packages tailored to your needs. With my expertise and unlimited assistance, you'll receive a personalized planning experience for your forest elopement. Here's what my forest wedding package includes:

  • 4 hours to 1.5 days of elopement coverage anywhere in California, Washington, or Oregon
  • Hands-on forest planning experience with personalized locations, vendor recommendations, permit assistance, and a customized elopement timeline
  • Optional complimentary officiant services
  • Online gallery with full resolution and printing rights
  • 24-48 hour sneak peeks
  • Travel fees to California, Oregon, or Washington already included

Starting at $6,500

For more elopement inspiration, be sure to check out my Lake Tahoe elopement guide, Joshua Tree elopement guide, and San Diego wedding venue guide.

Now that you have all the essential insights and guidance, begin planning your forest wedding or elopement with confidence. Embrace the enchanting beauty of nature and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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