Why get married in Nature

In ancient times, all the important stages of a person’s life were celebrated in contact with nature. It is thanks to her that life exists. Man has always felt complete only if he lived in harmony with her.

The natural place therefore became as much a part of the rituals and as much a protagonist as man himself.

The Celtic tribes for example were linked to natural places. A lake, a river, a mountain, or a valley were thought to be inhabited by the spirits of the places, and, in many cases, by the spirits of the ancestors of one’s tribe.

Nature thus became the thread that bound the lives of individuals, between the present and past. A way of feeling intimately connected to the place to which one belonged and to one’s family.

Sposarsi nella natura
Matrimonio immerso nella natura
Cerimonia simbolica all'aperto
Getting married in nature means seeking intimate contact with the place you have chosen for your ceremony. You are asking the trees of a forest, the waves of the sea, and the mountains that surround you to witness your oath of love. You are not only in the presence of nature but also of your ancestors and the spirits of the place.

I organize weddings in nature because I believe in the wisdom of the earth, in the ancient bond that binds us to our land and our tradition. I am convinced that having the sky as a roof over your head can make your ceremony sacred and solemn and that everyone should have the opportunity to get married while honoring their spirituality.

The weddings that I organize are as sustainable as possible, they depart from the glitz and the philosophy of appearances. In my life and in my small way I try to do everything possible to avoid polluting and harming nature. I think a wedding should be no exception.

 

I advocate a less hectic pace of life, one that looks at the small happy things each day, a walk in the woods or looking at the stars.

The case of woods

A forest is certainly one of the most common dreams among brides who want an outdoor wedding. Yet such a wedding is not at all easy to organize.

So today I’m here with a bit of advice for those brides who still want a magical wedding, all in the woods!

Getting married in nature means seeking intimate contact with the place you have chosen for your ceremony. You are asking the trees of a forest, the waves of the sea, and the mountains that surround you to witness your oath of love. You are not only in the presence of nature but also of your ancestors and the spirits of the place.

I organize weddings in nature because I believe in the wisdom of the earth, in the ancient bond that binds us to our land and our tradition. I am convinced that having the sky as a roof over your head can make your ceremony sacred and solemn and that everyone should have the opportunity to get married while honoring their spirituality.

The weddings that I organize are as sustainable as possible, they depart from the glitz and the philosophy of appearances. In my life and in my small way I try to do everything possible to avoid polluting and harming nature. I think a wedding should be no exception.

 

I advocate a less hectic pace of life, one that looks at the small happy things each day, a walk in the woods or looking at the stars.

Why choose the forest

The forest has a strong imagery about us, a symbolism that comes from antiquity, when it meant both life, with its fruits, berries, and wood, and death, with the animals that lurked there in the night. Man became fascinated by it and often, even today, the forest is linked to magic, to the place where one enters and leaves it changed, because one has traveled the path of the forest, the path of inner change.

I don’t know if this is why many newlyweds decide that it is the right place for them, to experience one of the most beautiful and intense moments of their lives, but since marriage has freed itself and moved towards different solutions, the forest has become one of the most popular locations.

Indeed, it is fascinating, and full of suggestions. It is a magical place that envelops the people who enter it and makes them feel safe. A clearing in the woods is one of the most beautiful places to choose to show your love.

How to organize a forest wedding

Although the forest is a wonderful place, you should consider a few things. The first question you should ask yourself is: do you want to create in the forest only the ceremony or also the reception?

Depending on the answer you give yourself, the elements to set up will change. Certainly, the second option, with the realization of both the ceremony and the reception in the forest, is very beautiful and evocative, but it is also extremely expensive and complicated to realize. But let us go step by step.

The ceremony in the forest

Choosing a ceremony in the forest is certainly a feasible thing to do, but this means that you will only have the ceremony in the forest, and for the reception, you will have to move to another location. 

Let’s see what you need to take care of to realize your ceremony in the forest:

  • PERMITS – Let’s say you have opted to perform the ceremony in the forest alone. This is feasible and there are two possible ways to go: a private forest or a public place. I usually advise my bride and groom to find a private venue, which can be a forest belonging to a relative or friend of the family or simply an acquaintance, or the forest of an accommodation facility (farm, restaurant, bar, location). This will make things much easier by not having to ask for permission from the municipality, but only having to agree with the person on the possible cost and the prior cleaning of the place the day before the celebration. If, however, we do not know anyone and do not want to rely on an accommodation facility, another applicable route is to ask a municipality that we like and that knows a lot of woods if any municipal areas can be rented.

 

  • Not many people know this, and indeed there are not many, but some municipalities own areas of meadow or forest, which they rent out to private individuals for events. In this case, simply call the municipality and ask if they have such areas and then go and see them. These areas are always well maintained and therefore, even in this case, it will be enough to make arrangements with the municipality so that the place is cleaned before the wedding. There is a third way, which I mention for the sake of fairness, but which is more complicated, namely, choosing a place that you like, but whose ownership you do not know, and requesting it from the municipality, in the land registry section.

 

  • If you have found a place that you are madly in love with, it likely belongs to a private individual and the only way to find out who owns it is to ask the neighbors of the place or the municipality, so that you can contact them and make arrangements. This route is more complicated and will take longer, as well as the necessary cooperation of the municipality. If the venue you have identified is public, then you will be told by asking the municipality and according to municipal rules, you may be granted permission for the ceremony. Consider that the fewer guests there are, the easier it will be to convince the municipality to permit you.
  • RULES –  In a forest, especially a protected one, there are bound to be rules. No open fires for example, not even candles on the ground. Even chairs would be good not to bring them if the forest belongs to the municipality. Often when I organize a wedding in the forest, the guests stand around the bride and groom, precisely to avoid this problem.
  • Remember that both guests and staff cannot walk for too long, and the road to the forest must be wide enough to allow cars or vans to pass through to carry set-ups, instruments, flowers, and whatever else is needed.

     

 

  • MUSIC – It would be best not to need electricity, so ask your musicians what they need and tell them where they will be playing so they can organize. When I organize weddings in the woods, they are usually Celtic weddings and almost always involve a harp. Acoustic instruments perform well in this location, especially if there are not many guests.

 

  • THE DURATION OF THE CEREMONY – Especially if the guests will be standing, the duration of the ceremony should not exceed three-quarters of an hour and should actively involve the guests even with simple things, such as creating a circle and holding hands around the bride and groom.

Reception in the woods

If you decide to have both the ceremony and the reception in the forest, I must warn you, it is more complicated.

  • LOCATION – All private and public places that are not equipped are to be completely excluded. If you also want to have the reception in the woods, it is not feasible to take a completely natural place and be able to cook and seat the guests. It would be extremely expensive both in terms of money and pollution and it would not turn out well anyway because the professionals would have to work in precarious conditions, should they agree to do so. In addition, an unequipped forest is almost certainly not level and does not have a clearing or lack undergrowth, making it impossible to use for this purpose. The only two solutions you have are an accommodation site with a forest or a rentable communal site.

 

  • You can try, again, to hear from the municipalities to see if they have areas they rent that meet your needs. I have come across very nice places through the municipalities, even if they are few. In general, these places have all the necessary facilities and toilets (if the toilets are not there then they will have to be rented). Otherwise, the only other solution to experience the party in the forest is to find a venue that also has its forest. Many venues have created areas in which they can set up tables and serve food, in addition to the fact that being receptive facilities they naturally have a kitchen area (whether they cook themselves or collaborate with a caterer). The place in fact cannot be pure forest, it must be clean and level so that tables can be arranged.
  • ELECTRICITY – In case you do not rely on an accommodation facility, and perhaps you have rented a communal venue, you will need electricity in case there is none. The caterer or street food will need it for cooking or heating, and you will need it to see in case your reception takes place in the evening. In this case, you will then need a specialized supplier to take care of all the lighting and probably also audio if you have music.

 

  • TENSILE STRUCTURE – You will not be able to stay outdoors all the time, plus you cannot know if it will be nice. A marquee in this case is a must if it is not provided by the facility or the municipality, or if the facility does not have a plan B to match.

Life-saving advice

  • RESPECT – You are in a forest and you are in the presence of nature and its animals. That place was not created for you and your wedding, so you have to be the one to adapt to it. No loudspeakers with loud music, no polluting decorations, and no throwing rice, you can replace it with dry leaves or petals. Be respectful of the place that welcomes you.

 

  • THE RIGHT CLOTHING – It sounds trite to say, but guests often have no sense of size. Make it very clear everywhere that the ceremony will be held in the woods and tell all women NOT to wear heels or to bring spare shoes. It is not feasible to stand the whole time, perhaps even standing if no chairs are provided, in heels. Also, make it a point to dress appropriately for the period. In addition, especially in summer, provide kindnesses for guests, such as mosquito repellents, perhaps natural ones. You could try neem oil, which is natural and can also be used on animals. It would also be a nice thought to take home. The bride should also choose a dress that is not too delicate and will not be ruined if it gets caught in a branch. A princess dress is not the case, much better than a soft one that you feel comfortable in and can walk and dance in.

 

  • REHARSE – If you do not know the place where you are getting married extremely well, go to the venue sometime beforehand to see if the sound will be clear to everyone or if you will need microphones. Being an open-air venue, sound disperses and it is better not to risk that only you will hear the ceremony or the music.
  • THE TIME OF YEAR AND THE RAIN – For the woodland ceremony alone, I have never made any distinction of the time of year. Generally, the bride and groom choose the spring, summer, or autumn period, when the weather is still calm, but I have also done Celtic weddings, so completely outdoors in all weather conditions. If it rains we simply provide a sail for the bride and groom, and the guests, who are often standing, use their umbrellas. I understand that this is not for everyone, so if you don’t like the rain plan B and maybe avoid winter if you suffer a lot from the cold.

 

  • In any case, however, a plan C in case of a downpour is to be expected. This is one of the reasons why I mostly advise the bride and groom to have the ceremony and reception in the same accommodation, which also provides its wood for the celebration, but also has a suitable area in case of really bad weather. If this is not the case, you will have to find another solution, perhaps renting a small marquee or gazebo to be placed not far from the forest.

 

  • ARRANGEMENTS – Finally, don’t fill the forest with arrangements, there is no need. In a forest everything is magic, everything is beautiful as it is. It is fine to set up the place of the ceremony with a nice altar and if there is the possibility of chairs, some small objects hanging from the trees, maybe create a fairy tree together with the guests, by having them hang lots of notes with their wishes for you on the low branches of a tree before the ceremony starts. Just remember to retrieve them at the end and not to leave anything in the place that hosted you.

I hope you found this article useful and remember that: One enters the forest with bare feet and an open heart and comes out reborn

If you would like my help I am thrilled, I love the forest, it is my favorite natural place and I can’t wait to hear your story, You can write to me at info@federicacosentino.it 🌳

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