‘One Life Weddings’ Guide to Woodland Weddings.
A Guest Post by Christabel Saunders
There is something very romantic about the idea of being married beneath a shade of trees, in secluded woodland surrounded by friends and family. Woodland weddings are becoming an increasingly popular choice for many couples wanting to move away from traditional hotels and stately homes towards a more relaxed, back-to-nature setting with a festival feel.
But where on earth do you start? How do you find a suitable piece of woodland, seek permission to hold your wedding there and set about organising your big day?
Finding the location
The UK has literally thousands of acres of luscious woodland but you can’t simply rock up and throw the party of your life, or even the wedding of your dreams. Every piece of woodland will belong to somebody somewhere. Your first priority is to find out who that person is and seek their permission.
Many wedding venues have vast estates studded with woodland with the added benefit of all the mod-cons like toilet facilities, running water and electricity provided.
Due to the increasing interest in woodland weddings, One Life has teamed up with some fantastic venues that specifically cater to this recent trend. The chic, glamping experience offered at Jolly Days and the Bivouac (both in Yorkshire) are every woodland bride’s (and groom’s) dream come true, and then some!
In the south, Wasing Park in Berkshire has secluded woodland that offers a complete blank canvas. Recent weddings here have included rustic Argentinian BBQ’s and guests camping amongst the trees.
Due to the huge number of enquiries for woodland ceremonies, we now offer a location search and work alongside an experienced wedding planner offering woodland wedding packages.
The Wedding Ceremony
Although you can’t sign the legal marriage documents, you can still hold your wedding ceremony outside with all the elements you’d expect: exchange of vows and rings, readings, an ‘I do’ and a first kiss.
Because One Life Weddings do not include the legal marriage documentation it means that your ceremony is free from restrictions. This gives you greater choice over where and when you can hold your wedding.
You simply visit the local Register Office prior to your wedding day to legally become husband and wife. This is a short and straightforward process in which you make your declaratory vows and sign the register. That’s it. You can either invite just your two witnesses and keep it as brief and unromantic as possible or take a few close friends and family and then go for a meal afterwards. You may even prefer to do it on the morning of your wedding.
What if it rains?
If there’s one thing that can’t be relied on it’s the British weather, so when planning a woodland wedding you should always consider a Plan B!
If you’re hiring a marquee, tipi or yurt for your reception it’s worth bearing in mind whether it can also accommodate your wedding ceremony if the weather lets you down.
Warning your guests that it’s a woodland wedding is also a big must so they can prepare (and maybe re-think the 6inch heels in favour of wellies!)
Things to consider:
♥ Wheelchair access
♥ Accessibility for older guests
♥ Accessibility for caterers and suppliers
♥ Keeping children safe and contained in the space
♥ Running water
♥ What to wear!
The great thing about woodland weddings is that they’re a huge blank canvas. Unlike some wedding venues you won’t be bound into packages, using certain suppliers and paying corkage.
However this doesn’t necessarily make them cheaper. The thing to consider is that most woodland locations don’t come with toilets, electricity, water, lights, heating and PA systems so all of these things will need to be hired. And unless your location has a venue with it you will also need tables and chairs.
And finally…always respect the environment by cleaning up afterwards!
If you have any questions that you would like to Christabel or ourselves on this subject then please leave us a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Much Bespoke Love
♥ ♥ ♥
Photography credit: Lauren Kinsey Fine Art Photography