How to Host a Nature-Themed Wedding

A bride and groom standing in a green field and laughing.

Hosting nature-themed weddings has long been a thing in Scandinavian countries, and now the trend is expanding to other parts of the world. One could say that the idea of sustainable weddings has played its part in this, but another factor is simply that many couples today are seeking a more relaxed setting for their special day.

What’s considered a nature-themed wedding? Well, it literally could just be a theme—think of a natural color palette, sustainable decor, and eco-friendly suppliers. But it can also be the venue or the entire wedding itself. For example, some popular ideas include parks, vineyards, forests, barns, or gardens.

If you’re opting for an elopement or a more private wedding alongside a nature theme, consider an adventure wedding. Or if you’re not the natural type but love the idea, you can replicate the concept in a hotel courtyard.

Whatever venue or option you choose, here are a few things to keep in mind to maximize the theme to its fullest.

Venue

A wedding ceremony set up on a lake with mountains in the background.

A wedding set outdoors is the easiest way to achieve a “nature” theme, so base your wedding al fresco as much as possible (but don’t forget to have an indoor area in case of bad weather). Of course, you can replicate the theme indoors—one of the simplest ways being just having lots of greenery all around. It’s also trendy to pick a venue with a view. By doing so, you can save money on decor, as you want the background to be the focal point.

Food and Drinks

Pink flowers on glass cocktail cups.

Try to make your menu as sustainable as possible by choosing local, ideally organic ingredients, and offer vegan or vegetarian options as well. For drinks, opt for a cocktail menu with botanical vibes. For example, you might want to serve mojitos, mint juleps, or gin and tonics—basically, drinks that have sprigs of herbs as an ingredient or topper.

Lounge Area

A lounge spot for your guests is a must-have for modern weddings and a nature-themed one offers plenty of room for creativity. If your venue has a gazebo or terrace, make the most of it by transforming it into a mini hideaway with comfy seating, romantic lighting, and pretty plants. If not, replicate the concept and give the space a garden vibe by adding outdoorsy accessories such as swings, picnic blankets, or fire pits.

Details and Decor

A table at an outdoor wedding reception decorated with greenery.

The general idea here is to keep things simple—not too ornate or over the top. While many couples opt for a neutral palette, you can have a pop of color. And if you’re having, for example, a garden wedding, it makes a lot of sense to fill the venue with various bright flowers. However, you will want to lean towards locally grown or even wildflowers and match them to the season since sustainability plays a significant role in the theme.

Speaking of sustainability, try to apply it to all aspects of your wedding. Consider recycled paper (or paper that is infused with seeds) for the invitations, secondhand or vintage centerpieces, and eco-friendly place settings. For example, you can use rocks or leaves in lieu of place cards.

What to Wear

A bride wearing a boho dress and holding a large wildflower bouquet.

The bride’s dress (and even the groom’s outfit) will definitely be the focal point of any wedding so there is no better way to emphasize the nature theme than dressing appropriately. Opt for airy, even slightly bohemian styles that match the setting. Top it off with appropriate accessories such as a flower crown, or pin your veil with a micro bouquet of wild flowers. And keep makeup natural as much as possible. This doesn’t mean you can’t be dramatic—but it may be best to save the graphic eyeliner for another day.

Gifts and Favors

If you love the idea of a nature-themed wedding because you’re an eco-warrior, consider a donation to an environmental charity in lieu of a registry. Or at least offer it as an option. And for favors, consider giving away some of the centerpieces or decor, especially if you used potted plans instead of fresh-cut flowers.

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