8 Wedding Trends for Lovers of the Great Outdoors

With the peak wed­ding sea­son now behind us, it’s time to reflect on one of the biggest wed­ding trends for 2013: the out­doorsy touch. The days of over-the-top glam­orous wed­dings have been left behind in favor of incor­po­rat­ing sim­ple, nature-inspired ele­ments, leav­ing the dec­o­rat­ing details up to Mother Nature.

Out­doorsy peo­ple, rejoice! The rest of the world is catch­ing on to your love of all things out­side, and peo­ple are com­ing up with orig­i­nal and cre­ative ways to inte­grate nat­ural beauty into wed­ding themes and décor. Seek­ing inspi­ra­tion and ideas? Read on.

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Out­door Venues
The most obvi­ous way to incor­po­rate nature into your wed­ding is to sim­ply hold it out­doors. Farm wed­dings are a pop­u­lar option, with oppor­tu­ni­ties for farm-fresh food and freshly picked flow­ers (though be sure to hold it far away for livestock—not the most roman­tic smell).

Par­tic­u­larly active cou­ples might want to take it one step fur­ther: skiers can host their wed­ding at the top of their favorite moun­tain or in a ski lodge, while hik­ing enthu­si­asts might choose a clear­ing in the woods for their ceremony.

Keep in mind that out­door wed­dings can mean bugs and bad weather. Have a backup plan if nature decides to be uncooperative.

Nat­ural Cen­ter­pieces
Wed­ding indus­try pro­fes­sion­als agree that tow­er­ing over-the-top flo­ral cen­ter­pieces are passé. Instead, peo­ple are opt­ing for wild­flower bou­quets in bark vases or styl­ized arrange­ments of nat­ural ele­ments, like pinecones or antlers. If you pre­fer a more sub­tle touch, you can incor­po­rate nat­ural details into your table­tops through your place card set­tings. Think wooden details, pinecones or cus­tomized pebbles.

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Eco Friendly Touches
If you’re a nature lover, chances are that you care about pre­serv­ing the great out­doors. More and more cou­ples are aim­ing to reduce their foot­print by choos­ing more sus­tain­able options, like invi­ta­tions printed on recy­cled or plantable seed paper, or by fore­go­ing unnec­es­sary pack­ag­ing for their wed­ding favors.

Grown Up Sum­mer Camp Theme
Matthew McConaughey was ahead of the curve when he mar­ried Camila Alves last sum­mer: the noto­ri­ously sporty actor trans­formed his prop­erty into a camp­ground, com­plete with air con­di­tioned tents, for his three day wed­ding celebration.

You don’t need to rent out a camp­ground for a sum­mer camp feel. Can­vas tents, s’mores bars or, for an out­door wed­ding, a roar­ing camp­fire are all ways to bring that nos­tal­gic feel­ing back.

Sweet Treats
Tra­di­tional wed­ding cakes are quite formal—think clas­sic and white. Mod­ern cou­ples are eschew­ing the expected tra­di­tions, and the cake is no excep­tion. It’s a great place to get a lit­tle cre­ative and to choose some­thing that reflects your inter­ests as a couple.

Why not have your cake top­pers stand atop a cake moun­tain or ski-hill? If you pre­fer some­thing a lit­tle more ele­gant, think wood-grain inspired choco­late art.

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Sea­son­ally Inspired
Mother Nature was on to some­thing when she designed the great out­doors. Why not work with what you’re given? Choose your wed­ding date based on your favorite time of year, and be inspired. Fall wed­dings invite pump­kin cen­ter­pieces (and pie) and foliage-colored details, while spring wed­dings can incor­po­rate all things green, fresh and floral.

Earthy Favors
Wed­ding favors can incor­po­rate a nat­ural theme, too. Seedlings wrapped in burlap or hang­ing heart-shaped bird seed pucks are just a few of nature-inspired gifts that out­doorsy cou­ples are giv­ing their guests.

For­get the Rice
Most peo­ple have cho­sen to forego the tra­di­tional rice toss, which can be messy and a haz­ard to birds. Bub­bles are a com­mon alter­na­tive, but plantable seed con­fetti or flower petals can be even more beau­ti­ful. Fresh flower petals will wilt and dis­color, so look for freeze dried petals instead.

 By: Magee Walker