Look to nature for inspiration

A wedding ceremony in the woods!

If you love nature, and find inspiration in the great outdoors, here are some ideas to incorporate that into your wedding.

For your ceremony you might consider creating a ritual with water. It is the very essence of nature, a universal symbol of purity, and wonderful metaphor for supporting and sustaining one another. I’ve had couples share water, pouring and taking turns drinking it, pouring water over their hands, onto the ground. Perhaps plant a tree and water it. All of these actions using water can express something meaningful if explained correctly and these simple actions can take on deep meaning.

Stones or pebbles can be used for wishes and blessings. The Sand Ceremony is growing in popularity. It feels very nature based because when pouring the sand you create a solid foundation from something earthy.

Jumping over a branch at the end of the ceremony to signify crossing this big threshold in life is an old Celtic tradition I love. And to invoke or call on the Four Directions is a Native American tradition in which you face north, south, east and west.  Each direction represents specific blessing from the natural world – air, fire, water, earth. There are many versions of this ritual, but essentially you are asking for wisdom, compassion, fruitfulness, and understanding. You may always create your own variation of any of these ideas, giving respect and credit to their origins.

Amazing things can be done with just branches and twigs, especially when you add lights, either on the branches or up-lights. Create a tree-like look out of branches and place them on both sides of the aisle, or for your reception.

A homemade arch or arbor for your ceremony is a fun project for a handy couple. Use saplings, branches or vines. Birds are a wonderful wedding theme as well and bird images can be added almost anywhere.

And of course simply have your ceremony in nature, under a tree, in a garden, or in the woods. Stroudsmoor’s Woodland Chapel space is popular for this very reason.

Choose readings and quotations that express your love of nature.

Here’s a fantastic poem I used recently in a ceremony. Advice from a Tree, by Ilan Shamir:

Dear Friend

Stand tall and proud

Sink your roots deeply into the earth

Reflect the light of your true nature

Think long term

Go out on a limb

Remember your place among all living beings

Embrace with joy the changing seasons

For each yields its own abundance

The energy and birth of spring

The growth and contentment of summer

The wisdom to let go the leaves in the fall

The rest and quiet renewal of winter

Feel the wind and the sun

And delight in their presence

Look up at the moon that shines down upon you

And the mystery of the stars at night

Seek nourishment from the good things in life

Simple pleasures

Earth, fresh air, light

Be content with your natural beauty

Drink plenty of water

Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes

Be flexible

Remember your roots

Enjoy the view!

Let your passions, interests, values and beliefs guide you when creating your wedding celebration. Just step outside. Inspiration may be right in front of you without even realizing it. Einstein said: Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.

thank you Jill Nobles, Smile-Peace-Love photography

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