Many of my long-time readers (and real-time friends and family) know that event styling and decor is a passionate hobby of mine. The days before COVID, I took pleasure in decorating friends’ events, I was hired a handful of times to be a day-of wedding coordinator, and I hosted an array of themed parties at our place.
So when it came time to decorate my own wedding, my excitement bucket was at full capacity.
Luckily for us, we didn’t have to do much or spend too much to achieve the woodland, enchanted forest theme. The beauty of a woodsy wedding is left to the outdoors.
Our woodland theme was inspired by my in-laws’ gorgeous wall of greenery, plush of cedar and birch tree. We knew that was the backdrop where we wanted to exchange our vows.
Even more special than that, Cedar is the symbol of Lebanon and birch is the national Finnish tree. Being declared husband and wife amongst those symbolic trees felt serendipitous.
Although the majority of our decor was simple to set up, one labour of love that we gladly broke a sweat for was the tree stumps of our ceremony altar.
We dug up the best stumps we could find in my in-laws’ woodshed, power-washed them, levelled them with a saw and they were ready for our altar, gracefully holding our green ivy, eucalyptus and candles. It was a perfect way to re-use natural materials that we already had.
For flowers, I went with a whimsical palette designed by Dawndust Florals who hand-picked florals to tie in with my Mother’s dress. Tones of ivory, blush and sage and delicate paper thin petals of Ranunculus and Queen Anne’s Lace added a touch of whimsical femininity and romance to our green backdrop.
When it came to our decor accents, most of the accessories were items we already had. From vintage radios, to iron-wrought candelabras, to antique picture frames, to tea light candles, to lace table runners to wooden bird houses, a lot of “home” was sprinkled outside.
To embellish our backyard with rustic furniture, we rented a vintage table from Pretty Wild Events that served as a signing table during our ceremony and turned into our cake table for our reception.
Our cross back chairs and harvest table were rented from Chairman-Mills, and we bought the string lights and white canopy that we gifted to my in-laws as a home upgrade gift.
Having a wedding of just eight made it easy to coordinate dining and serving ware. Everything was a mix of ours and our parents’, and that’s what made our backyard even more special.
It not only helped save on cost, but it made the details more special, like toasting in my Mother in Law’s champagne flutes and using the vintage China that we inherited from my husband’s Grandmother.
Accents of wood, metals, ivory and crystal added a sparkle of vintage romance to a green backyard.
And one special sparkle was using my Mom’s ceramic cake stand and her cake cutting set.
She’s had that set since I was a kid, which means that many birthday cakes, anniversary cakes and congratulations cakes were cut using that set. It warmed my heart to use it for our wedding.
Camping is our end of summer ritual, and he proposed while we were hiking. Our love for the outdoors was weaved into the woodland theme of our wedding.
Underneath the white canopy – an elevated ode to our camping tent – string lights twinkled above our heads, a soft jazz playlist lulled quietly in the background and crystal glasses clinked under a starry late August sky.
Photography by Daring Wanderer