Woodland Wedding Dresses: Ideas for Wedding 2 or 3 or 4 or Whatever
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
Get tips on how to throw an inexpensive woodland-themed wedding: This article has info about dresses, décor, and… whatever else I decide to write about.
As you may know, I don’t believe in spending big bucks on wedding dresses worn for five hours max, French champagne imbibed by masses of unknown cousins, and sit-down soirees celebrated by half-hearted friends of the family… unless mommy and daddy are paying. However, I do believe in love.
Yes, I have written articles about cheap, elegant, boho weddings before, but these days I’m into woodland, folklore style… just like all the celebrated, name-brand couturiers.
Okay. I know that woodland chic is just another form of boho.
But, I like boho. I know boho... because... once upon a time, I was a very young, very bohemian hippie chick.
Enchanted Forest Wedding Dresses
The wedding dresses on this article show you what I would consider wearing if I were planning to have my own woodsy, fairytale wedding on top of a mountain… or on top of a building in Manhattan.
However, if you don’t look good in any of the dress styles I recommend, you can wear any wedding dress you love. Almost all bridal gowns can be adapted to the woodland theme… especially, if you add the right accoutrements.
It’s more important for you to wear a comfortable, flattering dress than to wear some gown that I think will look good. It’s your party. You’re the princess. You’re paying for the champagne… or the Pabst Blue Ribbon.
We’re all just so happy you’re getting remarried.
Wedding Gowns With Nordic Chic
Here are some dress ideas that may help you discover your inner Snow Queen.
Best Silhouettes for High-End Peasants:
Ballgown: The ballgown silhouette is iconic and Old World. Think about it… All of the traditional women’s folk costumes from the two most folktale-drenched lands, Norway and Germany, have the basic ballgown shape: snug bodice, tight waist, and full flowing skirt. (Think dirndl.) But, I don’t want you to wear a Barbie type of ballgown, with a full skirt that stands out like a bubble. That’s too structured… too Southern Belle. And, I don't think Southern Belle can go bohemian.
Debutantes can't be hippies... can they?
A-line or Empire: If you are more of a woodland nymph than a princess bride, you may prefer the soft, flowing movement of an A-line or Empire gown. Try on a few romantic, goddess-style dresses that have a floaty, ethereal feel. Great drape (along with great shapewear) can be magical on older, less-than-perfect bodies.
Best Necklines for Folktale Wedding Dresses:
Sweetheart Neckline: The sweetheart neckline is, indeed, sweet but it also has sexy undertones. And, this neckline is beautiful (read appropriate) for women of all ages. Try watching Disney’s Frozen for a bit of Nordic fashion inspiration, but don’t overdo the Princess Anna thing. If you’ve been married once or twice before, you’re way too old for a cosplay wedding. (And, if your wedding gown looks too Disney-ish, I’m sending Bambi and Thumper over to drink all your booze and smoke all your bananas and jump on your honeymoon bed all night long.)
Square Necklines: Okay, forget Bambi and Thumper. Try to picture the traditional Nordic folk costume. This one has a dark vest with a straight (square) neckline. The vest is worn over a white blouse. Now, forget the blouse, but keep the vest. That’s the look you want… and you can get it when you wear a dress with a square neckline (or when you wear a strapless dress with a neckline that goes straight across the body).
Wedding Gowns with Romantic, Folk-Inspired Details:
You can wear a plunging v-neck dress if you want, but plunging necklines are a modern invention. They’re sexy… but not traditional… However, v-necklines are flattering on almost every woman alive.
On the other hand, if you want to be true to your forest friends, consider trying on dresses with these other magical folktale details:
- Off-Shoulder Sleeves
- Cap Sleeves
- Puff sleeves, if under age 35
- Poet Sleeves
- Corset bodices
- Embroidery (simple & symmetrical)
- Floral Appliqués (randomly placed)
- Off-White Colors (ivory, champagne, cream)
Forest Themed Wedding Décor
I hate the word theme. It’s so limiting. I can just imagine you saying, “I really love these elegant, black and gold napkin rings… but they aren’t very woodsy. So, I guess I’ll buy those cornball, plastic-owl, napkin rings because they fit into my woodland wedding theme. And, no one will question my taste.”
That’s exactly wrong… on so many levels.
I want you to stay open and artistic and creative. I don’t want your woodland wedding to feel cheesy and predictable just because you don’t have the confidence to override your “theme”. (I mean… override your theme... within reason. Hula girls don’t feel very Nordic.)
However, I want you to give yourself permission to play around with cool stuff that you already have… or that you see in the sale bin of your local thrift store. And, wedding websites be damned, there is more than one way to give your party a romantic, enchanted-forest ambiance.
Of course, it’s a lot easier for you to keep costs down if you live in a cold, foresty part of the world… like Seattle or Canada or Ireland… because you might be able to find free “objets naturels” all around you in the local landscape, and you can use these to fill out your woodland party décor. Why buy moss, ferns, and evergreen branches from your local florist when your friends live on 10 acres up in the mountains? (Just make sure to remove all bugs from your wedding table moss, leaves, and other hand-harvested goodies. And, remember that ferns wilt if not handled properly.)
And… please promise me you won’t go cutesy. This is a wedding, not a birthday party for a two year old.
Cheap Woodland Wedding Décor
Here are some elegant, cost-conscious (hopefully) items you can use to decorate an outdoor woodland setting… or use to bring a forest feeling to an indoor wedding site or your own backyard:
- Moss (to drape over tabletops)
- Garlands of Ivy
- Bare Branches
- Leafy Branches
- Glass Containers (random sizes)
- Wildflowers and Weeds
- Unmatched Everything (chairs, china, vases, cutlery… ask friends to bring things… banish plastic)
- Unmatched bridesmaid dresses (if you’re young enough to have bridesmaids)
- Mismatched Decorative Woodland Animal Figurines (to subtly decorate place settings)
- Rustic Wooden Anything
- Tiny White Lights (to wrap around trees or branches)
You can save money by using lots of greenery in your bouquet and on your tabletops. Garlands of ivy and boughs from everygreen trees make great inexpensive "runners" for your tables, and they fill up space (visually) so you don't need to add so many flowers.
General Tips for Woodland Themed Weddings
I can’t fit everything I want to show you into this article, so go to my Tina Boomerina – Baby Boomer Chick Pinterest page. Look for the big yellow flower to find my Hippie Wedding Dresses Board, where you’ll find lots of woodland wedding ideas. (See link in Resources below.)
Here are a few parting thoughts that will help you with many esthetic decisions:
- Natural trumps contrived.
- Simple trumps fussy.
- Artsy trumps common.
- Baby’s Breath is the duct tape of wedding décor.
If you do this right (in an elegant, subtle way), you can pull off a groovy, woodland-themed wedding… even if this is your fourth or fifth walk down the aisle.
More Wedding Articles for Groovy Baby Boomers & Women Over 40:
Photo Credits: Photos courtesty of prshots, David's Bridal, and creative commons.
- Main Photo: Davids Bridal (3), Phase Eight, Asos, David's Bridal.
- Boho Woodland Weddings: Garden of Whimsey, Bellafaye on Flickr creative commons.
- Wedding Gowns for Second Marriages: Katja Nuutinen Couture, Asos, Garden of Whimsey.
- Boho Wedding Gowns (hair accessory): Dorothy Perkins.
- Ball Gown Wedding Dress: David's Bridal.
Pinterest Link: I have two wedding boards. Use this link to go to my main page, then scroll down to the big yellow and pink daisy that says Hippie Wedding Dresses: Tina Boomerina - Baby Boomer Chick.
What do you think of this article? Leave a message at the bottom of the page. Your comment won't be published until I have time to sort through the junk mail.