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Woodland Wedding Dresses: Ideas for Wedding 2 or 3 or 4 or Whatever

read tips for woodland weddings second weddings

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.

Read about boho woodland weddings for second time brides

Boho Woodland Weddings

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.

read about woodland weddings

Wedding Gowns for Second Marriages

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).

Read about boho weddings in forests woodlands

Boho Wedding Gowns

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.

read about the latest wedding fashion trend woodland forest celebrations

Ball Gown Wedding Dress

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:

Plus Size Wedding Gowns: Advice for 3 Body Types

Folk Wedding Dresses: 3 Kinds of Folkwear for Boho Brides Plus Modern Wedding Wear

Vintage Hippie Wedding Dress Ideas for Your Second Marriage

Hippie Wedding Dresses for a Casual Bohemian Chic Celebration

read about indie wedding dresses

Main Photo - Woodland Wedding Dresses

Resources:

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.

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

Follow Me on Pinterest Follow My Boomer Lifestyle Blog on facebook

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8 Comments

  1. annette miller

    I'm 55 and just happened to run into this site tonite. I read a half dozen of your articles. I live right outside of Chicago. You have many topics I'm interested in and you give some good tips. It's disappointing though that your examples almost all use models that are 30 yrs old or less and most are quite tiny. I'm 5'5 and 130# so I'm not tiny, but technically not more than 5# overweight. I can't wear skinny jeans like your models because I have big calves and my weight is a little concentrated in my upper thighs. The point is, your models aren't demonstrating what you are saying because they are young (and mostly slender, like we expect a model to be). I'll peek back though because I think I could learn a few things from you.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Annette,

      Hi there. I agree with you about the models, but it's impossible for me to come up with the photos I would love to use. I've written an article about it explaining why I use pics of 12 year olds modeling the fashions I talk about. Here's the link:

      http://www.boomerinas.com/2013/10/21/why-use-young-swimsuit-models-for-baby-boomer-articles/

      I am not as good with fashion for women with big hips or thighs. I am an "apple" shape and my weight has always been in my tum and my upper body... even when I was a skinny anorexic-looking teen. I wish I knew more about that body type. My youngest daughter is an athletic version of your body type and when I go shopping with her I laugh because she puts on things that I think will look horrible and they fit her like magic.

      Hey, if you are 5'5 and 130 lbs... you are rather skinny. Don't complain. You sound like you're in damn fine shape.

      I have no idea what styles are good for you. My daughter used to have a terrible time with pants because she had a tiny waist and huge, muscular thighs. Now she wears scrubs (for school) and she actually looks good in them. She also looks good in jeans but I don't know the brand.

      Anyway. Read about the models. There's a reason I use those photos. I wish I had a better option.

      Tina

  2. Login1953

    OK. I just joined this site a few minutes ago. It looks very interesting and fun. I am 62 years old and am a free spirit. I love different, fun and noticeably unique clothing. My reason for posting is this. Where is the plus size clothing!? I know I am not in the minority here. Most women that I know who are post menopausal are somewhere between plump and obese. My husband & I are celebrating our 20 yr. anniversary by having a Vow Renewal Ceremony on the beach. I have been searching for months for just the perfect dress. Also, a dress that is age appropriate without making me look like I'm someone's Grandmother. I'm just more mature but, for Christ's sake, I'm not dead! I still want to appear to be somewhat sexy, beautiful and fun loving. If anyone has any suggestions please respond. Thank you for allowing me to post.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Hi 1953,

      I'm from the end of 52, so you're right at home here.

      I'm sorry it took so long to approve your comment. I've had tons of tech difficulties and couldn't answer people.

      We definitely have ideas for plus size women and I can direct you to some sites. I don't get paid by anyone to sell things, so I can help you. Many of the photos on here are from the UK, and they usually ship to the US. I think the photos here are mostly from the US.

      I will be back with some links to articles that might help. And, baby, you ain't dead yet... believe me... I know. If that number is your birthday year... you are in the right place.

      Look at the next comment. I'll give you some ideas about plus sizes. I hope I'm not too late, but I'm going to give this a try.

      Tina

  3. Tina-Boomerina

    1953,

    Here are some articles for plus sizes. If you go to the search box at the top and type in either wedding or plus, you'll get other articles.

    http://www.boomerinas.com/2014/10/08/wedding-dresses-for-your-body-type-apple-shapes-plus-size-tummies/

    and

    http://www.boomerinas.com/2013/12/27/plus-size-wedding-gowns-advice-for-3-body-types/ but I need to change some of those photos to current ones... or rewrite the article with new info

    and if you don't know if you want to wear white, here's another idea:

    http://www.boomerinas.com/2012/03/25/should-a-bride-wear-a-purple-wedding-dress/

    and I like folk-style dresses and kurtis with gauzy white pants if you want to be different

    http://www.boomerinas.com/2014/07/18/folk-wedding-dresses-3-kinds-of-folkwear-for-boho-brides-plus-modern-wedding-wear/

    However, I'm not sure if the photos in some of the posts show outfits that are currently available... so I'm going to tell you what to look for. But, I have to post this and come back in a minute.

    (I hope you're still interested in this info. I had tech problems for weeks. And, I'm okay with html and code, but I found about a thousand little "issues" with my site. It took me forever to find your question.)

    T

  4. Tina-Boomerina

    Let me rephrase that... It took me forever to find your comment... and your question.

    Okay, I just got back from the Johnny Was site... looking at what's on sale and the regular priced stuff. If you're a "small" plus size, like a 16 plus, you'll have more options, and Johnny Was runs large, so if you're in between regular and plus, like I am, you can wear an XL in regular... If you're open to a tunic (or any top) and a long white skirt, I've seen some goodies there. Look in new arrivals AND sale. (Just know that their light colored tunics are often opaque and need a cami or a slip underneath.)

    If you can wear a large regular size, look at the silk dresses (yes even the dress with a white background and a print) in XL on sale.

    Let me see what else I can find. You could put a two-piece dress (top and skirt) together, but it's not cheap. On the other hand, you'll wear whatever you get from Johnny Was forever... not just for one day.

    Two other places that are good for this brand in plus are Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. Remember these aren't cheapo crappo... this is the good stuff. It's the brand I like over almost all others. Well, there are other brands I like, but ... I wish they still had the white dress from the summer... but it ain't there, baby. Let me look elsewhere.

  5. Tina-Boomerina

    If you're about an 18 or up, look to see what they have at NM. Look at the embroidered tunics - like the Cynthia in white with little flowers around the yoke... or a top with some kind of embroidery or coolness.

    You could wear it over a long white (or off-white) skirt or pants. Totally groovy... Or, if you have money to burn, wear it over the colorful mixed print skirt (which I have and I love and I wear all the time when it's warm... you'll wear it for the rest of your life). Or some other kind of skirt (or wide leg pants) that is/are super comfortable... and a light color.

    I did see a long white dress on both sites, but I think it might have been a smallish size. Not sure. I'm not seeing much at bloomies right now, but could change... or you could wear a color. Personally, I think that white or white with embroidery (or a cool print) would suit your "free spirit"... but maybe that's me talking to myself.

    If you end up getting a regular white wedding dress that you'll never wear again, hopefully, don't spend a ton of money and buy a white or off-white hat from Louise Green. Her hat may be more than your dress, but her hats rock the planet. Really. You could wear just any cheap wedding dress and come up with a cute hat. Just a thought.

  6. Tina-Boomerina

    Check out Eileen Fisher Crepe Maxi Cardigan and pants outfit. (all this is in plus sizes at NM). She also has a white dress with asymmetric tiers. Most of this stuff is not cheap but worth checking into... maybe. See the XCVI Asymmetric white top. See Michael Simon floral print lace cardigan to wear over anything white to give it something extra. (I look really washed out in white. You may not have that problem.) Just read about wearing regular clothes as wedding dresses. http://www.boomerinas.com/2014/06/02/regular-dresses-as-wedding-gowns-wear-what-you-want-its-your-party/ so you'll double check that you can't see through your white or pastel dress when the sun comes up or goes down... and find appropriate undergarments (slip or cami) to make sure things look right.

    Then, you can go through all the white (or pink or baby blue or whatever) dresses online ON EVERY SITE YOU SEE in your size to find out what there is. You can also look at mother of the bride dresses, but they might be too matronly for a free spirit.

    Also, take a look at SimplyBe.com for plus size Joe Browns. I'm assuming you're looking for something boho. There are some white tops and dresses but I don't know what sizes and I don't have time to go through all of them.

    I've been married three times so I have a few articles on wedding dresses. I also have some plus size articles. If you see something you like, check the website to see if they have something similar for this year.

    I HAVE to get back to answering comments. Oh, I'm so far behind. Let me know if you have any questions and if I can see your comment, I'll answer. Congratulations on your ceremony (if it already happened or if it hasn't).

    Tina