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