As San Diego photographers who love the outdoors, we are big fans of nature weddings. There is something wonderful about incorporating the natural environment into the wedding event. Whether you add a touch of nature to your ceremony, reception, or both, your guests will enjoy being a part of your extra special day. As a bonus, your entire wedding crowd will have a literal breath of fresh air with the beautiful outdoor environment of your choosing.
Why Nature Weddings?
Traditional wedding venues are great, and have been around for a long time. However, there are wedding couples that seek to do something a bit different and more connected to nature. These couples may feel out of place in a large wedding venue. Or, they may be campers and hikers by nature, preferring the outdoors in general. Or, they may just be regular people who happened upon a breathtaking spot, and said, "we have to get married here."
Regardless of the reason, nature weddings are amazing for everyone involved. They take you out of your normal life, and put you into a completely different setting. Additionally, they give your friends and family something to look forward to. If you know you are going to a picturesque wedding out in the elements, you will be excited for the date to arrive! This is especially true if your guests or family are from an inner city or somewhere not as colorful and vibrant. It will be a real treat for them!
Nature Wedding Venues
You don’t have to be registered at Patagonia or REI to have a nature wedding. In fact, there are a lot of wedding venues in natural areas that cater to everyday wedding couples. These venues may be rustic in appearance, bringing out the beauty of the surroundings. Or, they may be more modern, with state of the art kitchens and A/V setups.
Even if they are technologically advanced, for any type of wedding or event, these venues will likely have some kind of county charm. Or, they may have large wraparound windows to show off the panoramic view. Either way, it would be strange to see an ultra sleek and minimalist venue nestled into a pristine natural setting. Chances are that the wedding venue will play into the nature theme in some way.
One thing to note is that popular nature wedding venues tend to book out fast, and also far in advance. So if you know you want to host your wedding in a specific location, it is best to make the request early on. You may even be able to put a soft hold on your venue of choice, along with a small deposit. This way, your date is protected for at least some amount of time. If you really connect with the venue, you should go ahead and book it!
Types of Nature Weddings
Just as there are diverse natural environments, there are all types of nature weddings. Some are extremely bare bones – just the wedding couple and a few friends and relatives under the stars, surrounded by wildlife. This type of wedding could be extended into a camping weekend, or a wilderness retreat. For a more upscale variation, there are nature weddings that make use of luxury cabins and chef-prepared gourmet meals. You can invite the entire family out to enjoy a weekend away, in a wooded setting, and have a tranquil wedding experience.
There are also tropical weddings, both Stateside and around the globe. These types of weddings transport your guests to an island paradise, with cool blue waters all around. Your invited guests will feast on regional delicacies and tropical fruits, all while participating in your romantic wedding celebration. We have photographed many tropical weddings that put the natural environment front and center. For example, the immediate family can go scuba diving, windsurfing, or just relax in matching hammocks. No matter the activity, it will make for amazing photographs! This is because tropical nature weddings tend to be very colorful, with bright hues and local artists decorating the buildings and streets.
Other Types of Nature Weddings
There are many other types of natural wedding environments – too many to list here, in fact. Examples include the beach, National Parks, a lakefront venue, or a cold climate such as Aspen or Calgary. Whatever gets you and your guests out into the world, we say go for it!
As San Diego Wedding photographers who love travel and adventure, we are always game to photograph a nature wedding. Keep in mind that if you are planning your wedding in a remote location, this will require extra upfront preparation. The same is true if you are using a non-traditional wedding venue, such as a lodge or visitor center. Finally, if you will require a photographer to be onsite for multiple days, we will want to plan this well in advance. This way, we can block out our calendar and make plans to capture your amazing nature wedding!