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Forest Themed Wedding Ceremony & Elopement with Ring Warming Unity Ritual

Bride and groom embrace in a romantic forest

This sweet forest themed Woodland Wedding & Elopement Ceremony Script with ring warming includes a grounding ritual, heartfelt welcome speech, quote from John Muir, reflection on the couple's love story, a ring and written vow exchange, and an original marriage blessing. Perfect for outdoor ceremonies or destination hiking or camping weddings in the woods. Written by AMM Minister Officiant Chanelle Carlin.

This is an original elopement ceremony script written by AMM Minister Chanelle Carlin.  


While elopement ceremonies are more intimate and have fewer people in attendance than conventional weddings, they lend themselves to true beauty and simple elegance. Use this script as-is, or modify it to create your perfect ceremony.


The perfect starting place for a small contemporary wedding ceremony, elvish wedding theme, nature centered Pagan wedding, camping or hiking wedding, or any other creative outdoor ceremony you have in mind. 


Pro tip from the author: If the couple's hiking to the ceremony spot, they're often coming in together. The best spot to set up your ceremony will be one with the best trees or views and the most level ground for the couple to stand facing each other. 


Planning to elope?  Read How to Elope: The Complete Elopement Checklist



The ceremony begins. 

For an elopement:

An elopement generally consists of the couple and their witnesses, therefore the ceremony is directed to the couple (rather than a room full of guests) and a traditional procession is not needed.

For a small ceremony with guests:

If the couple invites a group of people, ask the guests to form a protective semi-circle around the ceremony space. This works best with at least six guests. Then follow these steps: 

  • At the preferred spot, Officiant takes their place and explains they will be creating a protective semi-circle around the couple during the ceremony which surrounds the couple in love and keeps out all unwanted energy.
  • Officiant invites guests to form two lines faceing each other, straight across from Officiant with approximately 8-10 feet between the two lines. The Officiant also asks the two at the far end of the line to close the semi-circle after the couple stands up front. 
  • As the ceremony begins, the couple walks between the lines of their guests and takes their place in front of the Officiant. If one of them has flowers, they can pass them to one of their witnesses/attendants to hold during ceremony. 
  • Once the couple is up front, the guests at the far end of the lines will close the semi-circle, by walking toward each other and turning to face the Officiant and couple. The rest of the guests will move forward slightly to complete the circle. 



  • Officiant grounds the couple in the moment by asking them to face each other, hold hands and breathe. Even for couples who have been together for a number of years, they're often nervous at this moment, so holding hands and looking at their best friend helps calm the nerves. 
  • Officiant quietly asks couple if they're to proceed. Once each party answers yes, Officiant will begin.  



  • ceremony begins with a quote written by environmentalist John Muir

Officiant to the couple & guests

"Wonderful how completely everything in wild nature fits into us, as if truly part and parent of us. The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own and sings our love."   

We are here to support (Partner A) and (Partner B) as they join together in marriage today. 

Officiant addresses Couple 

(Partner A) and (Partner B), the day you met was the beginning of everything. We are here today in this ancient, magical place, full of the essence of life so that you can at last join together in marriage.  

  • Officiant may want to talk about why the couple chose this particular location here. 

Over the past (___) years (how many years the couple has been together), you’ve laughed, cried, fought and forgiven each other. 

You've (___)  

  • Customize this section by sharing a bit of the couple's love story. Include details about how they met, how they fell in love, what their relationship is like, and other moving details about their love.   

In short, you’ve become lovers and best friends. At some point, you fell in love and decided to marry.  


Officiant addresses Couple

In reality, you fell in love by chance, but you're here today because you're making a choice. You both are choosing each other. You've chosen to be with someone who enhances you, who makes you think, makes you smile, and makes every day brighter. 

We are here to witness the making of this promise, and giving of all the intangibles of your heart and spirit: love, trust, faith, and hope, not just in each other, but also in your relationship. You are making a declaration before each of us present, human, flora and fauna, that from this day forth, you are united before the world in a promise that spans the years of your lives. 

(Partner A) and (Partner B), is it your desire to be married here today? 

  • Partner A and Partner B each must respond: "Yes, it is" 


  • Two options are included below - an exchange of written vows and an traditional exchange of vows 

Officiant addresses Couple 

Today, you make promises to each other that you will strive to honor every day forward, for the rest of your lives together. The vows you make today represent who you are, what you value in life and in love, how you want to love each other, and how you promise to show up in good days and bad. These are your promises to meet life as a team, and to share each moment, each struggle and triumph, with each other. 

Option One - Exchange of Written Vows

Officiant to Partner A

(Partner A), will you please share your vows with (Partner B)? 

  • Partner A shares personal vows. 

Thank you. 

Officiant to Partner B

(Partner B), will you please share your vows with Partner A? 

  • Partner B shares personal vows. 

Thank you. 


Option Two - Exchange of Traditional Vows

If the couple doesn't want to write their own vows, the Officiant can lead them through the exchange of vows detailed below.  

Officiant to Partner A 

(Partner A), will you take (Partner B) as your husband/wife/partner in life (couple's preference); As your companion and best friend for life? Will you treat him/ her/ them with love and devotion, honor and respect? Will you stand by him/ her/ them in the triumphs and tragedies of life, as a faithful and caring wife/ husband/ life partner? 

Partner A responds: “I will.” 

Officiant to Partner B

(Partner B), will you take Partner A as your wife/ husband/ partner in life; As your companion and best friend for life? Will you treat him/ her/ them (choose one) with love and devotion, honor and respect? Will you stand by him/her/them in the triumphs and tragedies of life, as a faithful and caring wife/ husband/ life partner? 

Partner B responds: "I will.” 

Thank you both. 



Officiant addresses Couple 

(Partner A) and (Partner B), you've shared your promises to each other from the heart, but words once spoken are carried away on the winds and wings of the birds that live in this forest. You have therefore chosen to symbolize your vows with an exchange of rings. Rings have been given by lovers to each other for centuries as tokens of trust, devotion, and the promise of a joyful life ahead, as well as a material reminder of the promises you make here today.

Officiant addresses guests or witnesses

As their closest people, I now ask you to warm these rings by passing them around the circle. As you hold them in your hands, pause for a moment, and make your wishes for the couple and for their future before you pass them on to the next person.

These rings will not only be a gift from (Partner A) and (Partner B) to each other but will be given with the love, support and wisdom of you, their family and friends. 

Officiant addresses couple 

(Partner A) and (Partner B), please hold and look at each other’s hands and feel the love being shared with you at this moment. 

  • Officiant begins by passing ring box with rings to first guest/ witness on right. Guest will share a wish and pass the box to the next person. This continues until the ring box has made its way to all guests and is returned with rings to the Officiant. 

Officiant addresses Couple

  • As the rings return to Officiant, they address the couple with the following blessing.

Whenever you glance at these rings, (Partner A) and (Partner B), know that you are loved beyond all imagining. 

May these rings remind you that your love knows no bounds, that it grows without beginning or end, and that in its light, all things become possible. Let your love envelope each day of your lives together, with the fierce strength of the sun, warming you even on the coldest days and longest nights.

Officiant to Partner A 

(Partner A), please place this ring on (Partner B's) finger.

  • Partner A places the ring. 

Please repeat after me

(Partner B), I give you this ring with the promise  

that I will love and honor you,  

in all ways, for all our days. 

It is a symbol of my deepest love,  

my unending and devoted friendship,  

and a pledge to stand with you in every tomorrow.

  • Partner A repeats each line as it's spoken. 


Officiant to Partner B

(Partner B), please place this ring on (Partner A's) finger. 

  • Partner B places the ring. 

Please repeat after me: 

(Partner A), I give you this ring with the promise  

that I will love and honor you,  

in all ways, for all our days. 

It is a symbol of my deepest love,  

my unending and devoted friendship,  

and a pledge to stand with you in every tomorrow.

  • Partner B repeats each line as it's spoken. 

Officiant to the couple

Thank you both


Officiant to the couple

As we prepare to conclude our ceremony today, I have a final wish for the two of you and your marriage. 

"May you forever feel the warmth of the sunshine. 

May your souls forever be nourished by the forests  

and the rivers that flow through them, and 

May you always hear YOUR song of love." 

  • Above verse is an original Wedding Blessing written by Rev. Chanelle Carlin (C) 2019


Officiant addresses couple

(Partner A) and (Partner B), on this ___ day of ___ (month) 20___ (year), you’ve expressed your love to one another through the commitment and promises you’ve made here today.

Therefore, in accordance with the laws of the State of (Name of State), and the power vested in me therein and by American Marriage Ministries, but mostly by the love that the two of you share, it is my genuine honor to pronounce you married. 

I invite you to share your first kiss as a married couple. 

  • Officiant should step away from the couple for any photos - nothing worse than having your head right behind them as they kiss.
  • Witnesses and guests will cheer/ clap. Once the kiss is finished, the Officiant steps back forward to officially present the newlyweds. 


Officiant addresses Guests / Witnesses

Friends, thank you for joining (Partner A) and (Partner B) today as they have joined together in marriage. It has been a true pleasure to celebrate this day with all of you and now it is my genuine pleasure to introduce for the very first time, (Name of Couple as they wish to be introduced). 

  • You might introduce the couple as "Mr and Mrs", "Mr and Mr", Mrs. and Mrs., or any other variation they prefer, such as "The Newleyweds" "Partner A and Partner B", etc.  
  • It is important to ask the couple how they wish to be introduced. 


The ceremony ends. 

  • If the guests have formed a semi-circle behind the couple, they will need to step back into their two lines so that the couple can recess from the ceremony spot, along the trail between them. 
  • If there are no guests, and only witnessess attending, there is no need for a Recessional. 


*This script has been lightly edited by AMM Staff for clarity and flow.


Original wedding script by Rev. Chanelle Carlin. 


Chanelle Carlin is a celebrant of life and wedding officiant based in Washington State. She "specializes in outdoor elopements and bespoke intimate wedding ceremonies in the naturally beautiful Pacific Northwest, including Oregon and North Idaho."


Chanelle owns and operates Chanelle Carlin Weddings, LLC




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