A wedding trend using trees, limbs, and overhanging branches seems to be a unique, but whimsical method of creating a focal point for the ceremony site. Why trees? The better question might be, why not? The accessibility of a tree is seldom difficult to locate. What better cornerstone to use to represent best wishes for the newly pronounced bride and groom? A tree symbolizes strength, life, vitality, and roots.
I have a fascination with old trees and their deep and sprawling roots.
I am not an arborist. There are a few trees I can readily identify. Who hasn’t gazed upon a stately and oddly shaped live oak and wondered about all of the stories if those trees could talk? They are scrawling with massive branches that reach outward as if to grab someone, and mysterious as if they have scores and scores of stories to share if only trees had vocal cords. The Spanish Moss is often seen dangling and swaying from the branches of those live oaks. This moss is a living organism, with the purpose of uniting with the tree. It has a meandering appearance, in anticipation of a gentle breeze — but prepared to stay the course when the stronger winds come.
I have two very favorite trees. Trees have become a greater source of strength for my family and for me. This might seem strange to my readers. Allow me to elaborate. I’ve always loved a willow tree. Specifically, a weeping willow tree. All weeping willows are willow trees, but all willow trees are not weeping willow. As a child, we would sometime hide under the long branches and leaves. My aunt had a wonderful weeping willow. We were in a magical place. The willow tree is the tree found in my childhood. I still love a weeping willow tree, as well as curly willow and Japanese willow shrub.
A willow tree represents flexibility. The willow tree is capable of bending in outrageous poses without snapping. Consider a comparison. After the wedding has ended and the marriage begins, a bride and groom will have to learn to give and to take. To be compromising and to be flexible. We as humans, taking an example from trees, are capable of doing the same on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level.
As a newly married couple (and everybody else) grows together, we must remain open to learning what life teaches us. Not fighting every time something doesn’t go as expected. As a married couple “really” get to know each other, hopefully, they will learn the importance of patience and understanding. Being “bendable” when things don’t turn out as he/she wants. I just had a thought. How about planting a favorite tree to commemorate milestones in their lives together and anniversaries? Hopefully, the couple would have a yard in which to raise their family and watch that tree grow with them.
My absolutely favorite tree is for very personal reasons. Our wedding venue is on our family farm. The family’s patriarch planted a maple tree sapling at the top of the meadow. That was approximately one hundred years ago. He had five daughters, and each daughter was given a portion of the 120 acre-farm as their inheritance. We were blessed to receive the part of the property with that majestic tree. It has stood, almost as the focal point of our property, watching generations of children run and play in and beneath its branches for decades. That red maple has deep roots, some of which sprawl above ground, as if there is no more room in the earth. The strength of a tree. What better “role model” could a young couple and family have than to embody the characteristics of a strong, hardwood tree? I find myself looking up through the branches of that tree — in amazement at the majesty found in nature. Not all trees are created equally. And, that’s by design. All are created to serve a purpose. Or, so I believe that to be the case. This red maple has given me a different perspective on resiliency, family, faith, beauty, flexibility, and endurance. I don’t know how deeply the roots have anchored themselves in the earth, but I can only hope to hold on to what is near and dear to my family, just as this tree has done for all of these years. The branches represent (to me) hospitality and stewardship. Giving hugs and reaching out while showing compassion.
Ideas for your wedding day can readily be found on Pinterest, in magazines, and reading the opinions of influencers. I am not an influencer, but I am coming from a place of understanding and experience. Continue to look to the tree and tree branches, and products made from their wood for your wedding day. Either as inspiration for the wedding ceremony, favors for your guests (seeds and saplings), or in ways that are meaningful to you and your personal story. You don’t have to follow a trend. Be inspired by your own vision, and add symbolism that is special to you and your sweetheart. Consider, however, emulating the qualities of a tree. Therein lies your strength.