How to Decorate a Wedding With a Rainforest & Safari Theme


A wedding with a rainforest or safari theme lends itself to thinking exotic. Though it might sound grandiose and expensive, the jungle-style ambiance can be easy to produce and relatively inexpensive. It also allows for plenty of creativity when designing invitations, selecting wedding attire, tailoring the menu, and brainstorming decorations and centerpieces.

Things You'll Need

  • Green fabric
  • Kiddie pool
  • Floating candles
  • Exotic flowers
  • Bamboo stalks

Rainforest & Safari Wedding Basics

  • Pen invitations with such words as "paradise," "Eden," "exotic" and "escape." Or, use phrases like "Join us as we embark on our adventure," "You’re invited to a wedding in the wild," "Come on a sentimental safari," or "A rainforest revelry awaits." If funds are available, send the invites as messages in a bottle or carve the words on coconuts. Other creative options include invitations that look like passports or ones that resemble pirate-style treasure maps. Simpler invites can be embossed with palm trees, seashells or hummingbirds.

  • Look up zoos and aquariums on The Association of Zoos and Aquariums website and contact locations to see which facilities host weddings. Animal sanctuaries offer exotic elements such as reflection pools, waterfalls, old-fashioned carousals, and lush jungle foliage, all of which are ideal for photographs.

  • Accentuate wardrobes with colorful touches. Add kiwi-green or coral sashes to waists and hems on the attire of the bridal party. Instead of veils, brides should consider hibiscus flower hair clips or floral hair wreaths. The groom and his entourage can wear tangerine colored cummerbunds, sunshine-yellow handkerchiefs, or bright and bejeweled cufflinks. For a casual, safari touch, men in the wedding party can wear tan suits.

Rainforest & Safari Wedding Accents

  • Install a faux waterfall by hanging blue gauze from the ceiling and putting twinkle lights behind the fabric. Another inexpensive water option is to take an inflatable kid’s pool, fill it with water, colored rocks and floating candles. To create the sense of lush foliage, hang green fabric overhead and add shimmery emerald-colored tinsels.

  • Place lemons and limes in a central crystal vase or bowl and then sent a single palm frond or bird of paradise stem in the middle. Set mood lighting by taking small iron wrought birdcages and putting votive candles inside, or encircle a pineapple with a wreath of miniature candles.

  • Hanging mosquito net canopies, gluing miniature butterflies from local craft stores on chairs or renting mist machines all enhance the sensation of being in a rainforest. Other touches include bamboo stalks, balloons patterned with cheetah spots or tiger stripes, animal footprints leading from the doorway to tables, and tiki torches.

Tips & Warnings

  • If possible, coordinate the wedding around the season. Safari and rainforest weddings are best held outdoors during comfortably months such as spring or early fall.
  • The words "safari" and "rainforest" conjure images of over-the-top jungle decor. Use animal prints sparingly and stick to solid background shades when appropriate. These hues include jungle green, beige, brown and indigo.

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  • Photo Credit wedding celebration image by Warren Millar from us passport image by Albert Lozano from Waterfall image by Masaladosa from hibiscus image by Christophe Fouquin from Twinkle Lights image by KateC from palm frond 3 image by Vonora from leopard pattern fabric texture image by Paul Hill from
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