How to Create a Festival Wedding
The growing trend for festival style weddings is on the rise, especially with modern couples looking to make their own personal mark. It involves a more casual affair, inspired by outdoor living and festival fun.
If the bronze, silver or gold wedding package holds no appeal, and you’re looking to break away from tradition and formalities, a festival wedding might just be for you.
Planning a Festival Wedding
Bringing a bohemian spirit, a good sense of humour, plenty of creativity and added touches of glamping together, here’s everything you need to know about hosting a festival themed wedding.
Suss out your style
If you’ve decided against tradition in favour of something more ‘you’, then it’s time to think about your theme. It might be circus fun, shabby chic or even Glastonbury glam. Once you’ve decided on your theme, this should filter into every part of your wedding planning; from invitations through to the venue.
For instance, if you decide on a music-festival style wedding, you can send tickets instead of invitations, wrist bands for the drinks bar, and even have your favourite tribute act perform in the evening.
Festival Wedding Venues
The most important part of bringing your vision to life is the venue. The great thing with festival themed weddings is that they lend themselves to all number of backdrops, allowing you to search for; country houses, tipi weddings, tents and marquees, castles, country barns, or just fields to hire for weddings.
Outdoor weddings and tipis are a great way to create a festival vibe, here are just some great options.
Think about access to facilities as well, and whether there’s enough accommodation on site or nearby for wedding guests. If children are coming, are there suitable facilities for them too? Popular venues can get booked up a year in advance, maybe longer, so it’s beneficial to get in early.
Tipi’s can be fixed and already installed ready to use at certain venues, however if you have a some land that you wish to use then there are many companies that can come and erect a tipi or marquee there for you.
When it comes to stationary and invites you can get creative, Wedfest produce some super cool wedding stationary, from invites and save the dates, to lanyards and thank you cards.
The flexibility of being a festival bride, means that you have plenty of great options for a boho wedding dress, think flower garlands, daisy crowns and floaty white country-style dresses, with pearly white sling backs.
For the groom, this can extend to tweed suits with waistcoats and wedding wellies. You might even want to personalise rain coats for the guests, with their own set of wellies for all weather eventualities.
One of the freedoms of having a festival style wedding is the opportunity to do things your way. If you want to say ‘I do’ in a forest surrounded by nature, you can – if you prefer to exchange vows in a small country church, you also can. There’s no hard rules, only what fits around the style of the day, and you as a couple.
Give some thought about how you can put your personal stamp on the vows and where they will be exchanged, in keeping with the spirit of your festival theme.
For your wedding breakfast, you might want to keep things casual with a buffet, or bring your theme to life with specialist caterers. But to give it a real festival touch, why not hire catering trucks? Not only is this a cheaper way to feed guests, but it brings all the authenticity of a festival too.
Catering is one of the fun ways to bring festival wedding ideas to life. Think about how canapes can be themed, cocktails given fun names and menu reflective of your day. When Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth eloped recently, they opted for a non-fussy rustic country style approach, complete with cupcakes for guests and a plain two-tier wedding cake.
Time to rock out!
When it comes to your festival style wedding, you’re going to want to turn it up to 11! If you’ve hired a venue with a tent out in the wilderness, there’s probably no music curfew, allowing you to party all night.
In any case, you’ll want to give some thought to the right band or musician to complement your boho wedding. There’s plenty of entertainment companies that offer great tribute acts like Dolly Parton and The Rolling Stones, as well as more comical live music bands such as ‘Rock-aoke’ – an invitation for guests to get up on stage and rock out with the live band!
The beauty of a festival wedding is all the small touches that make your day memorable. Signage is a great way to be fun and add a personal message, floral pieces can give a natural and rustic feel ideal for outdoor weddings.
Some festival wedding ideas include:
- Wellies or flip-flops for guests
- Lanyards with wedding timings on
- Themed retro photo booth
- Local beer and wine served in a keg
- Hay bales for seating
- Get guests to sign a wedding poster of your day, instead of a guest book
- Have festival style signage
- Decorate the marquee with fairy lights
- Have fireworks at the end of the night
- Hire a VW van as your evening transportation
If you are planning a carnival styled wedding, you can have a lot of fun with the details. Here are our top tips to get the authentic carnival look!
Wedding invitations and place settings
The carnival theme is one of the easiest wedding themes to recreate in the form of wedding invitations and table place settings. The use of candy cane style stripes or raffle tickets can tie in the carnival theme right from your invites! If you don’t want the hassle of making your own stationery, there are many pre-made carnival theme templates or any good graphic designer can turn your ideas into reality!
No carnival is complete without a candy bar! An increasingly popular tradition that originated in America, the candy bar is fast becoming a replacement for wedding favours. Simply fill jars or glasses with your favourite sweets and let guests help themselves during your wedding reception. This idea is very popular with children.
Another take on help yourself wedding favours is a popcorn stall or ice cream stand. These can easily be made yourself or can be hired (you might need additional help with the ice cream stand!)
Perfect for an outdoor summer wedding these little added extras can go a long way to creating the right theme for your big day.
During your wedding reception, providing a photo booth can be a fun addition to get some unusual wedding photographs.
Photo booths can be hired or provided by some wedding photographers and can be a real feature of any evening party! Add in funny props such as glasses or moustaches for a fun feature!
Giant outdoor games
Another fun idea for a summer wedding and one to keep children entertained is to provide giant outdoor games such as chess and Jenga, or how about a large inflatable pillow? These can be purchased outright or rented and will provide hours of entertainment – even for the adults too! If you don’t find them tacky, a bouncy castle can also be entertaining and provide you with some enjoyable wedding photographs to look back on.
No carnival themed wedding is complete without coloured balloons and lots of them! Used to decorate table centrepieces and bunched around your reception room – the more colours the better!
You can take the carnival themed wedding as far as you want to go. Remember to have fun and you can be sure that your wedding will provide hours of entertainment and will be one that you will all remember for years to come.
And finally, if there’s one prerequisite that a festival themed wedding must have, it’s appropriate sleeping arrangements!
Consider putting up tipis or tents or hiring luxury airstreams for guests to stay in. For those that won’t enjoy a taste of the good life, there might be country houses nearby, which are worth holding in advance.
If you have chosen a remote location or a field to hire for weddings, you might need to bring in extra facilities.
Top of the list includes toilets for guests, heaters or rain covers, and of course catering. Ask the venue if they’ve hosted weddings on site before and any recommendations for suppliers. You might also want to check their access to power facilities, as you may need to bring these otherwise.
All things considered, it is advisable to book your wedding venue through a professional wedding website, to ensure that all the essentials are covered – including insurance.
Festival Wedding Costs
As with any wedding there is always a budget, a festival wedding can cost as much or as little as you want, if you can hire a plot of land, hire a tipi and bring your own food and drink you can reduce the costs down. You may want to hire a venue that has it all sorted and ready to go, saving you time planning and worrying about bits on the day.
As a final thought – your wedding day should be a reflection of you and your partner, so don’t hold back on the theme, the fun is just beginning!