Festival weddings are increasingly popular and we totally understand why! A celebration of music, food, the arts and culture, festival style nuptials are a great way for brides and grooms to go against the grain and channel their personalities on their big day.
Don’t forget it’s your wedding day and if halls, hotels and stately homes aren’t your cup of tea, choose something different. Accept it, you’re a pair of festival lovers who enjoy the open air – and that’s okay!
Whether you want to recreate Coachella or if Glastonbury Festival is more your scene, festival themed weddings allow you to express your creativity and accommodate larger guest lists with ease. Furthermore, they’re not only guaranteed fun but also perfect for budget-conscious couples because you’re in total control!
Okay, we aren’t guaranteed scorching summer days and balmy summer nights here in the UK, but we do know how to pull off an entertainment-infused festival in all weathers. You never know, you might be blessed with sunshine!
If the thought of tipis, flower crowns, bunting and glitter fills you with excitement, read on to discover our expert tips for your festival wedding.
Find That Field For Your Festival Wedding
First, find your field! You might be lucky and have access to your very own field, or know a friend or family member who could help. Otherwise do a bit of research on a preferred location – there are dozens of options.
From outdoor farmlands in Warwickshire to a DIY space in Wiltshire we’re spoilt with rolling countryside and expansive fields in each and every beautiful county. As your guests will probably be camping – true festival style – the travel distance isn’t as much of an issue. If you’re happy to travel to find the perfect space for you, it’s worth having a look at all of the venue options around the UK.
Have a think about the attributes you’re looking for. You might simply want an open field space or alternatively somewhere featuring lakes and woodland. Do you want a DIY setting with a fixed marquee or access to an old farm house or a barn?
Set The Tone With Stationery
Give your guests the heads up with stationery to complement the celebration. If you’re planning a rustic festival wedding, opt for hessian adorned stationery compete with miniature bunting and little wellington boots. Colourful, bold graphics will really set the tone for carnival style nuptials.
If you want to pull out all the stops, find a stationer who can create bespoke ticket style invitations. Alternatively, your wedding invitations could be wrist-bands that guests have to wear on the day!
If you’re working to a budget it couldn’t be easier. Create your very own DIY stationery using brown paper and card. Artistic couples amongst us could splash some ink or paints on paper for totally abstract invitations that can be cut down to size!
Just issue your invitations with the necessary instructions. Do you guests have to bring tents and sleeping gear? Will your dress code be boho-chic or wellington boots mandatory?
A key component of a festival wedding, tipis are a must have! Not only are they super practical but they also an authentic finishing touch to the entire celebration – and look fab in photos.
Although you might be routing for a totally outdoor celebration, it’s always a good idea to have some cover for shade and in case of rain. Tipis and yurts are a truly authentic way to embrace the festival theme and they look just as beautiful on the inside as out!
We spoke with expert Jamie from Serentipi – Nordic tipi specialists and planners of extraordinary weddings and events – about why tipis are so fabulous.
‘Why a tipi I hear you ask? Where do I start?! What I love about tipis is their ability to stand proud like a permanent structure. You may be greeted with odd looks from family and friends when you’re excitedly talking about your wedding in a tent, but they are certainly not ‘just a tent’. Remember that your wedding is exactly that…your wedding, so if tipis do it for you…my advice is to go for it!’
‘With their effortless charm and countless opportunities to go wild with your décor, you’ll be in ‘Pinterest heaven!”
‘They explode your senses with the sound of creaking wood, the smell of burning fires and the warm glow beaming from the cone-shaped canvas walls.’
Planning a festival wedding should be about letting loose with your creativity and turning your dream day into a reality, tipis certainly help you do that! ‘They are the ultimate blank canvas for you to really put your own stamp on your day. ‘
‘So, if you’re looking to create the ultimate ‘festival’ wedding, where you can completely embrace all the DIY elements of planning your big day…there really is no better choice!’
You can really have fun with the decor on your wedding day – particularly if you have no restrictions with space!
Hay bales double as excellent seats and can be relatively inexpensive to source. Throw some blankets over carefully positioned hay bales and voilà, you have a sofa!
Outdoor lighting is really important and will create a magical atmosphere. String fairy lights between tipis or tents, or even through tree branches. Fire pits double as lighting and warmth. Lanterns are also an excellent form of light and look totally magical outside.
Bean bag chairs and rugs can be scattered in cosy little nooks. This will provide the ultimate bohemian vibe and provide practical spaces for people to chill in.
Tipi providers such as Serentipi often provide all of the little extras too – saving you time looking around! Jamie explains that they offer a range of handpicked items such as ‘rustic tables, handcrafted table centrepieces, hanging chandeliers and our show-stopping outdoor globe fire pit.’
Mobile Bars And Catering
Scrumptious food and festivals go hand in hand. One of the great things about planning a DIY festival wedding is that you can have whatever suppliers you desire. Whether you love wood fired pizzas, Thai street food, hog roasts or a good old fish and chip van, the options are endless.
You can find a number of quirky mobile caterers that will be just as much of an aesthetic feature as they are supplier. From a rustic mint green trailer serving burgers, to converted VW cocktail bars.
Whether you’re a cider drinker, lover of wine, cocktails, ales or even juices and smoothies, ensure your guests don’t go thirsty with a funky mobile bar. Satisfy your sweet tooth with sweet carts and ice cream trucks for the ultimate summer vibe!
Calling all eco-conscious couples! Festival weddings are an excellent way to keep your carbon footprint low because you are totally in control. A growing trend, you’re not the only couple planning a green wedding and a festival is the ideal set-up to embrace the concept.
We have come up with lots inspirational ideas about reducing your carbon footprint whilst tying the knot. Check out some of the featured articles here.
Keeping The Children Happy
For the youngest guests, book out some simple entertainment such as pony rides, inflatable bouncy castles, or put up a Children’s Craft Tent for art projects. It’s also somewhere for a children’s entertainer to be based if you’ve got lots of children to keep an eye on.
Some popular types of entertainers for children in the spirit of festivals are face painters, circus and magic acts, bubble performers and balloon modellers.
One for the adults and children alike would be fairground rides and games. Although they might be a little pricey they will provide an abundance of fun for all guests.
Live Music Is the Formula For A Fabulous Party
And for the adults – well, nothing beats some first rate live music and if you’re going for a theme how about a Tribute Band? Live music in the day can be relaxing and help to create a chilled out atmosphere – but come sundown – it’s time to party!
Whether a bit of heavy metal is your thing, swing jazz for dancing, or 80’s Super Troopers “Abba”, there’ll be something that rings bells for you. Take a look at The Beatles, Kinks and The Rolling Stones Tribute Bands for a themed wedding, or cut fast and loose with Take That, Kasabian and Muse.
Most bands that play at weddings can organise their own stage, speakers and lighting and working from a venue without a roof won’t pose any problem. You’ll just need to check if there’s a requirement for an accessible power source.
A great tribute band will know how to get people up on their feet and your guests can revel in the freedom of your own special festival.
Imagine it – gorgeous countryside, tipis, street food vendors, beer and cocktails, all topped off with great sounds and the night time sky sparkling overhead – what a spectacular way to start your married life!
Hopefully we’ve given you lots of ideas, tips and inspiration to get planning your festival wedding. Next Steps, take a look at some of the ideas about planning a DIY wedding.You’ll find lots more helpful advice and tips to get organised and prepare for the big day ahead on our website.