Festival weddings aren’t going anywhere, which makes me very happy indeed! I mean, what could be better than hanging out in the sunshine, listening to your favourite music and dancing late into the night?!
Becs and Chris were married at The Winter Garden at Sennowe Park, Norfolk. They hosted their reception in a tipi on the bride’s parent’s farm. “We always said that when we got married we wanted a festival feel”, said the bride. “Festival for us meant relaxed vibes, happy music and street food! We love food and that was pretty much the most important bit for us. We got Manjit and Fish& to drive down from Leeds because we love their award-winning food so much! I guess it’s quite unusual to have Gujarati food at a non-Indian wedding but we love curry and Manjit’s is incredible. As is Fish& – we had three types batters for our fish pieces! Trumpet & Crumpet provided amazing canapés and delicious British desserts for us.”
“Since the farm is reasonably remote, we let people camp over in one of the fields too”, she continued. “We also had my mum doing the ceremony which made it pretty unique – not many people can say their mum married them! My mum became a registrar when I was one and it had been my dream to have my mum do my wedding ever since then!”
Tams and Richie were married in County Wicklow, Ireland, in March. Their day was both glamorous and laid back, with a fun-filled festival theme. “We had been bashing our heads against a wall trying to think of a ‘theme’ for ages, and we landed with Old Hollywood Glamour”, began Tams. “I was doing all of the invitations, props, design, look and feel myself, and I began to get really uncomfortable with the whole Hollywood theme and when people started referencing The Great Gatsby, it really didn’t settle well. It’s a beautiful, stylised theme and I envy anyone who can pull it off, but it just wasn’t us.”
“So Richie started to tease it out; what are we looking for on our big day? The answer was simple: Fun! Fun! Fun! We just wanted lots of colour and fun, a vibrant and energetic party where people can come and feel like themselves, not tied to any formalities or too much structure. Kick your shoes off and dance! I think, in the end, we actually managed to combine the two pretty well.”
High school sweethearts Victoria and Ian were married in May. Their wedding was loosely based on their love of Glastonbury festival with references including their invites and the decorations.
“We wanted the wedding to be fun and informal”, said Victoria, “and we really wanted to have the ceremony outside. We fell in love with a secret garden at Burton Manor but it wasn’t licenced for ceremonies. So we decided to sign the register a day earlier and have a non-legal ceremony on the day that we organised ourselves. It was a massive gamble on the weather, but we lucked out and had lovely sun throughout. My uncle Tony played guitar for the guests as they arrived and we supplied camping chairs for the ‘more mature’ festival goers, while other guests remained standing for the whole ceremony.”
“The only thing I knew about flowers is that I wanted them bright and colourful”, she continued. “I let our florist use their imagination to create an amazing surprise for us on the morning of the wedding. The flowers were one of the highlights of the day and took the least amount of effort and stress.”
“One of our favourite things was our rings. We couldn’t find rings any that we liked so we decided to do a wedding ring workshop to make our own! We did everything for them including coming up with the ideas and melting down Ian’s granddad’s ring to use. They are now even more personal and special because we made them ourselves.”
Kelly and Benjamin knew what they wanted for their wedding right from the start. They wanted an informal day with a festival vibe and lots and lots of colour! “The inspiration for our wedding was just ‘let’s be ourselves'”, Kelly said. “We’ve been to so many weddings over the years that all feel the same; a lot of people try and have this fancy formal affair when it really doesn’t reflect who they are as people.”
“As soon as we started planning, the main focus was that we wanted a relaxed and informal atmosphere. We were adamant we didn’t want a fancy sit down meal instead we wanted a party atmosphere with everyone tucking into burgers and sausages. Everyone that we spoke to after our wedding spoke so fondly of the day and how relaxed and fun it was. There was so much laughter from start to finish, exactly like we wanted. Our budget was just £8000 and we only really spent money on the things that guests enjoy at weddings – the venue, good food and the music!”
Zack and May’s wedding was a weekend-long affair. They invited their friends and family to stay with them at the venue from Friday-Sunday and everyone pitched in to help.
“We wanted to have a mini-festival where everyone was part of the event, rather than turning up to a stage-managed thing”, the groom told me. “Most people stayed on-site in rooms or treehouses. Everyone came up on the Friday to help decorate the venue, and we had the Proper Pizza Company, who built two brick pizza ovens in the courtyard, to feed the helpers. Everyone contributed to the day, and many stayed until Monday. Instead of presents we asked the guests to bring a couple of bottles and a dessert or some cheese for after the meal. On Sunday we woke up early and cooked a huge roast for everyone who stayed over.”
The wedding was held at West Lexham Manor in Norfolk. “We heard about the venue through a friend”, he continued. “We were able to do lots of DIY and make them place our own. We had custom printed table runners with cartoons us done by friends and pom pom sheep name holders with top hats. The tables were identified by posters of our top five favourite films and the ceiling was decorated with dried flowers, red and white paper lanterns and giant tissue-paper flowers. We also had strings of lights and lots of flowers in vases to teapots. Our plates and cutlery were made from naturally fallen materials like banana leaves. We got them from Little Cherry.”
With the summer very nearly upon us, I’d hazard a guess that plenty of you are gearing up for festival season… both music and wedding stylee! Here are some of the best ideas to bring that theme to life.
Your seating plan could be laynards
Indoor festival wedding
Colourful festival wedding