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
There really is no other way to explain Lucy and Benjamin’s wedding. There are Alice in Wonderland weddings… and there are festival weddings… but mash them both together and imagine everyone in attendance has dropped acid and you’re maybe halfway there to how bonkers this wedding was! Their wedding photographer Lee Allen described it as the maddest wedding he’s ever been involved with… and you know what, I can totally see why!
“We met at a friend’s BBQ and the week after went to Reading Festival together so we wanted our wedding to have a festival feel”, explained the bride. “We wanted people to feel like they had been on a weird acid trip that couldn’t have been real when they left! It sort just took shape over time. We met Hamish Guerrini, the Druid Minister who officiated our ceremony, at his stage, The Rabbit Hole, at Glastonbury two months before the wedding. After we met him we completely changed the wedding theme to include him! We added the tunnels and different rooms for guests to be led into.”
David and Molly were married at Testbed1, a creative and experimental art space in Battersea, London. Opened in spring 2010, the architecturally distressed storage area of an old warehouse and office building was love at first sight for this pair!
The couple met in school and finally got married 15 years later! “After a short run of just 15 years together, we decided it was finally the right time to get hitched!”, Molly laughed. “I’m so glad we waited though, despite so many years of ‘will you guys every get married?’ from friends and family! Knowing each other for so long meant we had the confidence to make the wedding perfectly, and completely ‘us’.”
The theme of their wedding was an indoor festival and the unusual venue really helped to set the overall tone. “David and I love going to gigs and music festivals together, so what better way to celebrate our marriage than throwing our own music festival for all our loved ones!?” she continued. “We definitely didn’t want to do the field-barn-vintage-festival thing that’s been done loads and loads (super cute, but that’s just not rock enough for us) so we wanted to find a more urban vibe, a warehouse close to home to rock out in. Ideally we wanted an outdoor feel, but indoor enough to not have to think twice about weather!”
If you’re sad about the fact that your wedding day will be over in a flash, why not do what Mark and Alex did and have a two-day celebration?! They wanted both parts of their wedding to have their own unique personalities, so day one was a casual fancy dress festival party, and day two had a more glamorous, sparkly theme.
“We held our wedding over the August bank holiday”, began the bride, “with the fancy dress festival day on Saturday and the wedding on the Sunday. We hired Colehayes Park in Dartmoor for the whole week (oh yeah!) and over 25 family and friends stayed with us. We actually continued the celebrations until the following Friday. Greedy aren’t we?!”
“We always knew that we wanted to drag the wedding celebrations out for as long as possible, so finding a venue where we could stay and party for longer than a day was our pre-requisite in choosing where we were going to get married. Our plan was to always have a festival day and wedding day, we decided to have the festival day first so that all the guests could mingle and were familiar with each other before the wedding. This worked out really well and we had an 12pm curfew so that people were still fresh the next day!”
“The main thing we wanted was an incredibly relaxed, fun and friendly wedding”, she continued. “We’re not huge fans of serious, formal and traditional weddings as just not our style, and so wanted to go as far from that as we could while still ensuring we were getting legally married.”
“The festival day was an incredible, sunny day. The theme was Willy Wonka which meant that a lot of oompa loompas turned up! Mark went as Willy Wonka in lilac and purple suit, and I went as the golden ticket in a metallic sequin jumpsuit! Our friends made such an amazing effort with one group coming as confectionery – so we had the Milkybar kid, a Fried egg, a Fruit Salad, a Loveheart and Strawberry Shortcake. We had face paints, a lemonade stand where we served chilled cocktails. We also had someone dressed as a Jagermeister bottle, handing out shots of Jager!”
Sam and Mike got married in Vegas. They eloped and only told their parents they were doing it. Their friends had no idea, in fact they thought they’d gone to Greece on holiday! The couple didn’t have any professional pictures taken of their Vegas elopement (they just snapped a few on their phones). When they returned home, they decided that they did really want to celebrate with their families too. So they decided to have a party in Manchester, with Tandem Photo there to capture the magic.
This was a super budget-friendly wedding, with the couple spending just £2000. The bride’s dress was £28 from eBay and her headpiece was £3! They bought and arranged their own flowers, designed their own invites and decorated the space with help from their army of besties.
“The inspiration for our Manchester party was retro vinyl, the sixties and the seventies and festivals,” said Sam. “Our invite was a rip off of the original Woodstock poster. Mike is really into 70s rock, prog and southern rock and I’m a bit more mod and psychedelic 60s. I guess the theme was ourselves with a nod to Vegas.”
“We didn’t want the day to be too formal”, she continued. “We didn’t want to be taken too seriously or too stylised. Hence the ‘bad album cover’ theme for the tables with vintage teapots and glass jars. The decoration was all done by us and friends. We had fairy lights, pendant lights and bunting from eBay and lanterns from Ikea. The table markers (vintage vinyl) were from our own record collection as well as some from my bridesmaid Dani who has the best collection of horrendous album covers known to man.”