So we all know a wedding day is, for the most part, all about the couple getting married. But when a bride and groom put just as much thought and effort into their guests having as much fun as they do, well you know you’re into a winner.
I also can’t go on any further without calling out probably THE most amazing bridesmaid outfits I’ve ever seen! Tulle skirts, oversized sequin playsuits, HELL YES, I am so on board!
Beth and Sam were hitched in style at Elmore Court in Gloucestershire. “We wanted to create a unique carnival atmosphere with lots of glitter and sparkles so every element had a glittery and sparkly theme”, said Beth. “The guests also contributed by dressing in sequins, sparkles and glitter which meant that our carnival theme was apparent across the whole day. We have been going to lots of festivals for many years and wanted to create a playful, inclusive day where everybody could let their hair down and laugh!”
After swiping right, Laura and Marc had a laid back boho festival wedding, with a humanist ceremony, at Mansty Farm in Penkridge. “We wanted to try and make it a mini-Glastonbury festival as it’s our favourite place,” said the bride. “We tried to put our personal touch into everything. We wanted it to be an ‘unwedding’ wedding. No quirky love letters or anything that didn’t mean something to us. From the seating plan to the log fires, everything had a bit of us in it.”
With guests camping, the outside ceremony with rugs as the aisle, the summer sunshine, marquee, and partying into the night with bands and a DJ, this is the perfect festival wedding vibe. And as with many festival marriages, the couple picked their own vows and promises and had a handfasting ritual.
Jem and Dom were married in June at Mulberry Lodge in Little Mongeham, the site of a festival they’d been to and loved. Their budget was just £4500 but with DIY catering, a homemade wedding dress and lots of help from friends and family they were able to create the most beautiful day.
“The inspiration for our wedding was each other, the things we like, colours, textures, artwork and the venue itself”, began the bride. “We essentially wanted a ‘Jemdomfest’ with music, dancing and fun. I wasn’t interested in impressing anyone, nor was Dom. it was about having fun, and hopefully that our guests would also have fun.”
Of their limited budget, their single biggest expense was the photos. “Photography was by far our biggest expense but absolutely worth it. Not only is Alex a great photographer, he also loves his job and this really shines through. He was a sea of calm in the barn when me, my bridesmaids and my mum were scurrying around getting ready, he even helped us with last minute button hole making!”
Sarah and Lukas’ summer wedding was held in a Barn in Oxfordshire. When they first met they bonded over a mutual love of Star Wars, so they added lots of Star Wars memorabilia to the day.
“It was fitting that the first wedding purchase we made were life-sized cardboard cut outs of R2D2 and C3PO!” laughed the bride. “They shared the stage with the band and spent the evening crowdsurfing during the set. We tried to make our day personal by including everything we love – bits of Star Wars, Middle Earth (specifically Bilbo Baggins’ 111th birthday party) pies, airstreams and of course, music.”
“Our wedding was over the August bank holiday, meaning we missed Reading Festival, so naturally our wedding took on a festival vibe. There were food trucks, live music and we spent the night camping in the fields surrounding the barn. We really wanted a laid back wedding where all our friends and family could relax and have a good time.”
Jess and Pete love festivals, travelling and they were engaged in Mexico, so these things were what influenced their Irish wedding. They were married in October with an €8000 budget and lots of colourful ideas.
“We wanted a quirky Mexican fiesta weekend and called it Fiesta del Amor (festival of love),” said the bride. “We were inspired by all the places we have travelled and the festivals we have been to. We got engaged in Mexico at a music festival while in a hammock so that’s where the main inspiration came from. When you go to a festival there is always little quirky things to find everywhere like a treasure hunt and we wanted to bring this feeling into our day.”
Their ceremony was held outside and the way they walked down the aisle was really unique. “I decided that I didn’t want to walk down the aisle in front of everyone, we wanted it to always be about both of us”, she continued. “So instead, we did a ‘first look’ and then my dad walked me down while it was only Peter there. When we were both at the front together all our guest entered and we had a roaming band leading them so we could both could greet them. This was my favourite moment of the day because we kept it a surprise from our guests. No-one had a clue what was going on or that we were there waiting down there already.”
Lizzy and Ed met because of Glastonbury so of course they had to have a festival themed wedding. They named it FUNFEST! “Not only do we love music festivals but without them we’d have never met”, explained the bride. “We were introduced by a mutual friend that we both met completely separately at Glastonbury. He thought we were made for each other so he played cupid and introduced us, and turns out he was right.”
They had originally planned on a London pub wedding, but when they couldn’t find a venue big enough to accommodate their 200 guests, they decided to change their idea completely. “My dream wedding had always been to throw a mini festival but I just didn’t think it would ever be feasible with the cost and logistics”, Lizzy continued. “However there were absolutely no venues suitable in London for the number of guests we wanted and we made a firm deal that we wouldn’t budge on the guest numbers. Our friends and family are so important to us that this wedding was a way of us showing us how much we loved them so to have to cut people wasn’t an option. This is when we decided to look into hiring a field and organising a festival style wedding.”
Fay and Michael met in the most bizarre way – they were set up by Michael’s ex-wife! After 10 years together they decided to get married and wanted their wedding to be an eclectic mix, representing all of their passions and loves. They included ballroom dance, costume, circus, art, festival, sugar skulls, Tim Burton and vintage influences. They also wanted it to be an opportunity to show off their creative artistic flair to their family and friends.
“We were inspired by everything we loved, ranging from Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride to vintage circus’ with hot air balloons”, Fay explained. “As reenactors we spend a lot of time during the summer camping in fields, fighting on battlefields and then socialising with friends in the beer tent. We wanted to share the atmosphere and feelings we get at reenactment shows with all our friends and family. We didn’t want to be constrained with a ‘reenactment wedding’ though, so we decided to bring lots of things we loved into the day.”
Tara and Rob were married in October and themed their day around an autumnal Halloween harvest festival. The date was particularly important as it’s when they met in 2007, and also when they got engaged in 2015. They both love Halloween, and the beginning of autumn when the colours start to change.
“We wanted our wedding to be a true representation of us and not at all generic”, Tara said. “I didn’t want to wear a traditional wedding dress, we had a zombie cake topper (which I saw on Rock n Roll Bride) and my sister, who was my bridesmaid, gave a speech to even up the male heavy speeches!”
Jess and Dan were married in a big top tent, in a field in Nympsfield, Gloucestershire. Their wedding theme was ‘rockabilly ska-punk festival’ as they were inspired by their love of punk-rock, 50s style, Polaroid photography, leopard print, tattoo culture, music and festivals.
In tattoo culture an anchor means ‘something or a person that grounds you’ so their stationery was also based upon this idea, and their wedding rings had anchors printed on them. For a festival name they decided on ‘Tie The Knot Festival’ which linked their festival idea with the nautical feel from the anchor.
“We really went to town with the punk rock and festival elements by making line-up posters, stage time sheets and having security at the entrance to the field dishing out wristbands to guests as they arrived,” explained Jess. “We also had a festival logo designed which, as well as being on all the wedding stationery and the website, was made into patches by a friend and sewn onto denim jackets for me and Dan to wear later in the evening. We even had a version of it tattooed on our wrists in the run up to the wedding! We really focused on ‘brand consistency’ to help make it seem like a real festival and drum up excitement for our guests in the lead up.”
Beth and Zac wanted their wedding to be relaxing and described their wedding theme as ‘fun, festival like, colourful, DIY and eco-friendly. “My main inspiration was the big BBQs and garden parties my parents had when I was growing up – everyone could just relax, help themselves to food and drink and just have a good time!” explained Beth. “I’ve never really like being the centre of attention, or feeling like I’m causing a fuss (table service in a restaurant is awkward enough for me) and Zac has never been one for formalities. So we both knew we wanted something relaxed and easy going.”
“We got so much inspiration from Rock n Roll Bride! I found it so difficult to get excited and find inspiration from other bridal magazines and blogs. It all just felt like selling out to the big wedding business machine, all the while being told that I need to get a gym membership, weekly massages, three make up artists and a personal hairdresser on call. I’m a naturally insecure person, and none of this helped a bit. So big thanks to Kat for making me actually feel wedding positive, and thanks to all of the R’n’R inspiring brides and grooms.”
Jalira and Joe were married at Norwich Castle in June followed by a reception at The Keeper and the Dell, after Joe proposed on a boat trip in New Zealand. They had met when attending the University of East Anglia so wanted to return to Norwich to be married.
Their wedding had a rustic theme, and was inspired by Jalira’s love of African prints and being outdoors. “My favourite thing about our wedding was the joining of two cultures”, explained Jalira, “so we had African prints used for the bridesmaid dresses and as table runners, alongside Joe and his brothers in their family kilt!”