Planning a Festival Wedding
When planning a festival wedding, you need to decide which aspects of a festival you want to recreate at your wedding, for example:
- event tents
- furnishings and decorations
- live music
- lighting, staging and sound production
- food trucks
- communal dining
- costumes and make-up looks
Festival Wedding Venues
Festivals are often set in large fields or parks and sometimes in the grounds of stately homes. Something about the countryside sets free inhibitions and creates a childhood sense of freedom. There are lots of outdoor spaces you can use to create your festival themed wedding.
There are lots of places that you could transform into your festival wedding venue, such as:
- houses with large gardens
- stately homes
- church, school or town halls
- local parks
- unused fields (owned by farmers or local councils)
- converted bridge archways
Outfitting A Venue For A Festival
When creating your festival wedding, you should be thinking like a festival event planner. It’s important to also consider practical aspects of your outdoor wedding, from where people will sleep to all the necessary facilities they’ll need.
For your festival wedding, consider:
- accommodation – if people are staying over, are there hotels nearby or will you need to set up a campsite?
- toilets – even if there are toilet facilities nearby, take a lesson from festivals and consider getting portaloos or similar. You might consider more luxury toilet options for a special occasion.
- washing facilities – festivals get messy, that’s the fun of it! If your guests don’t have access to a bathroom, what washing facilities, showers, etc, will you provide?
- travel and parking – will there be a designated area for people to park or will you arrange for a coach to ferry people from other transport links? Or a bit of both?
- flooring – there are tons of flooring options to help you transform different areas of your festival wedding. Hardwearing dancefloors are great inside your main tent. You can also consider mats to cover muddy areas to avoid slipping, particularly around entranceways to your tent. Or use flooring to create walkways and paths between areas of your festival wedding.
Use Stretch Tents To Create Festival Areas
You can use stretch tents to create covered areas for the ceremony, to stage music, for your wedding breakfast or to dance the night away.
Tents can also be used, alongside flooring, to create entrance ways and paths between parts of your festival wedding – such as from the main house to the party tent, or from a campsite to the parking area.
Heating, lighting and adjustable walls mean you can have a festival wedding any time of the year and ensure the comfort of all your guests.
Festival Wedding Decorations
Festivals often take decor and fashion inspiration from nature: flowers, feathers, wood, colourful patterns and natural textures. Decorate in line with your wedding theme, be that a specific style, like rustic chic, or your chosen colours.
Bunting is a hugely popular choice for festivals and can be used in numerous ways for your wedding. String them along your tent, between trees, along paths, anywhere and everywhere! Festival flags are also a great way to accessorise your festival wedding.
You could even get a custom set of flags to greet guests on arrival, with the marrying couple’s names or a photograph. Festival flags can also be used to mark areas, using different colours for food, toilets, etc. This can be handy if you have your festival wedding over a larger space, and may necessitate a helpful map for your guests – which can also act as a momento for the event.
Try to bring out the festival energy with your choices of furnishings and lighting. For example, you could consider using hail bails and rugs for seating, and use fairy lights to lead from tent to tent.
If you want to lean more into the music side of a festival, consider special touches like having your wedding breakfast place settings or menus on vinyl covers. You could also provide your guests with customised guitar picks and mixtapes with your wedding soundtrack.
Ultimately, all the choices for decor and special touches come down to your taste as a couple and how simple or extravagant you want your event to be. It also comes down to how much you want to DIY (with the help of your close family and friends) and how much you want to get done with hired help.
Festival Wedding Food
With the right catering team you can probably get a traditional wedding breakfast or buffet sorted.
If you’d rather make the most of your festival themed wedding, why not get some food trucks down to cater everything from light bites to meals and drinks. Some festival-inspired ideas include:
- cocktail bars
- ice-cream trucks
- wine bar
- tacos trucks
- burgers and fries van
- pizza truck
The options are endless so it might help to think about whether you want to go for a more casual festival style, with handheld eats and drinks, or whether you’d prefer a more traditional wedding approach, with fewer food options at a higher budget. Don’t forget to consider seating and cutlery, which could be as simple as bench seating near the food trucks.
To offer a bit more flexibility for guests and simplify your drinks service, consider bathtubs of ice which you can fill with bottles or water, beer or wine. Beer kegs are another option if you want to make it easy for guests to serve themselves.
If you are having a weekend festival wedding, you might want to consider having a small stretch tent set up as a mini kitchen. Those camping for the wedding can enjoy some prepared food over a shared barbeque or fire pit – just make sure there is someone in attendance who can be fire-responsible. You’ll also need to make sure of health and safety on the grounds you are renting as your venue.
If you are considering a fire pit then you could also put it to use with marshmallow-tasting, perhaps including an assembly station nearby to get the full campfire feel.
Festival Wedding Attire
Festivals are about having fun, expressing yourself and looking fabulous. Guidance for what to wear to your festival is a must, both practically for your wedding’s location, and to help guests who might be unsure whether they need wellies or heels, or both!
Festival Wedding Attire For Guests
It’s important your guests know what to expect from your wedding so you don’t end up with a bunch of heels in the mud. How your guests look and feel will have a huge effect on the vibe. Whether it’s a strict dress code or completely freestyle, it needs to be clear.
Decorate your invitations to demonstrate the colours and the style. You could even put fashion inspiration images so people get a good idea of what is appropriate. How about helping your guests look the part when they arrive by providing a temporary tattoo station, body painter or glitter bar?
Festival Wedding Attire For The Bride, Groom and Marrying Party
Your wedding party is the guiding force of your wedding image and they are the only guests over whose outfits you have full control! Put them all in leather jackets or funky frocks, whatever speaks to your festival wedding theme.
As for the marrying couple, it’s totally up to you if you want to go traditional or add a funky twist. Brides can go for a coloured veil, a flower crown or big leather boots. Grooms could try a colourful tux or bow tie. Or escape tradition completely and wear whatever you feel – it’s your day and you’re at a festival so anything and everything goes!
Festival Wedding Music
Make sure the music you go for fits the vibe you want to create. You may love the sound of a good ballad but if you want people on their feet, try a folk band or something more pop. Make sure to also consider the age range of the festival. Cover bands are great at playing music the whole family enjoys. If you have any musical guests, you could even save some of the night for some open mic. There’s nothing better than making your own music together.
If, like a true music festival, you are going for a variety of bands, decide whether you have the funds and space for multiple stages or keep everyone together and change the lineup throughout the day. To create the correct ambience, your music timeline is everything. Jazz and acoustic are nice to ease people in at the beginning of the day. You can then save the electronic DJ for the night owls still going after hours.
Photographers & Videographers
Celebrate the spectacle and excitement of your event by finding amazing photographers or videographers to capture your festival wedding. Consider a quirky photographer who’ll capture action photos of the celebration, or a talented videographer who can create a showreel of highlights that you can send to guests after your wedding.
Not sure where to start?
Start by considering:
- Live music – this could be folk bands and/or background musicians
- Fashion and style – will you have a more relaxed dress code, for example with flower crowns instead of formal hats?
- Camping – or glamping to elevate the specialness of the event, if overnight or a long day party
You’ll also need to consider practical aspects of your festival wedding, such as toilet facilities and transport to/from the venue for guests.