A few things to think about when planning a festival wedding ...
Festival weddings are SO MUCH FUN. They’re days or full weekends of hilarity, amazing music, and unforgettable experiences. Weddings are one of the few times you can get all your loved ones in the same space, so why not turn your wedding into a full party with all your best pals? I’ve photographed some breathtaking festival weddings in our time, so here’s our handy tips on what to think about when planning a festival style wedding:
Have your wedding outside
Whenever you think of festivals, you think of fields (whether muddy or sunny!), so festival weddings work perfectly outside. I rounded up the top 5 woodland wedding venues in Kent to make it easy for you to pick your festival wedding site, but do bear in mind you can’t legally get married outside in the UK, so if you want your legal ceremony to be on the same day you might be better off picking an indoors venue with loads of outside space, like Preston Court (who we also rounded up in our top 8 barn venues in Kent and Sussex – we do try to help!)
Find a venue with camping or glamping facilities
For that authentic festival feeling, why not go with a venue that has camping or glamping facilities for your guests? Lots of festival-style wedding venues nowadays have pre-made glamping areas with pop-up tent villages – and, the best part is, they can assemble and de-assemble it for you, for when your head feels a little ropey the day after…
Get the wedding music line-up of dreams
Music is a central element to most weddings, so make sure you’ve got the exact festival feel you want with a line-up of incredible bands, DJs, or performers. This doesn’t have to be a roster of 6 piece bands all on stage for an hour each; it could be an acoustic guitarist to serenade you between the ceremony and the reception, a mariachi band whilst you’re eating your food, and then a full band setup for the party. Make sure you use bands and DJs who play the kind of music you want to listen to – it is your day, after all.
Serve meals from food trucks or stalls
For a proper authentic festival wedding feel, why not have your catering from food trucks or food stalls? It’s an amazing way of getting great-tasting food from different cuisines, and also an excellent way of using space and creating elements for your guests to enjoy. Why not each pick your favourite cuisine and have a food truck each to represent both of your favourites? I've got an excellent article on alternative catering ideas for weddings for weddings over on the wedding planning guide which has lots of handy links to food truck caterers that I have worked with in the past.
Focus on a few pieces of wedding décor, and don’t sweat the tiny details
Generally, bigger pieces of wedding décor have more visual impact than the little ones (although if the little ones are the ones that float your boat, then by all means do your thang). With festival style weddings, this is also true. Big flags, garlands and bunting all work really well with a festival style wedding, as does a bright colour scheme. Painted signs, big props and festoon lights also work really well for mega impact.
Have things to do
After fields, you probably think of glitter when I say festivals…so why not have a glitter bar for your guests? Guests can get their sparkle on to then dance the night away…make sure you keep it to eco-friendly glitter that won’t harm the environment! There’s so many other interactive elements you can choose for your wedding guests to keep up that slightly surreal, excitable hype of weddings, too – try photo-booths or games.
Prep your guests for the weather
So this point is pretty key when planning a festival wedding, make sure you give your guests the heads-up that you’re going for a full-blown festival wedding, so they can pack their macs and their wellies alongside their heels. It may get a little muddy, and that’s the fun of the festival for most people – but not so fun if you never gave them chance to prepare!
Choose a photographer who can capture the excitement as it unfolds
Festivals and festival style weddings are all about excitement, unbridled joy and genuine emotion, so it makes sense to get a photographer who’s able to capture that in its authentic form as it unfolds, without disturbing it. You want a photographer who won’t waste 3 hours of precious party time with formal group shots that make you feel uncomfortable, or who’ll make you awkwardly pose, but instead will get right in the dance floor with you, or will slip beside you and your grandma on a hay bale to capture those precious moments. And hey – I like to think that’s me…