How to Plan a Festival Wedding That Rocks

How to Plan a Festival Wedding That Rocks

Did you know that in the year 2019 alone there were 2,126,126 weddings that took place? Those numbers translate to almost six thousand weddings every single day! While there's clearly no shortage of weddings, what can you do to make your special day stand out from the thousands of others?

If you want your wedding to be unforgettable - from the invitations and food to the location and the music - a festival wedding might be what you're looking for. This is especially true if you and your spouse have a passion for music, style, and the great outdoors.

When it comes to planning your alternative wedding, you need to consider every detail, but first, let's take a look at what a festival wedding is exactly.

What Is A Festival Wedding?

What are the overarching aspects that make up a festival wedding? You've most likely already heard of a festival wedding since it's becoming more and more popular.

The idea of a festival-themed wedding is to re-create the whimsical atmosphere and aesthetics of a live music festival - think Glastonbury or the Secret Garden Party - mixed with elements of a more traditional bohemian or vintage themed wedding.

festival wedding example decor

Your theme will create a mood that's light and free, and of course, there'll be plenty of live music! In fact, different wedding bands and musicians throughout your wedding day are next to indispensable if you want to nail that festival wedding vibe.

Your goal is to design a theme that sits as close to a music festival as possible - that means embracing the outdoors and the Great British weather with it!

Your soundtrack will include anything from folky acoustic music in the afternoon to summer indie classics in the evening. Many couples opt for a line-up featuring two or three bands of various styles to create an authentic festival theme. There are no rules when it comes to musical preferences; if classic soul is your thing, then that's no problem.

Often, the clothing for your guests will be more on the informal side unless you request otherwise. Similarly, much of the festival wedding style décor has ties with nature and can involve hay bales, logs, folksy flower wreaths, and more.

The food will, of course, be of your preference. However, many couples opt for the kind of food found at real festivals, such as food trucks and stalls.

Now that we have an overview of festival weddings, let's get into the details.

Starting From the Top With Invitation Design

If you're set on planning the ultimate festival wedding, you won't want to skip out on even the smallest of details. This means you need to start planning for how your wedding invitations will look. Remember: wedding invitations are not just a piece of paper.

Invitations are the first impression your guests will have of your wedding, so you'll want to make sure the design gives them the right idea. Most wedding invitations come in the form of cards or stationery, but since your wedding will break the traditional mould, you can have a little fun with the design.

For example, since music will be a central theme of your festival wedding, why not have your wedding invitations in the form of tickets or wristbands? These tickets can even have the appearance of special "backstage passes", and can also be a great memento to keep even when the wedding is over.

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In the case of wristbands, they can give your guests the feeling that they'll be going to an outdoor concert, which in a way, they will be. Besides, imagine the surprise of your guests when they open their invitation envelope only to find anything but a traditional invitation inside.

Of course, if the previous ideas don't appeal to you, there are plenty of festival-style ideas that can blossom on stationery. For example, the designs on your invitations can emulate the feeling of Woodstock, Reggae themes, and country or classic rock ideas.

Since your wedding will be no ordinary wedding, it will be wise to advise your guests on the invitations as to what they should expect. For example, should they bring their own umbrellas or will there be some available at the venue? Details like this will ensure everything is on track when your big day arrives.

Festival wedding venue

Choosing the Best Venue for Your Festival Wedding

The venue, of course, is one of the most important aspects when it comes to creating your perfect wedding. While many traditional weddings are held indoors in locations such as banquet halls, community halls, and churches, your venue choice will likely be very different, especially if you're opting for bohemian and folk vibes.

If you have a family member with a large garden or land, you're in luck, but if not, don't worry, there's still hope. You'd be surprised at how many pieces of land are available to rent for weddings and other events. The big thing to consider is what kind of space you're looking for when choosing.

Do you want your wedding to take place in a forest? Or maybe a great rolling field is more what you have in mind?

If you have a favourite pub in mind that has some extra land on hand, they might allow you to rent out the location. This will give you the benefit of not only the location but familiar cuisine as well. Of course, if you want the feeling of a music festival for your wedding, you might want something more rural so you won't need to worry about music curfews.

Festival Glamping tent

If you're planning a wedding that spans across the weekend, you might choose to have a festival wedding that goes through the night and into the morning by camping out. If you love the idea of late nights and socialising around campfires, could you come up with a better wedding idea?

When considering wedding venues, however, it doesn't just stop at the location alone. You'll also need to figure out what kind of décor you'll want.

Choosing the Perfect Decorations for Your Venue

If you choose a rural and outdoor wedding venue, this doesn't mean you'll always have nothing but the sky above you. It's essential to set up structures such as tents in case there's a sudden shift of weather, and you end up having to deal with a cluster of rain clouds. Otherwise, you might end up with a lot of rain-soaked, unhappy guests.

You could encounter similar problems if it's too hot and sunny. No one wants their scalp to burn in the sun because there's no place to take shelter.

Your structural choices won't just be to shield you from the elements either. In fact, they can add to the style of your wedding. For example, instead of choosing plain tents to set up your dinner tables and chairs, you can opt for tipis or even yurts.

These structures are not only great alternatives to tents, but their traditional cultural roots can add the perfect flair to your wedding. This is because tipis and yurts are often elaborately decorated with cultural designs, colours, beads, and sometimes even fake furs.

You can choose to set your yurts and tipis up around bonfires and use logs, stones, or wooden benches for seating. While you're taking a breather beneath the protection of your tipi, you can also enjoy the warmth, smell, and atmosphere that a bonfire has to offer, especially if the temperature decides to drop.

festival wedding theme lighting idea

Lighting Choices and Details

If you want a folksy and bohemian wedding theme, you can't have modern industrial lights blaring over your head. You need to consider what kind of lighting will support the mood of your theme. Bonfires, as mentioned before, can really add to the atmosphere. Is there anything more exciting than your wedding guests coming together and dancing in the light of roaring bonfires?

Beyond bonfires, you can use lanterns, string lights, and even candles to maintain the atmosphere. In some cases, your lanterns can be custom-made to include certain decorations or even pictures of you and your significant other. Of course, there is more to décor than lighting alone.

Once you have your tipis and yurts set up, it will be much easier to attach additional decorations. You can set up wooden arches wrapped in lights, handmade wreaths full of your favourite flowers, and clusters of balloons in every direction. To continue with the festival theme, you can also set up plenty of flags and banners to add pops of colour to your venue.

If you're struggling to decide how you and your spouse will leave the wedding venue, why not consider an old-fashioned wooden wagon or Volkswagen van? Not only are these choices perfect for a festival wedding, but they will undoubtedly leave a lasting memory for you, your spouse, and your guests.

hay bales wedding decor

Setting up a Stage for Your Entertainers

When choosing a venue for your festival wedding, you can't forget to accommodate your entertainers. Without good entertainment, your festival vibe might fall a little flat on its feet. Besides, if you're aiming for a festival theme, you can't forgo live music.

If you're excited about planning a festival-themed wedding, then you're sure to be excited about choosing your wedding musicians. However, first, you need to plan an area where your musicians can perform.

Wedding bands can perform on the ground, but there's nothing like a raised stage to set the scene. You'll need a stage of at least 5 x 3 meters to accommodate most bands featuring up to five musicians; however, always check with your band before making any arrangements.

Also, remember that all musicians and bands require a hard, dry floor to set up on and cover to protect them from the elements.

Finally, it's important to remember that if your wedding venue is near a town or rural neighbourhood, you may need to think about music or noise limitations. If you've booked a venue that regularly hosts weddings, they'll have all the information you need to know, otherwise, speak to your local council.

Choosing the Right Music for Your Wedding

So, now that you've confirmed your venue, planned your decor and cleared a space for the stage, it's time to choose your wedding band!

While you could save money by hiring a wedding DJ, this wouldn't be in keeping with your festival theme without some live music to go with it. To create the perfect festival vibe, you'll need a heavy dose of drums and guitar for some unforgettable summer anthem sounds.

If you decide to hire live musicians for your big day, you'll need to determine what type of musicians you'd like. Is it enough to hire one band for your entire wedding? Perhaps not.

You want to make sure your wedding stays upbeat throughout the day. If you only hire one band, no matter how good it might be, your guests might tire of the same style of music after a while. Instead, it might be a good idea to hire several bands to play at different points of your wedding day.

For example, you might choose a folksy acoustic duo for the wedding ceremony, a gypsy jazz band during the afternoon drinks reception and an epic indie rock band to end the night on a high.

Let's take a look at a few music options to choose from for your festival wedding.

Acoustic Bands During the Afternoon

More likely than not, your festival wedding will have a pretty relaxed atmosphere, so the wedding band of your choice should be able to match that atmosphere. Acoustic bands are perfect for this necessity.

There are various acoustic styles to consider, from solo singer/guitarists with a laid-back romantic vibe to middle-of-the-road acoustic duos.

For something truely unique, you might consider a roaming acoustic act, performing unplugged renditions of your favourite tunes as they wander around the venue interacting with your guests.

Folk and Indie Bands During The Evening

While an acoustic band is perfect for keeping guests entertained throughout the day, you might like to crank things up a notch in the evening.

There are no set rules when it comes to choosing your festival wedding band, but many couples opt for a folk or indie band to match the theme. A festival wedding band will usually perform a broad mixture of tunes to ensure every age group is covered, often with a folky, Mumford and Sons sound.

An indie/rock band is the obvious choice to end the night with, performing classic Britpop, indie and rock that will be sure to get your guests on the dance floor until the early hours.

Having different bands playing throughout your wedding ensures guests are entertained, and energy levels remain high.

Planning Your Perfect Festival Wedding

If you're looking for an alternative wedding theme and like the way a festival wedding sounds, it may well be the perfect option for you.

You've already learned all about how to set up your wedding venue, plan your decorations, and how to choose your music, so why not start making your plans a reality?

To learn more, contact us here.