How to create a festival wedding

Festival weddings are fun, frivolous and playful. A fantastic way to bring your friends and family together to celebrate your nuptials with music, games and entertainment.

Although there can be a lot to think about when planning a festival wedding, it’s also not as structured as the more traditional set up. This gives you freedom to be creative, imaginative and a lot more flexible with what you choose to include.

To start you on your way to creating your own style of a festival wedding, we have a few ideas to share with you.

How to decorate a festival wedding

Festival weddings can be as elaborate or as relaxing as you like. The most important thing is that the festival represents your style, personality and taste.

There are many festival styles which you can adopt. You could be more conservative with your wedding venue and choose a quintessentially English vintage garden party or choose a more chaotic carnival, fancy dress affair. Before you start planning, make sure you have an idea of what style you want, otherwise you could get completely carried away with mix matching props, outfits and décor.

When decorating a festival theme, it’s important to have a mix of statement pieces and delicate touches which creates layer upon layer of excitement and beauty. Think huge flags and outdoor love letters complimented with fairy lights in the trees and quirky signage.

We’ve talked about bringing the outdoors in before, but how about you take the indoors out? Old school sofas, decorative rugs and rustic benches and trestle tables are great for creating a festival vibe.

Nothing has to match, be as random as you like and incorporate as many colours and textures as you can. This is great for your wedding photography and perfect for you helping your guests feel right at home.

What to wear to a festival wedding

Let’s talk wedding party. As the happy couple, you decide the dress code and you should lead by example. If the idea of a fitted three-piece suit and ball gown wedding dress fills you with dread, don’t wear it!

Dress how you want to dress, there are so many retailers out there who offer gorgeous alternatives to wedding dresses, the retail world is your oyster.

You can be as elaborate, silly or as casual as you like, as long as you are comfortable whilst saying your vows, it really doesn’t matter.

When sending out your invites, let your guests know how they should dress. Set a fancy dress theme, give them an idea of the level of formality or if you are holding an outdoor wedding, this is important info that they will need to know. Give them time to swap the stilettos for flats (or wellies).

If you are adopting a fancy dress theme to your wedding, some guests may not initially feel that comfortable buying or wearing that style of outfit.

Just wait until they arrive, the other guests are dressed up, the flags are flying and the atmosphere is set.

Offer a box of props for those who may arrive slightly formal and then decide to relax into the spirit of the occasion later. As the drinks start flowing you could start to see even the quietest of wall flowers all dressed up in grandeur.

Festival wedding entertainment ideas


If you are used to the festival scene, you will know that they are filled with entertainment space everywhere you look.

Music is one of the most important forms of entertainment that you need to look into. Live bands and musicians are perfect for this style.

Don’t just limit yourself to one band, why not have a live vocalist as you’re walking the aisle, followed by an acoustic band as you enjoy your drinks.

If your friends are musical, you could ask them to come along and have a jamming session, all followed up by a fun DJ in the evening to help you dance on into the moonlit night.

There are always moments when you, as a couple have to disappear. Whether it’s to sign the register, have your own photos with the photographer or just to have time to catch a breath.

Fill these moments with magicians, caricaturists, dancers or even a comedian. Keep the atmosphere alive throughout the day and evening.

Food for your festival wedding


Generally, a formal wedding breakfast is the main event at a traditional celebration… not really the case for a festival wedding.

Canapes and food/drink stands are perfect for your festival foods. Enjoy tiny versions of some of your favourite dishes such as tiny fish and chips or you could even create a taco stand!

As a venue Woodhall also offers live cooking. Your guests can watch our chefs create culinary magic before their very eyes. This is great for one-pot dishes such as fajitas, curries, chilli’s and paella’s.

Base your food choices on what is socially easy to eat. Allow your guests to carry on mingling with hand held food, you don’t have to limit them to a sit-down meal.

And why not explore some creative options with your drinks. Themed cocktails including jazz & gin or jugs of Pimms nod towards the the more sophisticated festivals of Henley Regatta and Royal Ascot – enjoy something quite different, it would be rude not to!

There are so many variations on this theme the mind boggles. Have a wander through Pinterest for some wonderfully creative inspiration, or even better, come and visit us and we’ll do it together.

Chin chin!


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