The ultimate guide to planning a festival wedding

Festival wedding tentMore and more, we’re seeing modern couples eschewing conventional wedding traditions and opting to do things a little differently on their big day. The festival wedding is the perfect choice for couples who don’t fancy toeing the traditional line: it’s a laid-back, down-to-earth affair that’s packed with fun and a touch of bohemian flair.

Get inspired with festival wedding ideas and find out how to plan your dream festival wedding – from food inspiration to quirky décor – in this ultimate guide to festival weddings, from Lineham Farm Weddings.

 

In this article:

How to plan a festival wedding

Festival style wedding food

Festival wedding clothing

Décor for festival weddings

Venues for festival style weddings

 

How to plan a festival wedding

So, you’re thinking about a festival-themed wedding? Planning any wedding can be daunting, but the great thing about a festival wedding is there aren’t really any stuffy rules to follow. The cornerstones of a festival wedding are pretty simple. You want some great tunes, a relaxed party atmosphere and a good amount of outdoor space to host your celebrations – preferably where your guests can pitch up a tent for the ultimate festival atmosphere. Really though, a festival wedding can be as unique as you are.

 

Wedding festival ideas

The first step of planning your unforgettable festival wedding is working out the theming you want. “Festival” is quite a broad term and could encompass anything from a Glastonbury-style weekend extravaganza (complete with a line-up of live bands and food stalls) to a bit more of an understated bash with lawn games and picnic food.

Here are just a few festival wedding ideas to get you inspired:

 

• Rustic chic festival wedding

Tap into your hippy side with a rustic chic festival wedding. Perfectly suited to farm venues with a good amount of land, you could hold your ceremony in a shabby chic barn adorned with twinkling fairy lights before heading outside to party the night away surrounded by the backdrop of the wild countryside.

Hay bales, wildflowers and whimsical DIY décor are the order of the day for a rustic festival wedding. You could even hold a flower-crown building workshop for your guests, or get everyone together for a round of entertaining lawn games.

• Music festival wedding

There’s nothing quite like live music, and booking a lineup of incredible bands for your guests to dance the evening away to is a guaranteed way to make sure nobody forgets your wedding day in a hurry.

Festival wedding singers

Image credit: Marni V Photography

Whether you’re both folk lovers or prefer a bit of pop, live music is the perfect way to ensure a lively atmosphere on your big day. Go for a few different bands to take you from day to night for that authentic music festival feeling. You could even put together a festival-style poster announcing your performers – perfect for a unique wedding invitation.

 

• Food festival wedding

If you’re both passionate foodies, what better way to celebrate your love of gastronomy than with a food festival-themed wedding? Sure, a fancy 4-course meal can be a nice option, but tempting street food can help bring your guests together in a way that no traditional sit-down meal could.

When it comes to street food vans, the options are almost endless. Whether you want a classic hog roast, wood-fired pizza, a trendy taco truck or dirty burgers and fries (or ideally, a combination of all your favourites), street food vans are casual, fun, and most importantly, a delicious alternative to a formal wedding dinner.

 

• Beer festival wedding

For party-loving craft beer enthusiasts, a beer festival theme is an exciting and memorable choice for a wedding. Put feelers out with local breweries to find out about their event options, or hire some mobile bars to churn out the pints for you and you’ve got all the makings of a fantastic party.

Bar area at festival wedding

Image credit: Shutter Go Click Photography

You could even provide each guest with a custom glass for sampling the different beers on tap, which they can then take home as a wedding favour. Food-wise, you really can’t go wrong with traditional barbecue – the perfect accompaniment to a pint (or three).

 

• Funfair-themed festival wedding

A carnival festival wedding is a playful, one-of-a-kind theme that will make sure your day stands out. Think colourful balloons, candy floss, popcorn, fairground stalls and games. You could even hire a fairground ride like a Ferris wheel or a vintage carousel if your budget allows.

Festival wedding lawn games

Image credit: Laura Calderwood Photography

The funfair-themed wedding is a lovely choice if you want a family-friendly day. The fun theming will appeal to children of all ages, and you can be sure that the adults will love the nostalgic playfulness of the day too.

 

Festival wedding food

For many couples, food is one of the biggest parts of the wedding day. Food can transport us to different places, spark conversations and bring back fond memories (and in the case of wedding food, hopefully make us create treasured new ones). It’s no surprise that getting it spot-on feels so crucial.

Festival wedding food buffet

Image credit: Barnaby Aldrick Wedding Photography

As with all aspects of a festival wedding, when it comes to festival wedding ideas for catering, you don’t need to feel tied down with traditions. Fun, casual dining options complement a festival wedding perfectly, so all bets are off!

Here’s a handful of popular options for festival wedding food.

 

Festival wedding food ideas

• Festival wedding food vans

Nothing says ‘festival’ like a traditional food truck, the perfect casual option for your party-filled day. Choose from all the greats: dirty burgers, crispy wood-fired pizzas, a statement hog roast or a fish and chip van are all fun crowd pleasers that are perfect for lining your guests’ stomachs well into the evening ahead.

A lot of people like to hire a food van for the end of the evening, but for a proper festival vibe, have them there throughout the whole day so your guests can choose when to indulge.

 

• Festival wedding picnic

If you want your wedding to have a quirky, garden party vibe, treat your guests to a traditional picnic. Supply the chequered picnic blankets and the food, let your guests find a spot to lounge in the sun (fingers crossed!) and soak up the festival atmosphere. Serving food in picnic hampers to share between small groups is the perfect way to get your guests chatting as they dine together. Some great, traditional options for picnic food include quiche, scotch eggs, tarts, pastries and salads.

Alternatively, a buffet spread is a classic wedding food option, especially if you have picky eaters, and is a great way to provide plenty of food for your picnicking revellers. If stunning photos are high on your priority list, a well-done wedding buffet can be a feast for the eyes, too. Why not go charcuterie style with cold cuts of meets, colourful fruits and a cheese station dotted with pretty edible flowers?

 

• Wedding barbecue

If you want an informal, homely celebration, a wedding barbecue could be the choice for you. There are plenty of catering companies equipped to cook up a delicious storm of barbecued meats and vegetarian dishes, and since it’s all cooked in bulk, it can be a pretty affordable option too.

Burgers, ribs, pulled pork and smoky brisket are just some must-have barbecue staples, but don’t forget to offer plant-based options too. We’ve all heard of couples creating their bespoke cocktails for the big day, but if you really want to impress, why not go one step further and create your very own barbecue sauce or spice mix?

 

• Street food for a festival wedding

We get it – for some foodies, the thought of a food truck catering their special day might not instantly be the most appetising. But, not only has the quality of food vans and trucks completely soared in recent years, so has the range of exciting cuisines on offer.

If you still want to truly wow your guests with your food, why not go for flavourful street food from around the world? From Mexican food trucks knocking out mouth-wateringly fresh tacos and burritos to curry trucks that serve up richly-spiced, authentic Indian fare – and all sorts in between – you can find plenty of street food options for your festival wedding that add a unique, foodie vibe.

 

• A sit-down meal

For some couples, a sit-down meal is non-negotiable. If you still want to impress your guests with fine, 4-course dining at your festival wedding, there are a few changes you can make to add a rustic, festival flair.

Using a marquee or tipi is a wonderful way to nail the indoor and outdoor balance, and get a classy, sit-down ambience at your festival wedding. With proper flooring, lighting and space for classic dining tables and chairs, you can enjoy a luxurious sit-down meal outside while being protected from the elements.

 

Festival wedding clothing

There’s an image we likely all have in mind when we think of traditional wedding clothing, and another image altogether when it comes to festival fashion. If you’re wondering how you can strike the balance between formal and festival, we’ve got you covered.

It all depends on the couple, but generally, there are still some golden wedding rules you’ll want to follow on the big day. You still want to dress to impress, but with a carefree, comfortable twist. Think long flowy dresses, loose linen suits and flat shoes – never stilettos! And if it’s raining, a festival-themed wedding is one wedding where you can definitely break out the wellies.

 

How to choose a festival wedding dress

If you’re planning a festival wedding, you probably already know you don’t want to go down the super traditional route when it comes to your bridal gown. A festival wedding dress is a perfect option if you’re a carefree bride who wants your dress to reflect your personality.

You can find fantastic festival wedding dress options at a wide range of price points, so no matter how much you want to spend, you can get that perfect boho bride look. If you only have a low dress budget, the high street has a tonne of beautiful white maxi dresses that can be dressed up with elegant bridal accessories. Or if you want to go all out, you could let your imagination run wild with a bespoke gown in delicate lace and romantic detailing.

A festival wedding dress doesn’t have to be traditional, so just go with your heart. The key is to find something comfortable for a day spent mostly outdoors, so avoid anything too structured or heavy. Don’t forget that after a few hours in the great outdoors, a long train can end up getting grubby, so it’s a good idea to opt for something that sits just at floor length – or shorter, if that’s your style. If your dream dress simply has to have a long train, you can have a bustle added to lift the fabric off the ground and keep it from dragging across the floor.

 

Festival wedding guest dress ideas

Festival wedding dresses

Are you looking for some festival wedding guest dress ideas? The great thing about outdoor wedding dresses for guests is they can lean on the slightly more casual side. Chances are, you already have something appropriate in your wardrobe. Avoid weighty fabrics and anything too tailored – you’ll likely be on your feet partying for a while, so you want to be comfortable. Here are a few ideas:

• Tap into your bohemian side with a feminine floral print
• Bare your legs with a pretty mini dress in a summery shade
• Go elegant with an airy chiffon dress
• Stay casual but chic with a maxi wrap dress

For shoes, you want something flat and comfortable. Summer sandals or ballet flats are ideal. If the weather’s not on your side or you’re expecting a lot of mud, go for a festival chic wedding outfit with wellies.

 

Men’s festival wedding clothes

Whether you’re a guest or the groom, with men’s festival wedding clothes, you can be a little more casual than a more traditional wedding. It’s still an important day, so dress to impress, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a formal three-piece.

Smart-casual suit separates work great here, and if you want to be a bit more daring with colours or prints, a festival wedding is a perfect opportunity. Pair formal trousers with a slightly more relaxed blazer, or go for a floral or paisley shirt in an understated hue. A vintage look goes great with a festival-themed wedding – think loose linen suits in retro brown shades. Suspenders are a great idea for a rustic vibe, too.

Footwear can be a little more casual. Loafers or brown brogues are a perfect option, or if it’s a really laid-back affair, you could even go for a smart pair of trainers.

 

Festival wedding décor

Festival wedding decor with bunting

Image credit: Barnaby Aldrick Wedding Photography

Festival wedding decorations are where you can add the personalised finishing touches to your big day. Your choice of venue plays a huge part in just how ‘festival chic’ you can make your wedding. While you can add fun, festival-themed touches at an indoor stately home wedding, for example, if you want the full effect, it’s all about that big outdoor reception surrounded by rolling green countryside – and ideally space for camping.

Here are some creative festival wedding decoration ideas to get you started.

 

Festival wedding decoration ideas

Festival wedding tipi

• Nothing screams ‘festival’ like tents. Whether you’re lucky enough to have space for a full campsite or you’re going for a tipi-style marquee for your ceremony, tents add a ‘glamping’ vibe that harks back to long, fun-filled days at your favourite festival.

• All festivals need a main stage, so put your headliners front and centre with a performing space that showcases your band’s talents. You can hire a full event stage for a true festival effect, or if you want to go a little lower budget, portable platform stages that can be erected and dismantled are a more affordable option.

Bride and groom dancing

Image credit: Shutter Go Click Photography

• A colourful directional sign is a great piece of décor that not only adds a festival edge but is helpful too! Use it to direct guests to areas like ‘food’, ‘drinks’, ‘toilets’, ‘dancing’ and ‘camping’.

• Colourful bunting and flags are a great, budget-friendly and easy to pull off option that perfectly set the tone for a rustic festival wedding. Bunting is readily available both on the high street and online, or you could go bespoke with your own design.

• To create that festival-style evening lighting, adorn nearby trees with connectable string lights. The twinkling fairy lights will add a soft glow to your evening and look gorgeous in your wedding snaps, too.

Wedding guests sitting on hay bales

Image credit: Barnaby Aldrick Wedding Photography

• A chill out area can be both attractive and practical, particularly if your guests are on their feet for a lot of the day. You could use hay bales, floor cushions, deck chairs and cosy blankets to make a cool, comfortable area where people can kick back and relax in between festivities.

 

Festival wedding table decorations

Wildflower wedding centrepieces

Image credit: Laura Calderwood Photography

Wedding table decorations tend to conjure up a certain image: crisp white tablecloths, shiny silver cutlery and some carefully placed vases of immaculate flowers. But rules are made to be broken, and a festival wedding lends itself to stepping out of the box a little bit when it comes to your table décor.

Of course, you can go down the traditional route if that’s your style, but we’ve got a few ideas for festival wedding table decorations that will add a distinct festival finish.

• Flowers are a given for wedding table décor, but giving yours a rustic, festival twist will take them from classic to Coachella. Using wildflowers for your centrepieces gives off an effortlessly boho vibe, and if you use seasonal British blooms, is a lovely sustainable option as well. Adding different elements like grasses and herbs will create interesting texture – try rosemary, wheat or even moss.

• Get creative with your vases to make your floral centrepieces stand out from the crowd. Some unique alternatives to traditional vases include rustic jugs, watering cans, small wooden crates or disco balls.

• Get colourful! Traditionally, wedding table décor is stark white, or sticks to a prescribed colour theme. The joy of festival wedding table décor is that you have free reign to be totally creative. Pops of different colour work really well here, so whether you go for tableware in a couple of different shades or want multi-coloured napkins, it all adds to the festival look.

 

Music festival wedding décor

Do you want a wedding day with a musical, Glasto twist? If you really want to lean into the music side of the festival wedding, here are a few things you can do with your décor and finishing touches to make your big day sing.

• Create music festival poster invitations. Add your ‘headlining’ bands and use the rest of the layout to detail all the important bits like date and venue. Why not come up with a fun festival name too? You can’t go wrong with ‘wedfest’, or your surname plus ‘fest’, but feel free to get as creative as you like.

• You could go a step further and have quirky fabric wristbands made for your guests to ensure you all have that festival look. Send them out in the post as a fun ‘save the date’, or hand them out upon arrival on the big day.

• If you’re going down the route of having official dining tables with names, name each after one of your favourite bands or songs. You could even have them printed onto vinyls or CDs as an eye-catching centrepiece.

• If you don’t fancy a traditional wedding cake, use the opportunity to go music festival themed. A main stage, campervan, tent or a record player are all quirky, music-themed ideas that are a little different from your standard tiered wedding cake.

 

Festival wedding venues

Find that perfect festival wedding venue and often, the rest of your day will slot into place around it. For festival wedding venues, lots of space is key. A wedding is all about getting people together, and you want to make sure there’s room for all your guests to enjoy the outdoor festivities. Ideally, you want a tranquil countryside backdrop and enough space for all your guests to stay after dancing the night away.

 

Festival wedding venues in Yorkshire

Bride and groom dancing outside

Image credit: Shelly @ Toast of Leeds

If you’re looking for dream festival wedding venues in Yorkshire, Lineham Farm could be your answer. We offer the perfect backdrop for your unforgettable big day, with 120 acres of unspoilt countryside surrounding our 17th century farmhouse just a few miles north of Leeds.

We provide a completely blank canvas for your wedding, so if a festival wedding is on the cards, you can really go all out and make the venue your own. We offer a choice of settings for both your ceremony and wedding, from our rustic barn to our fairytale woodland – the choice is yours. You get exclusive use of the venue for the entire weekend for you and your guests. We can accommodate up to 50 people in our farmhouse and cottages, and we even have a dedicated camping area that’s ideal for creating a festival feel.

Bride and groom in woodland

Image credit: Laura Calderwood Photography

The best part? We’re more than just a wedding venue. Lineham Farm is home to Leeds Children’s Charity at Lineham Farm, which provides unforgettable breaks for children from backgrounds of challenge and disadvantage. These respite breaks allow children to create happy childhood memories they perhaps otherwise wouldn’t, as they learn new skills, make new friends and explore the great Yorkshire outdoors.

Image credit: Shelly @ Toast of Leeds

All funds raised from private venue hire, including weddings, go towards helping children in the Leeds area – so, you get your dream wedding while supporting a fantastic local cause. Book your wedding with Lineham Farm and you’ll create treasured memories that will last a lifetime, not only for you and your guests, but for the disadvantaged children of Leeds. What could be better?

We hope you’ve enjoyed our festival wedding ideas, and they’ve given you plenty of inspiration for your perfect, festival-inspired big day.

If you’re planning a festival wedding in Yorkshire and you’re still on the hunt for your dream venue, we’d love to welcome you for a tour. The potential of Lineham Farm is best appreciated in person, and we’d love to meet you. To arrange a visit, get in touch with our team. Call 0113 3783939 or events@linehamfarm.co.uk.

Making dreams come true

By choosing Lineham Farm as your private wedding venue, you’re supporting our fantastic charity. So not only will your dream day be exactly the way you want it, you’ll also be helping disadvantaged children make unforgettable memories too.

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