So what is a casual or informal wedding and how can you achieve that laid-back feeling on your big day?
It’s the new carefree craze among couples, waving goodbye to the formality and pageantry of the traditional wedding, and hello to a more informal and fun-filled celebration.
This way of approaching your day can have many advantages. It can feel more like a get together and a party, and less like a ritual. This ethos can also be cheaper depending on how you plan things. Talking of planning things, how can you strategically plan informality? It’s almost a paradox, right?
If you’re already as cool as a cucumber, throwing caution to the wind and taking life in your stride, then this casual attitude to your day will naturally flow through you; and through your wedding day. This can be a difficult thing to achieve though, even for the most relaxed out there!
There are practical things that you can do to set the right casual tone, and it can stem from the initial invitations that you send out to guests.
A really popular thing that we are starting to see more of is handmade invitations, as opposed to the regular way of printing them. Creating your invitations this way can add that personal touch and it also gives your guests a massive signal straight away as to what kind of wedding they will be attending.
2. Venue & Location
Start to think outside the box when it comes to finding the right location. Many hotels and manor houses that have been converted to operate almost exclusively as wedding venues will often have set rules and regulations – and other guests to consider. For some this can make things easier, but it can be a bit of a party-pooper if you’re looking for a bit of freedom.
We’re at a time now where couples want to put their own identity and stamp on their wedding. Hotels and such will tend to offer set packages, which again can make things easier, but can also undervalue your personality. Consider more quirky and free spaces such as farms and country houses. If you’re able to hire these kind of spaces exclusively, you won’t have to share it with any guests and your party can finish as late as you want it to!
Lots of space is important for your guests to roam, especially outdoor space in Summer. Be smart about it though! You can utilise this space in all kinds of wonderful ways. One great way to lighten the mood and keep things interesting is to consider different ‘lawn games’ or fun ideas like sack races or a fun game of rounders with your guests! These small touches don’t cost much to set up and are invaluable in encouraging that idyllic childhood atmosphere that is so important to informal weddings.
3. Food & Drink
Keep things as simple as possible here for that informal feel.
The food you choose and how you present it can be a really important measure of how casual you wish your wedding to be. BBQ’s and buffets are a fantastic choice for those balmy Summer evenings. It’s real, down to earth food that everyone can enjoy without having to be directed towards a proper sit down meal.
Another thing to consider is your seating plan for your meal. Or, lack of seating plan! It can be a scary thing to imagine but try to embrace that sense of community and family by letting people stand and sit where they like. Your guests will appreciate this loose approach to the meal and will feel unshackled and able to enjoy themselves.
There are so many ways you can use music and entertainment to augment your casual feel. There are a plethora of musical acts that can provide great entertainment, without intruding on that relaxed feel that you’ve spent the whole day getting right.
Many ‘walkabout’ acts or ‘roaming’ acts are able to perform completely unplugged without the need for a PA or even a stage. This means that they will be able to mix and mingle between your guests, performing personally for groups of family and friends with a real intimate feel.
The ‘Mumford & Sons’ style bands are still a great choice for casual weddings. Their look and sound is very rustic, fitting in nicely with many barn style venues and outside marquees.
5. Children’s Entertainment
Keeping the kids entertainment is really important with this style of wedding. If you get it right, it can also add a fun and childlike flavour to your day.
Face painters are great fun to have on days like this, they take up hardly any space and are easily able to add a splash of colour and something a bit different to the wedding. With anything like this, it might be intended for the kids but adults will always end up getting involved too!
Typical staged wedding photographs can often feel too choreographed and have to adhere to certain schedules and timings. What happens if your guests are mid conversation and are getting along like a house on fire, only to be taken out of that moment for photographs.
Alternative ways of capturing everyone’s emotions and key parts of the day are worth bearing in mind here. Photobooths are an incredibly funny way to get guests enjoying in photographs. You will find that with an optional place to pose, props to utilise and fun to be had, guests will be more willing to get involved.
How about the idea of having your guests be your photographers? Everyone these days carries a phone with them, most of which have great cameras. A wedding I attended recently had its very own hashtag, encouraging guests to snap the night and upload everything on Instagram! The next morning was absolutely hilarious, looking through the hashtag and at everyone’s great pictures from a whole load of different perspectives. You’ll end up with photos that you never expected to see from different angles, and great moments on the day that you might have missed!
So that’s the low down on informal and casual weddings, remember to stay laid back and approach things in a lenient manner. At the end of the day, this vibe that you are creating begins with you – the couple!
Published by Warble Entertainment