Planning a Festival or Fete Themed Wedding

by Caroline Gould

I’ve always been more of a dress and heels girl than jeans and wellies so have actually never been to a festival (shock!).  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to lots of music concerts but they’ve always been more of an inside affair, and usually with allocated seating.  However, having been on lots of family camping holidays growing up, I find myself looking for a taste of the outdoors and the Gould clan had a mini break planned earlier this year.  A few days sleeping under the stars (well under canvas) with our 4 and 7 year old was interesting, i’m glad I packed plenty of chocolate!  Anyway I digress, the point of this little story is to introduce you to the idea of a festival or fete themed wedding…

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Many of us will have been to school or village fetes growing up and will have enjoyed playing some classic fete games; hook a duck, skittles, guess the weight of the cake to name but a few.  Don’t forget the traditional ‘WI’ style cake sale table and biggest vegetable competition!  I’ve mentioned before that the drinks reception is by far my favourite part of a wedding day, it’s a brilliant opportunity to embrace a fete theme; lay on some games for guests to play, themed drinks (Pimms tricycle anyone?!) and the result is generally lots of merriment and some great photo opportunities.  One of my clients from last year had a hook a duck and a coconut shy, they put up a leader board and everyone wrote their scores.  The bride even got some little prizes for the winners and there were presentations as part of the speeches.

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If you are really feeling the festival theme I think you can really go for it when it comes to stationery.  Why not make your invitations the ‘tickets’ and give everyone a wristband to wear on the day, as well as a map of the event.  Theme the different areas of your very own ‘WedFest’, for example the ceremony may well take place on the ‘main stage’, you might have a chill out area for guests to relax in.  Your main bridal party and close family could even be given ‘access all areas’ passes.

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A fete or festival themed wedding will probably take place on a farm style venue either in a barn or marquee.  There’s a fabulous wedding venue in Suffolk that I’ve had the pleasure of working at on numerous occasions called Kenton Hall Estate.  It’s a family run venue and wedding receptions take place in a marquee in the garden with panoramic views of the beautiful grounds.   They have a woodland area for wedding blessings and even a glamping site where you and your guests can stay on the wedding night.

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No festival or fete themed wedding would be complete without a fabulous floral crown.  It can really complete your outfit and looks beautiful on bridesmaids too.  Imagine it paired with a beautiful flowing lace bridal dress and relaxed hairstyle.  Your groom and groomsmen could go for a relaxed look too, perhaps with just a waistcoat or braces.  For a more formal look but still in keeping with the theme, how about a tweed jacket?  Why not pair your bridesmaid’s and groomsmen’s outfits with a pair of funky colourful wellies?

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You have a Pinterest account right?  Head over to Pinterest and search for festival and fete wedding ideas – there’s so much inspiration out there.

Images by Nick Ilott Photography

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