Planning a Casual/Relaxed Wedding
Updated: Apr 9
When it comes to weddings, the landscape has, understandably, changed. Some couples have always dreamed of a luxury wedding day, but for others a more casual day has always been on the cards. Having your wedding take place under restrictions may mean you’ll have to make some compromises, but whatever your version of an ideal wedding day is, it should still be the day of your dreams.
It can be easy to assume that because you're having a laid-back wedding that the planning will be easy - but our couples tell us otherwise. Even the smallest of days require great attention to detail, and your guests will still have a certain level of expectation - not everyone knows what casual means!
Having fewer guests and a smaller arrangement also means you have the time and energy to focus on the small details that after becoming lost in a big wedding. Paying attention to all the small details can become very stressful in itself – let alone everything else!
Casual Wedding Venues
There is an abundance of quirky wedding venues available nowadays. Almost anything can be used as a reception venue; from industrial-style cotton mills to attractions such as zoos and aquariums.
The key is to think about a venue that will bring your personalities to life - perhaps you want something unusual that can be enjoyed by both children and adults - in which case think outside the box, such as a theme park.
Perhaps you want something more intimate, in a setting that feels calm and relaxed; so why not hire out your favourite restaurant? When it comes to casual weddings, the world is your oyster, and it pays to think outside of the box.
A casual wedding doesn’t have to be a local wedding with little venue effort. There are some amazing casual venues available in the most unusual of places, such as No Man’s Fort. This Fort is a little island in itself where you and your guests are secluded from the rest of the world and you can enjoy the big day without all the stresses of the world.
However, just because you want a casual venue, doesn't mean you should forget about the practicalities of hosting your day. Things like timings, room capacities and licensing are really important - regardless of where you get married.
Casual Wedding Outfits
When it comes to a casual wedding, one of the first things to consider is your outfits. You might choose to jazz up your dress with accessories that suit you or your venue - think personalised leather or denim jackets, a pair of converses, or even your wellies! A groom might choose to go more casual too, opting to go without a tie or jacket for a more relaxed outfit.
You may also choose not to have a dress at all! As beautiful as a lot of wedding dresses are, they often are not the comfiest of outfit to wear for a whole day. Nowadays, there are several options available, from beautiful two-piece outfits to jumpsuits - all of which are just as jaw-dropping as the traditional "big white dress".
It's also important to ensure your guests understand the dress code - you don't want your Auntie turning up in stiletto heels to a wedding on a farm! Make it clear on your invitations what you expect, so no-one ends up red-faced or over-dressed.
Casual Wedding Decor
For us, the decor is one of the most important things to consider when planning the wedding of your dreams - whatever your style. Even the most casual of weddings still benefit from a few personal touches to bring your day to life.
We love the idea of sustainable decor that can be reused or given away afterwards - things like plants work brilliantly and mean your guests have something to remember your day by. You could also choose to pick up a few vintage or antique pieces to decorate your venue - check out our 'Eclectic weddings' Pinterest board for some ideas. When your day is over, you could use these in your own home or sell them again afterwards, making them cost-effective, too.
Photography for Relaxed Weddings
Regardless of how little or large your special day is, photography is always important. Finding a great photographer is no easy task - especially when you're planning on having a casual wedding. It pays to do your research and we recommend following your favourites on social media; you'll get a good feel for their personalities and can assess their photography style before committing. Try and find a photographer that will take candid shots rather than staged ones as this means you'll remember the essence of your big day for years to come.
Casual Wedding Food
The beauty of a casual wedding is that, when it comes to food, you can have whatever you want! If your wedding is outside, why not have food-festival inspired catering and invite a few food vans along for people to enjoy. This is a great way to support local suppliers (and a good excuse to get out and about beforehand to try all the food!)
Still want a sit-down meal? Sharing platters are excellent for social occasions and lend themselves to long, rustic tables where everyone can eat and relax together. Charcuterie boards are really trendy nowadays, but you could also consider having a family-style Italian feast, or perhaps even a traditional Sunday roast dinner. The possibilities are endless and we have a whole pinterest board dedicated to the subject here.
We hope this has given you some inspiration for planning a casual wedding day! If you still need a helping hand, our team would love to assist. We love helping to plan a casual wedding and getting it just right for the special day. Find out more here.