Traditional weddings and venues are great – you know what you’re getting and you’ve got a good idea of how the day will pan out. Firstly there’s the anticipation waiting for the bride/groom to walk down the aisle, followed by vows, photos and canapés, a sit down meal, mingling in the bar or outdoor area, and then dragging yourself out of a food coma to have a dance (or desperately avoiding the dance floor!).
As much as weddings are about coming together to celebrate the love and commitment of two people… it’s also nice to know that your wedding day is a real cut above the rest with its quirky touches making it one to remember.
Take a look at some ideas we’ve put together to help your on your way to creating a unique and unforgettable big day steering away from traditional choices.
Churches and stately homes are a popular choices of wedding venue and converted barns are also growing in popularity. But if getting married in a glasshouse or orangery surrounded by plants and pools of brightly-coloured fish matches your unconventional and vibrant personality a little more, venues like the Barbican Centre in East Central London and Jepson Gardens Glasshouse in Leamington are just two examples of venues offering just that!
Or if you’re an outdoor fanatic looking for a more festival-feel for the big day, you’ll find plenty of venues who offer outdoor marquee weddings across the UK which can be decorated to your style and taste. Looking to steer away from wedding venue packages and often restrictions that come with them? A number of private campsites and landowners allow you to hire a marque for use on their land with the option to camp until the following day (saves expensive hotel prices and lets the party to continue through to the next morning!).
A lot of wedding venues understand that four-legged family friends shouldn’t miss out on the big day and invite pets to join the fun. Maybe you have a dog who would make an adorable ring bearer (after lots of trial runs with their favourite treats of course!).
Or if you’d rather play it safe and have a human relative present the rings, personalised boxes, baskets and cushions make for great ways to carry them. If you and your partner have a shared interest or hobby, this could be incorporated into or engraved onto the ring holder.
Wedding vows are very personal, and traditional and Church of England vows include promises to one another, honouring commitments in marriage. It’s worth thinking about how you might adapt or chop and change traditional vows to suit you and your partner and what you hold dear to a healthy and successful relationship (with an injection of your personalty and memories in there too).
If you’re steering away from a traditional sit down meal, you might want to look into booking caterers to provide a beautiful finger buffet or hiring a food van. Catering vans are available to hire right across the UK covering everything from English fish and chips, Italian wood-fired pizzas, American-style BBQ or strictly just desserts from French crepes to Italian gelato.
Outdoor food vans and buffets are also a great excuse to assemble an outdoor seating area for your guests to mingle and enjoy their food. Depending on your choice of venue and leeway you have, picnic blankets and cushions teamed with fairy lights or artificial candles create a laid back festival vibe and space for guests to relax.
Just for fun
Traditional sit down meals at weddings coupled with speeches take up a good part of the day and there’s lots you can do to keep guests entertained at the table! Mini table games are great fun as are marriage advice slips, colouring packs for kids and how well do you know the bride and groom questionaries – you can award the winner with a prize too!
Or if you’re looking to spend your big day in a marque and enjoying the outdoors, giant Jenga, Connect Four, Dominos and hula hoops are a sure way to bring friends and family together to have fun.
To really get hearts racing and bringing out the inner-child in your guests, speak to your venue or landowner about hiring a bouncy castle, inflatable assault course or a human football table.
Magicians, fire breathers (venue permitting!) and bands are easy ways to keep guests entertained as is folk dancing and barn dancing. There’s so much on offer in the entertainment industry so if budget allows, book something that’ll go down a treat with guests and have them in awe or forced to get out their seats to join the fun.
And for instant memorabilia for your guests to take away, you can hire a traditional photo booth
or enjoy our quirkier Selfie Pod or Magic Mirror!