The best weddings aren’t always the black-tie ones; many of them are more casual than you think.
While many couples prefer to celebrate their union with the formalities of traditional weddings, a growing number of engaged couples prefer simpler celebrations. With COVID-19 now in the equation, more couples are leaning towards making their wedding a casual affair for the safety of their guests. At the same time, they also save more time and money!
But what do casual weddings include? Is it OK for the bride to arrive in her favorite t-shirt or fashion denim jeans? How short is the guest list? And will a cocktail wedding reception do?
If you are a laid-back couple planning a casual affair to celebrate your wedding, here are some ideas to keep in mind.
Send E-Invites, Not Traditional Invitations
Start by swapping your paper invites and “save the date” cards for electronic invitations. This is an important aspect of any casual wedding since it’s less formal, which automatically sets the casual tone of your wedding. As a bonus, sending emails and e-invites will save you more time and money, as well as save Mother Nature.
Limit Your Guest List
Any casual wedding becomes anything but casual if you have too many guests. With the continuous threat of COVID-19, it’s acceptable to have a smaller number of guests at your wedding. Apart from keeping more people safe, a shorter guest list means you’ll have more resources to cater to them.
Casual Wedding Wear: What are You Going To Wear?
Watching the bride walk down the aisle is every wedding’s iconic moment. For the bride, this means that all eyes will be on what she wears.
Traditionally, brides wow their guests in long, princess-like gowns. But with so many couples getting married on beaches and barns (or even at home), more bridal designers are offering casual and stylish looks. From A-line chiffon gowns to minimalist lace sheaths, there is a casual dress designed to suit every bride’s budget, style, and taste.
With casual weddings, you’re not obligated to wear a gown, either. Midi dresses, mini dresses, and knee-length styles are great options. Depending on the type of bride you want to be, you can also wear a jumpsuit or a romper.
As for the groom and his groomsmen, they have every right to ditch the tuxedo. Depending on how relaxed you want your wedding to be, you may not even need suits. One option is to put your groom and the groomsmen in some nice pants with suspenders, a button-down shirt, and a tie. If he wants to wear a jacket, he can wear a sport coat or a blazer.
Host Your Wedding Outdoors
If you want a more intimate ceremony with plenty of free space, hold your wedding in a small courtyard. An intimate courtyard ceremony helps you and the guests to feel more relaxed. If this seems too simple or too plain, there are many ways you can incorporate sophistication and elegance into your service.
For instance, add string lights and a floral arch for a touch of glam. If you want to add a modern feel to your celebration, consider having Lucite ceremony chairs.
Consider a Cocktail Wedding Reception
Traditional receptions are full-course meals that usually have fancy steak, soups, or quiches on the menu. But with a casual wedding, you don’t have to abide by a traditional reception. A cocktail wedding reception – aka a mingling party where guests can help themselves with their food – is a more relaxed option. The best part is the food can be anything.
For example, if you’re having a beach wedding, serve shrimp cocktails, scallops, and other seafood snacks. On the other hand, if you’re having a barn wedding, serve veggies, cheese, bread, and meat. A gourmet pizza will also suit this setting.
As for the cake, you don’t need the fancy three-tier cakes. Keep it simple by having a one-tier cake or some cupcakes (which you can give away). Also, forget the traditional deserts. Go casual with your platters. Serve ice cream sandwiches or macaroons instead.
To cap off your casual cocktail reception, have a lemonade stand that offers non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.
Be Open to a Different Seating Arrangement
Since you have a more relaxed food situation, you might not need chairs and tables. Instead, depending on the location of your wedding and the season, consider beanbags, picnic blankets, deckchairs, or cushions.
If you still want the chairs and tables, make it feel more casual by skipping the fancy sashes and chair covers and going with rustic seating arrangements. For an informal dining setting, ditch your table plans and let your guests choose where they sit.
Casual weddings are perfect for laid-back couples who just want an intimate celebration. If you want to go casual with your wedding, consider the ideas above.