Do you love being in the great outdoors surrounded by the natural beauty of rolling hills and deep green forests, dreams of adventure playing across your mind? Does the thought of spending precious quality time with your friends and family excite you? Are you planning a wedding, but tired of visiting the same old run of the mill venues that can never truly tick all of your boxes? Do you want your wedding to be oh-so-much more than just another wedding? If you answered yes to some or all of the above question then I believe I have a solution!
Allow me to present to you the Camping Wedding. Sometimes referred to as a 'Wedstival' these extravagant celebrations have been steadily rising in popularity and with good reason. Thrown over the duration of an entire weekend they are packed with fun and offers the perfect opportunity for you and your guests to recharge, reconnect and bask in some truly picturesque surroundings. Oh, and of course we mustn't forget, there's also the chance for you to create the fully customisable wedding of your dreams!! So if I haven't got you sold on the idea already, let me share with you my top five reasons for why you should throw a Weekend Camping Wedding.
1. You Can Throw Away The Rule Book
We all know the drill. Ceremony at 3, followed by two hours of hurried photos and finally the reception kicking off at 6. But why? With fewer and fewer couples conforming to tradition and church weddings on the decline why is the fixed format of old still considered the norm? When most people think of personalising their wedding their thoughts automatically go straight to decor, and yes decor is important, but there are so many other ways to add your own special touch to make the day uniquely yours. Are you and your partner particularly fond of brunch? Great! Have a morning ceremony followed by a mid-morning feast of pancakes and eggs benedict. After all, your guests are already at the venue so the difficulty of coordinating an early morning ceremony is really a non-issue! More of a summer afternoon barbecue kind of couple? No problem! Find a versatile caterer who is happy to fry up a storm and enjoy some succulent lamb ribs and burgers as the sun sets around you.
This isn’t to say you can’t or shouldn’t have a traditional sit down reception. Stretch some tables out under the stars for a beautiful bohemian feel, or find a venue that offers a marquee or stretch tent you can decorate to your heart’s content. Here at Linga Longa Estate we offer a massive 10mx30m marquee which just happens to be transparent on three sides so you don't miss out on those stunning views of the lake. It also serves as an excellent undercover alternative should the weather take a turn for the worse! Keep the vibe as relaxed, formal or intimate as you like, and if an unforgettable party is what you are after an invaluable of a camping venue is the lack of those pesky noise curfews killing the buzz of a good dance floor. Your guests can keep on dancing until they drop, and when they do drop their beds are but a short walk (or should I say, stumble) away!
It’s not all about the reception, however. With a non-traditional venue comes the freedom to step away from older wedding conventions. Many brides are now choosing to walk themselves down the aisle as a show of independence and self identity. Why not take it a step further? One of our amazing brides actually drove herself to the ceremony location in her very own vintage Mini. Once the ceremony was finished she popped back into the drivers seat and drove away with her new husband. Yet another another couple chose to walk down the aisle together!
When you find a venue that allows you to exclusively book the whole property for the duration of an entire weekend the options really are endless. You get to choose the time and vibe of the ceremony, the kind of catering you want, and you get to create the atmosphere that best reflects you as a couple. After all, your wedding day is a celebration of you and your partner and what better way to do so than by giving yourself the freedom to create a day that truly reflects who you are free from the overhanging expectations that come with a typical venue?
2. Mother Nature Really Is The Best Decorator
The advantages of a camping venue when it comes to decorating are twofold. Firstly, and I think you will agree, there is little in the world that can compare with the beauty of nature. Whether you decide to hold the ceremony beside a glistening lake or surrounded by a cathedral of towering pine trees, it is guaranteed to be a breathtakingly beautiful occasion, which leads me to the second advantage; money. When your location is already so picture perfect, why try to upstage it? Keep the decorations to a minimum with pops of your colour scheme, a carpeted aisle (for the sake of your hem), and a simple arbour and let nature take care of the rest!
You can pocket the money you save and put it towards another element of the day such as catering, entertainment, or even the honeymoon. Did I mention you also get to be enveloped in the refreshing aromas and sounds of the outdoors? Imagine wild flowers, a carpet of recently fallen pine needles and birds singing in the branches above. It doesn’t get any more magical than that!
3. Accommodation Is Easy Without Forgoing Comfort
If you are at all worried about how your guests will handle the idea of camping for a wedding allow me to impart some reassurance. There are a plethora of options available when it comes to housing people for a weekend-long wedding . Guests can bring their own tents or camper vans (an option which may be preferable for some elderly guests), or if a more uniform, glamorous alternative is what you are after look at hiring a tent village from companies such as Soul Camping who offer a wide selection of luxurious tents catering to all you ‘glamping’ needs up to 150 people. Your guests can book directly through their website and choose the options and extras that best suits their specific needs. You can even hire a dressing room tent, where people can do their hair and makeup before the ceremony.
Why don't you get in on the action, too? Take advantage of the ‘honeymoon package’ and enjoy the luxe camping experience on your wedding night for yourself!
Obviously a bride and groom will want to get ready away for the hustle and bustle of the guests and for this Linga Longa Estate also offers two chalets for bridal party accommodation and ceremony preparations. See? There's nothing at all to be worried about!
4. Stretch Out the Celebrations
Why celebrate for one day when you can celebrate for three?! Everyone knows the weddings of a few centuries ago were true celebrations, lasting several days, and if you ask me you should do the same. Couples spend months, sometimes years, planning their dream day only for it to be over in the blink of an eye. It hardly seems fair! Pick a weekend, throw a Wedstival and I can guarantee your wedding will be so much more than a blurry memory. Not only can you enjoy your ceremony and reception, you can also plan a bunch of fun and interactive activities for you and your guests to take part in on the days either side of ‘the big one’. Lawn games, swimming in the lake (don’t forget the sunscreen!), hikes, nights spent around a fire pit, breakfasts; the options go on and on. For a simple, yet charming, hens party idea, consider throwing a decadent high tea with all your lady guests in attendance!
Even usually mundane activities such as food preparation can be fun when a group of people do it together! Not only is having friends and family members prepare meals for the other guests a great way to bring people together, it’s also an easy way to save a little extra cash! Have people volunteer for each different meal (other than the wedding feast, of course) so that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy as much downtime as possible.
Your loved ones can switch off and recharge in the peaceful surroundings whilst having the time of their lives. Think of it as taking all your favourite people on vacation whilst celebrating your upcoming nuptials at the same time. It’s a destination wedding without your guests having to renew their passports!
5. Quality Time With Your Loved Ones
In my opinion this has to be the very most important reason. How many times have you been at a wedding where the extent of your interactions with the happy couple was a quick hug followed by a hasty exchange of congratulations and 'thank you for coming's? My guess is; many! It’s completely understandable. Weddings are busy occasions and sometimes the best a couple can do is dash around after the ceremony and between courses or speeches trying to speak to everyone present. Wouldn’t a little extra time to actually reconnect with your guests, all in the one place, be lovely? Well, with a camping wedding that's exactly what you get; quality time with the people most important in your life, which absolutely can not be underrated!
Many travel long distances to attend a wedding and having the ability to show them a little love and attention over the course of a Wedstival will let them know just how much you appreciate them making the effort to be there for you. You can greet them as they arrive, catch up over dinner and have some proper fun together taking part in some of those activities you have planned. Happy bonus: All that pressure to ‘do the rounds’ during the reception is gone and you and your partner can fully enjoy the festivities as a newly married couple!
Over the course of the weekend different friend circles can be introduced to one another and guests who already know each other can get reacquainted. Friendships will be created and people will be bought together. If that isn’t what a wedding is truly about, then I don’t know what is! When the time finally comes to for everyone to pack up and leave, send them off with a hearty breakfast where everyone can reflect on the joy of the day before and you can leave on your honeymoon knowing that your guests' love tanks are well and truly overflowing!