Festivals have never been so popular, everywhere you look these days your local pub is having a beer festival, the community centre are getting a stage in for the summer and showcasing local bands. Even companies don’t do drunken Christmas parties anymore, but are throwing fun-filled summer jamborees instead. Of course the weddings… WOW the festival weddings! Such a fun, customisable concept: where you want it, with the food you want, for as long as you want (entire weekend weddings rule!)
What’s interesting is that festival weddings aren’t new. In fact, if you live in the countryside they’ve been the norm for centuries! Our great, great grandparents were getting married in fields under canvas. They danced the night away to live music, drank local ales, ate local food and some of the guests even managed to sneak in a bit of matchmaking in the hay themselves! The whole village would get involved: think hand-me-down bunting, beautiful seasonal woodland flowers, traditional games with friends and family… And it could be done on a shoestring.
We love the traditional village wedding and The Original Pop Up Festival Company has been lucky enough to throw a few for some wonderful clients; clients who have now become friends.
Unfortunately, the days of borrowing the village green have long gone and weddings can become pretty expensive and often stressful experience. Trust me when I say: it doesn’t have to be like this. Most of us aren’t event planners and let’s face it, even trying to organise a night out with friends can be pretty hard work, let alone planning the most important day of your life.
I know it might feel this way, but planning a festival wedding is not an impossible mission. Wherever you choose to have your wedding and however you choose to theme it (if you’ve already got that far, you already know what you want!), all you need to do is turn it from a concept to a reality; that’s where we can help.
Think everything through: a festival wedding has its own unique costs, for example the number of guests dictates the size and cost of tents or marquees, as well as toilets, generators, camping facilities, showers, mobile kitchens and bars. Whilst all these elements have to be considered, not all will be needed, but planning ahead and having a budget to work with is essential. Don’t be afraid to tell your suppliers what your budget is; keeping within a budget and having to advise your suppliers on what would be possible in the early stages of planning helps everybody.
Something really worth noting, is that festival companies such as ourselves will use our generators, toilets, marquees and tents many times a week and therefore we may well be able to offer better prices than companies specialising in those elements alone.
Another tip? Avoid cowboys! Always try to use someone who is either affiliated or known to you or your friends. The Original Pop-Up Festival Company is a member of the National Outdoor Events Association; we take our membership and code of practice very seriously.
When are you thinking of getting married?
It might seem obvious, but the date of your wedding can make a massive difference, not only in terms of costs, but also logistics. Marquees, tents and infrastructure are always priced at a premium from late April to September, so bear that in mind before you send out those ‘Save the Dates’!
That said, sure a frosty field on a Wednesday in February is going to be cheap, your marquee will be cheap, but are your guests going to be happy? Will your pictures lack that little sparkle? Well, they won’t if you turn your big day into a winterfest wedding! Add some clean dry paths, go for a bright heated big top or tipi, with an indoor firepit and solid flooring throughout and hey, hire an ice rink for your wedding dance and bang! You’ve got an unforgettable day on your hands.
Another tip for an out of season wedding: never allow your festival wedding to become a mud fest! Wellies on brides are definitely cute but they should be an accessory only. Your guests will undoubtedly vary in age and access requirements, so make sure you consider the infrastructure necessary to keep your day safe, clean, fun and beautiful.
Where do you want to have your wedding?
If you’re thinking of a festival wedding, but don’t have the land don’t worry; you’ll be amazed what we can fit into a back garden.
The Original Pop Up Festival Company can find the perfect spot for your wedding. We’ve got contacts all over the UK, as well as in Ireland, France, Spain, even Ibiza and we’re constantly on the look out for new, alternative sites for our clients. We also have our own beautiful, licensed and very secret locations in Kent.
A word of advice: a friend may be kind enough to lend you a paddock or an orchard, but they may not be as happy at the end of the event if the marquee and catering trucks have driven great muddy ruts into the garden or, heaven forbid, broken the fencing on their way in and out of the site. Now, temporary roads and paths can make an unreachable site the most perfect secret wedding venue, but really – who wants to think about temporary roads and where on earth do you get one of those? We can help you there, we know all about them!
We always visit sites to assess practicality and the potential need for some additional infrastructure, allowing the site to be returned to its natural state, just as if the wedding had been a fairy tale and hadn’t even touched the ground! So no worries, if a site isn’t suitable, we’ll tell you straight away.
Food & Drink
The festival theme is perfect for weddings. Catering and drinks are entirely up to you; it’s all got to be brought in anyway, so the world really is your oyster. The traditional wedding breakfast served on trestle tables in beautiful canvas tents is timeless, but the flexibility and variety of quality street food and ad-hoc seating on hay bales might suit you and your guests even better. There are so many superb outdoor caterers, really anything you wish for can be provided, exactly as you want it.
Here at the Original Pop Up Festival Company, we have our own unique Hay Bar. We build the bar, provide the staff, as well as the refrigeration, ice and mixers and you supply the alcohol. Alternatively, there are many themed pay bars we can recommend, these usually require a minimum spend.
The Original Pop-Up Festival Company is part of The Sound and Light Group. For 25 years we’ve been promoting secret parties, supplying sound systems, stages and lighting for a variety of events. From all night warehouse parties, festival stages and street carnivals to bespoke nightclubs, rock, acoustic and jazz bands and just about everything big or small and in-between.
Just because you’re having a festival wedding doesn’t mean you have to have your own pyramid stage, but it does allow the flexibility of so many alternative forms of entertainment. From DJ’s and bands, your own equivalent of the Von Trapps to circus and magical entertainers; we have great relationships with many diverse artists.
We’re also proud owners of our own vintage funfair: a coconut shy, tin can alley, photo boards, Cornhole, tug of war and strong man striker will prove endless fun for your guests. We also offer waltzers, carousels, ferris wheels, dodgems and even a roller coaster, if you’ve got the space.
Yeah, camping! That’s what makes festival weddings so much fun! No bedtime, beautiful bell tents and yurts, guitars at 4 in the morning, breakfast in wellies and dressing gowns round a fire pit. You can make your wedding stretch over a few days, have your guests arrive on the Friday night and leave on the Sunday with no hotel bills!
We can supply stunning yurts and family bell tents, hot showers, lighting and power, beauty yurts and chill out zones and crèche facilities for little ones who need to nap.
A Last Note About Us
The Original Pop Up Festival Company was set up because we love what we do. Our experience in outdoor event infrastructure and entertainment make us unique in the industry. Always doing our best and knowing that we have played a small part in making your day the best it can possibly be is why we’re here. It’s why people come back to us after their wedding for parties and children’s garden cinemas and recommend us to friends and colleagues.
If you’re planning a festival wedding or just want to know a little more about us then please call Angela or Dan on 0800 0838368 or email us at email@example.com. or you can also find us on Facebook.
Thanks to Chris Quiggins for all the photos!