How to Plan a Festival Wedding
My husband and I are serious festival fans. Together we have annually attended over eight festivals in California and Nevada. I love the communal spirit, free association, and radical self-expression that festival communities create. I love meeting strangers turned-new-best-friends, I enjoy listening to music and pushing myself to try new things. Festivals are a way of life for us so it was a natural theme for our big day.
The first big decision to make was the location. My husband is from Cancun, Mexico and it was important for both of us to have family from both sides on our magical day. We both enjoyed traveling to a tiny fishing town near Cancun, called Puerto Morelos. The tiny has a slower speed than our native city of San Francisco. The town is full of perfect smaller independently owned hotels that are not your normal all-inclusive monster resorts that have taken over the Yucatan Peninsula. My husband’s mom did a lot of homework to find the perfect hotel that allowed all of our guests to stay in one location. The hotel was on the beach which is the perfect spot for a festival wedding. It had a pool that never closed and tons of restaurants for our guests to eat on their time. Ideally, we would have rented out a campsite to really immerse ourselves into the festival spirit but we had so many out of town guests that would need accommodations so we ultimately decided this wasn’t feasible.
I can’t tell you how great it was to have one central location for everyone. We woke up and had breakfast with everyone. We relaxed on the beach in between activities. We had pool parties every night and at the end of the evening everyone drifted off to their rooms at their own pace.
To set the festival tone we created a website and invitation that was themed off of a festival invite. The name of the event was Our Bodafest which translates to Our Wedding Festival. We treated RSVP’s like tickets. And we included a Spotify playlist on the wedding website and email invitation.
The dress code for the wedding was festival whites. The theme was inspired by my coworker that pointed out that the best part of Burning Man weddings is that guests are all dressed in white. The theme was born in that very second. Many guests didn’t understand the theme but everyone looked amazing. The photos are especially awesome, we look like one big happy cult. I will also add that it was NOT weird at all to have guests dressed in white. Many people asked me as the bride if I was comfortable with this. Not only was I comfortable with it but I preferred it. I think it made everyone feel special. For my bachelorette party my friends all rented a cabin in Northern California. We all dressed as brides and went out to a bar in the tiny nearby town. It was hands down one of the most fun nights of my life. From the moment we stepped out of the car everyone was taking pictures of us. It was a real conversation starter. No one could figure out who the actual bride was and that made it even more fun because we were all the bride, who cares?! I felt the same way on my wedding day. We were all looking fantastic in our festival whites and I never once was worried that it wasn’t special enough.
To help get people in the true festival spirit my friends setup stations for facepainting, tattoos, and flower crowns. One of my friends helped guests make their own unique flower crown. It was so fun to see what people came up with. My other creative friend stepped up to do the face painting and tattoos. People loved it. It was so fun to watch guests flood in with sparkly gold tattoos placed all over. My uncle-in-law showed up with a super ballsy feather tatoo on his forehead. It really completed his festival drug lord look. Very unique and fun.
As guests arrived our ushers handed out Our Bodafest wristbands so guests could access the festival wedding. This is a quintessential accessory that makes any festival and was a fun project for us to design.
Our capes needed to be the most special capes I have ever designed. I agonized for months over the fabric and the trim. Choosing the material was the hardest part as the weather would be hot and the material needed to be thin but sparkly. We landed on Silver and White/Rose Gold sequin capes. As soon as we both chose the fabric the rest of the details easily came together. They are so beautiful and my favorite part is I can wear my cape to festivals, galas, parties, and concerts and tell people that it’s my wedding cape. What’s the point of buying something you only get to wear once?! I made a version of my White and Rosegold reversible sequin cape and its available to shop here.
The ceremony itself was beautiful and soulful. Our friend, Natalie Lobue, is a sound healer and she officiated the wedding. It was so special to have her grounding presence up in front of everyone. As a gift, I made her a special officiant cape. I’m so pleased how good she looks in that color with the ocean in the background.
We finished the ceremony with our family blasting bubble guns. Bubbles are my absolute favorite and I wanted to be surrounded by them when we had made our commitment official. I only bought four guns but looking back I would have got one for every single guest.
Everyone else really got into the festival spirit as well. One of our friends brought heart diffraction glasses that change the light into hearts while wearing. I loved looking around at family and friends wearing the glasses and smiling.
We danced the night away and for the final song, we played “All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem. Our friends danced around us in a circle while I closed my eyes and soaked in all of their love. This was my dream to wail these lyrics surrounded by all of my friends on my wedding dance floor with my husband by my side. I feel so lucky that this dream came true. At the end, guests made their way back to their hotel rooms and that’s of course when the pool party started.
If you are planning a wedding remember to stay true to yourself. It’s easy to get lost in wedding magazines and blogs and old traditions and customs. It’s your day and you should incorporate whatever weird and bizarre things that you love.
If you are interested in a cape for your big day you can shop Elevate capes here or contact me for a custom wedding cape. I’d be happy to make a cape for the bride, groom, partners, officiant, wedding party, and everyone in between. These capes are so unique and will make your day elevated.
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Many thanks to all of the vendors that made this day possible. They were all incredible to work with and I'm so grateful for each and every one.