We’re not really sure who’s idea it was to assume that all weddings have to be a black-tie, formal occasion, but we understand that not everyone is diggin’ it. And that’s okay. In fact, we encourage that easy-going vibe, and today’s trends show that more couples are opting for that casual, laid-back wedding feel. Casual weddings encourage your loved ones to have more fun, while still maintaining a certain amount of grace and elegance in their own unique ways. That’s what makes them special. If you’re the kind of laid-back couple that could benefit from some casual wedding ideas, worry no more. We’ve got a few wedding ideas just for you.

Wedding Idea 1: Consider an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony & Wedding Venue

The best part of having a casual wedding is that you shouldn’t feel like you have to choose the obvious and very expensive wedding venue options. Consider having your wedding outdoors (with an indoor backup plan, of course). There’s something about outdoor wedding venues that immediately make for a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. You want your guests to absolutely have the best time possible, so why not set the precedent with a beautiful and relaxed ceremony. Just make sure you’ve got a back-up indoor option if Mother Nature is uncooperative, because we all know that the weather in Columbus, Ohio has a mind of its own.

Wedding Idea 2: A Pre-Ceremony Cocktail Hour?

How many times have you shown up to a wedding much earlier than the ceremony start time, and not known what to do with yourself? Once again, we find ourselves asking why weddings are assumed to run a certain way. If you’re looking for that casual, laid-back atmosphere, why not open the bar for guests a little earlier. Now let’s really take a moment to remember how many times we’ve shown up  with ample amount of time before the wedding ceremony start time, because how rude would it be to walk in late? Having a light pre-ceremony cocktail hour and offering other refreshments, not only gives your guests something to do while they wait, but immediately let’s people have some fun and really look forward to the coming celebration. And hey, why not grab a glass of wine to help with the pre-wedding jitters while you’re at it? It’s always wise to choose a wedding venue that has the most to offer and wants to work with your needs and desires, whether that’s an all inclusive wedding package, or a venue that’s willing to work with you in other ways.

Wedding Idea 3: It’s all in the details

Listen. Just because we’re all for the more casual wedding, doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be an air of sophistication when necessary. There are ways to help add grace and elegance in the most subtle ways that will simultaneously allow for a laid-back, yet beautiful look to the ceremony and reception. It’s all in the details. A lot of couples love adding creative whimsical signs directing guests to different areas of the reception; where to find the bar, the restroom, or maybe a photo-booth. We’re also on board with the trend of adding more greenery rather than ostentatious floral arrangements. It helps to create a more natural, often bohemian feel. And in the case that flowers are used, they are even more beautiful when acting as accent pieces. The best part about the little details in a casual wedding is the ability to reuse what’s been bought. Casual and unique centerpieces, signage, and lighting are much easier to repurpose in your home as home decor pieces.

Wedding Idea 4: Review that Guest List

We’re in the business of weddings, so we’ve seen it all. Many weddings are going to be large because of large families, and that’s unavoidable. But we’ve seen many the large wedding where some of the people invited barely knew the bride or groom. Consider reviewing your guest list and asking yourself who you really want to attend such an intimate celebration? Having a smaller, more intimate wedding can be much more special for the people attending, as well as for the bride and groom. When more people know each other, it makes for a more fun and laid-back atmosphere for everyone involved. With less people comes less stress on having to talk and thank more people than you feel you have time for. And you’ll know that everyone there is just as excited and happy for you as you are. And it goes without mentioning that less people means less money.

Whatever you choose to do on your wedding day, know that going with the status-quo was never a thing to begin with. Decide what you and your new spouse really want, and if it’s a casual, laid-back wedding, then we’re all for it.