Cool Casual Wedding Ideas for Low-Key Couples

April 5, 2018 | juliette

photo by Maggie Grace Photography, event planning by Emily Aitken Events

For a casual wedding, it’s all about finding that perfect balance between understated elegance and fun. You want the overall feel to be laid-back and effortless, but you also want the day to be memorable for you and your guests. If our Junebug couples have proven anything, it’s that you don’t need to go over-the-top to create a truly spectacular, true-to-you wedding day. So, we’ve gathered some of our favorite casual wedding ideas inspired by our most laid-back couples to help you create that carefree vibe with a cool, unique flair.

Read on for casual wedding ideas to use for your big day:

    1. Comfortable and Unconventional Location

      When choosing a venue, comfort is key to pulling off a relaxed vibe. Start by thinking about the places you feel most like yourselves. Maybe that’s your parents’ backyard, which you can transform into an ideal party spot, or a unique location that isn’t considered a “traditional” wedding venue but that can suit a casual vibe. Your favorite restaurant, a secluded beach, a national park, a charming campground or a local museum are all great options. We’ve even seen couples get married in tree houses, which is probably the most laid-back location we can think of! For a casual wedding, you have so many more options! As a bonus, by choosing a unique location, you cut down on the amount of extra decor you need to create a memorable experience for you and your guests.

photo by Henry Tieu Photography, wedding venue: Cozy River Cabin, floral design by Terra Bella Flowers; see more from this wedding here!

photo by Brooke Shannon Photography, event planning by My Dear Weddings, rentals by Rustic Charm Wedding & Event Rentals and Sweet Little Details; see more from this wedding here!

photo by Henry Tieu Photography, event planning by Rain and Pines, floral design by Rusted Vase Floral Co.; see more from this vow renewal here!

photo by Lauren Mihae Photography, wedding venue: Under Canvas, event planning by ‘Cause We Can Events, floral design by Bybloomers; see more from this wedding here!

photo by Sarah Joy Photo, wedding venue: Parish, event planning by S Chapman Designs; see more from this wedding here!

photo by Nataly J Photography, wedding venue: Wilderness Weddings Canterbury, event planning by Butler and White, floral design by SASSFLOWER, rentals by Apache Events; see more from this wedding inspiration here!

    1. Pre-Ceremony Refreshments and Snacks

      There’s no rule saying your guests have to wait until after you say “I do” to enjoy a cocktail. Set the stage for a fun, laid-back time by offering your guests a simple cocktail, a glass of champagne, or even cup of coffee (coffee bars are a huge hit with guests!) as soon as they arrive at the venue. Grazing tables (AKA table-long charcuterie boards) are a major trend that guests love as much as we do, so consider making snacks available before your ceremony begins.

photo by SambaJoy Photo & Art, event planning by Wild Heart Events, mobile bar: The Old Fashioned

photo by Nicole Leever Photography, signage by Nestle & Porter

Shop similar finds: Personalized Signature Cocktails Sign ($17); Wedding Bar Menu Template ($5.95); Clear Wedding Bar Sign ($22.36); Minimalist Wedding Drinks Menu Editable Template ($7); Editable Signature Drinks Sign ($9.50)

photo by Pablo Laguia

photos by Surveyor Creative and Whitney Grace Photography, coffee cart: Nightowl Coffee Cart

Shop similar finds: Calligraphy Acrylic Coffee Bar Wedding Sign ($17.95+); Clear Coffee Bar Table Sign ($18.36); Greenery Watercolor Coffee Bar Sign Printable ($3.20); Minimalist Coffee Favor Sign ($4.40); Love is Brewing Sign ($5.23)

photo by Nikk Ngyuen Photo

photo by The Le Sueurs

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Your Wedding Reception Bar

    1. Mix and Match Seating

      A lot of people think that alternative seating options should be reserved for the reception, but we think you can mix it up for a casual ceremony, as well! If you’re getting married at home, gather all the chairs and couches you already own into one room for the coziest feel. If you’re getting married in a park, backyard, or other natural landscape, lay some blankets in the grass for a Sunday picnic vibe. Poufs and oversized pillows that guests can lounge on are also great additions if they will be sitting on the ground. Not only is the mix of chairs, textures, and colors fun and unexpected, but it’s visually stunning in person and in photos! If you’re inviting older guests, keep in mind that you might need to include more supportive or higher chair options for them.

photo by Nicole Nero Studio, floral design by Olive & June Floral Co., rentals by Hudson Valley Vintage Rentals; see more from this wedding here!

photo by Victoria Carlson Photography, event planning by AE Creative, floral design by Hey You Flowers, rentals by Curated Event Rentals; see more from this wedding here!

photo by Stefanie Keeler Photography, event planning by Coastal Coordinating, rentals by FarmHaus Co; see more from this wedding here!

photo by Lauren Mihae Photography, event planning by ‘Cause We Can Events, rentals by Taylormade Events, Swoon Vintage Rental, Colorado Party Rentals, BBJ Linen; see more from this wedding here!

photo by Lauren Mecum, event planning + design by Fawn Events, floral design by Joy of Bloom Florals, rentals by Sundrop Vintage; see more from this wedding inspiration here!

    1. Greenery Galore

      Skip the over-the-top floral arrangements and create a fresh, natural feel with lots of greenery and subtle blooms instead. Greenery is not only beautiful — and a favorite wedding trend for modern couples — but it’s a cost-effective way to add some life and and a little color to your space. You could even skip the flowers altogether and use a few different textures of greenery for your bouquets, centerpieces, and ceremony backdrop. There’s something strikingly beautiful about a ceremony backdrop draped with garlands or a hand-tied bouquet with different textures and shades of green. Eucalyptus, olive branches, rosemary garlands, and tropical leaves are some perennial favorites, and your local florist or flower shops should be able to recommend others if you’re looking for more unique—or specifically local—options.

photo by Heather Shane Photo, floral design by Rawfinery; see more from this wedding here!

photo by Heather Shane Photo, wedding venue: At the Top, floral design by Rawfinery; see more from this wedding here!

photo by TJ Stansbury, floral design by Kindred Blooms

photo by HUMÀ 06, event planning + floral design by Mille Papillons

photo by Afrik Armando, event planning by GLDN Soul Events

photo by The Toths Photo & Film

photos by Plum & Oak PhotoMarisa AlbrechtSugar + Soul Photography, and Melissa Prosser Photography

    1. Creative and Impactful Signage

      Signage is an easy way to make a big impact in your wedding decor without too much fuss. You can use it to welcome guests to the venue, instruct them on what you want them to do, or simply display your favorite quote. Whether you light it up in neon, paint it on a plank of wood, or print it on a canvas banner, get creative with your 1-2 key signs and let the rest (if any) be understated and simple. Also, consider what you could reuse in your home decor so those statement pieces have a purpose beyond your wedding.

photo by June Cochran Photography

Shop similar finds: Gold Printable Guestbook Sign ($5); Acrylic Wedding Guest Book Sign ($15+); Clear Glass Look Acrylic Guest Book Sign ($14.87+); Greenery Wedding Guest Book Sign ($20.42); Guestbook Sign Instant Download ($3.55); Minimalist Guest Book Sign Download ($3.50)

photo by Jaicee Morgan

Shop similar finds: Order of Events Wedding Sign Template ($10); Minimalist Wedding Day Schedule Sign Template ($11.04); Greenery Order of Events Sign Printable ($10.19); Order of the Day Wedding Sign ($9); Welcome and Order of Events Poster ($7)

photo by Nicole Leever

Shop similar finds: Minimalist Wedding Welcome Sign Template ($9.74); Glass Look Acrylic Wedding Welcome Sign ($76+); Modern Welcome Sign Template ($10.50); Calligraphy Printable Wedding Welcome Sign ($6.40); Digital Minimalist Wedding Welcome Sign ($15.40)

photo by Sydney Noelle Photography

Shop similar finds: Black Unplugged Ceremony Sign Template ($9.74); Modern Unplugged Ceremony Sign ($10.91); Rustic Unplugged Ceremony Sign ($29.60); Minimalist Unplugged Ceremony Sign Template ($9.74); Large Greenery Unplugged Ceremony Sign ($12.38); Pick a Seat Not a Side Unplugged Ceremony Sign ($76.49+); Can I Get a Witness Sign ($5)

photo by Jaicee Morgan

Shop similar finds: Rustic Wedding Sign Pick A Seat Not A Side ($35+); Choose a Seat not a Side Sign Template ($6.12); We’re all Family Once the Knot is Tied Wooden Sign ($27.50+); Together Is A Beautiful Place To Be Sign Printable ($2.80)

photo by Melissa Marshall

Shop similar finds: Booty Booty Rocking Everywhere Sign ($72.24); Dance Floor Rules Sign ($14.19); I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor Sign ($8.15); Dance Floor Rules Sign Download ($5.67)

    1. Comfort Foods

      We have two words for you: pizza party! An informal dinner is a must for a casual wedding, and we can’t think of anything better than a buffet of fresh-made pizzas and local beers. Except a build-your-own burger buffet. Or a taco station and margaritas. Food trucks are also becoming a staple for couples who want a super convenient dinner option, especially at unconventional locations where there is no in-house caterer. You absolutely do not need to spend a ton of money on gourmet food to make your guests happy. We’re pretty confident in saying that most people would take a slice of pizza or a loaded taco any day, especially if they need energy to dance the night away!

photo by Eastlyn & Joshua

photo by Jordan Quinn Photography

Shop similar finds: Taco Bar Menu Sign ($6); All You Need is Love and Tacos Sign ($24.99+); Burger Bar Sign ($9); Custom ‘BBQ BAR’ Build Your Own Menu Sign ($7.50+); Custom Acrylic Dinner Menu Sign ($65.56+)

photo by Ricardo Enrique Photography, signage by Los Plebeyos

photo by Let’s Frolic Together

photos by Melissa Marshall, Photography AnthologyAmilia Photography, and Tews Visual

RELATED: The Best Etsy Wedding Menu Templates

  1. Family Recipe Desserts

    For dessert, you can’t go wrong with donuts, mini pies, or cookies. But, if you want to add a taste of home to your wedding, dig up those old family recipes and get baking! Even better, ask your family members to bake their favorite recipes to contribute to your dessert bar. There’s nothing quite like a warm slice of grandma’s apple pie to end your special night on the sweetest note.

photo by Randi Kreckman

photo by Kylie Morgan Photography

Shop similar finds: Treat Yo’self Sign ($13.50+); Love is Sweet Sign ($5); Sweet Treats Sign ($3.95); How Sweet It Is Wooden Sign ($16.50); Gimme Some Sugar Dessert Table Backdrop ($58.41+)

photos by Noelle Johnson PhotographyVanilla Photography, and Jason Lucas Photography

RELATED: 9 Wedding Dessert Table Ideas to Sweeten Your Reception Decor

Now that you know how to add a cool casual feel to your wedding, it’s time to pick your first dance song! Check out our list of 80 first dance songs you haven’t thought of yet!

photo by Dawn Photo

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