Busy can be fun, but there are some serious benefits to keeping life low-key. This is something we’ve learned by doing over the past year (anyone else enjoying not rushing out the door as frequently?) Equipped with this new mindset, many people are reexamining how they plan to spend their precious time, and when it comes to hosting weddings, the same is happening. Many couples are opting to chill out on the high-stress, high-effort type of wedding and instead are opting to keep things much more relaxed. “Low Key Weddings” is a trending search term on Pinterest, and we’re here to give you our best tips for hosting a low-key wedding yourself.
Photo Credit: Shorebreak Resort
Choose a Low Key Venue
Think about venues that are personal to you and your future spouse. Parks, beaches, bars and restaurants are great options. Also, look up (literally) and consider rooftops with views of the city you love.
Photo Credit: Kimpton Aertson Hotel, Nashville
Offer an Informal Dress Code
Phew! What a relief. Also, how cool? Your guests will smile and exhale when they read the dress code for your wedding on your invite. There are tons of different ways to keep the attire casual. Instead of saying “black tie optional,” how about “ties optional?” “Smart casual” and “sassy casual” are great terms as well. Alternatively, take it even more informal and say “casual attire,” but be sure to provide an example or two to paint the picture. Is it “jeans welcome?” A cute illustration of flip-flops? Some guests may still have some apprehension around selecting a casual outfit, so be sure to quell doubts by providing specifics.
Have a Pre-Ceremony Cocktail Guests Can Bring Into the Ceremony
Drink in hand = ultimate relaxation. Encouraging your guests to enjoy a libation not only before, but also during, your ceremony signals to them that your wedding is relaxed.
Photo Credit: Stratus Lounge, Philadelphia
Photo Credit: Kimpton Goodland Hotel, Santa Barbara
Soft Seating Helps Guests Get Comfy
While you’re at it, as you’re thinking through your ceremony, why not offer a few ultra-comfy options for guests to sit in? We typically think of wedding ceremonies as having rows of chairs, and while some of those can still serve their function, a few lounge chairs, upholstered chairs, or even love seats mixed in can signal to guests that they don’t have to feel rigid and uncomfortable during your ceremony. Cozy blankets draped on chairs as gifts can encourage guests to sit back and relax, too.
Photo Credit: Kimpton Aertson Hotel
Photo Credit: Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa
Small is the New Big
Maybe you’ve always envisioned a big wedding, but we’re here to tell you that limiting the guest count can make things a whole lot more relaxed, for everybody. With fewer guests, you can spend a bit more of your budget on personalizing your reception with soft seating, soft lighting, floral and place settings. All things that make guests relax and smile.
Summon the Bar Cart
Offering a bar cart with specialty cocktails that can be offered during or after dinner is a fun way to bring drinks to people right where they are enjoying themselves. It also reduces the amount of people waiting in line at the bar, which is decidedly not low-key.
Interactive Activities are Trending
A great way for guests to connect and have fun with other guests is to bond over an activity. A cocktail making demonstration, yard games like croquet and even an artisan craft-making station are fun options we’ve seen.
Bring on the Comfort Food
Think about how you like to spend a low-key night at home. Indulging in takeout from your favorite spot? Guests will feel instantly relaxed with comfort food favorites on the menu like tacos and empanadas, pulled pork sandwiches, shrimp skewers, or family style pasta dishes. Low-key snacks can include mini popcorn bags, French fry cones, or mini ice cream sandwiches.
Photo Credit: Boleo Chicago at The Kimpton Gray Hotel
Personalized Gifting Sets the Tone
A personalized gift like ingredients for your favorite craft cocktail can arrive in the mail with the wedding invite or post-wedding along with the thank you note. Pre-wedding, this gift will set the relaxed and fun tone for your celebration. Post-wedding, it will remind people how special your wedding was and encourage them to continue the low-key vibes at home.
So, there you have it. Low-key is the way to be.
This is perfect for my own wedding