20 Things All Laid-Back Brides Do
Let's be honest: Weddings can get stressful. You've been planning down to every last detail, everyone you love is there, and you're feeling the pressure of the happiest day of your life. So we were super impressed by these easygoing brides (and grooms!) who kept calm and composed and created casual weddings that were beautiful and fun. Get their secrets to staying chill and maintaining perspective on the big day.
Comfort was the top priority at Petra and Marc's relaxed afternoon wedding, and what's more comfortable than a picnic? "We didn't want the formality of a buffet or seated meal," Petra says. "When I was thinking of my ideal situation, I was like, 'Well, there's nothing better than lying down and eating a sandwich.'"
Get Ready Together
"Getting ready together is a different approach, but it's nice to have time alone with your fiancé before the ceremony," this bride said. "It allows you not to be so nervous during the vows. Plus, it was so fun to take time out and kiss in between getting ready!"
Arrive in (Low-Key) Style
Some choose a limo, others a vintage Rolls Royce. This easygoing bride and her bridesmaids rode to the ceremony in a cart hitched to the back of a 1951 Farmall tractor, totally setting the tone for the fun, untraditional wedding.
Trust Their Vendors
Rachel became every vendor's dream client when she told her florist, Peartree Flowers, to use "whatever looked the most beautiful in the flower market that day" for her Shelter Island wedding. The laid-back bride was rewarded with a lush bouquet of mostly pink and red blooms—including ranunculus, roses, lisianthus, astilbe, and peonies.
… And Their Bridesmaids
"I asked my bridesmaids to wear long floral dresses. I didn't give them any other guidelines beyond wanting them to find a dress that they would wear many times over," explained this bride. Will she be our friend, too?
No cold feet at Alison and Markus's intimate wedding! "I was glad I had my Wellies in my car so I didn't have to wear heels on this dock when it started to rain," Alison said.
Have a Sense of Humor
Shrug Off Mishaps
Laid-back brides don't sweat it when things go awry. "You can't let little glitches screw up the big picture," said this bride. "When Alden's suit didn't show up, we just put another outfit together fast. At the end of the day, those things don't matter."
This bride and groom met during a carefree game of foosball, so it was only fitting that their wedding reception have the same unexpected form of entertainment.
Make Time for Fun
Kristel and Austin wanted to capture the relaxed vibe of a summer lawn party, so lawn games like corn hole and croquet were a must. Another must? Not being too busy mingling to partake in the fun yourselves.
… and for "Magical Dancing Adventures"
Before the ceremony, this flower girl (the groom's four-year-old niece) ran off and cried because she realized that she could no longer marry the groom if he married Sadie, the bride. So Sadie did what every cool-girl bride would do: She took the flower girl for a little "magical dancing adventure" to twirl away her sorrows. "She has since recovered and loves her Auntie Sadie," says the bride.
Serve Unexpected Food
At their vintage, tiki-style wedding, Kim and Thomas stayed true to themselves, choosing a somewhat casual but decidedly delicious appetizer. "Serving pizza slices as hors d'oeuvres may sound like a reception planned by an 8-year-old boy, but I certainly didn't hear anybody complaining," joked the groom.
Embrace the Rain
Genevieve saw the bright side of her cloudy wedding day—literally: "We were under a tent because it started raining," she said. "But that turned out to be a blessing—it was more intimate and cozy. And right at the end, the sun came out."
… and the Mud!
The thing about rain on your wedding day—especially flash-flood-level rain—is that it often results in mud. And if your reception tent has a grass floor, things have potential to get a little messy. Luckily, everyone at Jackie and Ross's wedding—including the bride and groom!—were more than willing to get down and dirty, rolling up their pants and kicking off their heels. "I loved seeing everyone embrace the spirit of our wedding," Jackie says. "There was a lot of love in the room and we could feel it."
Lose Their Shoes
This bride didn't let her stilettos hold her back from enjoying the Cabo beach with her new husband post-ceremony. The newlyweds went sans shoes for a stroll on the sand.
… and Maybe More!
During cocktail hour, guests sipped drinks by the pool, but as the party burned deep into the night, the bride and groom joined their more adventurous guests for skinny-dipping. Nothing like a midnight swim to cap off a fun, casual wedding!
Fall—and Get Back Up
The big comedic finish to actress Casey Wilson and TV showrunner David Caspe's wedding came just after the first dance: During the band's set, Casey took a spill on the dance floor and fell. Hard. "The next day, I could not extend either of my legs. We were going to Italy, and my new husband was wheeling me through the airport," she says. "We were just laughing." It's a sound we suspect they'll be hearing for years to come.
Make a Low-Key Exit
For their getaway at this Nantucket wedding, Jonny and Kristen kept it simple with vintage cruiser bikes. Their guests surrounded them with sparklers, and it all ended with a jump in the pool—a quick relief from the evening's humidity. "One of my favorite moments from the wedding was jumping in after we rode away," Jonny recalled. "It felt like we were escaping, just the two of us, to be mischievous and light-hearted like little kids, but now with the responsibility of our newly-minted bond. I was so strangely moved by the seemingly-cliché symbolism of us taking the plunge. I think it had to do with the intimacy of the moment, since we were alone for the first time since the ceremony."