4 Easy Tips for Planning the Perfect Bohemian Wedding
By Brieonie Jenkins

27 July 2015

If you’re looking to step away from the traditional ‘white wedding’ and have a more down to earth and laid back celebration, a boho inspired theme could be just the thing for you and your partner!

Artists in the 19th century, the bohemians were known for being free spirited dreamers inspired by art, beauty and nature. The boho wedding trend reflects their carefree lifestyle and romantic passion, with an emphasis placed on creating a fun but relaxed atmosphere. To help you get started on planning your boho wedding, follow these 4 easy steps:

1. Decide on Your Inspiration

The beauty of boho is in its simplicity – you can have as many or as few embellishments as you like. There are no hard and fast rules for the boho couple; you can draw from many categories, incorporating different elements that appeal. The vibe is carefree and non-conformist meaning no two boho weddings are exactly the same!

A theme like this is freeing but can go off track very quickly. Consistency is the key to keeping things stylishly mismatched rather than busy and messy. So start off by thinking about what ‘boho’ means to you. Do you imagine flower crowns and a beach setting? Is your reception outdoors under the stars? Or are you leaning towards Moroccan or Indian influences?

It’s also important to establish at the outset how far you want to take the boho theme. Will it primarily be through how the bridal party is dressed? How you’ve arranged the venue and the decorations? Or will you include everyone and ask your guests kick off their shoes & lounge on cushions and eat off mismatched plates at the reception?

Keep your key words in mind and use them as reference points to keep your décor consistent. As a trend, boho has seen many incarnations; look at movies, magazines and celebrity fashion to find inspiration. Try and do your own research and construct a vision before jumping on Pinterest. Pinterest is an amazing resource, but with so many interpretations it’s important to keep your definition in mind if you want to stay on theme.

2. Embrace Nature

Embrace the outdoors; intimate venues with a ‘close-to-nature’ feel are perfect. If you’d like both the ceremony and reception at the same venue, scope out vineyards, private estates, farms and even backyards. Ceremonies on the beach or in a park can be followed by the reception in a rustic barn or marquee.

Your ceremony can be easily dressed up using natural elements to enhance the outdoor space, such as flowers, foliage, shells, cushions and drapes. You could even say your vows under a natural arch covered in flowers or sheer drapes.

As the day moves into night why not sit the guests at long trestle tables in the open air with lights strung through the trees? Finish the night with dancing under the stars. Or to be more practical for the potentially chilly Auckland weather, hold the reception in a marquee with clear panels to stay in touch with the outdoors.

3. Get Creative with the Details

Boho celebrations are perfectly imperfect. But the key is to keep your colours warm and romantic with influences from nature throughout. Traditionally, bohemians dressed and decorated with whatever they could find, so embrace your inner ‘DIY goddess’ and add hand crafted, artistic touches.

Dress up your venue with flowers and fairy lights. Bouquets should look as though they were hand-picked from the garden. Floral arrangements and centre pieces can utilize different sized bottles and jars filled with foliage and garden roses. Twinkling lights, lanterns and candles will also add a special flair to your boho wedding. Fairy lights are a great way to add ambiance as well as being relatively cheap. Feather detailing is another beautiful boho touch. Add feathers to floral arrangements, hang them from garlands or adorn place cards…there are so many options!

Consider picnic style dining. If this isn’t feasible (not everyone enjoys sitting on the ground) a main meal served ‘family style’ works well with the easy going atmosphere.  Keep with the earthy vibe by swapping out conventional table décor for rustic metallics.

Provide a lounge area with quirky cushions for guests who aren’t dancing (or taking a break!). Break out areas are key for maintaining your relaxed atmosphere. With couches and cushions you can create cosy nook that will allow your guests to feel comfortable.

4. Dress for the Occasion

Continue the relaxed ‘boho vibe’ through to the bridal party. For the girls think loose, unstructured hair with fresh or dried flowers. Dresses in crocheted lace or soft chiffon are well suited to the boho theme. The guys can keep it as simple as khakis and a loose white shirt or go slightly more formal with a linen suit.

For the bride-to-be, try and keep the look natural and uncomplicated. Think loose curls or a fishtail braid topped with a flower crown, barely there makeup, and a flowing dress. Keep the jewellery simple as well, the words big and blingy are not in the boho bride’s vocabulary!

Shoes are definitely optional! Who wants to be on the sand or grass in their heels? Bridesmaids can dress up their bare feet with anklets and jewellery. This is also an easy way to get your guests involved in the theme with minimal effort. Encourage them to remove their shoes and feel the earth beneath their toes.

Final advice for the boho bride: Don’t worry about tradition, include the things you love, stay in touch with nature and get your creative juices flowing. Make the day as unique as you!