Traditional, Informal, Relaxed Weddings- what the heck does that mean?

Traditional, Informal, Relaxed Weddings- what the heck does that mean?

The Ramblings of an indecisive Photographer Bride-to-be

Despite feeling pretty useless when it comes to making decisions, one thing i’m pretty clear on is the type of wedding I would like. As long as you don’t ask me what country or venue it’s in because things all get a bit hazy beyond that (I’m the most indecisive bride to be- EVER!)

I think the problem comes from the fact that as a wedding photographer, I get to be part of so many beautiful weddings, I’ve shot over 200 now and I see so many lovely details, gorgeous venues and amazing people. You’d think i’d have my own pre-determined list of top choices, but I don’t! Every wedding I go to I fall in love with something else, I immerse myself so much in that wedding and it makes it difficult to imagine what my own wedding looks like.

So you can imagine the fun we’ve had deliberating over the many many options over the past few weeks! To further compound the issue, we’ve both completely quit sugar. Yep, all sugar! Now thats a whole other story (and I haven’t forced him before you say it!) But what i’m saying is that i can’t even bribe him with food, and you’d be surprised what he’ll do for a Sticky Toffee Pudding! Instead we’re a pair of grouchy recovering (sugar) addicts and small wins are celebrated with a hand full of salted nuts!

But, I do know what kind of vibe i want for my wedding *hooray* so lets go through some different styles/venue types and consider the options, given how many times i’ve changed my mind, i’m pretty much an expert now!

Traditional/Formal Weddings

Traditional Weddings are where weddings began, if you look back at your parents or grandparents’ wedding album they’ll probably have had a pretty traditional day. Venues are often either a local church or perhaps even a stately home. The priority here is often beautiful architecture, formal dining and a traditional wedding timeline with a wedding breakfast, speeches and first dance. If this is your kind of thing, take a look at some of these: Eaves Hall, Mitton Hall, Willingham Hall, Tatton Park.

Don’t forget, it’s also possible to have a super chilled out wedding at a more traditional venue, some people feel more relaxed with a little structure to their day, its all about making it work for you.

Relaxed/Laid Back Weddings

The main thing here is informality; so relaxed and laid back weddings often take place at non-wedding venues because its easier to break the mold and do things your own way, with full creative control over your day. Getting married at a non-wedding venue can also make things considerably cheaper, giving you more money to spend on decoration or live music!

The most important thing here is being able to kick back and relax with your guests, there’s often a more outdoorsy feel where (british weather permitting), you can hang out in the sun with your guests often to some live acoustic music. Couples planning this kind of wedding often leave out many of the traditional elements to keep things super simple and laid back.

Have a nosey at some of these locations if you’re planning a super chilled day: Hurst Green Village Hall, Slaidburn Village Hall, Waddow Hall- here you can hire the land for a Tipi/Marquee reception. And if you happen to know someone with an empty field why not look into hiring a Tipi for the ultimate chilled out vibe check out Sami Tipi. Many wedding venues in the Lake District also have a really laid back feel so its worth taking a look around. I’d LOVE this kind of wedding- but stay tuned because next week no doubt we’ll be considering tree house weddings or something equally unusual!

Intimate Weddings

wedding breakfast table for intimate wedding at the wild boar pub,The Wild Boar Wedding Photography- Wedding Photographer Lake District

Not everyone wants to invite the world and their dog to their wedding! Some couples prefer a more intimate day with just a select few people, and if you’re choosing to do this in the UK this can limit options a little. Most wedding venues have a minimum guest number you have to meet and often their function rooms would simply dwarf a wedding of just 20 guests but don’t worry, it’s not all over! Some venues offer their smaller function rooms out on certain days of the week for smaller guest numbers, or you could even hire a restaurant or private dining room which are often geared toward smaller numbers. Have a peek at some of the options i found: Farrington Lodge, The Fishermans Retreat and The Wild Boar- Windermere (Pictured)all have small private dining rooms for those planning something smaller.


The world is quite literally your Oyster here! Elopements are where you and your other half jet off (or drive to gretna green) to get married alone, just you two. If you’re planning to elope to get married there are so many options. For example New York City Hall, you can get married there by obtaining a license the day before and paying around $50 (I know a lot about this because we seriously considered it). Or if you’re a little less pale and pasty than us you might fancy a beach wedding on Bora Bora- not cheap but you’ll be saving thousands with no guests to feed! There’s too many options to list here but you get the idea!

So here’s a little food for thought, next week i’ll be taking a closer look at some of my top choices for my own wedding, you’ll really see the inner workings of my very indecisive mind here as i go from one venue to another with James lagging somewhere behind.

For more information on wedding photography take a peek here. 

Kathryn x