9 ways a cottage wedding keeps things simple

Wedding seating

Have you been dreaming of a cottage wedding, but are scared to pull the trigger because of the frustrating logistics involved when it comes transportation, washroom arrangements, weather? It’s time to consider the other side of cottage weddings and re-visit your vision. While there are definitely some hurdles to overcome, there are plenty of reasons why a lakeside wedding can be more laidback and, yes, even easier!

1. You can save money on floral arrangements

Who needs fancy floral shops when you can literally pick your bouquet right off the forest floor? Using the gorgeous, readily available wildflowers to add some colour and style to your ceremony not only cuts your flower budget to zero, it also creates a nice natural look.

2. The dress code isn’t as strict

Who needs the pressure of an incredibly formal affair, where ties and jackets are mandatory and women are hobbling around in 4-inch heels? Cottage weddings call for a more casual dress code of short-sleeved button up shirts, sundresses and sandals. It’ll be a refreshing reprieve for guests with a summer full of weddings on their schedule and you’ll feel much more free and joyful in less stuffy attire.

3. The venue hardly needs any decoration

Wedding décor is usually pricey and extremely detailed—with couples splurging on everything from chair covers to ornate wall decorations and twinkle lights. It involves a lot of time and colour coordination. Good thing a cottage wedding comes complete with it’s own scenery – canopies of trees, wild greenery, a stunning lake view. You can add a few simple decorations, but there’s no need to do much—nature has taken care of most of it.

4. It’s an excuse to keep things small

The guest list might be the most stressful aspect of the whole wedding planning process. How do you invite cousin Carol without offending cousin Brad? Can you afford to include all your college BFFs and your high school buddies? And how do you delicately break it to your future mother-in-law that she can’t keep adding her friends to the ever-growing pile of names? If you throw your wedding at an intimate cottage venue, you can simply blame the lack of space for the small guest list and celebrate with only your nearest and dearest.

5. You can stick to a more casual menu

With the low-key atmosphere of a cottage, you can feel free to plan a wedding menu that would seem out of place in a stuffy reception hall. Make it a BBQ wedding and chow down on ribs and potatoes. Forgo formal seating, set up a mouth-watering buffet and have your guests mingle while they eat. Or if you’re really keeping things small ask guests to bring a potluck item in lieu of a gift and enjoy sampling all the different dishes cooked with love.

6. You don’t have to figure out where to take photos

Many brides and grooms have to trek to the nearest park to snap those outdoor wedding photos they’re dying to include in their album. But cottage wedding couples are already celebrating out in the sunshine, against the backdrop of lush trees and a sparkling lake. All they have to do to create a picture perfect moment is turn and smile!

7. There’s a more personal touch

Weddings held in big banquet halls can be stunning, but in pursuit of elegant perfection some couples end up planning a wedding that feels more like an impersonal awards ceremony than a heartfelt affair. Holding your wedding at a cottage, especially if it’s your cottage, creates a warm, personal atmosphere that will make you and your guests more comfortable.

8. Guests can easily entertain themselves

Even though it’s supposed to be “their day,” there’s a lot of pressure on couples to make sure all of the guests are having a good time. Are they dancing enough? Drinking enough? Finding enough people to mingle with? It makes sense to fret when everyone is gathered in a reception hall with only the music as entertainment and the food to keep them satisfied. But when your guests are up at your cottage they can wander off and explore, take a walk through the forest, lounge down on the dock or even wade around in the lake if they’re up for it.

9. DIY will be praised instead of scorned

Do-it-yourself wedding trinkets, like centerpieces and favours can save couples a ton of cash. But some brides and grooms feel pressured to splurge on designer items that will impress their guests. When you take the wedding out of a ballroom and into cottage country, the Mason jar drinking glasses and handmade banners make a little more sense. Suddenly crafty, homemade projects that might be judged as tacky in another environment, look artistic and adorable.