bride and groom at a boho wedding with her bouquet

The Boho Wedding: Complete Style Guide

Oct 9, 2023
By Wedding Spot

Does a dreamy, relaxed, and free-spirited atmosphere sound perfect for your big day? Then a boho wedding might be right for you!

The bohemian wedding style is characterized by romantic and ethereal elements, often incorporating natural details that evoke a sense of whimsy and enchantment. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the various aspects that make up an unforgettable boho wedding experience.

From gowns to cocktail hour to inspired boho wedding venues, this in-depth guide will show you all the elements you need for the ultimate bohemian wedding!

Is a boho wedding right for me?

If you check off more than a couple of these boxes, then you might just be the perfect candidate for a boho wedding:

● You love nature and want to incorporate it into every nook and cranny of your wedding design
● The idea of mountains, ocean, fields, desert, or woods as the backdrop for your wedding photos thrills you
● You love a soft, neutral palette
● Romantic flowing fabrics and lace call your name
● Your wedding Pinterest board is full of flower crowns and non-traditional elements

The essential elements of a boho wedding

Create the perfect boho-style wedding with these four essential elements: an ethereal wedding gown, voluminous florals, creative flavors, and a breathtaking location.

Ethereal wedding gown

For a romantic, boho-inspired look, choose an ethereal wedding gown. Not sure what that looks like? Opt for a design that exudes whimsy and free-spiritedness. Choose flowing silhouettes made of lightweight fabrics, adorned with delicate lace or intricate bohemian-inspired details.

The accessories

Accessorize with floral crowns (fresh or faux as long as they photograph well), dainty jewelry, and perhaps even consider going barefoot or wearing a simple pair of  sandals. Stick with natural textures, like leather and stones, as much as possible.

Fresh florals for a romantic ambiance

Add a bohemian touch with wildflowers, eucalyptus leaves, ferns, and other lush greenery for eye-catching centerpieces and enchanting ceremony arches. Dried flowers also work quite well for a boho wedding, even if you aren’t in a desert. The closer your flowers can mimic the venue and scenery, the more natural they’ll look. Speaking of which...

Nature, nature, and more nature

The great outdoors is one of the main sources of inspiration for any boho wedding. Incorporate holly berries and branches for a winter boho wedding or succulents and seashells for summer. Also, consider an earthy color palette and relaxed fabrics to match the aesthetic, like wine and evergreen in the winter and sky blue and wheat in the summer.

Go barefoot

Connect deeply with nature by hosting a barefoot ceremony on the beach or adding a professionally led earthing practice. Bohemian style, both in weddings and life, calls for a grounded approach, and connecting with the land you're on can be a great way to do that.

The seating

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If you want to go full boho, consider having seating directly on the ground, if possible. For example, you could host a picnic-style reception with floor cushions and low tables. Or you could use velvet beanbags during the ceremony. Get creative!

Incorporate eco-friendly practices

Think biodegradable confetti and locally sourced, organic catering options. There are even tons of eco-friendly options for your favors, so your guests can continue to do good for the earth even after they’ve left your wedding. And don’t forget to support your local businesses!

Boho wedding venues: breathtaking locations for unforgettable memories

Look for outdoor spaces surrounded by nature, like gardens or rustic barns, to fully embrace Mother Nature's beauty and create an unforgettable atmosphere. Just like you accessories, find the most natural options available and avoid heavy details, like metal and iron.

Choose airy outdoor reception spaces

Outdoor receptions spaces really highlight all the natural elements in a boho wedding. Opt for an airy outdoor reception space far outside a city, no matter the local environment—deserts, forests, and mountains all work!. We love this open air ceremony space at the Padua Hills Theatre in California.

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Plan to say your vows amidst blooming florals

Exchange vows amidst lush greenery and vibrant blooms for a romantic and natural bohemian wedding. Add twinkling fairy lights and vintage furniture for a whimsical touch. If it looks like plants are covering every surface of your venue, you’re doing it right! And we recommend larger flowers if you really want to hammer home the lush, blooming theme. We love the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, which has plenty of green spaces and all kinds of flowers.

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Consider vineyard celebrations with scenic views

Wine lovers: say "I do" surrounded by rolling hills covered in grapevines and enjoy panoramic views on your special day. Incorporate wooden barrels and wine corks for a seamless boho theme if they aren’t already offered. Vineyards also support all different color palettes, so you can decorate to your heart’s desire! The Cliffs at Glassy is a great example of a chic and stylish boho wedding event venue, complete with a stunning view!

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Select rustic barn venues embracing natural charm

Transform a rustic barn venue into the perfect boho-chic reception space with soft lighting  and natural textures like burlap and linen. The vintage feel of Stockton’s Plum Creek Stables is perfect for those looking to blend classy country vibes with boho sensibilities.

Pro tip: Keep in mind that you’ll need to double check outlet locations if you plan to host your wedding reception outdoors around sunset. Event diagramming software, which your venue should have available, can help you create a 3D rendering of your indoor and outdoor boho wedding spaces to prevent power-cord related issues.

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Bohemian weddings aren’t complete without whimsical decor

Add whimsy and personality to your boho wedding with fun and unique elements like flower walls, a naked cake, earthy fabrics, and open seating, and watercolor stationary. While boho weddings tend to be relaxed in style, it’s still a good idea to try and ensure every aspect of your big day reflects the theme. These are all staples that will help you nail the bohemian wedding theme!

Hang woven tapestries

Hang dream catchers above reception tables or use them as backdrops for photo booths—they'll not only serve as eye-catching decorations but they’ll also symbolize protection and good fortune. And even better, there are tons of sellers on Etsy, allowing you to support small businesses as well! Not to mention, they’re versatile, so you can use anything you buy to gift or decorate your own home later.

Send starry invitations

Set the tone for your magical day with celestial-themed invitations that showcase enchanting designs like moons, stars, and constellations. You could even incorporate your astrological signs by using their constellations on your stationary. If your wedding will be held far from a major city, you could encourage guests to look up at the sparkling night sky during the reception.

DIY ruffled table runners

Create a laid-back atmosphere by incorporating ruffled table runners. Bonus points if they’re mismatched and/or handmade from recycled fabric scraps, which tick off a few boxes in the boho wedding style. If you want to try your hand at DIYing other elements, we’ve got some ideas you’ll love!

Spread out woven baskets and lanterns

Add an element of warmth and charm to your wedding day with woven baskets set around your venue, filled with lanterns. You can also hang paper lanterns for a similar effect and an added element in your wedding’s colors. Just remember that both woven baskets and paper lanterns are flammable, so stay away from anything with an open flame, like a candle.

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Mix and match wherever you can

Mix textures, patterns, and colors to create depth and dimension within your boho decor scheme. Try to vary fabrics and accents as well, to create a truly eclectic atmosphere. You can even opt for open seating, without a traditional seating chart, to play into this organized chaos.

Thrift everything you can

Use vintage items such as antique picture frames or old books as part of your decorations to add character. After all, when you think boho, you often think 60s and 70s, right? If you’re really into the vintage aesthetic, you can even thrift your wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses.

Make one or two focal pieces by hand

As we mentioned earlier, DIY is a great way to bring the boho theme to life. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t require a ton of time or technique,  DIY projects like hand-painted signs or homemade garlands made from fresh greenery add personality without taking on anything too difficult. If you happen to have some advanced tools, like a Cricut cutter, the options abound!

Incorporate boho elements into your cake

Consider a naked or semi-naked cake adorned with fresh blooms, succulents, or even edible gold leaf. You can also use flavors inspired by nature, like lavender-infused vanilla or a refreshing citrus zest. There are also edible flowers that come in many colors and sizes, if you want to give your guests some decoration they can eat. And for a whimsical touch, incorporate textured elements like hand-painted watercolor or delicate lace patterns on the cake tiers.

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Rituals and spiritual elements in boho wedding ceremonies

Infuse meaningful expressions of spirituality into your ceremony by incorporating rituals. There are options from many different cultures and time periods, such as:
handfasting and unity knot ceremonies. A handfasting ceremony is an ancient Celtic tradition that symbolizes the binding together of two people in love. Tie your hands together with a cord or ribbon, representing your commitment to one another. The best part: there’s no script you need to stick to with these. Bind your hands together before you read your vows, or earlier in the ceremony.

Consider using herb confetti

It's eco-friendly and adds another layer of uniqueness to your special day. As a unique alternative to traditional rice tosses for the recessional, herb confetti is made from dried herbs like lavender, rosemary, or chamomile.

Do a unity sand ceremony to represent blended lives

The unity sand ceremony is another spiritual touch you can include in your bohemian wedding day. Pour different colored sands into a single container, symbolizing your individual lives blending together as one. Our favorite version also uses natural elements like shells or stones collected from places significant to you both.

The laidback lounge: the perfect boho location for your cocktail hour

Enhance the boho-chic atmosphere of your wedding with lounge areas during cocktail hour.

Remember to light it well

Guests can mingle amidst lush greenery adorned with twinkling fairy lights, but make sure they’re able to see and converse. Especially since food, if you have any during the cocktail hour, is likely to be passed, you want to make sure your guests are able to tell what they’re eating and the waitstaff is able to navigate the space without tripping.

Use indoor furniture outdoors

Think couches and chandeliers amidst willow trees in tucked away corners of the forest’s edge. Encourage conversation and interaction among attendees with lawn games nearby or DIY drink stations where guests can create their own cocktails using fresh herbs and fruit garnishes. If you want to really epitomize the boho style, consider using rattan furniture, which you can rent from many rental companies.

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Arrange mismatched chairs

Create an eclectic look by mixing different styles and colors of chairs in your lounge area. Like we mentioned before, this is a great opportunity to mix up your color palette, pair a variety of fabric textures, and layout the lounge in a funky way.

Playlists and music for boho weddings

Curate a playlist that reflects your personal tastes while staying true to the bohemian theme with the eclectic ideas. These genres often feature heartfelt lyrics and soothing melodies that resonate with guests on an emotional level.

Go with live music

Popular choices for boho weddings include acoustic guitarists, string quartets, and folk bands. To find talented musicians in your area, consider reaching out to local music schools or searching online. You’ll want to make sure that they actually can play the songs that are important to you, so look up their current repertoire and see what their policy is on adding new music.

Play acoustic covers

If you don’t have a live band playing them, we highly recommend that your DJ choose acoustic covers. If you want to go the DIY route, you can pull together a playlist featuring your favorite acoustic covers for the reception—just make sure you have someone manning the station so you can pause it for the speeches.

Popular artists for boho wedding playlists include Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, The Lumineers, and Mumford & Sons. Here are some of our favorite selections:

● Bon Iver - "Skinny Love"
● Fleet Foxes - "White Winter Hymnal"
● Iron & Wine - "Flightless Bird American Mouth"
● The Lumineers - "Ho Hey"
● Mumford & Sons - "I Will Wait"

As to common boho wedding Qs

What is a boho wedding?

A boho wedding is a wedding celebration that aims to be relaxed and free-spirited, incorporating natural elements, vintage pieces, and earthy tones. They often feature ethereal gowns, voluminous florals, creative flavors, and breathtaking locations.

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What is a modern boho wedding?

A modern boho wedding combines traditional bohemian elements with contemporary design trends, featuring minimalist floral arrangements, geometric shapes, clean lines, and sophisticated color palettes while still maintaining that whimsical charm.

What is the difference between rustic and bohemian weddings?

Rustic weddings focus on natural materials like wood or burlap combined with countryside-inspired decorations, while bohemian weddings lean into the natural elements using an eclectic combination of colors, textures, and patterns.

Why choose a boho wedding dress?

A boho wedding dress embodies effortless elegance through flowing fabrics, lace details, and unique silhouettes, Suited for brides seeking comfort without sacrificing style, boho wedding dresses allow them to express their individuality while embracing the romantic ambiance of their special day.

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You’re ready to plan the perfect boho wedding ceremony and reception!

Rooted in a bohemian ethos, this wedding style embraces an organic and laid-back aesthetic while infusing it with elements of romance and wanderlust. This combination is one of the many reasons so many couples consider throwing a boho wedding. Even if you choose a different wedding theme, you can still incorporate one or more of these ideas into your design to create an effortlessly earthy affair.

Up next, infuse your big day with a little more whimsy with our top wonderful and whimsical wedding ideas for spring!

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.