How to Plan a Beautiful Garden Wedding
A garden is the perfect wedding venue, whether you use your own garden, the garden of a close friend or even your local park. With an outdoor venue, you will have more flexibility in terms of decorating and can give the space a personal touch that really reflects your unique relationship. Not to mention, a natural environment of trees and flowers is really romantic and more often than not, it’s cheaper too! In this guide, we’ve provided our advice for creating a magical wedding venue in your back garden. From creating the perfect reception area, decorating the garden, creating a guest list and transforming the space from day to night, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover how you can have the memorable wedding of your dreams in your garden!
Planning the Essentials
Choose the Right Season
Choosing a time of year to get married is arguably the most important decision when planning an outdoor wedding, especially when living in the UK! According to Statista, August is the most popular month for weddings in England and Wales, with an average of 37 thousand marriages taking place during this month. This decision is a matter of personal opinion, however, and some couples like to choose a date for it’s meaning such as an anniversary instead of for the weather.
Remember, a garden wedding means that you will be outdoors for both the entire day and evening too, so ideally it will be warm enough for your guests to remain comfortable. July and August are normally the warmest months in the UK. Not only are you more likely to nice weather for the day during these months, but most schools are also on summer break which means more guests are likely to be free.
Plan for Rain
The weather in the UK is very unpredictable, so it’s best to plan for rain - just in case! Make sure you have a large marquee or tarpaulin to cover the seating area and keep your guests dry both through the ceremony and party. Marquees are your best option because they can be heated and cooled throughout the night to ensure that your guests are comfortable. A marquee with open sides gives you the best of both world, as it opens up the seating area but provides overhead coverage in case of rainfall.
Have a basket of umbrellas at the ready too that you can hand out to your guests. You might want to consider getting a floor covering too, to keep your wedding dress protected from wet grass. If it’s raining heavily, maybe consider ditching the heels too. It’s best to stay flexible in your plans and not let the rain ruin your day.
Writing the Guest List
When writing the guestlist for your wedding, make sure that you assess the amount of space you have in your garden to ensure that you will have ample room for everyone. You’ll need to be practical which might mean cutting your guest list down to ensure everyone will be comfortable. You’ll also need to think about where your guests can park if they will be driving to the venue.
Let Your Neighbours Know
Before the wedding, remember to let your neighbours know. It’s only polite to make them aware of the event, especially if you’ll be playing loud music or have a live band performing. If you’re on good terms, you could even invite them over to enjoy the party and in exchange, they might let you use their house for parking.
Plan Well in Advance
A wedding takes a lot of planning, with lots of things to consider, from the guest list, decorations, catering, entertainment, etc. On average, couples spend 13 to 18 months planning their wedding before the big day. Of course, you might not need all this time if you want something more low-key, however, don’t underestimate the amount of work there is to do. The further ahead you start planning the less stressful the process should be for you.
Get a Gardener to Visit Before the Wedding
You will have enough to do in the weeks leading up to the wedding without worrying about the gardening as well. It might be a good idea to book a professional gardener to visit in the weeks leading up to the big day, to take care of the lawn and flower beds.
A garden wedding where you can customise everything yourself is a great way to create a truly unique wedding that showcases the unique style and taste of yourself and your partner. People will remember the day for its uniqueness and creativity, a truly special way to say I do.
Flowers are a wedding staple and using lots as decoration are a lovely way to amplify the outdoor theme. There are a few ways that you can use flowers to decorate and bring some colour to your venue. As well as bunches of flowers, you can also add wreaths and garlands. Draping garlands and greenery are a lovely way to decorate the ceiling of your marquee too.
Consider Picking a Theme
For something truly unique, you could consider choosing a theme for your wedding. The theme could be something as simple as a colour scheme. If you don’t want something too overdone, simply think about your favourite colours and flowers, and incorporate these across the whole venue to create a cohesive feel. You could also create a theme around the season that you’re getting married in. If you’re getting married in the autumn, you could use tones such as orange, red and olive. For a summer wedding, bright colours such as yellow and pink will accentuate the sunny season.
Create a Wedding Arch
For an outdoor wedding, a wedding arch provides a lovely focal point for the moment you and your partner say I do. You can hire pre-decorated wedding arches or you can decorate one yourself. Flowers are often used on wedding arches but they can also be decorated with ribbons, fabric or fairy lights too. Creating a wedding arch in the same colours and using similar flowers to the rest of your venue is a lovely way to create an overall aesthetic.
Upcycle Items You Already Own
To save money and to personalise your wedding decorations, you can upcycle things that you already have in your house or garden. Taking old tables, benches or stepladders can give you a great basis for upcycling. With a coat of paint, some flowers, draping fairy lights and ornaments, you can create a beautiful ornamental piece for your wedding venue.
Creating a Seating Area
Your guests will need somewhere to sit during the ceremony and the party afterwards. Creating a beautiful seating area with decorated tables and chairs is a lovely way to make the space look inviting. To create your seating area, you can use chairs and tables that you already have at home, as well as borrow some from family and friends. To make them look the part, decorate your chairs with flowers, ribbons or small ornaments to tie into the theme of your venue.
Create Your Own Table Decorations
Table decorations can really bring the seating area in your venue to life. However, you don’t need to spend loads of money to achieve this. You can easily create your own table decorations by upcycled empty bottles, faux flowers, ribbons and string.
A wedding wreath is a beautiful decoration that will tie into the outdoor theme of your venue. You can hang your wedding wreath on the entrance-way to your venue to wow your guests. They’re also quite easy to make yourself too, and a great way to incorporate more greenery and florals into your venue.
Bunting is a great way to add simple but striking decoration to your venue and it goes with all decorating styles too, whether vintage, quirky or festival themed. Make your own bunting using different and interesting textures such as lace or hessian for a bohemian and rustic feel.
Catering & Entertainment
As well as getting the aesthetic right, catering and entertainment are a crucial part of your wedding day to ensure all your guests have a brilliant time. For a garden wedding, your entertainment might be slightly different from what you’d find at a traditional wedding and it can be nice to tie your food into the outdoorsy theme of being outside. We’ve brought you all our ideas for catering and entertainment.
If a traditional sit-down dinner isn’t your style, a food truck is a fun way to serve food to your guests and keeps the event casual and relaxed. You can serve street food that’s popular with most people such as burger sliders and pizza.
Get creative with the bar area and create a hand-made sign to showcase that drinks are on offer or decorate with fairy lights and other trinkets to get your guests’ attention. You can even personalise the drinks you’re serving by decorating the champagne glasses with small hook-on ornaments or using mason jars for serving cocktails in. You could even get a free-flowing beer tap - guaranteed to be a hit with guests!
To transition your wedding from day to night, you could consider hiring a dance floor to create a surface for partying into the night after you and your partner have tied the knot. If you don’t want to spend the money hiring an expensive dance floor, you can create your own with an old carpet or rug, or lay some paving stones to create a flat surface. Decorate your dance floor with fairy lights and bouquets to make the space romantic.
A photo booth is a really fun way to get your guests to make memories whilst at your wedding. It also means that you’ll end up with loads of fun and candid photos of all your loved ones too! You could either hire a photo booth or create your own with a couple of polaroid cameras, some props and a home-made backdrop.