A lush green garden, the scent of flowers on a cool breeze, the sun shining down on a couple standing under a beautiful arbor – it’s the ultimate wedding dream for many. But if you’re one of those who would love to have an outdoor wedding in a garden, there are several things you should keep in mind, like the weather, the decoration, and the setup. An outdoor wedding demands a whole different kind of plan, and it’s one that needs to be flexible as well as practical.
1. Setting the Date. Although it’s impossible to predict the weather far in advance, try to choose a time of year when the days tend to be sunny and rain-free, but not unbearably hot.
2. Developing a Plan B. A garden is lovely – except when it starts to bucket down with rain. Always have an alternative place to shift the ceremony and/or reception in case there is bad weather.
3. Deciding on a Tent and Lighting. You don’t have to have a marquee, but you should consider how you will light the event and whether you’ll need extra electrical connections.
4. Choosing a Theme and Color Scheme. Take your inspiration from the beauty of Nature and pick a floral theme, a ‘green’ palette or a rustic country theme.
5. Designing the Décor. The main advantage of holding your wedding outdoors is that Mother Nature will provide you with a beautiful backdrop. But you’ll have to decide what extra decorations, floral arrangements and tables and chairs you need.
Depending on the garden you choose, you can opt for any number of themes. Your own or your parents’ garden is always a lovely, homely choice, and you can build on that theme with rustic-inspired decorations. Hang Glass Lanterns, filling them alternately with candles and full-blown flowers. Try grouping together colored Glass Votive Holders for a really simple but pretty centerpiece. And fill jam jars or Glass Pitchers with hand cut seasonal flowers for a home-made look!
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Flowers are a popular theme at weddings. One of the best contrasts with the green of a garden wedding is pretty, delicate pink. Forget cliché roses – choose the flamboyant peony as the symbol for your wedding, and fill the centerpieces, bouquets and aisle decorations with these dramatic blooms. You can extend the floral theme to smaller details like the place card holders and bottle openers, even the Favor Boxes, Invitations and Wine Bottle Labels.
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A really beautiful theme that is easy to create is the vintage garden tea party. Use lots of authentically old pieces like the gorgeous distressed dresser in the picture below, used to display the cake. Have your bridal party dress in twenties or fifties style outfits, invest in some retro Hair Accessories, and go wild with long beaded necklaces, feathers and cocktail rings. Other great ideas: an old-fashioned White Birdcage to hold the place cards, Vintage Crystal Drop Candleholders in the center of each table, and a Personalized Aisle Runner with a traditional scroll to walk in on.
Images from Style Me Pretty, Koyal Wholesale Personalized Aisle Runner, Koyal Wholesale White Birdcage Card Holder, Style Me Pretty, Style Me Pretty, Koyal Wholesale Miniature Teacup and Tealights, Style Me Pretty
Feeling inspired? Great. But while you’re planning your fairytale garden wedding, don’t forget to consider these essential points.
- Summer days can be very hot, so plan to rent free-standing fans or provide guests with Hand Fans.
- Your menu needs to be practical – don’t order things that will melt after five minutes in the sun!
- If you’re getting married during the popular summer holidays, book everything way in advance.
- Open grounds are susceptible to gusty winds, so avoid having open flame lamps or candles.
- Think about whether you will need to guard against mosquitoes, bees or other insects.
- If you’re getting married at home, work out how much parking will be available for guests.
- Decide how you will get an electrical supply for sound systems, fans etc.
- Work out what lighting will be needed – Paper Lanterns, Spotlights or String Lights.
- And always, ALWAYS have a backup plan in case it rains!