Garden Weddings

Some people choose a garden wedding because of the character it can evoke…for others it can be a way of minimising cost but maximising style.

In actual fact, they can save you money, particularly if your time is valuable.

Most weddings end up being photographed in a garden and an increasing number hold their receptions and even the ceremonies in gardens. The only problem with a garden wedding can be the threat of rain; but there are ways around even that problem, such as hiring a marquee, or having undercover areas that can be used in an emergency, such as garages, carports, and verandahs.
These be surprisingly effective when decorated with flowers, balloons and ribbons.

If you are thinking of a garden wedding, there are a few things to consider:
Choose a garden that has good drainage and some hard surfaces…particularly where a lot of people are walking. Temporary matting can be hired to create pathways in areas where footing might be a bit soft or uneven, or to protect lawn areas underneath.
For both wet or hot, sunny conditions – hire a marquee, provide seating in shaded areas, put up shade wings or sun umbrellas, etc.
Provide warmth in cool conditions, or some method of cooling in hot conditions. Large, portable (wheeled) heaters can be readily hired. Portable fans can be strategically located to create breezes on a hot day.
Provide protection from wind. Temporary windbreaks can be readily created from shade cloth or similar materials, or rows of containerised plants.
Thinking Ahead
You generally know at least 3-6 months ahead of the wedding that you will be using the garden. If the garden belongs to you or a friend or relative you can start preparing well in advance to ensure that the garden looks its best on wedding day.

You need to sort out with the bride and groom where exactly in the garden they wish to have their wedding or reception, where do they want to have their photographs taken, and where other things should be located including guests seating, marquees, musicians, extra toilets, etc.
Make sure you have consulted with support staff such as caterers as to their needs, including overhead protection, water taps and power points.

Is it a day wedding, does it stretch into the evening or is it at night. Do you require additional lighting? If so, have it set up, and trialed well before hand.

It is also a good idea to inform neighbours about the wedding well before hand. Do they have any concerns?

You might also do a complete overhaul of your garden. Some things you might do include:
  • Renovate lawn areas, including feeding, regular watering, improving drainage, leveling out depressions or rises.
  • Prune plants that are straggly, or overhanging pathways.
  • Repair or upgrade pathways, particularly any rough, slippery or uneven sections.
  • Establish massed displays of flowering annuals or herbaceous perennials, timing your planting so that the flowering displays are at their peak on wedding day.
  • Ensure that the garden is fed and watered well leading up to the wedding, and that pests and diseases are thoroughly controlled.
The Week or Two Before
  • Give yourself plenty of time for those last minutes tasks.
  • Check your garden to ensure everything looks great.
  • Remove any weeds, tidy up fallen leaves and twigs, and deadhead any old flowers.
  • Ensure that any garden furniture or buildings (e.g. pergolas, gazebos) are thoroughly clean, including checking for spiders, and other nasties.
  • Ideally mow any lawn areas 2-3 days prior to the wedding, and make sure any lawn clippings are collected to ensure the lawn looks its best, and so that the lawn clippings are not tracked everywhere by wedding guests, and any support staff.
Hiring a marquee?
Think about:
  • size related to number of guests
  • can the sides be easily lifted to allow breezes through
  • who is going to set it up
  • how big a space required to set it up
  • is their good access to get marquee into the garden
If you’re having live music or other entertainment, consider:
  • protection from the elements
  • is there a suitable surface for dancing on- level, stable, not slippery or rough?
  • how big an area will you need – how many people will be there?
Food catering options:
  • spit roasts
  • catering companies
  • doing it yourself
  • Need to be suitable for inclement weather
  • Many hands make light work!

Additional toilets may need to be hired, particularly if you only have one or two toilets in your house, and are expecting a lot of guests. Location of such toilets is very important. They should ideally be out of sight, but be readily accessible.

The garden provides a different type of venue and has many positive aspects for functions. With a little thought and proper planning a garden could be the perfect venue to celebrate your wedding.


Want to Learn More about Wedding Planning?

Check out our Wedding Courses:

Wedding Planner Course   click here

Wedding Photography Course   click here
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