5 Tips for Planning a Garden Wedding

Enchanted by the thought of a garden wedding?

Newlyweds embrace in front of beautiful gardens at Serendipity in Oak Glen, CA

Serendipity | Tin Photography

Who wouldn’t want to exchange vows amidst a magical garden setting! Chic garden parties have a long tradition among high society (think "Great Gatsby"), and some of the finest garden venues sparkle with sophistication. But modern couples also appreciate less formal landscapes, which make fabulous natural canvases for their own unique event stylings. Above all, today’s brides and grooms crave a wedding experience that’s connected to nature, as their own new beginning is reflected in the beauty all around them.

Here’s a little advice for putting together your own successful garden wedding:

1. Consider the Season

You visit a garden in April and fall in love with the springtime show of cherry blossoms…but you’re getting married in October. Be sure you’re not being lured by a visual display that won’t be there on your big day. Most gardens have something to offer year-round, but if you have your heart set on an autumnal turning of the leaves or cascades of purple wisteria on the ceremony pergola, be sure your wedding date corresponds to the timing of Mother Nature.

Marianmade Farm

2. Protect Against Unforeseen Guests

Flora and fauna are sometimes accompanied by uninvited guests, such as ants, bees or mosquitos. Discuss the precautions your site manager and/or caterer will take to ensure that bugs don’t spoil the party—everything from citronella candles to pre-event spraying. If you’ve chosen a DIY venue, then make your own game plan in advance. (And have an emergency kit on hand, just in case!)

A colorful garden wedding ceremony at Thornewood Castle, Tacoma WA

Thornewood Castle

3. Dress the Set

When you’re surrounded by natural splendor, extra décor isn’t really necessary. But adding personal touches goes a long way towards making the space your own. While there’s a ton of design ideas on Pinterest, we suggest you start with your own belongings, and those of your family: Time to polish up that old chandelier you found together at a garage sale! And wouldn’t Aunt Bessie’s antique lawn ornaments look adorable alongside your sign-in table? Your mother’s own wedding china would be a heartwarming addition to your head table place settings. Looking around you for inspiration and seeing where it leads can make the ultimate result all that more meaningful.

A couple takes wedding photos in front of rose bushes at The Gardens at Heather Farm

The Gardens at Heather Farm

4. Be Weather Wise

Umbrellas, canopies, heat lamps, pop-up tents, portable outdoor fire pits and even personalized parasols for the guests and/or wedding party can provide shade and shelter, if needed.

A pretty wedding cake in the garden surrounded by flowers and greenery

Thistlewood Manor & Gardens

5. Define the Space

Some gardens are formal, with brick patios, manicured hedgerows and trellises that logically dictate a perfect flow for your celebration. Others are more unstructured and rambling. You and your event designer can create “outdoor rooms” with modern or retro lounge furniture, cocktail high-tops, lattice partitions or potted plants. But we’re also seeing fun elements like picnic blankets, beach chairs, wooden benches and bonfires—casual additions that make a particularly dynamic contrast within an elegant milieu. Your choices will be driven by the overall mood you want to create, but don’t let convention stop you from daring to be different!

Garden Wedding Tips

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Filed under Expert Advice, Garden

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Some clients may have paid to be placed in our editorial and some of these links may be affiliate; however, we never include a venue, vendor, or product unless they have a proper place here. This is part of our Core Values. We create our website first and foremost to be good for the couples using it to plan their Big Day. We won't stray from that for a few advertising dollars. #scoutshonor

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