This lovely article and all images are by London wedding photographer Luke Hayden Photography
I’m always amazed by the stuff wedding photographers know. It figures – they’ve been to countless weddings and seen it ALL – but it’s only on the day itself when you realise the value of everything they’ve learned along the way. With intimate outdoor weddings a really popular choice now, I’m delighted to share our lovely English Wedding member Luke Hayden‘s tips for planning a garden wedding. He has advice on everything from landscaping to catering, what to wear and of course, having a plan B for the weather!
Planning a garden wedding is usually more hectic in comparison to planning an indoor wedding due to the numerous variables that you must consider when planning an outdoor event. Whether you are being assisted by a wedding planner or you are doing it alone, here you will find some simple but effective tips for planning the best garden wedding.
Identifying a suitable garden to hold your celebration is the first thing that you need to do. It is an important consideration that will have a major impact on numerous other parts of the celebration. For instance, the available space will determine the number of guests that you can invite.
If you are holding the wedding in a rented garden space, you need to ensure that you enquire whether any special permits are needed to use the space for holding a wedding celebration. You may need permits to congregate or put up decorations in certain areas.
Gardens are beautiful and scenic due to the abundance of Flora and Fauna. The wedding, however, is a once-in-a-lifetime event and is also the perfect opportunity to impress the guests that come to celebrate with you on your big day. That’s why it can be a good idea to bring in landscaping professionals or gardeners to spruce up the space a couple of days before the actual day of the wedding.
If you’re leaning towards holding the wedding outdoors, think about the season before you set a date. Garden weddings work best when it is dry, the sun is shining, and flowers are blooming. If you hold a garden wedding during winter, you risk the celebration being cut short by weather changes.
What you will wear is another important consideration. To choose the right wedding attire, take the season into consideration as well as the duration of the celebration. The attire you choose should ideally complement the prevailing weather conditions. Don’t forget sunglasses, maybe have a basket of flip flops and some cosy blankets for the evening. Think about your bridesmaids and groomsmen’s outfits too!
When you send out invitations, don’t forget to inform all your guests on the most suitable attire to wear so that they don’t come underdressed or overdressed.
Since it is an outdoor wedding, you need to be prepared for the possibility that there could be pesky insects such as wasps that may end up disrupting your event. To be on the safe side, you may consider having some insect repellent on hand to avoid being bitten. Guests will appreciate it if you have spare sun cream for them to use too!
To be sure that everyone follows the proceedings without missing anything, make sure that you engage an experienced sound technician who has quality equipment. Make sure that the sound system is checked and re-checked for clarity so that there aren’t any hitches as the ceremony is underway.
Make sure that you have sufficient beverages on hand, particularly if it is a sunny day. If your budget allows, hire a cute mobile bar! If not, a bathtub full of ice and bottled beers will do the job nicely. If you aren’t expecting too many guests, you can always cut back on the wedding budget by opting to cook for your guests.
Wedding planning can be stressful as stated previously, especially if you decide to go about it alone. To give yourself time for enjoying your special day, you should ask for help from your close friends and family members.
Alternatively, you could always consult with a professional wedding planner. Based on their vast experience in successfully setting up outdoor weddings, planners can help you set up an amazing and alluring space within your budget in a short period of time.
If you plan to lease an outdoor venue for your wedding, you can save a lot of money by booking the desired space beforehand. Outdoor wedding spaces tend to be expensive to lease especially during the peak summer season.
It is your big day and you obviously don’t want anything to come between you and perfection. To ensure that you have a successful event, it is always advisable to have a backup plan in case factors such as bad weather force you to reconsider the outdoor wedding plan. A tipi, wedding tent or marquee can provide much needed shade or cover, depending on the weather.
If you are leasing a space, make sure that the venue you pick also has an indoor space where you can hold the wedding in case things don’t go according to plan.
It can be daunting to create the perfect garden wedding, but if you follow the tips provided here, you will definitely be on your way to creating the perfect wedding of your dreams.
If you’d rather hire somewhere for a garden wedding, there are some amazing outdoor wedding venues around the UK. Have a peek at this Gibberd Garden wedding for inspiration, or this glorious tipi garden wedding.
Once you’ve got all the practical and logistical stuff covered, you can have so much fun decorating your outdoor space! Think bunting, festoon lights and outdoor candles, quirky signs and plenty of seating for your guests. There are some gorgeous ideas below to inspire you! Have fun planning your garden wedding – and do get in touch so we can share it on English Wedding after the big day!