In many ways, a wedding could be the most important day of your life, and a garden wedding has a special kind of appeal. It is a celebration of the most ancient kind: the kind that celebrates our innate connection to nature and all of her gifts. Especially beautiful is a wedding that takes place in a garden, where some of the most beautiful plants and flowers are cultivated. But what are some of the things you should consider when putting together your own garden wedding? How should it be organized? And what, if any, considerations must be in place for the unexpected complications that could arise, given that a garden wedding is outdoors.
Why a Garden Wedding?
Garden weddings exude a distinct kind of magic. They're also unique platforms for creativity. Because it's an outdoor setting, unique ornaments can be brought in that simply couldn't be pulled off in a traditional religious structure. Also, the garden wedding can be more contained. Most likely, the garden is part of a larger complex which hopefully has many different rooms or areas. These venues, in addition to providing space for the garden wedding, could provide a space for a cocktail hour, dinner arrangements, and ultimately an after party/a place to dance.
No Spatial Attendee Restriction
With a garden wedding you never need to worry about capping your guest count due to spatial concerns. This is because out in the open there will always be enough space. In addition, you'll also have as much space for the catering staff as you need as well. If there's more food that must be brought and prepared, it just means a bigger kitchen tent and some more vans with party supplies.
Less of a Chance of Noise Restriction
With a garden wedding and an outdoor afterparty, there's less of a chance that you'll have to shut off the music or turn it down, especially if the space you've rented out is far away from a nearest neighbor. This means the DJ or band can amplify the music as much as is desired without fear of any kind of repercussion.
Your Guests Will Stay Longer
Again, especially if your garden party is way out somewhere, your guests will most likely stay longer. It also helps if a shuttle bus is used in this case so that guests don't have to worry about driving in the event that they become too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle safely.
Less Clean Up
During a garden wedding, it is less likely that you will be charged additional cleaning fees if the entire ordeal takes place outdoors. This is because spills will just go into the ground, all of the equipment will be predominantly rentals (no in house furniture to ruin), and if any mishaps occur with the culinary tent outdoors, at the end of the night the caterers will just box everything up and truck on out of there.
What Kind of Garden Wedding Will You Have?
Now that you've heard all of the benefits of having a garden wedding, it's time to plan for yours. There are also a great many themes to choose from that would fit the occasion of a garden party. But what to pick? We'll go through some of the more traditional garden wedding options first and then follow up with some of the more obscure and eccentric.
The Backyard Garden
This is probably what most people think of when they think of a garden wedding. It's the kind of wedding that allows your friend with the large outdoor space and amazing flora to shine. Here you'll find that down home feel with a touch of elegance, depending on how you utilize the space. Also, depending on the interior spaces of the place you're utilizing, and if they're available, you may have another place to hold something small scale (like potentially the rehearsal dinner).
The Historic Grounds
If there's a place that you visited in your life and thought 'yes, this is where I want to be married,' then you might just reach out to the people responsible for maintaining this place and see if it's available for weddings. In many cases, like on the grounds of historic estates, the gardens here are pretty spectacular. Gardens on big estates aren't quite made today the way they used to be. In fact, how many new 'estates' do you see cropping up these days, anyway?
Most of the time whatever garden wedding venue you choose will have its own unique history. But if you want to say that you got married in the same garden as Quentin Tarantino, it can be done. Just be prepared.
The Sea Garden
This is for those who can't get enough of the ocean. There will always be ocean themed gardens to be found. Perhaps this garden may even line up right and overlook the ocean itself. Having a pairing like this may bring its own host of challenges, as weddings physically on the beach itself are more prone to the unexpected. But for those who are set on hearing the ocean's waves while they tie the knot, it can be done. (Though in some cases the garden will have to be trucked in and brought to you.)
Amazing Garden Wedding Venues
We couldn't help but give you a brief list of some of the most amazing garden locations in the USA to give you an idea of what's available out there. This way, even if you don't pick one of these locations, you can go for something similar.
The Botanical Gardens of Buffalo, NY
The Palm Dome, the intimate indoor dining room, and the spectacular grounds of this lush location make these botanical gardens an ideal choice for your garden wedding.
The Franciscan Gardens of San Juan Capistrano, CA
This beautiful Spanish-style garden is open air and intimate at the same time. It also sports an award-winning catering company as well as a gorgeous courtyard in addition to the gardens.
The Audobon House and Tropical Gardens of Key West, FL
If you're looking for that wedding near the beach, this may be the venue you're looking for. It's a 19th-century historic home, and your wedding ceremony can be held on the back deck of the property. The intimate gardens are perfect for a reception and of course the beach is never too far away.
The Planterra Conservatory of West Bloomfield, MI
This garden wedding can happen at all times of year. As a venue that's indoors, there's plenty of room and safety from harsh elements. So if you're looking for a wedding with some winter charm that also includes a garden, this may be the spot for you.
The SF Conservatory of Flowers of San Francisco, CA
There's also this conservatory option located in historic Golden Gate Park, though you still get the option of having your wedding indoors or outdoors. Try out the Palm Terrace or Palm Lawns. Or take a stroll through the Victorian Conservatory. The good news here is that you have access to a variety of styles and aesthetics from which to choose from.
What to Plan For
As far as garden wedding logistics are concerned, you'll have to make sure a series of preparations are met. This includes site selection and contingencies in the event of rain or other intrusions of the elements. But with a good planner and the right event staff, anything is possible.
Coverings and Contingencies
Any outdoor wedding needs to have some sort of contingency for if the rain comes. As long as you have a place either to retreat to, or you have the area covered in some way, you should be fine. At the very least, it's important that any electronic equipment be covered properly to prevent property and equipment damage.
Animals and the Surrounding Area
Be sure to check the schedules of what may going on around your garden of choice. You wouldn't want to find out that a marathon is being run along a route right next to the spot you're about to make your vows! Also, if it's extraordinarily rural, it's good to pick a spot that's not near any sort of animal habitat, unless you want your wedding to have a different kind of guest. That's not advisable though.
We hope this article has filled you with ideas that will ultimately make your garden wedding a success. We recommend getting the outdoor space that you want booked at least a year in advance if it's a popular spot. And even if it's not it's good to plan far enough in advance so that all of your preferences are met. So here's to the happiness of a new shared union and the scenic spot you choose to make it official in. Have a great wedding!