Garden Wedding CeremoniesTips and Ideas to create a beautiful garden ceremony - A Wedding Celebrant's Perspective
Garden wedding ceremonies are really gaining in popularity. I have had the pleasure of leading wedding ceremonies in a wide array of family gardens, fields and orchards and I must say, they are a real joy to be part of!
In this post, I share some garden wedding ceremonies that I have been lucky enough to lead, to illustrate how each garden ceremony is individual and unique.
You will find tips and ideas to consider when holding your wedding ceremony in your garden.
Some couples have the MOST amazing homes and gardens – and some couple’s parents have the Most amazing gardens !!
These weddings have a great sense of home, of family, of memories, and of hopes for the future.
They are close to nature and wildlife, with garden flowers, bees and butterflies.
Helen and Derek had a small and intimate ceremony, with a parchment signing, in their back garden. It was elegant, beautiful and unforgettable.
Tess and Dave had a rustic, rural, country wedding their huge garden in Tess’s childhood home, a picturesque, thatched cottage, nestled in the rolling Quantock Hills.
The haybales, rickety chairs and pots from the shed, for all the garden flowers, created a beautiful, informal, and relaxed wedding vibe.
Dave, Tess, and her family spent over a year working really hard on the garden to ensure it perfect for the day. Dave built the arch at the top of the ceremony space, with the antlers at the top and sunflowers were grown up the sides.
Waiting quietly for the ceremony to begin, the guests squealed with delight when a side gate opened and Tess made her entrance, standing in the trailer of her dad’s rusty old tractor, with him at the helm and her bridesmaids following behind.
Everyone spontaneously stood up and started clapping and cheering the bride. The wedding was off to a flying start!
Man and woman are like the earth,
that brings forth flowers in summer,
but underneath is rock.
Older than flowers,
older than ferns,
older than foraminiferae,
older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love
slowly a gem forms,
in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks
of two human hearts,
two ancient rocks,
a man’s heart and a woman’s,
that is the crystal of peace,
the slow hard jewel of trust, the sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.
Toni and Martin’s outdoor garden wedding was at their beautiful farm, on the Somerset Levels.
The ceremony space was a rustic wooden platform, designed and built by Martin. It looked upon the peat moors, that stretch for miles and miles to the Mendip Hills beyond.
Making the structure took Martin quite a while, and a lot of thought went it to where to situate it, to best capture the stunning views. Climbing plants and flowers will be planted around it and it will always be a reminder of their wedding day.
Just as their ceremony was closing, the farm gates opened, and an enormous and shiny new tractor arrived.
Martin couldn’t believe his eyes; Toni had got him a new toy to play with for the day.
Their children were really delighted and ran to open the gate, so Martin could drive his bride through the farm to the celebrations.
Harriet and Tom’s garden wedding ceremony was held inside a magnificent marquee in the grounds of Harriet’s family home, a beautiful old rectory in Devon, with stunning lawns and gardens.
Harriet and Tom had a traditional ceremony, with a parchment signing with their mums as witnesses. Their readings were extracts from their favourite childhood books, Terry Pratchet’s Thief of Time and an extract from Carpenter’s Biography of J.R.R.Tolken, which was a great idea.
The marquee was decorated with literally hundreds of beautiful large white roses of every description, whilst overhead hung the hugest crystal chandelier I have ever seen. At the top of the aisle was a sumptuous arch of green foliage, with more fragrant white roses tumbling through them. I’m sure there wasn’t a single white rose to had in the whole of the Southwest on that beautiful Autumn day.
Tanzie and Rich held their outdoor wedding ceremony and handfasting, in the garden of their beautiful cottage in West Somerset. They ‘tied the knot’ with a unity cord plaited with bright colours of special symbolic meaning to them.
The ceremony was conducted under an archway, in front of an old, and very much loved, Bramley tree, with stunning views over Exmoor National Park, that stretched as far as the eye could see.
For Tanzie and Rich, it was important to have a completely sustainable wedding. Their garden and the way they set it up, and decorated it for their special day, with haybales, old school chairs, blankets and colourful rags and paper lanterns, brimming with jars and jars of home-gown flowers, reflected their appreciation of the Earth, their care for the environment and their love of, and close affinity with, nature and the outdoors. It was a colourful and vibrant wedding that truly reflected who they are as a couple,
Garden wedding ceremonies – Things to Consider
If you are lucky enough to have a suitable garden or field, and want to hold your wedding ceremony at home, it really is a wonderful place for a wedding.
Nature is beautiful, and provides you with a blank canvas on which to stamp your own unique and individual style.
However, be prepared – getting the garden and house wedding-ready is often a year-long project, a real labour of love!
And styling and dressing your garden is hard, physical work, but great fun, especially it you have plenty of friends and family and are good at delegating.
Garden ceremonies usually take several days to set up. And then there’s the task of packing it all up and clearing away afterwards.
Succesful outdoor garden weddings are prepared for all weather. because, as we all know, our British weather can be extremely unpredictable.
Does you garden have enough land to set up a tipi or marquee, or even a small shade sail? You’ll need to have a covered contingency plan, to prevent a washout wedding.
Placing seating under trees will shade elderly relatives struggling in the heat, whilst tented play areas will protect children from burning in the sun.
Horseflies and other buzzing, biting things may be out in force, so remember insect repellent and bite cream, as well as suncream and plenty of water.
The food choices for garden weddings are endless, it really boils down to your style of wedding and your budget. Sit down meals are great if you have the space, hog roasts are always popular, whilst ‘street food’ is gaining in popularity, Greek wraps, kebabs, fish and chip vans, mobile pizza ovens and ice cream vans cater for a wide array of tastesand are just perfect for a chilled and relaxed outdoor wedding vibe.
Many couples provide outside toilets for guests, to ensure the whole wedding remains in the garden. I’ve seen from the very luxurious, to eco-friendly, compostable wood clad boxes.
Think about your garden at night, and lighting it up, not only to create a magical and romantic space, but also so people can see where they are going and move around safely.
I’d like to thank all my couples featured in this post for their kindness in allowing me to share their wonderful weddings.
As you have seen, every garden wedding ceremony is as unique and different as each couple. I hope it helps and inspires you to create a garden ceremony that is just perfect for you.
The outdoor weddeing series so far:
For my six top tips for writing your own wedding vows – click here !!
For my six top tips for reading your wedding vows – click here !!