Having an outdoor wedding was something I had dreamed of, but the fact that I chose hot August as my wedding month forced me indoors. However, if we ever renew our vows, I'm definitely choosing to do it outdoors. Garden weddings are among the most beautiful wedding choices available, aside from exotic wedding locations like the castles of Scotland or the tropical beaches. And planning a garden wedding couldn't be more simple! You just have a few things to consider, and you're wedding will be one of beauty and ease! These 7 tops for planning a garden wedding should get you well on your way!
1. Watch the Weather
Weather is one of the biggest problems in having an outdoor wedding. My best tip on this subject would be to buy and consult the Farmer's Almanac for the year you're getting married. The Farmer's Almanac has been proven to be at least 80% accurate, and that's better than just picking a date and hoping for the best. You might also want to consider setting a rain date or having a backup indoor location, should the weather get really bad. Another option would be to have a tent available to be used for the ceremony as well as your reception. White wedding tents can be rented fairly easily. But definitely check your Farmer's Almanac!
2. Think about Allergies
If you're one of the 55% of Americans that suffer from allergies, then this tip is for you. International readers, pay attention too! Having an allergy attack while attending your wedding is not going to be fun. If you are going to choose a heavily flowered garden, or getting married at the height of pollen season, and you suffer from allergies, be sure to take an allergy medicine before arriving at your wedding venue. Also, be sure to specify in your invitations that you will be having a garden wedding, so as to alert friends and family who suffer from allergies, so that they can come prepared as well. It would not make for pretty pictures if half of your wedding party had itchy, watery eyes and runny noses for photo time!
3. Think about Time
What time of day are you considering for your ceremony? The time you choose could be affected by several things. First, pictures. Depending on where you're standing and where your photographer will be, photos could be affected by the sun, thus making it harder on your photographer. If you're going to choose a mid-day ceremony, make sure you'll be in a shaded area, like possibly under a tree. This will make things easier on both your photographer and you, actually, since you won't be squinting. If you're getting married in earlier spring or late fall, you may want a mid-day ceremony, since this tends to be the warmest part of the day. Make sure to check the chosen venue for bug problems, as you don't want to be bothered with mosquitoes should you chose an evening ceremony time. Go by your venue area several weeks before the wedding around the ceremony time, and have a walk. If you find that there are some problem bugs, ask the venue owners about having the area sprayed before your wedding date. Overall, (given that bugs are no problem) the time I would suggest for an outdoor wedding would be evening, as it provides a romantic light for pictures, and is more apt to be the perfect temperature.
4. Think about Dress Choice
I find a more casual approach in dress is more suited for a garden wedding, as well as with a beach wedding. I would recommend going for a light, easy dress, without much fuss, and probably without a train as well. One such suggestion can be found here: kleinfeldbridal.com and another here: kleinfeldbridal.com. These two dresses are perfect for a garden setting. I choosing a dress like this, you will have more freedom and ease, and can also avoid bad grass stains on your expensive dress.
5. Consider Shoes
Or lack thereof. Outdoor weddings, both on the beach and in a garden, offer the unique privilege to go completely barefoot throughout your wedding ceremony. This is indeed a wonderful choice, since heels can be a bit painful when you're standing for a while. One friend told of a wedding they attended where the bride and her bridesmaids were barefoot, and the bridesmaids happily skipped down the aisle decorated in beautiful petals of an array of flowers. A carefree wedding is always the way to go!
It might be a lovely choice to carry a bouquet sporting the same flowers found in the garden you've chosen. If you have a garden with a vast display of wild flowers, (which make for gorgeous pictures, by the way) you can carry a wildflower bouquet. Also, you might consider having your flower girl toss wild flowers in your aisle instead of rose petals for something a bit different. If you choose a rose garden, which can also be incredibly lovely, a complimentary bouquet of roses and baby's breath will be princess perfect!
When it comes to weddings on a beach or in a garden, the main decor is already there in this beautiful creation we call earth. So, the more simple your decorations, the better. For a garden wedding, you might like some bows on your chairs to spruce them up a bit, and maybe an arch over where you and your groom will stand. Just be sure to use things that won't be affected much, should a gust of wind decide to blow. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of your "I Do's" when the wind knocks over your arch!
While a wedding outdoors can be breathtakingly beautiful, there are things to consider before setting your date. Using these 7 tips for planning a garden wedding, you should be able to get a pretty good start on your perfect day! Good luck!
Top Photo Credit: crazy shopper