Are you planning (or considering) a garden wedding, but don’t know where to start? You’re not alone. In fact, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll cover 6 of the most commonly asked questions about garden weddings.
What Is A Garden Wedding?
A garden wedding is an outdoor nuptial ceremony and/or marriage reception that takes place inside a garden or close to one. Garden weddings have beautiful nature-centered backdrops, such as lush flower bushes, vibrant fruit trees, or even climbing plant vines. Any wedding that takes place near a garden can be considered a garden wedding.
There are no rules about what type of garden you choose for your wedding location. From beach garden weddings — to nuptials in your community vegetable garden — to an elopement in a homegrown sea of spices, your garden wedding can be anything you’d like it to be!
Besides, it’s your day!
Great, let’s move on to the next question.
What Is The Best Month For An Outdoor Wedding?
Determining the best month for your outdoor wedding requires some due diligence. In order to choose the right month for you, consider your unique vision and personal preferences regarding the following factors:
- Desired Aesthetic
- Outdoor Temperature
- Chance Of Rain
- The Budget
When deciding on the best month to plan your garden wedding, it’s important to first consider your desired aesthetic. Your ambience — if you will.
If you’re picturing ripe, colorful wine grapes climbing tall arbors and trellises, you’ll want to do some research to determine the peak season for wine grapes in your specific area.
If you’re looking for plump pumpkins and gourds with a backdrop of amber leaves, you’ll want to choose a month in autumn. Moreover, you might want to think about picking the specific week that has peak fall foliage in your area.
It’s worth considering your desired ambience along with the other factors I’ve mentioned. (Don’t worry we’re about to go over those other factors in more detail). That way, you can find some date ranges for each factor and look for some dates that overlap in each category.
This one is mostly about deciding how cool or warm you want your day to be. The outdoor temperature category probably seems pretty self explanatory. Though, how do you truly know what the temperature is going to be?
While you can never be 100% certain of predicting future climate conditions with 100% accuracy, you can make a pretty solid educated guess based on the historical data.
If you’re looking for a mild day between 70 and 80 degrees with low humidity, look at last year’s (or even the historical) weather averages in the area you plan to have your wedding. If you’re hoping for low humidity, look for patterns in historical dew points and choose a date range that appears to have relatively low dew points.
For example, you might consider getting married in New England some time during the first few weeks of September. This would allow you to take advantage of the mild temperatures that come as the summer season rolls to an end.
Note: If you’re a sucker for hot weather and want to have your wedding smack dab in the middle of summer, that’s fine (again, it’s your day)! Just be sure to provide plenty of shade, water, and ice so that your guests have a way to cool down if they need to. You may even want to provide some environmentally-friendly sunscreen and outdoor fans!
Chance Of Rain
Another factor to take into consideration is the chance of precipitation. You’ll want to do your research to figure out the driest and wettest months for the area in which you’re planning to exchange vows.
If you’re hoping to stand before a fountain centered in a rich landscape of flowers and shrubs — and also hoping to stay dry while doing so — your rain considerations will be dependent on your wedding destination.
If the garden is in Dublin, where it rains many days out of the year, April might be the best month for you. It’s smack dab in the middle of Ireland’s spring season (and also a relatively dry month when you take inches of rain into consideration).
If your garden nuptials will be taking place on an island, peninsula, or coastline, you may want to conduct a quick online search to avoid choosing a date during hurricane or cyclone season.
I know I mentioned September being a lovely time to get married in New England, but it can be (and often is) different everywhere. If your beach garden venue is in Florida, a September date (smack dab in the middle of hurricane season) could put a serious “damper” on your bright and sunny day.
While thinking about the rain factor, you may also find significant overlap with the previous two factors (Desired Aesthetic and Outdoor Temperature). For example, if you plan a Vermont wedding in April, you’ll be likely to not only come across some rain, but also cooler-than-desired temperatures and lots of messy, mucky mud (which might not quite depict the aesthetic you’re going for).
Regardless of whether you’d like dry or wet weather, consider precipitation for your specific location. (P.S. I very well may have just inadvertently become a poet…haha!)
The last factor to consider when choosing the best month for your outdoor wedding is your budget, so without further ado:
Let’s elaborate on the financial factor as it relates to choosing the best month for Your wedding.
You may not have thought about your budget when trying to determine the best month for your special day. Here’s why it’s important though: venue and vendor prices vary significantly depending on the time of year.
If money isn’t a concern for you, you can probably get away with focusing mostly on those first three factors (which we discussed a little earlier).
However, if you’re sticking to a strict budget, you may find peak wedding season to simply not be best option for your needs. If this is the case, it will make all the difference to make a list of “good”, “better”, and “best” date ranges for each of the 4 factors. You can look for date overlap in some of the categories in order to make an educated choice that makes the most sense for You.
Speaking of budget, here’s the next commonly asked garden wedding question:
Are Backyard Weddings Cheaper?
Though there are exceptions, Yes. Backyard weddings are generally cheaper than weddings at other venues. This is mainly because couples can avoid paying costly venue fees. What’s more, by opting for backyard nuptials, couples can have more power in the customization of their big day, all while avoiding gouged wedding vendor prices.
In a Value Penguin article about average wedding venue costs, research analyst Sterling Price states that:
“Couples spend between $12,343 and $14,006 on average for their wedding venue, according to recent surveys of brides.”https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-cost-of-wedding-venue#:~:text=Couples%20spend%20between%20%2412%2C343%20and,like%20tables%2C%20chairs%20and%20linens.
Judging by those average venue cost figures, it’s no wonder why some people would want to skip the fancy venues and opt for something a bit more modest. If you’re one of those people, a backyard wedding could be the perfect option — and don’t forget — “less expensive” doesn’t have to mean “less beautiful”!
That brings us to the other general reason that backyard weddings can easily be cheaper — Customizability!
Backyard weddings not only provide more financial slack due to saving on venue fees — these at-home celebrations also allow more freedom for customization due to having less rigid “rules” to follow!
Think of it this way, by planning your big day in your backyard, you won’t have to abide by nearly as many legalities, rules, or technicalities that you would with an official wedding venue.
For example, let’s say you’d like to hang some bulb lights and paper lanterns above the tables of your reception area. If you do this at an official venue, odds are you will be looking at paying upwards of $1000 for a professional decorator to hang them for you.
Even if you offer to bring a ladder and hang them yourself, an established venue will not take on any safety risks due to their own legal liabilities. You can check what the regulations are at your specific venue, but odds are, if you’re looking to decorate higher than 6 feet from the ground at a venue, you’re going to have to pay the professional decorator.
Those extra costs can be avoided by simply hanging your lights and lanterns by yourself (or with friends)— in your own backyard. Just make sure you’re educated on OSHA’s ladder safety (and never fool around on or near a ladder).
Skipping the professional decorator is just one of many ways you can save by having a backyard wedding.
Due to various regulations surrounding legalities and liabilities, formal wedding venues usually require that you hire professional licensed caterers and bar services.
In case you didn’t already know this, I’m about to tell you: Professional Food service costs TONS of money! According to roaminghunger.com:
“most receptions for 100 people cost around $5,000 to $10,000, with average cost being around $7000.”https://roaminghunger.com/blog/15409/how-much-does-it-cost-to-cater-a-wedding-for-100-people
Yes, that’s just for catering, services.
No, that does not include gratuity.
…if you just said, “Yikes.” — You’re right.
Fortunately, you have a great deal more freedom if your big day is happening in your yard — because it’s your property.
If you want to have a potluck-style picnic and ask your Nana to bake your favorite pineapple upside-down cake in lieu of wedding cake, you can do all of that and more — as long as you do it at home instead of at a luxury five-star hotel.
You might even be able to splurge on a gorgeous tent rental or an incredible cover band with the funds you would’ve spent on an expensive caterer or big venue.
The beverage department is easier at home, too. You can buy your own bottles to stock the bar without paying inflated prices for liquor and pour fees.
You can mix some icy specialty drinks in your own beverage dispensers. Think homegrown fruit in your sangria and fresh mint leaves in your mojito!
If you’d like some more ideas on how to make your outdoor wedding more budget friendly, check out this article on How To Plan A Garden Wedding On A Budget.
Another frequently asked (and very much related) question is:
How Do You Pull Off A Cheap Wedding?
To pull off a cheap wedding, you should follow these five simple steps:
- Decide On & Honor Your Budget
- Consider All Major Planning Categories
- Hire Vendors For The Big Stuff
- Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
- Make it your own
How Do You Make An Outdoor Wedding Elegant?
To make an outdoor wedding elegant, you’ll want to give the beauty of nature its chance to shine without overdoing the decor. Yes to fresh cut grass, clean-looking landscapes, and lots of lush flowers, plants, and shrubberies. Ivory, nude, champagne, and rose-colored linens add a classy touch whether they’re draped over a table or cascading from a branch or arbor (but you can choose any color you want). The most important thing to remember is that when aiming for elegance, less can truly be more.
How Do You Decorate A Garden To Make It Beautiful For A Wedding?
To decorate a garden for a beautiful outdoor wedding, you should first make sure your ceremony space looks fresh and clean. Think fresh cut grass, neatly pruned plants and trees, and pulling out any unsightly weeds. Once your garden space looks clean, you can get creative with things like arbors, draped linens, lights, floral arrangements, flower petals, and even framed photos or meaningful, attractive artifacts.
If you haven’t already, you can find more ideas for making your garden wedding beautiful here.
Congrats! Now you have a starting point for planning the outdoor garden wedding of your dreams!
I wish you and yours a lifetime of love and bountiful harvests!
If you’re looking to rent garden space for a wedding, you can learn about how to rent garden space here.
If you like the idea of a greenhouse for your home garden wedding, check out pricing for modular greenhouses on NW Greenhouses.
You might also be interested in reading this article on common concerns about backyard garden weddings.
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I hope you enjoyed this guest post by LMadGz!