The sweet sounds of the string quartet come wafting through the sunny air, mixing with bird songs and the soft crying of an aunt or two. You walk barefoot with a crown of daisies through the crisp grass toward your smiling fiance, your flower-embroidered train billowing softly in the afternoon breeze.
As you arrive beneath the white lattice archway woven with roses, the musicians resolve, and your find your love's eyes as he lifts your veil of silken petals. You take a deep breath, the wonderful aromas of flowers in sunshine filling your lungs, lifting you toward the most romantic moment of your life...the big day has finally arrived! Aren't you glad you've chosen a garden wedding theme?
Garden weddings have long been a popular choice for brides and grooms seeking a naturally elegant motif for their union. For those with a love of sunshine and the outdoors with no sacrifice of luxury, a garden theme is often the perfect way to complement their vows of love. When planning a garden themed wedding, you'll want to begin about eight months beforehand - there's a lot to arrange, but with some careful forethought and the following ideas, you'll have no trouble putting together a beautiful ceremony.
Garden Wedding Location
Maybe you or your fiance (or someone in your extended families) owns a gorgeous backyard garden that would be a lovely spot for your wedding - if so, lovely! If not, you might consider a lakeside location, a city park, or local botanical gardens, all of which are generally available for events of this sort.
Garden Wedding Colors
Nearly all colors can work well with a garden wedding, depending upon what flowers are currently blooming, and how the garden is arranged. If the garden is particularly colorful, various shades of a single color (like pink or gold) can be beautifully paired with whites and creams, creating a simple yet stylish backdrop for your special day.
Garden Wedding Invitations
Your invitations are the first part of your wedding your friends and family will see, so it pays to make them stylish. However, note that stylish doesn't mean expensive! If you're a do-it-yourselfer, consider an invitation on handmade paper with pressed flowers, overlaid with vellum and tied with a silver ribbon. Using wedding-themed clipart of garden plants, flowers, or butterflies are also great ways to create your own lovely invitations.
Garden Wedding Dress
Classic garden bridal gowns are often white, with floral embroidery in white, silver, gold, or other pastel colors. Flower-themed bridesmaid and flower girl dresses are wonderful additions to a garden motif. When choosing dresses, keep the season and time of day in mind - you're most likely going to want a short-sleeved or sleeveless dress made from a breezy fabric like organdy, linen, or chiffon.
Garden Wedding Food
For a garden wedding, buffet-style serving is an outstanding choice. The easy formality of a garden motif pairs well with long tables filled with classy barbecue fare - grilled foods, fresh fruits and berries, gourmet potato salad, and sparkling pitchers filled with sunny lemonade and refreshing iced tea, with slices of lemon floating on the top. For your coffee service, consider finding antique flower-themed teacups and saucers at your local flea market. Even if the cups don't match, these delicate serving vessels will add character to your decorating and spark conversations amongst your friends and family.
Garden Wedding Flowers
It's a garden wedding - of course there will be tons of flowers! Just what sort will probably depend upon what sort of garden you've chosen to host your marriage, but popular choices include roses, sunflowers, calla lilies, and orchids, which are often more affordable in the summertime. You might also consider different varieties of white or cream-colored flowers, including roses, lilies, daisies, and snow mums.
Garden Wedding Lighting
If your wedding will continue into the evening hours, some accent lighting can create a beautiful scene as the sun goes down. String lights up the trunks of trees in the garden, and lines of Japanese paper lanterns between them. Mason jars or white paper bags filled with sand and tea lights can be placed on tables, hung from trees, or may be used to line pathways in the garden, creating a lovely glow as your guests continue to drink, dance, and toast your happiness. Finally, floating candles in the shape of flowers or fruits can be placed in glass bowls filled with shining water. Sprinkle a few rose petals in amongst them to create a graceful centerpiece for every table.
Garden Wedding Favors
Send your wedding guests home with a memorable favor from this elegant wedding. If the season is right, juicy peaches and ripe pears are excellent parting gifts, as are white, cone-shaped bags stuffed with potpourri and tied with a pink ribbon. Single flowers paired with seed packets can also make lovely reminders of this special day.
Garden Wedding Tents
If you're planning a wedding in the afternoon, it's a good idea to arrange for a garden tent or canopy for your guests to find a break from the sun. Your older friends and family, in particular, will appreciate this thoughtful and beautiful touch. In case of inclement weather, a wedding tent will provide much needed refuge from the rain. Tents can be decorated to match the colors of wedding, and are often adorned with strings of Christmas lights and paper lanterns. For more information, please see Tent Weddings.
Of course, these are only some ideas to spark your romantic imagination - your garden wedding will be uniquely yours! Plan carefully, let your creativity blossom, and your garden-themed wedding is sure to be an elegant and memorable affair.