An outdoor wedding in a garden is a wonderful location choice for your big day. With a little hard work and some help from Mother Nature, your wedding can be as beautiful as the one in your dreams. Here are a few tips to make it even more so and help you on you way to an unforgettable event.
One option is to have your wedding ceremony in the evening so your guests can enjoy the beauty a garden flower affords and with the reception held in the oncoming dusk, you have an opportunity to show off your favorite parts of the flower garden with lighting. Strings of white lights hung in smaller trees and shrubbery add luster to the affair and solar panel stake lights can light the way down pathways to help you navigate your guests to food or dance areas. Have ushers in attendance to help older guests to the bathroom and back to their seats.
Having your reception out of doors saves your budget on food as you grill for hungry guests. For larger weddings, have several grills set up and dedicate one to children’s favorites like hamburgers and hot dogs. Volunteers from friends or family can cook or you can hire professional grillers for your reception. This is less expensive than you would think and much less expensive than having the entire reception catered. You will afford your guests freshly cooked food, right off the grill.
Sound carries better at night and a live band will afford more quality than a D J. Make sure to have the band set up as far away from the food area as possible to avoid too much traffic in one area. A patch of grassy lawn makes the perfect dance floor or you can have one made from wood and linoleum that is fairly inexpensive. Surround you band and dance area with round tables and reserve a long rectangular table for the bride and groom and the wedding party. These tables are the perfect place to present your guests with spring wedding favors or garden wedding favors.
Most weddings have up to a year of preparation time so plan your garden accordingly. Cover less desirable areas with wildflowers; which are inexpensive and will grow in shade or sun. This will keep your guests out of trouble spots and children can be occupied by making bouquets from these as they are easily replaced.
Lakes and ponds are beautiful and inviting but do not be tempted to set up your reception too close. Large bodies of water are bug fests and mosquitoes and snakes love a good party. Protect your guests by putting some distance between you and water. Spay for bugs a day or two before the event and set up a barrier with a line of citronella candles. Certain flowers also repel mosquitoes and your region might support this so check with your local Department of Parks and Recreations for a list.
A makeshift wishing well is the perfect opportunity to get your guests to participate. As they arrive, have the ushers give each guest two shiny pennies and inform them they can make a wishing well wish. Let them know that one penny is for good wishes for the bride and groom and one is for them. You can then set up a camera and microphone so you can make a video of your well-wisher’s sentiments.
Jim Gibbs is the retired President and founder of Gibbs Landscape Company, one of Atlanta’s leading landscape companies for more than 40 years. He and his company are the recipient of more than 250 awards. Mr. Gibbs began his career after graduating from The University of Georgia in 1965 with a B.S. Degree and a major in horticulture and a minor in landscape architecture. Ceremonies to present two of his national landscape awards were held at gala White House receptions. Gibbs Gardens is the perfect setting for that special day in the life of a bride and groom. They have several sites appropriate for the ceremony and tented receptions.