How to Plan a Small Wedding in a Garden

Corey Ann

A small wedding in a garden can be an intimate event surrounded by family and friends. You may have to book a traditional wedding venue a year or more in advance. You can plan a small garden wedding in a few months and it can save you money. It's perfect for the bride and groom who love the outdoors. It also breaks the convention of a traditional ballroom reception. Garden weddings are romantic and fun.

Price the necessities. You might be trying to save money by having a small garden wedding. Look at traditional wedding venues with outdoor spaces before you decide to throw a wedding in a backyard.

Create a backup plan for inclement weather. This can be an entirely different location, moving the party indoors, or setting up a tent. It may be too warm during your wedding for some guests. Provide them with cool drinks, fans and shady places to sit.

Design a space with dual purposes. For your garden wedding, you'll need a place for the ceremony and the reception. Guests can sit at their tables to watch the ceremony. You can also transform the ceremony space into a reception area while your guests have a cocktail hour at another location. To save money, use the same chairs at both sites.

Alert your guests. Let each of your guests know that you are planning on a garden wedding by stating it on your invitation. The timing of your reception will dictate whether they should plan on a light luncheon or a full meal.

Build keepsakes. The traditional setting for an outdoor garden ceremony is underneath an arbor or arch. You can find these in garden centers and then decorate them with tulle or flowers. Look for an arbor that you can also put in your backyard later as a memento from your big day.

Carry the garden theme throughout the wedding. A small garden wedding has a built in theme. Decorate the cake with flowers. Use willow twigs for the centerpieces. Give out custom seed packets for useable wedding favors. You can even include a small terra cotta pot for your guests to grow their own plants. .

Serve natural food. You can serve a light luncheon depending on the time of day. Set up a dessert bar. Make sure your guests have plenty to drink since they will be outside. Set up an inexpensive drink station by putting water and ice in big glass containers with a ladle. Float limes or lemons in the water for flavor and color.

Bring in lighting. This is essential if your reception is going to continue into the evening. Rent battery powered chandeliers to bring a touch of class to the wedding. Candles make inexpensive centerpieces that cast mood lighting across the garden. String Christmas lights through the trees for added ambiance.