What You Need to Know About Planning a Garden Wedding

Garden weddings are more popular than ever in 2022. Here’s everything you need to know about how to plan a back garden wedding by HomeHow’s Gardening Expert Calum Maddock.

As Google searches for ‘garden wedding’ has seen a 284% increase in 2022, HomeHow‘s resident gardening expert Calum Maddock tells us everything you need to know about planning a back garden wedding – from the legalities to the logistics – and how to keep garden wedding costs down.

 

Garden Wedding Planning

Due to the limit on numbers at weddings in lockdown, many couples in the last two years have decided to not postpone their big day and instead make their wedding smaller and more intimate. “56% of couples in 2021 said they would be happy to go low key with their wedding plans and plan a back garden wedding, rather than opt for an elaborate venue,”
Calum Maddock explains. “With so much time spent at home and in the garden, and many relocating to bigger spaces outside of the city, it is no wonder that back garden weddings are set to be one of the biggest wedding trends of 2022.”

Legalities

After the pandemic severely affected the wedding industry, civil ceremonies are now able to legally take place outside. Before this, laws stated that you could only get legally married in licensed venues, such as churches, registry offices or hotels. “The perk of having the whole ceremony in one space is there’s no need to worry about ferrying people from the
ceremony to the reception,” Maddock advises. “That means the headache of organising transport is instantly eliminated.”

Logistics to Remember

Facilities

It’s an easy one to forget, but you must think about hiring toilets. “You may think that indoor toilets are enough, especially if you are having a relatively small wedding, however, remember drinks tend to be flowing and the last thing you need is a long queue for the only toilet available,” Maddock explains. “Consider renting portaloos to help ease the pressure on your plumbing system.”

Lighting

Remember to incorporate enough lighting outside to ensure the garden isn’t left pitch black once the sun sets. “Solar lights are a good option for outdoor lighting, as they are often waterproof and don’t require any plug extension, just ensure they are fully charged before the evening,” Maddock advises. “Solar lights come in various colours but opting for a warm white will create a warm and romantic atmosphere.”

Consider the Weather

The Great British weather is well and truly unpredictable, even in the summer there may be torrential downpours with thunder and lightning thrown in, and the very next day could boast the hottest temperatures the UK has ever seen. “Making any assumptions about the weather before your wedding day is a huge mistake,” Maddock warns. “Make sure you have backup plans in place for all eventualities.”

Maddock continues “in case of a downpour, or even just a quick shower which could dampen the mood, ensure there’s a suitable shelter outside to house guests. A marquee or even just a few gazebos should be perfectly sufficient in keeping your guests comfortable.”

In the eventuality of a heatwave, make sure you have your guests’ safety in mind. “As many tend to drink more alcohol than water during weddings, make sure you load up on water stations and have shaded areas for guests to stay comfortable. Although you can’t force your guests to load up on suncream, having bottles readily available can avoid any medical emergencies on the day.”

Styling

Transforming your back garden into a wedding venue may seem like a mammoth task, however, Maddock argues by using your back garden it can keep costs down. “If your garden is already full of flowers and plants then utilise these in your celebrations,” Maddock advises. “Not only will this save you money on buying extra flowers, but what better way to
personalise your wedding by incorporating your garden.” He continues “keep in mind the existing colour scheme of your table layouts and, if necessary, bring in other flowers to enhance what is already available. Just be mindful of the weather and which flowers are in season, especially if buying in advance.”

Maddock warns to keep your lawn in mind when planning for your dance floor. “A grassy area will not only get ruined with numerous people dancing on top of it, but it will be harder for people to dance on, especially those wearing high heels,” Maddock advises. “Consider investing in a flat surface to work as a dance floor. These can be purchased online relatively
cheaply, or you can hire tradespeople to come in and install a temporary one for the event.”

Food and Drinks

For any wedding, regardless of whether it is at a venue or in the back garden, food and drink are one of the most important parts of the day. There are numerous options to choose from, but the decision comes down to your budget and what you and your guests will prefer. “A popular and cost-effective way to feed everyone properly, and one which is in
keeping with the back garden theme, is to arrange a BBQ,” Maddock advises. “A help yourself BBQ feast allows guests to eat as much as they like, without having to worry about seating charts. A BBQ can also cater to all dietary requirements and doesn’t need to just be meat.”

Another fun idea is to hire a food truck and let them take care of the ingredients and serving. “Food trucks are really popular as they are a fun way to feed your guests and it can ease the pressure off the hosts,” Maddock advises. “Many supply their own cutlery and even offer a clean-up service, they will just require certain things such as a plug socket and
water.”

Serving alcohol can be a bit more difficult to plan. “If you are having a free or self-service bar then you will not need to worry about obtaining an alcohol license. However, if you are selling alcohol at your wedding then you will need to get an alcohol licence,” Maddock warns. “To get this, you will need to apply via your local council and complete a Temporary Event Notice application form and pay a fee.”

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