Garden Wedding Decorating Ideas
An outdoor wedding is fertile ground for great decorating ideas
By Andrea Campbell
Nothing is as vibrant and festive as a garden in full bloom. The flower garden scents are intoxicating, and the scenery says romance. Blooming flowers, especially in the spring symbolize a new beginning. Your white bridal gown will contrast perfectly against a verdant background offering great opportunities for pictures. With some extra planning, or the right venue, you can make your dream of a garden wedding come true.
Arbor, archway or trellis
Whether you have your garden wedding at a park, backyard or formal venue, nothing is dreamier than walking through an arbor. Whether you buy or rent an arbor, use a base of lush greenery and attach blooms and ribbon with florist wire. If your reception will continue until dusk, intertwine twinkle lights for drama and a soft, magical effect.
Make the guest chairs part of the decor by either asking your vendor or friends and family to put them into creamy white slips. Add pale pink ribbon ties at the back, or use drapes of tulle to the seat and back to add color. Have seating areas with benches or white wicker chairs arranged so that guests feel inclined to mingle and converse with another.
There are any number of decorative elements that you can rent, request or buy for your garden wedding. Water elements such as fountains or ponds can enhance a setting and create an even more natural and peaceful setting. Even if all you have available are birdbaths, no matter -- even these props can help to set the mood. Float candles or blossoms in the water. A silver gazing ball adds drama and elegance; nestle it where it can reflect the flowerbeds for impact. Arrange to have potted trees -- palms are especially nice, or stylish topiary in pairs -- that will add symmetry and give the eye some taller greenery to focus on.
Have floral bouquets placed at the end of each row of seating. If the aisle is bare from foot traffic, consider adding a runner or paving stones.
Use decorative Chinese lanterns strung from tree to tree. You can use a battery light system. Even if you don't turn them on, you'll be adding the charm of their shape and pattern. Use string lights with covers in summer motifs such as butterflies, twinkle stars, dragonflies or blossoms.
Make sure you have a bouquet of your wedding colors on the altar in unusual vessels such as silver trophy cups, teapots or copper watering cans. Or rent large golden pot stands to flank the area where the nuptials will take place. You could also put flowers in big crystal bowls with colored water and add lime slices or miniature oranges to the base.
Table setups and cake
Make the most of gift tables, drink stations or reception areas by using simple, elegant, blinding-white linen tablecloths. Everything you set against them becomes art. Coordinate centerpiece flower runners with both the garlands and the altar bouquets. Mimic the garden theme by having the cake decorated with the same signature blooms you use outside. Sprinkle colored rose petals around the base of the cake.
Weather concerns & signage
Look into tenting in case the weather is not going to be cooperative. String beautiful pink canvas using grommets and wire as "sun shades" so people can escape the direct rays. To help things move along smoothly -- especially if you're having a large wedding -- have friends and family or your wedding planner set up directional signs for things like parking, restrooms, dining areas and other special sections.
About the Author
Andrea Campbell is a regular contributor to DexKnows. She has been writing professionally since 1991.
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When decorating for a backyard wedding, lighting is very important both for atmospheric and safety reasons.... Watch Video
Weatherproof your hair
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A parabola-shaped tent with clean lines, capable of withstanding winds up to 70 miles per hour. Contains few internal poles, making it a popular choice for large weddings.View the Full Weddings Glossary