An At-Home Garden Wedding
When Lockdown began I worried that I would start to resent my own home. I thought that maybe I’d feel claustrophobic and desperate to be anywhere but here. Well here we are 7 weeks later and, either I’m becoming institutionalised or my gratitude levels are going through the roof, but I now feel more love than ever for my home! I’m lucky to have a garden too, which has made a huge difference, and what’s more, I’m lucky to share my home with my husband and our two girls. And that is probably why I love my home, because it’s our home.
It’s where we’re making memories and dreaming of the future. Right now, it’s pretty much our whole world. So as much as I love to travel and I love the beautiful diversity that’s out there, if you asked me right now where my most special place is I would say it’s my home. And I’d bet that there are plenty of others, who if they really thought about it, would say the same.
So this recent revelation of mine got me thinking about where people choose to have the most special day of their lives, their wedding day, and why. One of the things I love most about being a Celebrant is that I can conduct a ceremony absolutely anywhere! I’m not restricted to licensed venues in the way that Registrars are. So I can give my couples complete freedom of choice. And what couples usually want is to get married in a place that means something to them. That may be beside a lake, or at the top of a mountain, somewhere that holds memories from a special trip together. But where could hold more significance than your home. Whether it’s full of memories already or it’s where the journey begins, it will always be a special place.
Imagine the relaxed feeling of waking up at home on your wedding day and not having to be anywhere else. Taking a glass of champagne out into the garden and admiring the beautiful space where it will all unfold. Imagine being able to get ready for your wedding day in your own room, with the lighting you’re used to, and everything you need at your fingertips.
But even before the day, just imagine the love that would go into preparing for it. You can take all the time you want to create your dream wedding space, adding new ideas and extra details as you go. An at-home wedding is what Pinterest boards were made for! Now, your garden isn’t likely to be licensed for weddings so you’ll have already decided to sign your legal paperwork at the registry office on a different day. That leaves you with complete freedom to say your ‘I dos’ in the open-air, with a beautiful flower arch or tulle drapes behind you, a simple, elegant backdrop or a wondrous creation, it’s up to you. But you certainly wont need to be stuck under a licensed pagoda!
Amber and Anthony (pictured) chose to have an at-home garden wedding and one of their top tips is to “Try and enjoy the planning – it’s very easy to see it as stress or hassle, but you can turn every part of the planning into a little adventure. The day goes by so quickly that you want to make sure you enjoyed the planning as well.Also, realise that people who offer to help genuinely do want to help! It’s easy to feel like it’s all “down to you” but good friends and family genuinely don’t mind mucking in – some actually get a real kick out of it.”
If this lockdown has taught us anything it’s that family and friends are everything. Involving them in the planning of your wedding, the set up and the actual day itself will make it all the more special for both you and them.
But that said, an at-home wedding doesn’t have to be completely DIY. If you’re someone who likes piece-of-mind then get a professional on board! Someone with the experience, the resources and the creative genius to turn your ideas into reality. For me (if I wasn’t already married!) that someone would be Natasha Spencer, wedding planner and stylist. What Natasha can do with an outdoor space is just magical. So I’ve asked if, for now, we can just steal a few of her ideas! Over to you Natasha …
Thank you Natalie, getting married at home is something I hold very dear to my heart as I was lucky enough to do just that. Everything Natalie has described is true. Close friends and family will all begin to arrive in the days leading up to the wedding, eager to lend a hand. It’s a wonderful feeling of togetherness and a very happy time. Rather than a rushed morning of set up by your suppliers without you present, you will have days to set up and be milling around, rollers in hair, on the morning to make sure everything is just so.
It’s important to use all the space you have. The beauty of using your own land is everything can be how you want it. Take the time to choose a designated ceremony area, seating area, dining area and dancefloor so you can move seamlessly from one part of the day to the next.
Use the flowers and plants in your garden to guide your styling and colour scheme. There is no point in having an abundance of purples and pinks in your garden whilst opting for a yellow colour pallet. It’s always a nice sentiment to plant a few extra plants or flowers especially for the wedding, They will be a reminder, year after year, of that precious day.
No matter the time of year, always have some sort of canopy, whether it’s to provide shade from the sun or shelter from the rain. Make sure it’s a large enough structure to cover all your guests comfortably. It’s also important to pick a structure that suits your style. Make sure you leave a suitable space for your catering, generator and loos. You want these to be tucked away neatly.
No matter how you choose to style your wedding, a garden wedding has a homely and relaxed feel to it that is truly unique to you and that is what makes it so very special.
Written by Natalie Davies, Independent Celebrant, Rose & Grace Bespoke Ceremonies
and Natasha Spencer, Wedding Stylist and Planner, www.natasha-spencer.co.uk
Wedding Photography by Amy Faith, www.amyfaithphotography.com