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Image / Style / Weddings

8 Ideas for planning a small yet romantic garden wedding this summer


by Megan Burns
05th May 2021

A.D. Event Design

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If you want your big day to be on a smaller scale, having it in your own back garden can add an intimate and personal touch.

Whether you had originally planned for a large event that Covid has made impossible, or you just like the idea of an intimate affair, we’re seeing a rise in small weddings over the last year.

And when it’s just your closest friends and family in attendance, some couples are deciding to host their weddings in their back gardens, making their day incredibly personal.

You can take inspiration from this couple who got married in the back garden of their Dublin 12 home last year: everything from the food to the dress felt special, but the whole day had a relaxed mood.  Here are some things to consider if planning your own garden celebration.

The ceremony

As the legal part of your marriage can’t happen in your garden, you may decide to have this ceremony early in the day, or even a few days before, leaving your day free for celebration. You can then choose whether to have some kind of ceremony in your garden to mark the occasion as well.

Guests

As well as keeping current restrictions on weddings in mind, it’s also a good idea to think realistically about how many people your garden can accommodate.

If it’s on the small side, will there be enough space for everyone to sit without being on top of each other? Similarly, if people will want to dance later in the evening, will you need to clear tables to the side?

Food 

Having caterers on site might push you over the limit for people allowed at one gathering, so consider something that can be pre-prepared, like a cold buffet. You could also ask a favourite local restaurant if they can deliver, or make food to be picked up, as it’s something that more restaurants than ever before have had practice at over the past year. 

Nicolas Vahé

The smaller number of guests means that your options are much greater than if you were trying to feed 120 at once, so whether you want something that feels a bit special, or you’d rather just order a stack of pizzas, it’s all feasible with the right planning.

Equipment 

You might not have suitable tables and chairs, or perhaps you want some insurance against rain showers with a gazebo. These can easily be rented, or borrowed from friends or family.

Flowers 

Beautiful flowers will set the tone for your day, and with a smaller space to decorate, you can really go for one or two show-stopping arrangements.

Speak to your florist about the best options for your space, as the needs of your space probably aren’t going to be the same as that of a typical wedding. Maybe you want something to decorate a pergola in your garden, or if there’s just one dining table, a large arrangement for the centre.

Photographs 

Again, having a photographer at your home might mean them taking the place of a beloved family member, so you could meet a photographer outdoors to take some shots in a different location. You can be sure that everyone in attendance will take plenty of snaps of your garden celebrations, so there’s no danger of that not being captured.

Tablescape 

With a small number of guests to seat, the tablescape is another place where you can really go for something memorable if you wish. 

Perhaps you or someone in your family has a special set of china that would be perfect for the occasion, or there Irish businesses where you can rent curated tablescapes such as A.D. Event Design and Signature Rentals including everything from napkins and tablecloths to candles and centrepieces.

Neighbours

If you have neighbours close by, it’s nice to give them a heads-up about your day, and the potential for there to be some noise into the evening. It’s hard to imagine anyone begrudging a small wedding, but giving them some warning will allow them to plan accordingly.