Garden ceremonies

Mar 28, 2017
Garden party Ring Blessing

As Spring seems really to have sprung (at least, round here), thoughts may well be turning to garden ceremonies. What a beautiful, atmospheric way to mark a special occasion!

Yes, there are many good reasons for holding your event in your back garden, but there are a few things you must take into account too. Let’s take a look at all this.


The most obvious reason for a backyard ceremony is cost. If you’re not paying to hire a venue, you’re going to save a lot of money. Mind you, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your event will come cheap …!

One of the loveliest things about a garden ceremony is the atmosphere. It can be light and informal. The surroundings will (hopefully!) be beautiful, and everybody should feel at ease. With less formality, there may be greater opportunity to mingle, both for guests and hosts.

If you’re using a civil celebrant, he should be able to add to the atmosphere by creating a bespoke ceremony for you.

The chances are – weather permitting – that garden ceremonies will turn out to be absolutely wonderful. But be aware that a lot of thought and work have to go into them to ensure success.

Have you thought of the following?

Things to consider

Bear in mind that the money you are saving by not hiring a venue covers expenditure you’re still going to have to make.

  • You’ll have to work hard to make sure your garden is presentable on the day.
  • You may also have to buy in (and lay out) flowers, decoration, audio-visual equipment.
  • Is there a large enough dry, warm room, if the weather turns against you? Or have you got umbrellas, parasols, blankets, sufficient seats? Will there be cold drinks on tap, in case the weather is hot?
  • Are you bearing health and safety in mind? No trailing cables and the like? Are you serving hot items – how will they be brought out?
  • Do you have sufficient toilet facilities?

Remember that you will essentially become the event planner, and there are very good reasons why people often shell out to hire one!

If you save money by not hiring a caterer, and assuming you’re not a professional caterer yourself, you do have issues to consider. Choosing the menu, ordering the food and drink, crockery and cutlery, arranging transport and storage, serving, clearing away all need to be weighed up. A buffet is probably the simplest option, but will still require detailed planning. Somebody (or bodies) will need to be deputed to organise the drinks (not to mention the food) on the day.

You will need to think about parking arrangements. This is a good time to warn your neighbours what you are planning! If you’re not actually inviting them, do ask them politely not to mow their lawns or blast out loud music during your event!

While on the subject of noise, if you live on the flight path of a major airport, you may want to reconsider the whole thing!


It may look as though I am against the whole idea, as the ‘cons’ list apparently outnumbers the ‘pros’! However, although you are taking a risk, especially with the weather in our country, the rewards are so worthwhile. Some of the most successful events I have been part of took place in the open air. There’s something so special about it.

You do need a ‘Plan B’, and you have to plan carefully in advance and work hard on the day. However, if all goes to plan, absolutely nothing can beat garden ceremonies. Go for it!