You can have it as fancy or casual as you prefer, have total control of the decoration, and make your day exactly how you want it.
Unfortunately, nowadays outdoor weddings can’t occur in the UK if the venue does not hold a license to host them. But you can have the reception wherever you prefer, as well in your own backyard.
Decoration and Lights
The decoration will depend on the size of your garden, as well as in the appearance of it and the plants or trees you got. Wood is the material to go for, and flowers are the key, a local florist will help you to match them with the atmosphere of your backyard.
DIY looks extraordinary on outdoors receptions, you can borrow some chairs and tables from friends, or rent them from an agency. You may want to build an altar at your garden, so hiring a wedding decorator sounds like a good idea. He will have to take care of the outdoor lighting as well, as you will probably want to continue with the reception after sundown. You can keep it simple, or go for a fairy tale look.
If you are looking for the ideal style to match with an outdoor wedding, a vintage reception will suit splendidly. For a vintage style reception, set up some wood dining tables and chairs and use essentially white colour to decorate them.
For the rest of the look, use an earthy colours palette, combined with other soft tones like:
- Green; combined with wood will create a nature and rustic look, great for a big outdoor space.
- Grey tones; would be perfect for a reception in winter time.
- Nude; to create a more romantic appearance. This soft pink will match with a reception full of flowers.
If you have enough space, a small band will fit perfectly in an outdoor wedding, keeping everything intimate. Make sure that the band visit the place to check the acoustics and the sound system.
Ask them to bring an extra generator just in case, and be ready for some acoustic songs in case that starts raining and you have to move indoors. At this point, you may want to consider to invite the neighbours, that way you don’t have to worry about bothering them being too loud.
You will need to set up a bar, and hire a bartender. If you are planning to make a big, formal reception, you will need as well waiters, and probably more than one bar. If you want to cut costs, you can skip the cocktails and keep it simple with wine, beer and prosecco.
Hiring a catering is necessary as you probably will not have time to spend two days cooking for the reception. You don’t need to ask for a whole sit-down dinner menu, instead, you can base the menu in appetizers and snacks, one or two mains, and the cake.
What better than a reception at your house to give your personal touch? You can use the decoration that better suits your style, from a flower adorned bicycle on the entrance, to jam jar glasses to serve your drink. Keep it simple and rustic!
No back garden? No problem
There are a lot of venues all over the country with gardens where you can make the reception of your wedding. From country houses with an intimate garden, to spectacular mansions or medieval castles.
Some venues also have license to host civil marriage and civil partnership, so you would be able to get married and make the reception at the same place. Most of them also offer rooms to stay during the night or weekend, so you can enjoy some extra time with your friends and family.
There are a lot of unexpected things that could happen, so be prepared. Rent a large tent, as you may need to use it if it rains. You can have an alternate indoor site, so make space in the rest of the house.
It may be a good idea to have some outdoors heaters prepared for the late evening. Get some extra outdoor lights and a lot of candles just in case, making your plan B as bright as your plan A!