Garden Weddings

To marry in a garden is to believe in a lifetime. A. Stevens

Garden weddings seem to be becoming more popular – even in North Central Ohio, where the weather isn’t always “perfect.” THE North Central Ohio Bride interviewed an expert in garden weddings, Lisa Duckworth, from Kingwood Center.

TNCOB: It’s great to be able to chat with someone who works with garden weddings on a daily basis, at least in the summer.

Lisa: Thanks, I enjoy sharing my love for outdoor weddings.

TNCOB: Is it really true that garden weddings are becoming more popular here in North Central Ohio.

Lisa: Non traditional weddings of many sorts, barn… home… rustic… and especially here at Kingwood, garden weddings have all become more popular in the last several years.

TNCOB: When a bride is looking for a venue for her wedding, what sorts of things should she consider in order to make sure her venue matches her lifestyle, her personality, her theme…

Lisa: I think a bride should pick a theme that is meaningful to her. I don’t think an empty banquet hall reaches down to the soul of her childhood dreams of her perfect wedding. If you visit a venue that brings back actual memories of your childhood, or if you instantly say “Oh! This is just like where I’ve always dreamed of getting married” then you’ve found your venue.

TNCOB: What are some advantages of non traditional wedding venues?

Lisa: If you do a cookie-cutter wedding just like your parents and grandparents did, nobody’s going to remember it. But if you do something unique, people will remember and talk about your wedding for a long time.

TNCOB: Why would a bride choose a venue with gardens and indoor facilities in one place?

Lisa: One of the old traditions is to have the ceremony in one location, get in the car and go to the reception location. When you choose a venue where you can have the ceremony and reception in the same area or within a few yards of each other, you and your guests don’t have to drive, and you have more time to be with them or to spend quietly with you new husband. You also don’t have to spent time traveling to get to a spot for special photographs of the two of you.

 TNCOB: Gardens are already “decorated” by nature, so what can couples do to make a garden wedding venue their own?

Lisa: I’ve seen several cool ideas for highlighting the garden using posters, signs, and pictures. One bride spent a year collecting vintage furniture, and used it for her reception on the lawn, which gave the venue a feel that no one else has created there. You can create a theme, such as a particular era or a plant or animal – like a peacock, and then let that theme influence everything from colors to decorations.

TNCOB: When do gardens usually look their best?

Lisa: Even though many brides want to get married in May or June, gardens tend to look very immature; everything is sparse and small. But if you wait until mid to late summer or even early fall, everything is really big, really full and is at it’s peak and lush looking. Once we have frost – around the second week of October, everything fades quickly.

TNCOB: What about rain – sooner or later it’s going to rain on somebody’s garden wedding.

Lisa: There are options. The first option is you can put a tent up, but it’s not a last minute decision. It takes three to four hours to put a tent up, so it’s a day-before decision. The second option at many venues (and it’s an option here at Kingwood) is the inside option. Make sure your venue has an inside option large enough for the number of guests you have invited. And finally some brides are just OK with getting rained on – some even consider it good luck.

TNCOB: What sorts of things do brides tend to forget to think about when planning a garden wedding?

Lisa: Mostly it’s in the smaller details.
Where will the sun be when your wedding starts? Which way do you want to be facing? Which way do you want your guests chairs to be facing? Will your guests get hot sitting in the sun in July or August? Will your ushers be passing out cold water bottles or maybe programs designed as fans?

Are you wearing high heels? If so, do you know that the ground is firn enough to keep you from sinking in? Did you know that an aisle runner on grass will often catch shoes and actually let your feet slip out of them?
How will you handle your receiving line – will you even have one?

TNCOB: What special advice can you give our brides as they plan their wedding?

Lisa: Remember that it is your wedding. Don’t be pressured into doing things someone else’s way. Don’t be pressured by what you think is expected of you. If you don’t want a “traditional” wedding, have a unique wedding – something that is yours. Have the wedding you have always dreamed of, not the wedding of someone else’s dreams.