Planning to have a summer garden wedding reception? Doing it yourself can save a chunk off the standard cost of a wedding, plus you get to enjoy decorating the garden in the way you choose!
With the average cost of a UK wedding reaching an all time high of £30,355, more and more of us are opting for simpler receptions. If you’ve got room to have a marquee at home, or have access to a suitable area, you can shave thousands off the budget while having exactly the reception you want – whether that’s environmentally friendly, themed or luxurious. With the addition of bunting both inside and out, strings of lights and candles you can transform your venue into a temporary fairyland – and it needn’t cost a fortune.
Flowers are a huge part of the cost, which you can mitigate by using garden flowers for table decorations as much as possible. These cute little paper rose hearts measure 13cm by 13cm and are £3.95 from live laugh love. They’d look perfect decorating an archway of garden greenery or as table decorations.
These paper rose petals cost £6.95 from Paper Tree, and are available in red, ivory white, pale pink and dark pink. They’re handmade and coloured and use eco-friendly paper, and would make perfect table decorations or confetti. You could even use them to strew the path leading to the marquee – weather permitting! Each bag contains 200 petals of the same colour.
If you can’t rely on your garden flowers blooming at the right time, these 55cm tall paper flowers from the Decadent Garden collection from Talking Tables will take the guesswork out of planning. Available in a range of colours, they’re currently on sale and prices start from just £2.90 each. They’re straight forward to put together, each flower features a wire stem with a tissue paper flower head. Simply separate and fluff up the tissue paper then arrange in a vase.
Garden wedding bunting
This fabric bunting from Ragged Rose is great value at 15 metres for £15. It’s double sided so it won’t matter too much if it flips over in the wind, and it can be used time and time again.
At just under 2m long, this white blossom daisy garland by Gisela Graham is ideal for decorating the top table or to go around the cake. £15, available from The Contemporary Home.
These ditsy floral paper napkins couldn’t be more springlike and will help your tables look like a country meadow. The metallic border adds a sense of occasion. They cost £3.99 for 16 from Ginger Ray.
To create a centrepiece, fill these recycled glass vases from The Garden Trading Company with one or two large blooms such as chrysanthemums or hydrangea heads, or use wild flowers or dried foliage depending on the time of year. Prices start at £13. These vases have a distinctive teardrop shape, and each one is slightly different as they’re handmade, perfect for a rustic/country theme.
Garden wedding lighting
The right lighting can make or break an event, and nothing looks prettier than candlelight. (Make sure you choose your locations carefully, though – setting the garden on fire during the speeches probably isn’t in the plan!) These sweet little pink glass tealight candle holders, £3.95 each from Melody Maison, have floral detailing and will cast a lovely rosy glow. Each one holds a standard size tealight candle and measures 8cm high.
Slightly cheat-y but less likely to need supervision than real flames are these battery-powered paper sky lanterns, £5.99 each from Lights4Fun. They use three AAA batteries (not supplied), and give up to 60 hours of light. They also have a timer function, and a hook for hanging on trees or poles.
These dainty flower lights are suitable for outdoor use and would be perfect for framing a gateway or arch. The 20 warm white LEDs are evenly spread over 1.9m of bendable silver wire featuring pink flowers. The lights cost 6.99 from Lights4Fun.