You’ve found the perfect venue: old oaks, a stone wall, a gazebo, acres of fragrant jasmine and honeysuckle, and even a small, clear pond. Now it’s time to take the garden wedding of your dreams a little further. Let’s start with invitations.
Garden Theme Invitations
The right invitation says “old world” and “hand made.” Artistic? Hand-paint a flower design, scan it in to your computer and fade it into the background of your invitations. Or collect and press wildflowers and violets to include.
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Accent your invitations with small brass buttons or charms. Seal the envelope with sealing wax and a seal that ties into your wedding: a seashell, a flower, a swan.
Raised lettering on your vellum overlays makes for a beautiful antique look. And no, you don’t have to purchase invitations to achieve it. You can do it yourself with a printer (ideally a laser printer), embossing powder and a heat gun (or hair dryer). Learn more about this technique:
Garden Theme Decorations
Look for cozy round tables, and set a large outdoor umbrella over each one. Use several layers of linens; the bottom one a solid color (not necessarily ivory or white), and the top, a coordinating print reminiscent of chintz or calico.
Use unbleached muslin and tulle to set the stage, and avoid bridal white. Choose peach, sand and mushroom tones instead — anything that complements the sepia photographs of forebears you’ll want to set on the tables. Use tea to safely dye anything you have on hand that’s just too white.
For mood lighting, you’ll want pillar candles, but not the ordinary sort — the kind that’s trimmed with small lampshades. Decorate the shades to suit the mood, with silk fringes and braids.
Comb thrift stores for colorful floral china (we routinely find full services there for cheap). Stack a larger, contrasting plate under a smaller. Use the most vivacious color combinations you can get away with.
Garden Theme Centerpieces
For a simple, one-minute centerpiece, gather a handful of old-fashioned spiral lollipops. Arrange loosely in mason jars.
To get a rise out of your guests, make or buy breadsticks redolent of thyme or rosemary, and display on end in a pitcher or galvanized bucket.
You’ll be in good “chair” when you make these adorable centerpieces: use wrought-iron doll-sized chairs from garden stores. Lay moss or wheat grass on the seat, and twine ivy or flower garlands through the back and arms.
Great Garden Theme Eats
Concentrate on light, portable finger foods. We suggest:
– Cherry, peach or lavender lemonade
– Chai tea
– A light, sweet wine, like Gewurstraminer
– Prosciutto and melons
– Deviled eggs with sundried tomatoes
– Stuffed mushrooms with feta, spinach and bacon
– Prosciutto/tomato panini
– Curry cucumber sandwiches
– Strawberry cream puffs
– Mini cheesecakes
Express the Inexpressible
For music at your garden wedding, almost anything goes — as long as it’s live. Call your local college for some inexpensive combos. Harps and violins or flutes and guitars — it hardly matters, as long as your musicians can breathe and eat lunch.