Outdoor Garden Weddings
Outdoor garden weddings are very popular especially during the late spring, summer and early fall seasons. There is definitely nothing to say you can't have an outdoor wedding in the winter, but make sure that you plan accordingly.
There are many pros and cons with having a garden wedding (but just as many as with any other location, just different things to consider). Some of the big pluses are the light – if you happen upon a lovely sunny day you will have great light during your ceremony and reception and even if it is a little cloudy the natural light will still work well for photos. A garden wedding also offers natural and wonderful colors to complement your wedding dress and everyone dressed up in their new wedding clothes. Depending on the look of the garden you almost get free decorations with plants, bushes and trees in the background. Consider things such as how you can set up chairs and the place where you will stand during the ceremony. Many places that offer garden weddings have a gazebo set up already which is where the wedding couple and party will be situated near.
Some questions to consider; is the ground even so that you can easily place a number of chairs safely on the grounds? What is the access to the garden like (where do the guests have to walk in order to get there)? If you are under the bare sky be sure to have a plan B in case it rains. Rent a tent and make sure you can put it up on short notice if needed. Or, have the tent up no matter what and get married under it. Although a garden offers nice natural features such as flowers, decide if you want additional decorations such as ribbons, balloons, flowers etc as well as deciding on the placement of those and whether or not you need any extra materials to hold these decorations. Make sure your guests know if it is an outdoor wedding so they can plan their clothing accordingly and bring umbrellas just in case. And if there is a different plan in the event of rain (such as going inside) make sure all the arrangements are made to have that available and an option you can execute on the same day of the wedding.
Just as with wedding halls, parking can be a consideration especially if you are getting married in the backyard of your parents' house for example. Make sure that the street can accommodate your guest or consider other means of transportation for your guests.
Some caterers are also happy to make and serve the food in your home (or as in the example above in your parents' home). Again, if this is the case consider the distance and easy of access between the kitchen and the area where the garden wedding will be taking place.
When you have an outdoor wedding party in a garden you loose some of the sound support that you would have in a room with four walls. So if you have a lot of guests maybe it would be appropriate to consider your priest/justice of peace to carry a microphone and the same thing if you have someone sing at your wedding.
If your reception and dance is also in a garden setting, make sure you can get the wiring and cables figured out to have lights and sound during the evening.