Weddings at Home: the Outdoor Ceremony

August 22, 2011 by Kenmore

Create an intimate ceremony outside with ease. Start by taking cues from your outdoor space to create the perfect focal point for your ceremony: a large oak tree, a weeping willow tree, a deck, garden structure or fountain.

Sometimes the scale of an outdoor space is so grand that it’s challenging to create an intimate area for the ceremony. One way to visually “lower” the scale is to hang floral chandeliers with tea lights. Include aromatics, like eucalyptus branches, in the chandelier for texture, color and a fresh scent.

Another way to lower scale is to create a decorated perimeter around the ceremony space to bring your guests’ eyes down to, well, eye level! It will then be easier for them to focus on the ceremony. One way to do so is to line the area with large candle lanterns and alternating floral arrangements, both hung on tall shepherds’ hooks.

For a modern approach, create an illuminated panel to place behind the wedding party (officiant, bride and groom) as a backdrop. Use 2x4s to frame out the appropriate panel width and wrap the panel with a lightweight neutral fabric. Illuminate the panel from behind with rope lighting or soft spotlights. For a bold look, try a floral or graphic fabric for your panel. Or add details like a hand-stitched or stenciled monogram to the fabric.


For large, outdoor farm or banquette tables, you’ll want longer, more linear floral arrangements. This helps create a look feels continuous and never-ending. Use long wood or zinc garden boxes filled with your seasonal flowers of choice and low green moss. Add texture and color like red leaf lettuce or kale, and incorporate your favorite aromatic herb like rosemary, mint, basil, etc. Need to add height to your space? Add tall birch branches to your planters, then hang tea lights from or attach little flowers to the branches.

The food tables are an opportunity to use food in an artful way to create interesting and colorful tables. For an example, serve colorful tossed salad in individual martini glasses; place breadsticks in colorful vases or glass hurricanes.

Wedding favors

Wedding favors are a way of saying thank you to your family and friends and can be one of many lasting memories. Create something meaningful, memorable, and useful for your guests. You might try to incorporate a cultural food or other item in your favor, or print a custom wine label to go on bottles of your favorite wine. Consider making a donation to your charity of choice in your guests’ names. Be creative and let your family and friends enjoy a little memory of your beautiful celebration.


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