Garden wedding

(23 Posts)
BatCrapCrazy Sun 02-Feb-14 09:34:02

DP and I have had the idea of having our wedding reception in my grandfathers garden. We would hire marquee and would probably do buffet and hog roast/ barbecue. The reasoning behind the garden party is that we want a fairly intimate wedding. 60guests max. The venues that we have seen around here are huge and I don't like the idea of a big wedding.
My grandfather lives in an old barn conversion with plenty of land.
I want to keep the wedding fairly frugal as we are saving to buy another house as we are renting ours out and we are currently living with MIL.
We have our hearts set on getting married in the church down the road from the reception venue.
Has anyone done this before and how much did it cost?

OP’s posts: |
overmydeadbody Sun 02-Feb-14 09:36:00

What's your budget?

It sonds lovely and totally doable.

Have you checked marwuee hire prices and would you need to provide portaloos as well? Because those costs can soon add up.

BatCrapCrazy Sun 02-Feb-14 09:42:34

7k is our budget but it can be stretched. No need for portaloos. Finding a quote for a marquee around here is like getting blood out of a stone but I'm on the case.

OP’s posts: |
Roussette Sun 02-Feb-14 09:44:19

Sounds lovely. But do bear in mind, marquees often cost more than hiring a venue. However, I think you can possibly cut costs in other ways if you do this. I went to a lovely wedding last year... marquee, flowers from out the garden in jam jars, tables and chairs borrowed from village hall, mismatched borrowed crocker, hog roast etc. It was idyllic.

Roussette Sun 02-Feb-14 09:44:55


JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 02-Feb-14 09:46:47

I did it but without the marquee. We did put up a couple of small ones we borrowed in case of rain but it was blistering and everyone sat in the garden.

Totally doable smile

sooperdooper Sun 02-Feb-14 09:53:46

Totally do-able, but marquees are expensive and it might not be as cheap as you think to hire

I guess because you can buy your own drinks (or tell people they csn bring a bottle?) that'll be cheaper, a hog roast will probably be about £15 a head, and you'll have to budget to hire in tables, chairs, crockery, glasses etc smile

BatCrapCrazy Sun 02-Feb-14 09:54:59

Already have crockery and tables sorted as my dad closed down his restaurant business in the summer and kept these kinds of things. I won't be having expensive flowers, was thinking Daisy's or similar. The bridesmaids will be wearing yellow so this should go quite nicely. I was thinking tea lights etc would look lovely on the Tables, maybe fairy lights.
I am aware that it may well be more expensive than a regular wedding reception but it is the wedding we want.
The weather factor worries me the most. We are looking at June/July next year but what if it pisses down with rain?!

OP’s posts: |
sooperdooper Sun 02-Feb-14 09:55:50

I would avoid a BBQ for that many people, it's hard to make sure theres enough food cooked at the same time, hog roast or buffet would definitely work better smile

sooperdooper Sun 02-Feb-14 09:57:40

If the marquee is big enough for everyone to sit in at least they'll be covered if it does rain, I'd look into flooring for the marquee, or if it gets muddy under foot it'll be horrible

PeteCampbellsRecedingHairline Sun 02-Feb-14 10:01:50

YY to marquee flooring and some sort of walkway to where the cars will be parked if the weather isn't great.

We had yellow at our wedding and used giant daisies on the table. I can't remember their "proper" name sorry but you can buy them cheaply at most garden centres in the spring/summer.

BatCrapCrazy Sun 02-Feb-14 10:08:35

Have already considered the walkway and flooring as my great grandmother is in a wheelchair so disabled access is a must.
My mum suggested putting a note on the invites asking people to bring their wellies on the day if the weather is bad. Is this deemed acceptable?
We are planning on providing a bus because my grandfathers house is in the middle of nowhere and my friends and family all live in a small town about 10 miles away from venue. Getting a taxi is a nightmare at the best of times from my grandfathers house so the bus could pick them up from town before the wedding and drop them back to town after.

OP’s posts: |
wonkylegs Sun 02-Feb-14 10:08:44

The people who lived in our house before us did this here. I have no idea of costs just what they/other people told me.
It was a lovely event.
They got portaloos just to confine the mess (sometimes people have a little too much to drink at weddings).
They also arranged to get somebody to direct parking - although we have parking for 20 odd cars and there is plenty of road parking, they arranged for parking on other peoples drives etc & having somebody to direct stopped there being chaos. They also made sure as many people as possible got the train to the village station.
They had fireworks set off from a neighbours field for safety.
She planted flowers specifically colour themed for the event in advance and it apparently looked stunning.
It's one of the most talked about events in the village.
They had 120 guests. They had a hog roast, organised by a local butcher.
Don't forget the need to have many hands to help set up before hand.
My dad went to an event where they bought loads of large gazebos off eBay and sold them on there again after the event and it was cheaper than hiring a marquee.

MsAspreyDiamonds Sun 02-Feb-14 10:11:18

For large catering packs of food & drink join a wholesalers like costco as it will keep your costs down a lot. You can also buy a marquee from Argos & costco for the same price or less as hiring one.

prettybird Sun 02-Feb-14 10:34:29

We did that for our wedding: my parents live in big house which has been converted into 6 flats and has beautiful gardens: the marquee was on the lawn where the tennis courts used to be smile

The marquee company was very reasonable - but this was in Scotland so not sure if that's any help to you. Marquee company also (iirc) brought the chairs and tables.

Got the local council to do the flowers (very reasonably priced) but the following year when my db got married, they went to the flower/fruit market themselves and bought a load of flowers and my mum and aunt made up arrangements themselves, also using flowers from the garden.

I sourced cheap pillar candles for the center pieces.

The chef from the local rugby club did the catering and was very reasonably priced. He did outside catering and sorted his own "ovens" etc.

For my db's wedding my mum made loads of tablet for "favours" I didn't think of doing that

Mum also sorted out the weather by making sure there was a plentiful supply of umbrellas and plastic matting to go through the house to the loo - as a result it was a glorious sunny day! grin

I'd recommend factoring in an electrician to make sure there is a safe supply to the marquee.

We bought our wine (cava, red and white wine) and beer (South African Castle) from Oddbins on Sale or Return and got a good deal (had some special bottles for the top table from our own supplies) At the last minute we also got a few bottles of own label malt whisky. There was no bar but plentiful supplies - and people didn't abuse it - too busy dancing wink

We had 80 people for a sit down meal plus another 40 in the evening for the ceilidh (which included a supper which my mum made: a South African mild curry) That was 16 years ago and iirc it came to £6000 - but it sounds like it was bigger than you are planning smile - and I also had to pay for the hire of the crockery, cutlery and glasses.

When I'm back on a pc and not on the app I could post a photo of the marquee - it was a fabulous afternoon and evening. smilesmile

I'd recommend it! smile

BatCrapCrazy Sun 02-Feb-14 10:39:18

Prettybird, your wedding sounds perfect! I would love to see a photo.
I'm in South Wales. I would rather hire a marquee than buy one but i cannot find anything suitable. Have emailed the vicar of the church I would like to get married in. Fingers crossed.

OP’s posts: |
prettybird Sun 02-Feb-14 11:29:56

A not very good Photograph of a photograph that was enlarged and framed for us by friends, entitled "A Perfect Day" smile

It was taken at about 9.30 in the evening.

BatCrapCrazy Sun 02-Feb-14 18:57:46

Oh prettybird that's gorgeous.
I've spoken to friends about the idea and they love it. Just hope I can pull it off!

OP’s posts: |
Kayakinggirl86 Sun 09-Feb-14 23:10:28

We had our reception in my parents garden.
Borrowed the marquee from the local girl guides.
Parents have, out door toilets so did not have to bother with that.
Had a afternoon cream tea, so my mum and a few of the ladies in the village baked like mad for a week.
Then as my parents garden backs in to a 5 star hotel a small group of people went there for dinner in the evening.
Was a lovely day.
Cost wise we spent: £1,000 on the dinner in the evening (30-40 people), day reception spent about £250 on pimms. £100 on soft drinks/tea, £100 on decorations, £50 on flowers (did the arrangements my self). About £1,000 on bridesmaids/ best mans ect travel and hotels (we live about 300miles away from my parents). Then just over £500 in outfits.
A garden wedding can be great and if you have contacts in the area people are often more than willing to help, we tired to pay for the marquee and church several times but each time got told no because of xyz.

Kayakinggirl86 Sun 09-Feb-14 23:18:11

As for telling people to bring wellies, I got a invite through last week that has, ladies this will a a out door event followed by a ceilidh, heals are not suitable.

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n0ne Fri 20-Jan-17 09:31:30

I did this exact thing when I first got married 15 years ago. It worked brilliantly as we were in complete control of the venue. To keep costs to a minimum, we asked people to bring buffet food instead of presents and had the most amazing, varied buffet. We even got the local brewer to brew us a special batch of beer, but laid on other drinks too, of course. The whole wedding, for everything, cost us maybe 2 grand? But that was 15 years ago, and we had a family friend who was a semi-professional photographer so saved a lot there. Also the music was laid on by the guests (a lot of whom were musicians). And we walked to and from the church in a kind of precession as it was just 5 minutes through a quiet village. It was a fabulous wedding shame about the groom.

coxsorangepippin Fri 20-Jan-17 09:47:53

Sounds brilliant!
I have no marquee advice but things we DIY'd and loved were flowers from (cheap, got great advice, and much easier than going to flower market at 5am!) and home made cordial for non alcoholic drinks.

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