Garden Wedding Party

A Sustainable and Bijou wedding

Already being married at the Register Office some months before, My husband Chris and I decided that we wanted to celebrate our marriage and my 60th Birthday with fifty family and friends and have one big party this summer. We wanted to keep to a reasonable budget as we were planning a much-needed extension to our house and also wanted to make it as sustainable as possible. So we decided to have an outdoor wedding!

We held the Wedding Party, as it became known, in my mum’s garden which had been the venue for many happy family occasions over the years!

The venue: the garden and the ‘Bar’

So, with my mum’s blessing , we already had the venue which saved us a major expense. We did have some minor jobs to do to bring the garden up to speck but the main job was to turn the run-down garage into a Bar! This was furnished with a lot of the leftover wooden boards and planks by the super recycler, who is my husband, then painted and decorated with some of the old items left there which had family memories. I also trawled local antique shops in Leicester and Market Harborough for other key ‘Outlander’ and Bar items, some of which I ended up hiring .

A box of fun at the Flower Wall!

Choosing the photographer and other suppliers

One of the first decisions we made was to have the same photographer that we had had for our Register office ceremony. So Sammy got the job! She had been awesome on that day and had got to know us both well! Sammy, like the majority of our chosen wedding suppliers are members of the Leicester Wedding Network which means they are locally-based professionals. As I am also in the Network in my role as celebrant I felt sure that I had chosen the right people for the job!

The Dress

I went to Bridal Reloved Leicester for my wedding dress. I knew that Mel always has a lot of wonderful dresses to choose from and she is so knowledgeable and professional. I went there with my mum and decided on a beautiful new dress that reminded me straightaway in style to the dresses worn by Claire the character in ‘Outlander’ and with Chris being a Stuart – the ‘Outlander’ theme was born! The very talented Roisin added a bodice to the dress and I also bought a pretty lace-trimmed veil which matched the dress so well. My shoes were from Irregular Choice in Leicester. I was so pleased with them as they are pink and they had just the right heel shape I wanted to match the 18th century theme! I also still had my lovely blue garter from Extra Special Touches to wear!

The Kilt and the Bridesmaids

The kilt with all it’s accoutrements had been bought on holiday from a charity shop in Edinburgh as well the super highland dress which my sister-in-law had had made for herself there. The kilt was a purple, blue and black tartan. I bought a similar tartan ribbon called ‘Pride of Scotland’ for the bouquets and to decorate the garden. I’d been away on a Hen Party to Cardiff with bridesmaids or as I called them ‘Dishonourable Matrons! So, they’d all got to know each other. They were dressed in their own favourite dress to match the overall colour theme of pink, lilac, purple and dark blue.

The Flowers and the Confetti

The flower bouquets and the confetti were absolutely gorgeous! My hand tied bouquet was in a rustic style with pale pink peonies, mauve clematis, cream rosebuds, white thistle, white stocks and foliage. The bridesmaids bouquets mirrored mine and the button holes had cream rosebud, white thistle, purple clematis and foliage. The piece de resistance ; my mum’s thank-you bouquet was just amazing!

Sunglasses were de rigeur! It was such a sunny day!


Chris and I were able to delegate on a grand scale! We were very lucky to have a lot of support and help from family and friends in the weeks and days before the event and afterwards as well to help tidy up! I planned everything: the colours, themes and items for the different outdoor ‘Rooms’ and shared this with close family, bridesmaids and the key suppliers on a private Pinterest board. We also had a private Facebook Guest Page where we organised the finer details of the Day and asked for help decorating the garden and laying out tables and benches the day before and managing the Bar, the tea making, and requested ‘Photo Booth’ accessories for the day!

The Ceremony

Chris and I had decided that we wanted to experience a celebrant-led ceremony ourselves. I chose Evelyn Silver as we had met , both being celebrants, on a number of occasions, so I knew what an enthusiastic and creative person she was and that we would be in safe hands. We talked through our Reasons for Marrying with her and decided to include a Handfasting using the tartan colours with my daughter and Chris’s two other sisters also taking part. As well as a Key ceremony based on an old Viking tradition of marking the joining of two ‘Families’ on the lines of ‘Game of Thrones’ , together; using a giant key.

Running the Confetti Gauntlet!

Dog Ringbearer Splendida!

Chris and I personalised and read our vows. Chris wrote his own and I chose the poem to read ; ‘Why Marriage?’ by Dena Acolatse which I felt matched me to a T! We also wanted to include our dog Storm in the occasion. She was the star of the show! Afterwards, she enjoyed a few sandwiches, in between getting her strength back for the rest of the day! We also enjoyed our daughter -in-law’s super reading of the poem ‘How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog’ by Taylor Mali.

Afternoon Tea

The Afternoon Tea was organised by myself and my son, who also prepared it all except for the cakes which were made by talented local cakemakers, Debbie and Tracey . Tracey baked the delicious cupcakes and Debbie created the awesome wedding cake! The scones came from Occasion’s Teashop as well as a surprise cake from the neighbour next door. We were so lucky to be able to put together a cracking afternoon tea which everyone enjoyed.   We had gradually bought a stock of alcohol and mixers in the months beforehand for the bar:  mainly Pimm’s, prosecco, gin, cider, beer and juice. We followed the ceremony with a Pimm’s and then had a prosecco toast for the cake cutting. 

The Bar

The Bar was one of the favourite places for all the guests, not just because of the alcohol! There was lots of chatting as well as catching up on old family photos and stories!

Cutting the cake and the speeches

The wedding cake did well in the heat and there was plenty to go round. There was a lemon buttercream one and the other tier was vanilla. We had a special rendition of ‘My Brother’ from Chris’s sisters and then we had the bouquet throwing We didn’t have any speeches as such which suited the day very well.

Super Succulents as Favours

Presents and Favours

I had lots of fun giving out thank-you presents and then when the guests started to leave, they all had a super cute succulent plant to take home with them.


There was plenty for the guests to do. It was great for everyone making friends and catching with each other and having photos taken at the Flower Wall – the basket of hats went down really well! There were lots of places to have a chat or relax around the garden and in the Bar. Then there was the Silent Disco with three different tracks to choose from. Adults and kids thought this was great and had a lot of fun dancing and singing together!

Silent Disco Time!

It was a real success!

It was a truly amazing day! Chris and I were both ecstatic! The Day had taken a lot of preparation and organisation and it went off with hardly a hitch. We did lose my hair comb but thankfully another was fetched!! All the guests said that the day went really well and that they were so pleased to have met up with family and friends that they hadn’t seen for years.

All the guests said that the wedding ceremony and party were very different from anything they’d experienced before. It was very relaxed and laid-back, and they really liked it! The Day was a real success!

Spot on!


A massive thank you to all the suppliers and shops!

Sam the photographer

Bridal Gown and veil from Mel at –

Seamstress –

Shoes –

CK Flowers –

Extra Special

Hair – SFB Beauty –


Little Cake Studio –

Iced by Tracey –

Occasions Tea Room, Syston, Leicester –

Invitations and thankyou cards –

The Flower Wall –

Rustic Charm Prop Hire –  Leicester

Stag’s Head and Outdoor Lighting – Outerspace Home and Garden Ltd –

Glass jars, bottles etc –

Succulents – Aimee

Richard Mattock – videographer

Silent Disco – Elliot King