20 Whimsical Garden Wedding Ideas to Inspire Your Big Day

bride, groom, and officiant in garden setting

Photo by Erich McVey; Venue Swan House and Gardens

Gardens have long served as a source of romantic inspiration for lovers, writers, and artists alike, but these destinations aren’t simply for a traditional fête. Plenty of couples have found unique ways to work their green thumbs into every wedding detail, from the decor to the menu.

Trade greenery for modern whimsy or put a desert-inspired spin on a garden party lounge. And who’s to say you can’t bring the outdoors in? All it takes is a little imagination to transform any space into the magical garden you've been dreaming of.

Read on for 20 garden wedding ideas to inspire your big day.

01 of 20

Wear Flowers in Your Hair

Braid with Flowers

Photo by Kristen Kilpatrick

Accent your veil or locks with a floral crown, or, for an effortless feel, place flowers loosely in your strands (yes, this trend is still having a moment).

02 of 20

Dress the Part

Floral Gown

PHOTO BY KATE HEADLEY; GOWN BY REEM ACRA, FLORAL DESIGN BY SUSAN MCLEARY

Don’t let your venue get all the attention—curate a look that flourishes. Here, the bride glows in a beaded floral gown and cape. Your bridal party should don some petal pieces too.

03 of 20

Give a Sign

Welcome Sign

PHOTO BY K.R. MORENO; FLORAL AND EVENT DESIGN BY Ines & Marie

Let your guests know from the very moment they walk in that your wedding is a garden-themed affair. Your welcome sign is one of the first design elements people will see, so adorn it with the flowers of your choice.

04 of 20

Pick Your Place Cards

flowers as escort cards

PHOTO BY KATE HEADLEY; Escort Cards by The Striped Petal

For a fresh way to display table assignments, use the bounty around you as inspiration. Tie seating arrangements on flowers (real or papier-mâché), tree leaves, or branches so guests can pick their place cards.

05 of 20

Plant an Indoor Garden—on the Ceiling

hanging greenery

PHOTO BY ROY ISWANTO PHOTOGRAPHY; FLORAL DESIGN AND DECOR BY THREE PETALS 

Turn your indoor venue into a natural habitat by hanging a lush installation. This 50-by-50-foot beauty drips with greenery and white florals.

06 of 20

Program a Breeze

fan program

PHOTO BY AUDRA WRISLEY PHOTOGRAPHY; FLORAL DESIGN BY WILD GREEN YONDER; CUSTOM STATIONERY BY STACCATO 

Keep guests cool during your alfresco ceremony with handmade fans that double as a program. Our hearts blossom for this venue illustration, the citrus-and-emerald palette (for a natural summer aesthetic), and the tree-planting ceremony listed among the day-of delights.

07 of 20

Use a Natural Arch

Natural greenery arch

PHOTO BY ALLEN TSAI PHOTOGRAPHY; FLORAL DESIGN BY PUSCINA FLOWERS

Sometimes the best way to make the most of your setting is to let it show its true colors, like at this intimate ceremony. It’s surrounded by woods and cedars, so a simple arch wrapped in wild greenery adds to the bucolic ambiance. Finish it with a flowy drape for more ethereal romance.

08 of 20

Outfit the Aisle in Petals

aisle lined with petals

PHOTO BY REBECCA YALE PHOTOGRAPHY; FLORAL DESIGN BY TOAST SANTA BARBARA

Give your aisle a bit of charm with a runner of fresh petals in your wedding colors. To add to the appeal? Add cones of white rose petals for guests to throw in celebration of the newlyweds.

09 of 20

Transform a Concrete Jungle

industry wedding venue

PHOTO BY KYLIE & CO. PHOTOGRAPHY; FLORAL Design BY THE LITTLE BRANCH 

Yes, an industrial venue can have garden vibes, particularly of the succulent variety. A copper arch with dusty blue and pink flowers lends itself to (but doesn’t take away from) this abundant wall of desert greenery that does double duty as a textural backdrop.

10 of 20

Make Use of Moss

Moss wedding backdrop

PHOTO BY ERICH MCVEY; PLANNING BY ALISE TAGGART

Flowers are a no-brainer, but what about moss for statement decor? The organic altar at this Atlanta wedding is a work of art—and trick of the eye—that appears to grow naturally in its native habitat. Instead, it’s crafted with moss and vines that encircle the couple.

11 of 20

Picnic in a Greenhouse

greenhouse wedding reception

PHOTO BY CHAZ CRUZ PHOTOGRAPHERS; FLORAL DESIGN BY MANDOLIN FLOWERS 

Glass-walled greenhouses are ideal spots for a reception—particularly when your decor has a picnic aesthetic. This nursery has the added benefit of offering views of the veggie, herb, fruit, and floral gardens on one side.

12 of 20

Create Photo Moments

couple walking in front of wall of potted plants

 PHOTO BY LOVISA PHOTO; FLORAL DESIGN BY ORGANIC FLORA

Don’t bring in a flower wall—use the backdrops your venue provides, like this arrangement of clay pots and succulents. It’s textural and funky, and the bride’s classic gown and groom’s sleek tux pop against the light tones and plants in various shapes and sizes.

13 of 20

Play Mood Music

live music at a wedding reception

PHOTO BY ABBY JIU PHOTOGRAPHY; FLORAL DESIGN AND DECOR BY AMARYLLIS FLORAL & EVENT DESIGN 

Strum heartstrings with a purposefully positioned musical group. A reflecting pond in the middle is a focal point with vines and roses twisting up the arbor, chandeliers, and a trio of musicians who “float” on the water as they play.

14 of 20

“Leaf” It to Nature

palm leaf bar menu

PHOTO BY ANGIE DIAZ PHOTOGRAPHY + FILMS; FLORAL DESIGN BY TERESA SENA DESIGNS; COCKTAIL CATERING BY GARNISH CRAFT COCKTAILS 

Incorporate your venue’s flora into your decor. It’s environmentally friendly (less paper, more nature) and playful. Take this vintage tropical garden wedding for example, where a giant palm leaf is scrawled in metallic ink bearing the bar menu’s drink list and an installation in the same bright palms hangs above.

15 of 20

Serve Farm-Fresh Fare

seasonal appetizers

PHOTO BY REBECCA YALE PHOTOGRAPHY; CATERING BY Renaud Traiteur

Locavores will want to dine on seasonal cuisine that reflects the garden party palate. Opt for food that's fresh and celebrates the region—maybe even the plot of land on which you wed.

16 of 20

Hit the Roof

rooftop wedding

PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN OTH STUDIO; FLORAL DESIGN AND DECOR BY BIRCH EVENT DESIGN 

Achieve high drama from the top down with a rooftop venue. Take a cue from this decor and contrast classic architecture (the neo-Gothic style of St. Patrick’s Cathedral) with something glam, such as custom lavender mirrored tables and built-in art deco lanterns.

17 of 20

Go Bold With Blooms

bold bloom table runner

PHOTO BY ERICH MCVEY; FLORAL DESIGN BY EAST OLIVIA; LOCAL FLORIST VIVA FLOR 

Think beyond the bouquet and make blossoms an integral part of your celebration with an over-the-top style. Work with your florist to incorporate native flowers that play on your venue. These dreamy bougainvillea runners drape off the tables and match the candy-colored courtyard.

18 of 20

Dine at Winding Tables

winding reception tables

PHOTO BY MONICA LEGGIO; FLORAL DESIGN BY LA ROSA CANINA 

Trade traditional round tables for long, weaving designs that flow with the garden—its trees twisting above and plants swaying below. This seating arrangement is artful and trending and fosters community among your guests.

19 of 20

Sweeten the Scene

outdoor cake table

PHOTO BY ASHLEY BOYAN PHOTOGRAPHY; FLORAL DESIGN BY WILD FLEURETTE; CAKE BY BUTTERCREAM BAKESHOP 

A dainty pedestal table that mirrors the historic statues and fountains of gardens is the perfect way to display your wedding-day confection. The muted palette of blush tapers, a white table runner, and a strand of ivy complement the understated elegance of it all.

20 of 20

Design a Desert Lounge

seating area created outside

PHOTO BY TIDA SVY; FLORAL Design BY SHINDIG CHIC 

Creating a chic seating area for your guests to relax post-ceremony is a must, whether you’re toasting your love in the lush countryside or amid desert beauty. Woven umbrellas and rugs, fabrics in earthy hues, and textural succulents accent the aesthetic.

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