Rochester Garden Weddings and Receptions

Having a garden ceremony or reception can be very beautiful and personal, but it also requires some extra planning

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Rochester Wedding Vendors

Rochester Garden Weddings and Receptions

Having a garden ceremony or reception can be very beautiful and personal, but it also requires some extra planning!

Selecting A Site

Having your Rochester wedding and reception at your home in the garden can make your wedding very personalized. What could be more beautiful? But there are many factors that you must keep in mind. Check with your officiant to see if it is possible for you to have the ceremony outdoors. Most religions allow this, some will allow ceremonies only in their places of worship.
If your home will not accommodate all of your guests, do you have a friend or family member with a home that will? Or is a vacation home, a house on the beach, or another site available?
The site for your wedding should allow for a focal point for the ceremony, such as a gazebo, a grove of trees or an arch. You should also consider the angle of the sun during your ceremony. You don’t want to be squinting all during the ceremony, nor do you want your guests to be staring into the sun to see you.

Check the ground guests will be walking on.

Are there holes or uneven places where guests can trip? If it rains the day before your wedding, will your guests be mired in the mud?

Do you have a patio, or somewhere people can dance?

If not, consider renting a dance floor.
If you plan to have music at the wedding, will you need electrical power? Is there a way to supply it to the site, without having dangerous cords around for people to trip over?

Are there adequate rest room facilities?

If there is only one bathroom in your house, and 200 guests, you will need to have additional portable units. Is the site easily accessible? If it is in a park, and guests will have to walk from their cars, will they all be able to get to the site easily?

The Weather

Especially in Rochester NY, the Summertime has no guarantees. Plan on the weather being inclement, and be pleasantly surprised when it is sunny and beautiful! But, just in case:

  • Ask your officiant if he or she can provide a short version of your ceremony if the weather is threatening.

  • Have a contingency plan. Rent a tent or canopy in case of too much rain. Plan to have the tents in place two or three days ahead of time, so that even if it rains the ground under the tents will be dry.

  • Have your hair done in a style that will hold up if the weather is bad. Bring a curling iron to touch up your hair if necessary.

  • If tents aren’t possible, consider having an alternate location. A line on the invitations could read, “In case of rain, the reception will be held at _____________.”

  • Have ushers carry large umbrellas to escort guests from their cars to the site.

  • Choose an inside location as an alternative for wedding day photographs.

  • Don’t have the ushers lay out the aisle runner until everyone is seated. That way, it won’t become dirtied by your guests’ shoes.

  • If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you must be flexible. There are a lot of factors over which you have absolutely no control. Rain, thunderstorms, high heat, humidity, or even unseasonably cold weather.

A Tent Or Canopy

You should seriously consider renting one of these. Even if the weather is dry, standing in the sun, all dressed up, can get very uncomfortable. Is there enough room to accommodate all the people you want to invite? Check with a Rochester wedding expert! A good rule of thumb is 12 square feet per person. This would mean a tent to hold 200 people should be 40 feet by 60 feet. If not, and you really want a garden reception, consider cutting down on the number of guests, rather than having a lot of people be uncomfortable. Whatever the size, the site should be flat, level, and dry.
Ask the Rochester rental experts about the layout of the tents. They can best advise you on how to accommodate all of your guests comfortably.

Wedding Attire

Keep in mind if you will be walking on grass all day. High heels will have a tendency to sink in if the ground is damp or soft. You may also want to caution guests to wear low-heeled or flat shoes.
Your dress length should also be kept in mind. A bridal gown with a train can be a problem if the grass is wet, or even if it is damp. You don’t want to walk around with a muddy wedding dress! You should look more for a tea-length or ballerina length gown for you and for your attendants.
Keep the color of the garden in mind when choosing your wedding colors. If the garden will be full of color, choose more subdued colors for your attendants, so they will stand out more.

Decorating An Outdoor Site

  • You may wish to plan months ahead, and plant flowers all around the site. Or, you can place cut flowers in small vases all around.
  • Create an “aisle” for the bride to walk down by lining it with pots of flowers. You might anchor the pots with stakes to firmly plant them.
  • Place seating in shady places for guests to sit and enjoy the beauty.
  • If you are having an afternoon or evening Rochester, NY wedding and reception, make sure you have adequate lighting, and consider having bug lights as well.


The mood of your Rochester, NY garden or outdoor wedding is usually more casual. The music should follow this theme. A single musician, or disc jockey/band will be appropriate. The music at the reception can suit your own style as well. Have consideration for your neighbors. If you plan on having loud music until the early hours of the morning, at least let them know.

Photography at your Rochester, NY Outdoor Wedding

Your wedding photographs should show your love of nature. Rochester garden weddings provide many opportunities to get memorable photographs.

  • Flowers are beautiful backdrops to wedding photographs. They will show up best if they are simple in design. Many different types and colors of flowers will diminish the effect in your photographs.
  • If planned far enough ahead of time, the floral plantings can compliment your wedding colors.
  • If you have small groupings of chairs or benches throughout your yard, guests will gather in many small groups. This will offer a great opportunity for beautiful candid photographs.
  • If possible, schedule your Rochester wedding photographer to take your posed wedding photographs a few days prior to the wedding. That way, if there is bad weather on your wedding day, you will still have some beautiful photographs. Also, you can spend your time mingling with your guests, rather than having your pictures taken.

Renting Equiptment

Unless there will only be a few people invited to your wedding and reception, you probably don’t have enough equipment at home. To find a rental vendor, check our Rochester, NY rental vendors!
In addition to a tent or canopy, some things you should consider renting are:

  • Aisle runner
  • Candelabras
  • Kneeling benches
  • Wedding arch
  • Chuppah
  • Money box
  • Guest register
  • Tables and chairs
  • Riser for head table
  • High chairs
  • Cribs
  • Coat racks
  • Table linens
  • Napkins
  • Serving pieces
  • Dishware
  • Glassware
  • Flatware
  • Punch Bowl
  • Serving bowls and platters
  • Portable bars
  • Dance floors
  • Extension cords
  • Fountains
  • Lights
  • Decorations
  • Outdoor lavatories.

You should check with local Rochester, NY rental agencies advertising with and make sure that all the equipment you will need is available for your date. Reserve the equipment you will need.

Hiring Extra People

You will not be able to personally take care of things­you will be busy getting married. And your parents won’t really be available to do the serving, because they will be talking to their guests. Plan on hiring people for the following:

  • Setting up the area, and setting the tables.
  • To assist in the preparing and serving of the food and beverages.
  • To assist in clearing the tables and the kitchen after the meal.
  • To greet guests, and show themwhere tothe wedding or reception will be held.
  • Someone to keep the buffet table stocked with food.
  • Someone to check the rest rooms and other guest facilities to keep them clean and well stocked.
  • Someone to shuttle guests from a parking lot to the house, and back. (If this is necessary.)

Other Considerations

  • Cost of a garden wedding may not be much less than one held
  • Preparation of your home for a wedding may get very involved. You may need to repaint, landscape, etc. Think of all of these factors when planning a wedding at home.
  • Catering can be done by you, or family members, but should include finishing as much as possible before the wedding. You may want to hire a professional caterer.
  • Kitchen facilities need to be carefully checked before you decide to have the wedding at home. Will renting equipment provide all you will need? Do you have enough electrical outlets? Are all the appliances in good working condition?
  • Parking can be a problem if you have a wedding at home. If guests will be parking on your street, get the permission of neighbors who will be affected. Consider hiring an off-duty policeman to help direct traffic. You may want to consider having your guests park at a nearby lot, and having some sort of shuttle going back and forth. If you do this, remember to have the shuttle in service to take guests back to their cars as well!
  • Seating can be a problem, make sure you have plenty of seats! You should probably plan on renting folding chairs to make sure there are plenty. You should also think about moving furniture out of the house to allow for more seating.
  • Pets and neighbors should also be considered. Pets may have to be boarded during the day of your wedding. And check with neighbors to make sure they won’t be disturbing you, nor will you be disturbing them. It would be a little distracting to have someone mowing their lawn next door during your ceremony!
  • Hazards in your yard, such as in-ground swimming pools or steep inclines, should be clearly marked and fenced if necessary. You don’t want a guest (especially a small child) taking an unexpected dip in the pool!
  • Create an “aisle” for the bride to walk down by lining it with pots of flowers. You might anchor the pots with stakes, so that they cannot easily be moved.
  • Place seating in shady places for guests to sit and enjoy the beauty.
  • If you are having an afternoon or evening wedding and reception, make sure you have adequate lighting, and consider having bug lights as well.



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