There is no question that you'll want your wedding day to be the most perfect occasion possible. To achieve this perfection, you'll likely wish to be in control of a number of aspects around your big day – and what could be more important than the location of your special ceremony? You're never more in control of life than you are when in your own home, so take a break from the norm and plan your impeccable back garden wedding.
Most of us don't have a back garden the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but the space you'll require for your wedding is still a crucial consideration. The measurements of your garden will have a direct impact on the number of guests you can invite, so if you only have a small patch of grass, the list will be small. It's not just the garden that you'll have to factor in – the weather in Melbourne can change as often as you change your socks. If the inevitable downpour occurs, you'll need to ensure that you have enough room in your house to accommodate everyone. Don't be put off by these conundrums, however. A modest garden can mean a more intimate affair, with only those that mean the very most to you involved.
Space is still a pivotal consideration and is best judged by how many seats you can comfortably fit in with ample space for everything else. With traditional row seating, try and stick to the 1 square metre of space per guest rule. This will give you an idea of potential guest numbers.
Grooming your garden
It almost goes without saying that you'll want your garden to be looking its best. Summer is, without doubt, the most popular season of the year for a garden wedding, the Australian weather too unpredictable during the winter months. Whichever month you choose, it's worth hiring a professional landscaper and/or gardener. These guys know exactly how to make your outside areas positively shine with plants, decking, verandas and everything else that the outdoors entails. Not only that, but they'll be able to make the best use of space, give the most unsightly areas of your garden an Eden-like appearance, and suggest the best seating arrangements for the upcoming festivities.
Once you have your garden looking spick and span – petunias blooming, birds frolicking in the branches and picture-postcard picket fence freshly painted – you'll need to start thinking about the set-up. You'll most likely already have an idea where you want to actually stand as you and your loved one make your vows, which is where you'll place the arch, veranda or whatever it is you decide to be the centrepiece of your occasion. Of course, you'll need a plentiful supply of chairs to face the portable pulpit – it's most likely that you'll be renting these, unless you own a football stadium. Try and go for tasteful wooden numbers, if you can, though plastic ones are still absolutely fine and typically work out more cheaply.
'I'm going to level with you…'
Though it could add a quirky slant to your wedding, and contrary to the beliefs of 14th century explorers, it's important to note that the outside world is hardly ever completely flat. This means parts of your wedding could take place on uneven ground – not ideal, but not the end of the (flat) world either. Just make sure that the guys providing your marquee or outside dancefloor (if you're having one) are aware of the slope so that they can take remedial action. Additionally, other physical aspects of the wedding experience – the bandstand, tables and cake stands – should be situated on the most level ground possible. No one, least of all you, wants to see that exquisite five-tier cake tumbling to ground in a pink-and-white icing explosion.