5 Must-Haves for a Garden Wedding

By Highwic and Maria Yeonhee Ji

An outdoor garden wedding venue like Highwic is the perfect choice to make the most of Auckland’s beautiful summers. With sprawling lawns and lush gardens, it really is the perfect place to tie the knot for green-thumbed brides and grooms. Given that they’re well-seasoned garden party hosts, we sought out their opinion on the top five essentials to remember when planning your dream garden wedding.


Image by The Undefined Photography

There are so many things to love about summer in New Zealand. Lounging at the beach, spending countless hours in and out of the water, the long days and late sunsets, barbeques, and sleeping with the windows open. One aspect of Auckland summer that isn’t so desirable, however, is the inevitable rainy periods scattered amidst the sunny days. When it comes to the uncertainty of whether or not you and your guests are going to be victims of an unexpected mid-afternoon shower, you can combat this by choosing a wedding venue that offers both fine and wet weather options. If you’re dreaming of an outdoor summer garden wedding then it pays to fortify all your hard work and planning by having a plan B that you love as much as your plan A.


Image by Diana V Photography

One key consideration that couples often forget to take into account is just how much hard work goes into being a good guest. All the mixing and mingling and chatting and dancing makes for very thirsty work. This means it’s absolutely essential to ensure you’re providing your guests with a substantial amount of food and drink (non-alcoholic as well as alcoholic). You can have a lot of fun, especially with the latter – fruity punch, iced teas, home-made sodas, and slushies are all great options. Why not have customised virgin cocktails themed around your wedding or love story? This will help ensure that your guests can enjoy their night for as long as possible and will help prevent any sore heads the next day.


Image by Gore Vázquez

One of the best things about having a garden wedding is enjoying the relaxed atmosphere that comes with sprawling out on the grass and taking in nature. Hiring some lawn games is an excellent way to encourage your guests to make the most of your beautiful garden venue. Try stilts, croquet, giant Jenga, hopscotch or skittles – these will get people to socialise, have some fun, and bring out their inner child. Speaking of children, why not organise a fun garden hunt for the little people? Scatter objects around the garden, equip the kids with a home-made worksheet and let them run wild.


Image by Laura Evans Photos

Garden weddings are perfect on a cool, clear afternoon but they can get a little overwhelming in a sweltering summer. One way to combat this is to opt for a slightly later ceremony start time such as 4:00 pm or 5:00 pm. That way you and your guests can enjoy a beautiful evening without having to endure the heat. Other great ways to keep guests cool include offering fans, having a supply of sun umbrellas at the ready, choosing a nice shady ceremony spot, and supplying creative ice-cool drinks. You could even have an ice cream truck park up on site handing out delicious ice cream during your cocktail hour; it’s a surefire way to make your guests feel delightfully spoiled.


Image by Kristen Soileau Portraits

Colour is an essential tool to bring some life, fun and personality to your wedding. You can be inspired by the flowers that will be in bloom at the time of your wedding, by the trees and foliage on site, or even by friends and family. Styling your bridal party with some colour could mean opting for fabulous floral bridesmaid dresses matched with lighter coloured suits with themed pocket squares for the groomsmen. Alternatively, your flowers and décor can be used to create a cohesive look that evokes your dream aesthetic. It could be whimsical reds, yellows and oranges, opulent jewel tones, or classic apricot and white. Whatever palette you go for, colour really is a great way of embracing and enlivening your garden surroundings in order to create a distinct atmosphere on your wedding day.

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