Seven years ago when I planted the first perennial on our property I had envisioned our gardens hosting weddings. I hoped that one day I would see a bride walking along the grass path to a location where a large pergola stood draped with a profusion of small white flowers of the sweet autumn clematis. The path she took would be strewn with flower petals and she would be carrying a bouquet of freshly cut flowers plucked from our fields. I imagined guests could be seen meandering through the gardens taking in the views of the lower meadow dotted with daisies and wild grasses. I could only then imagine it.
This vision I had finally came to pass on an exceptionally cool and windy mid-June day. A “yogi wedding” (that’s what I’m calling it) took place in our garden. It’s not what you may be thinking. There was no one practicing yoga poses (that I knew of) or people sitting crossed-leg in lotus pose in the lawn. And just for the record, we truly do embrace the yogis.
Actually, if it wasn’t for the yoga community, we maybe wouldn’t even have had this wedding. I’m calling it a “yogi wedding” because the bride and groom attended the Lil Yoga Barn’s Yogathon in May 2013 held here last year at our garden. They arrived here together just as friends. During their visit, Dave gave them a tour of our facilities. Several other attendees saw the tour taking place and had assumed that they were a couple who was looking for a wedding venue. I think it was the universe giving them a hint of their future! They enjoyed the gardens and the serene vibe here so much that when they eventually did become a couple and decided to get married they knew they wanted their wedding here. (The universe did it’s job!)
Their wedding event here was a nature-inspired gathering of beautiful people excited to celebrate and share in the joy as these two loving souls came together as one in our very special garden. It was the culmination of several months of planning a celebration of nature, friendship and most of all love. The couple even chose another of our yogi friends to be their officiant. They were the most appreciative and non-demanding couple that I ever met. They were calm and laid back just as most of the yogis here usually are. They placed their trust in us to provide a beautiful setting for their special day. I can only hope that we proved ourselves.
The weeks prior to the wedding were a bit hectic for us as we prepared some interesting vignettes for the wedding. We started with the shed in our Meditation garden. It was in desperate need of repair and paint. So the open areas were boarded in and a coat of Valspar “Bullfrog” was applied to the walls. We allowed the original white peeling paint to remain on the double doors for a bit of contrast.
Part of the hedgerow near the Wedding Pergola was revamped with a new vignette. A large tree trunk planter was sited there. We filled it with soil and colorful flowers then added three glazed containers to the area (see previous post Taming of the View).
After seeing an idea on Pinterest for a garden fork holding a wedding sign, I recreated it at the garden entrance for incoming guests.
Another Pinterest idea find was was an old desk turned into an herb planter. It was used to hold the guest book. Note how we added that photo of the couple taken a week prior to the wedding at the Spring 2014 Yogafest.
One of the most thought provoking projects for us was to provide a quick pop of color and impact at the pergola. Annuals don’t flourish because of deer and rabbits that frequent that area of the garden. Our perennials are slowly filling in but are not as mature as I had hoped them to be this summer. We came up with a way to provide color, height and a touch of drama with elegant bamboo and tulle topiaries and a mix of colorful annuals in large pots. The annuals were plucked out the next day and moved to an area where they stand a better chance of survival.
The couple chose to have the caterer serve the meal inside the Carriage House. Black lanterns with tea lights hung from white tulle and the tables were topped with white tablecloths and burlap-wrapped mason jars filled with a colorful collection of our flowers.
The scent from the peonies and Dumortier’s daylilies (Hemerocallis dumortieri) added just the right touch of fragrance to the room. Two ivy topiaries flanked the vintage arch windows on the fireplace mantle. White tulle and strands of fresh ivy were loosely draped over both the fireplace mantle and side wall mantle. It is a simply elegant combination against the black walls.
Even our gazebo donned wedding attire with hand-tied fabric garlands made by my niece Laura. A table for 8 was set up here for guests who chose to sit outdoors. We also used the barn to hold the wedding cake table and for additional seating areas so guests could mingle between both buildings and the tent while enjoying the gardens. We heard many pleasant compliments about the uniqueness of this idea of moving through the separate buildings and areas getting full use of the facilities.
The meditation garden was set up with straw bales covered with white cotton fabric tied with twine. They looked like poofy ottomans in the lawn. Visit Top of the Mountain Photography for a great shot of the newly wed couple sitting on a hay bale and other professional photos of Tom and Ivanna’s wedding.
Did I happen to mention that all of the flowers at the event were cut from our organic gardens? The beautiful bride carried a mix of pale pink and white peonies with a plethora of seasonal blossoms. Her equally beautiful daughter carried rose colored peonies and a mix of bright blooms to complement the vibrant blue. I arranged both bouquets very loosely and tied them with a simple bow.
On morning of the wedding Dave (who loves floral design) stepped in and helped me wrap the boutonnieres. They were simply elegant. I chose double mock orange blossoms for the groom and added a touch of Lady’s mantle to it for the fathers and best man. They looked perfect with the gray jackets. The mothers’ corsages were fragrant pale-pink roses that just started to open.
It was a wonderful affair and we were honored to have our gardens chosen for this perfect couple’s venue. After most of the clean-up was done and everyone left, I thought about the day. The thing that came to my mind was when I felt those soft, satiny peony petals gently sliding through my finger tips as I let them fall on the grass path that would lead the bride to her destination. I was my true authentic self for those few brief minutes. I felt sheer bliss. I’m wondering if that means I could have a career ahead as a flower girl :).
Have you attended a garden wedding? Do you have any thoughts to share about it?