How to Get the Look of a Garden Wedding

Discover expert tips for capturing an effortless spring style for your wedding day.

Floral designer Amy Marella of The Hidden Garden shares her advice on how to achieve the look of a garden wedding for your ceremony, reception, and more – plus, she offers look-a-likes for couples not getting married in the spring!

outdoor garden wedding ceremony with flower petal aisle, flowers along aisle and flower ceremony arbor
Photo: Brandon Kidd Photography

There are many reasons why springtime is such a popular season for weddings – the main one being the gorgeous flower options available. As a florist, I love spring because Mother Nature outdoes herself this time of year with the largest, most beautiful selection of blooms imaginable. 

With so much color and variety available, you can go wild with your wedding florals without doing the same with your spending. Since there are so many options, I recommend designing your floral décor to look like a growing garden with bunches of varietal blooms, whimsical textures, and popping colors.

Garden Wedding Invitation Suite

Photo by Brandon Kidd Photography; Floral Design by The Hidden Garden

Garden Wedding Ceremony Style 

Create an appealing ceremony aisle that welcomes guests and leaves them in awe as they step through. One idea is to line the pathway with garden boxes filled with flowering greenery; hydrangeas and tulips are great choices, as they can be replanted after the big day. 

Arrangements that appear to look like flowering plants also work well. Consider lilacs – which smell amazing – and viburnums. These two blooms are gorgeous and can be grouped together to look like plants, or spread throughout the garden box for an effortless wildflower effect. 

What’s great about this concept is that the garden boxes can be reused at your reception as stage décor. This is eco-friendly and a great way to give your wallet a break. 

Flowers Along Aisle at Outdoor Ceremony

Photo by Brandon Kidd Photography; Floral Design by The Hidden Garden

The perfect ceremonial structure for this whimsical garden wedding theme features flowers draped all around it, so it appears as if it’s “growing” in the garden. Group all your floral varieties together on the structure and use vines and curly willow to create an arbor as a natural base. 

Then, add groupings of beautiful spring blooms in sections for a wild, wow-worthy focal point. Definitely take advantage of the season’s treasures: lilacs and viburnums!

Floral Ceremony Arbor Decorations

Photo by Brett Hickman Photographers; Floral Design by The Hidden Garden

Wedding-Party Flowers 

Your blooms for the wedding party should be an extension of the beautiful growing garden. To do this, create arrangements that are plentiful and eye-catching. Give each bridesmaid a massive bouquet filled with a different variety of spring flowers. Lined up in a row, the beauty of each will stand out. 

Create harmony and balance by coordinating each groomsman’s boutonniere to mimic his counterpart’s bouquet. To make a dramatic statement, group all the varieties used in the wedding-party florals into one large arrangement for the bridal bouquet. You can have it overflowing with color, or use white versions of each type for an all-white bouquet!

White Flowers & Greenery at Ceremony

Photo by Brett Hickman Photographers; Floral Design by The Hidden Garden

Wedding-Reception Décor 

Once you’ve wowed your friends and family members with a one-of-a-kind garden-inspired ceremony, you can then impress guests with reception florals showcasing a unique combination of texture, color, variety, and nature. A seating-card table can be replaced with a tree adorned with antique birdcages featuring clusters of flowers throughout. This surprising welcome can then lead guests to a cocktail reception with an outdoorsy feeling, designed like a garden with more small birdcages, bunches of blooms, and birdbaths with floating gardenias.

For your reception area, introduce new, visually stunning flowers such as cherry blossoms, dogwoods, and quince in tall vases. A mono-botanical look can be created by surrounding the base of the vases with small vessels filled with one spring floral variety per table. You can even skip glass vases and use antique containers such as watering cans with a patina look. Your stage décor will already be covered thanks to the reusable garden boxes from your ceremony, so all you’ll need next is a cake setting.

The wedding cake table is going to be a focal point and will be seen over and over in photos and video, so why not go with a garden theme here as well? Cover the entire tabletop with flower heads and add clear glass a few inches over the blooms to create a beautiful floral tablescape – your cake will look like it’s suspended above flowers!

White Flowers & Blue Linens at Wedding Reception

Photo by Brett Hickman Photographers; Floral Design by The Hidden Garden

Floral Backup Plan 

Not having a spring wedding? Well, lucky for you, it’s possible to have a spring fling year-round with some springtime look-a-likes! Love lilacs? Choose stock. Envisioning viburnums? Use mini hydrangeas. Curly willow branches with green cymbidium orchids attached make a great double for dogwoods, and ranunculuses can be replaced with small garden spray roses. 

For all those peony lovers out there, the garden rose is a near-perfect imposter to achieve that same breathtaking style. With so many ways to portray the look of a gorgeous growing garden, you can be wild about spring any time of year.

For more advice from Amy Marella of The Hidden Garden, find out what to know before your first floral design appointment, how to choose flowers for a destination wedding, learn the flowers that work best for beach weddings, and get more insider tips on look-a-likes for out-of-season flowers!

Opening photo by Brandon Kidd Photography; Floral Design by The Hidden Garden

This expert advice article was originally published in the Fall 2022 issue of Inside Weddings magazine. 

To order a copy of the Fall 2022 issue, visit our library of Inside Weddings back issues available for purchase.