Can I get married in my garden?
Unfortunately, you are unable to legally marry in your garden in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.
Weddings must take place in a venue that has been given a full and legal marriage licence by the local authority. These usually include churches, stately homes or registry offices.
A number of venues have beautiful gazebos, historic monuments and even wooden structures in a countryside field for a whimsical outdoor ceremony.
It’s just unfortunate that you are unlikely to obtain a licence to cover your own garden for a one-off occasion. Even trying to request a licence will be a very costly and time consuming process. A process which probably isn’t worth the hassle.
Even if you find an outdoor venue with a marriage licence, due to ancient laws you will always have to sign the register under a stable roof.
What about a blessing instead?
A garden blessing is a great option. Perfect if you’re not too fussed on authenticity, if you’re trying to keep costs down, or you simply want a really personal occasion.
You could always carry out a small ceremony at your local registry office. Then continue the proceedings in your garden with a marriage blessing.
Although not legally recognised, a wedding blessing allows you to express your personalised wedding vows to each other in front of your loved ones. It is also a lot more flexible than a traditional wedding ceremony.
Most couples that choose to hold a wedding blessing tend to regard this ceremony as what makes them husband and wife. Rather than the legal formalities carried out at the registry office.
You can choose anyone you like to perform the blessing. This allows room for things to be even more personal.
However we recommended you arrange for a fully trained professional from the Humanist Association to officiate the ceremony. They will be able to offer advice on the structure of your ceremony and can help you prepare words, readings, and music.
The wedding breakfast and reception…
Although you can’t officially tie the knot in your garden, there’s nothing stopping you from hosting the rest of your celebrations there. After your ceremony you can host a beautiful wedding breakfast and reception at your home.
Festival style weddings have become increasingly popular. So, if your garden is big enough, put on the wellies and string up some lanterns for a truly magical setting. If the neighbours aren’t too fussy, you can even arrange for a live band to provide fantastic music into the early hours.
Alternatively a vintage tea party style celebration is a quintessentially English option for your reception.
Get thrifty and source some vintage crockery. String up some bunting and get the caterers in for some quaint finger sandwiches and yummy cakes.
This option is excellent for the ultimate bespoke celebration. If you have the space, you can even allow loved ones to pitch up tents and stay the night. Why not go the extra mile and arrange for fire pits and outdoor heaters?
In a nutshell, you are unable to legally hold a wedding ceremony in your back garden. However, you could consider quickly carrying out the formalities in your local registry office, and then proceeding back to your garden with your guests to hold a blessing ceremony.
We hope that this has helped to answer your question with regards to getting married in your garden. Fingers crossed our alternative options have triggered your imagination to get creating your fairy tale garden wedding celebration.