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Decorating an Outdoor Ceremony

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

If you are having an outdoor ceremony, you are probably looking to enhance your space without detracting from the natural charm, and you are trying no to spend a bundle on decorations which will only be used for a short moment during your ceremony.  The best solution is to make decorations which can handle double duty – use them at your ceremony and at your reception.

I love the idea of hanging garden markers.  These are sweet, earthy, gardens-in-a-jar which hang from shepherds’ hooks throughout your ceremony location.  Afterward, the hangers are removed and the jars can be used a centerpieces at the guests’ tables.  The materials for these can be found at home, flea markets, craft stores or garden centers.  Since this is a small garden, you can make these days or weeks in advance.

To Do:

– Step 1 – Make sure the jars are clean – suggest to stay in the 4.5″ high and 4″ wide size so it does not get too heavy for wire and hooks.  (If you use larger jars, make sure to use a heavier gauge wire and possibly a heavy hook is also needed depending on the final size of your garden jar.)

– Step 2 – Wrap a piece of wire (suggest to use silver floral wire) around the circumference of the mouth of the jar – twist to tightly secure.  Make a handle out of wire by cutting a piece of wire 9″ long.  Slip one end under the wire which you secured around the mouth of the jar.  Pull through about 1″ and twist this loose end to secure.  Repeat on the other side of the jar.

– Step 3 – Place about .75″-1″ layer of small stones / pea gravel in the bottom of the jar.  Add 1/2″ layer of charcoal.  On top of the charcoal, add 2″ of potting soil.  Make sure the soil is slightly damp since it is easier to work with and will keep your plants hydrated.

– Step 4 – Dig small hols in the soil for the roots of your plants.  Chose plants with similar water and light requirements.  Some good choices for these small gardens are succulents, small ferns, African violets, baby’s tears, begonias and spider plants.  Place the plants in the holes and pat the extra soil over the roots and around the plant.  Make sure the plants are firmly packed in the soil or they will fall over.

– Step 5 – Water the soil until damp but not soaking the plants.  The charcoal and the stones will help with drainage.

– Step 6 – At the ceremony location, insert the shepherd’s hook into the ground.  Hang the mini garden on the hook.  Be sure ask someone (not in the wedding party) to move these jars from the hooks and place on the tables in the reception.

If creating a mini-garden isn’t your style, fill the jars with sand and candles or with cut flowers to fit into your theme.

The great thing about the mini-garden is you can also move these to your new home and enjoy them for months after your wedding!



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