Why not have a garden wedding? There are few better locations in which to relax out of doors - and take a brilliant set of wedding photographs. In travelling round great gardens we have often noticed their being used for wedding photography. Couples turn up in taxis, fresh from the wedding ceremony, and take photographs before going on the wedding reception. The setting provides little more than a theme.
It is surely better to have the wedding ceremony itself in the garden or in a nearby building. The most romantic location in Europe for a garden wedding is perhaps the Mirabell Garden in Austria. The wedding ceremony can take place in the marble hall of the Schloss. Honeymoon hotels also boast gardens.
Outdoor weddings are legal in the USA but because there are fewer gardens open to the public than in Europe it is often necessary to use a public garden (eg a botanical garden) or university campus garden or even a National Park for weddings. In view of weather uncertainties, it is sensible to use a garden which also has indoor space for the wedding (eg a hotel with a good garden). American citizens can marry abroad and, in general, the marriage will be legally valid in the United States. If in doubt, inquiries about an overseas wedding should go to the attorney general of the American state in which the bride and groom reside.
In England, many hotels are licensed to hold civil wedding ceremonies and, since many old country estates have become hotels, it is possible to hold a wedding ceremony and reception in an English garden. They have a joyfully mellow calm which is difficult to find elsewhere. Hudson's Guide has details of hotels which are licensed for wedding ceremonies.
One important consideration when planning a garden wedding is the weather. Depending on the location and time of year of your garden wedding, it is well worth considering a contingency plan for adverse weather conditions.