grow your own wedding banquet

It is estimated that about 40% of your wedding budget will go towards the food. From the hors d’oeuvres and the reception breakfast to the beverages and service, and not to forget the wedding cake, it’s not surprising the costs soon add up. Most wedding couples will look to spend their budget wisely, but I’ll bet a majority haven’t thought of growing their own wedding banquet.

This idea was inspired by my family home, situated in the heart of the Forest of Dean. We live in an old school house with the outdoors toilets still intact, down a single-track country lane in a little village where everything is ‘old’. At times it can be pretty limited with things to do so my parents have taken all things eco-friendly and self-sufficient in their stride by producing their very own vegetable patch – we had some fab roasties last Christmas! So why not grow your own array of vegetables to serve alongside your choice of fish, meat or rustic pie at your wedding reception? It may take a while to produce something good enough to eat but all rewards come with time and love. How great would it feel to tell your guests they’re eating food from your garden, leaving you feeling both virtuous about your efforts, and about the saved pennies that can be spent elsewhere?

With everything else you have to do before your big day, keeping track of what has been planted where should be the last thing you need to worry about. Plant Tags are a great way to label your seedlings and avoid confusion. I love these vibrant Herb Markers by Pippins as are sure not to get lost in the muddy terrain. Another favourite is the ceramic Seed Marker Set by Esther Coombs; each has a hand-drawn illustration for a quirky touch.

The English weather is known to change quickly so to prevent wilting vegetables, water them on those sunny days with this Thoughtful Gardener Watering Can. Also, make sure to wear Gardening Gloves when things get dirty so your hands will remain stain free for when that gorgeous wedding ring is placed on your finger!

If you do not have a garden where you are able to grow the whole feast, you could just concentrate on the accompanying herbs, from sage to mint, and use the homegrown herb theme as inspiration for your table names. There are some great self-contained alternatives like this three-tiered Wood Plant Theatre that can be free-standing and hold all your potted plants and herbs or a Personalised Mini Wooden Planter that comes in a range of colours. Then there’s the ultimate eco-friendly Recycled Tyre Garden Trug which is frost and rot proof, creating a lovely little hub for your seedlings to prosper. And for the urban gardener this Portable Garden Bed is ideal, easily fitting on a balcony or windowsill ledge.

After your wedding, when you are sure to be hearing all the scrummy feedback from your guests, it will be hard to stop those green fingered aspirations. Make all your future efforts in the garden enjoyable by adding a few garden pieces to your Wedding Gift List. A Wooden Trug, like this shabby chic style from The Hiding Place, will make harvesting your produce much easier when carrying back indoors to keep in a Rustic Vegetable Store. And for when you’re all done with the days hard work, this Personalised Oak Boot Jack will make taking those dirty wellies off easy. Sit back and admire your efforts sat on a Heart Garden Bench to see how your dedication and love has helped your vegetables to grow.

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