Brits are keen to say “I do” in the garden

Premier Polytunnels examines the rise of the back garden wedding

More than half (56%) of the nation would be happy to go low key with their wedding plans and host a DIY wedding in their own back garden in 2021 following Covid, according to a new study.   

Following the backlog of weddings looming due to the effects of Covid and an estimated 400,000 weddings due to take place this year alone¹, Premier Polytunnels were keen to find out more about the less generic aspects of weddings that Brits are keen to see introduced into their big day, and surveyed 1,000 UK adults to learn more.  

With the government giving the go-ahead for weddings to begin their journey to normality from April 12th of this year, fifteen per cent of the nation are more than ready to get back to celebrating weddings of any size. 

However, four in ten UK adults (41%) say they would be happy to attend a wedding party of 30 guests and below, which is well timed following the news that from June, weddings of 30 guests are more are anticipated to go ahead in England. 

Since the roadmap to recovery was unveiled by the UK government, venues up and down the country have seen a huge rise in demand as people try to reschedule their ceremonies, with some London venues said to be booked out until 2023² at the earliest.  

Several contributing factors which include the tight restrictions surrounding the number of guests, the waiting time for venues, as well as understandable anxieties when it comes to large gatherings; has sparked a peak in interest amongst UK couples in hosting their wedding closer to home.  

So much so, social media outlet, Pinterest has recently reported a 190% YOY increase in searches for “small back garden wedding” across the UK, USA and Brazil combined³, as couples opt for a more intimate, DIY ceremony to help speed up their wedding date.  

In line with this data, the findings from Premier Polytunnels found that more than a quarter (27%) of those surveyed stated they’d happily plan a smaller wedding in order to marry sooner.

Nearly a third of UK adults (29%) admitted they would welcome a smaller wedding as it would allow them to cut their guestlist down significantly, enabling them to cut out guests previously invited out of politeness. 

Saying “I do” outdoors is not technically allowed in England as yet, however, the pandemic has highlighted the restrictive nature of these laws and the government are now considering altering the law to better reflect modern society. The new proposed law would allow couples to be legally married anywhere they wish, within reason. 

Naturally, opting to celebrate your big day al fresco isn’t without risks, and temperamental British weather should be a consideration when making any initial plans, especially when forgoing a more traditional wedding venue. 

April was found to be the driest month of the year in the UK⁴, making it one of the safer choices in which to hold an outdoor celebration, whilst August actually has the most rainfall out of all the spring and summer months.  

As an alternative method of shelter, a third of Brits (29%) would be happy to include a polytunnel, or similar structure as part of their big day to house dining and drinking options, as well as providing a place to dance for their guests.  

According to studies⁵, the average couple spends anywhere between £5,000 and £6,000 on a wedding venue alone, however (space dependent), even if investing in something as large a 90ft polytunnel instead would set you back just £2,923, saving you a minimum of £2,077 before you even make a dent in the rest of the essentials for your big day.  

Other potential money-saving aspects amongst UK couples included homemade flower arrangements (36%) and a homemade cake (33%) as well as saving money on a makeup artist by doing it yourself (33%) and creating your own homemade invitations (32%) for a really personal touch.   

Top Wedding day elements Brits would be keen to incorporate  %  
Garden wedding reception (their own/friends/family member)  56%  
A village/town hall wedding party  38%  
DIY / homemade flower arrangements  36%  
DIY / homemade cake  33%  
DIY makeup  33%  
DIY / homemade invitations  32%  
DIY hair  31%  
DIY / homemade catering & drink  30%  
A polytunnel / Temporary Structure 29%  
DIY / homemade favours  28%  

By incorporating even a few of these homemade and DIY elements into your wedding, you are likely to see some pretty noticeable savings when it comes to the final bill.  

For example, by simply getting creative and making your own cake you could save you approximately £550 in labour costs, with the cost of wedding cakes reportedly soaring upwards of £750⁶, designer dependent.   

Deborah Wood, Company Director for Premier Polytunnels commented on the findings:  

“It’s lovely to see just how eager we are to get back to some sense or normality as soon as is safe to do so, especially when it comes to love!  

“For those couples are eager to get their wedding plans under way as soon as possible, DIY weddings and polytunnels are an amazing solution which will allow you to hold a more intimate ceremony in the form of a less conventional but equally as magical back garden wedding reception and can be decorated beautifully to suit all tastes and themes.  

“They can even help you to cut costs down beyond the price of the venue, allowing you to grow your own flowers and produce ahead of the big day which will really help to put a more personal stamp on the celebrations.” 

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