When you want to host your wedding at home but are limited on space, sometimes you have to think outside the box. Rather than looking at the rooms of your home and finding them lacking, look to your garage. It's a big open space -- a blank canvas -- upon which you can imprint the one-of-a-kind stamp of your wedding theme. With a handful of talented volunteers, some bright ideas and old-fashioned ingenuity, you can turn your garage from the practical place where you park your cars into the magical spot where you and your intended take your vows.
Clear your garage of all extraneous items. Park your bicycles and lawnmower in the shed, store your tools in a closet and park your cars in front of your house or in a willing neighbor's driveway. Create a space that is wide open and clutter-free.
Clean your garage from top to bottom. Blow away any stray wood shavings, sweep the floor until it's free of dust and dirt, and dust any surfaces with a microfiber duster. Ensure that your garage is as clean as possible so your guests don't come away feeling grimy.
Set up all of your chairs, leaving space at the front for your ceremony. Leave a center aisle that is wide enough for the bride, her attendants and their dresses to clear the seats easily without brushing the seated guests. Leave the garage doors open, and extend your seating out into the driveway if necessary.
Hang solid-colored sheets in your wedding colors on the walls to create a colorful backdrop for your wedding, and cover your garage walls, shelves and workbenches. Choose an aisle runner in a complementary shade to carry the color throughout the venue.
Place floral arrangements at strategic locations throughout the garage. Choose large arrangements to place on either side of the garage door so that your guests notice them as they enter. You can also choose large arrangements for the front of the garage where the ceremony will take place. Hang floral swags with lots of greenery on the walls and on the altar, if you have one.
Place candelabras or grouped candle arrangements at the front of the garage to create extra light. Avoid using the fluorescent lighting that is standard in so many garages. Fluorescent lighting is typically too harsh for a romantic ceremony like a wedding. Keep the candles well out of the reach of milling guests who may accidentally overturn them. String strands of white or colored lights around the top of the walls as well for a warm glow.
Create designs out of colored tulle to add a festive touch to the garage. Swags of material placed around the garage doors and the front of the garage, bows that drape and flow across the walls or tulle hung from the ceiling all combine to create a dreamy, romantic look.