Landscapes For Celebration; An Investigation and Design of Wedding Gardens


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Virginia Tech


This thesis explores the design of landscapes for celebration. These celebrations include all types of events or rituals that mark special times in people's lives. The focus of this work is landscapes for weddings. The goal is to illuminate the importance of these spaces for celebration as well as reveal how landscape architectural design can have a profound influence on how these places are perceived by the user and their experience of their celebration. These events have characteristics that set them apart from everyday activities and these elements can be enhanced by design. There are shared qualities among landscapes for celebration that draw people and make the place meaningful, these are compiled into a sort of set of design principles for these spaces. The structure of the event, both physically and psychologically, can be enhanced by design to add more meaning to the experience of the participants. Through literature review on ritual, sacred spaces, and ritual spaces information is gathered to inform the design. Case studies of celebratory landscapes and powerful places are also performed to gather knowledge. Through this investigation a set of design principles is collected, and then applied to a wedding garden design. Thoughtful design, incorporating knowledge of ritual, ritual structure, and the event being designed for, will create places that support and enhance one in a lifetime events. Design of celebratory landscapes should strive to create spaces that are meaningful, rooted in the community, supportive of the structure of the event, and reflective of the participants.



ritual landscapes, ritual, special events, ritual space, celebratory landscapes