Rustic weddings are all the new rage this wedding season. Mix your vintage style with the outdoors and create the ultimate rustic wedding that perfectly fits your style! Rustic weddings leave plenty of room for you to add your own personality, making the traditional aspects of this theme uniquely catered to you, your style, and your love.
Outside lights are a signature look for any rustic wedding, whether or not it actually takes place indoors or outdoors. Place them along fences, barn doors, support beams, or anywhere else you would like. Twinkling lights, Charlie Brown lights and lanterns will all fit the rustic bill. Most rustic weddings incorporate the classic white lights, but you can veer from that traditional and can add a pop of color, if you so desire. Decorative lights are a great source of lighting in any venue, but they may need to be accompanied by more light. It is important to look at your venue at the time of day you plan to get married at so that you can plan accordingly for how much lighting you will need.
Chairs can add a large expense to your wedding bill. If you are having a rustic wedding, those cheap plastic chairs just will not do. Try to save enough money in your budget to rent or purchase chairs that better match your wedding. Typically, wooden rental chairs are a little more expensive than the plastic variety, but will definitely match the venue better. If you are going for the Martha Stewart-style, you may opt for a white wooden chair. If you have a little more time, you can create the perfect wedding chairs by decorating your own. Find wooden chairs with personality at yard sales and thrift stores for reasonable prices. Redoing chairs is a great rustic look that allows you to add personality to your seating arrangements.
Many rustic weddings utilize a backyard barbecue style of meal. But don’t feel restricted to stay with that norm! The typical rustic wedding style of serving is buffet-style, but if you would like to be served by-plate, your caterer will more than likely be able to accommodate your request. The rustic wedding meal can usually be counted upon to contain two to three meats and a side salad. Every caterer offers different options, but you can expect barbecue, chicken, beef, and some type of seafood. Just make sure to pick a caterer that has the options you prefer for a reasonable price. The variation of sides for your wedding menu depends on the area you in which you live. Where my rural location, rustic wedding typically have sides like potato salad, macaroni salad, macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs, and fruit salad. Sides really depends on where you live, so ask your caterer what the most popular dishes are for rustic weddings in your area.
You have the freedom to make your actual wedding ceremony whatever you want it to be. From whether you want to write your own vows or say the traditional ones, how the timing goes, and more, it is all up to you. Ceremony decorations are the first introduction to your rustic wedding theme for your guests. If you are planning on having a rustic wedding, look into an arch to accompany the bride and groom at the altar. You can make your own arch by putting together tree branches, curly willow, and flowers. You may need to enlist some help if you are making your own arch, so don’t be afraid to ask your dad, future father-in-law, or a family friend. You could also buy your own arch at goedekers.
Another rustic touch to your ceremony are aisle decorations. These can be personalized according to your wedding venue and the size of your wedding. If you want to go with a more classy look, add lanterns as aisle decorations with curly willow in between. Or, you could have candles at the end of the aisles. A more traditional rustic look includes mason jars and flowers. You can find mason jars at almost any craft store like AC Moore and Michael’s.
Another way to add a rustic touch to your wedding ceremony is to put tree stumps at the end of your rows in the aisle and glue vases, in colors from your scheme or just clear, to the stumps. Then put flowers into the vases. The best way to find those supplies is to look in thrift stores to find different types of vases or at amazon to find vases of the same style.
Bouquets, Corsages and Boutonniere
You again have almost complete freedom when it comes to the flowers you select for your wedding. Chose whatever you prefer as a bride and which ever ones match your color scheme. Tie your flowers with a material that matches your wedding theme. Burlap is a great rustic fabric to wrap your bouquet with on your big day. You can find burlap at any local fabric store or at larger chains such as JoAnn Fabrics. Ribbon also serves as a great option to wrap your rustic bouquet. If you opt for the ribbon, think about the corsages and boutonnieres and what ribbon may be incorporated in those arrangements.
Many people go with traditional hors d’oeuvres for their cocktail hour at a rustic wedding. Traditional hors D’oeuvres include crackers, cheese, vegetables, and some type of dip. Much like the full meal, a rustic wedding typically utilizes a buffet0style to serve hors d’oeuvres. But you can have your hors d’oeuvers served to your wedding guests if you would like to have a more classy cocktail hour. Cocktail hour is completely dictated by you and what your caterer offers. A more simple cocktail hour is the traditional rustic wedding way. But do not be afraid to change it up if you so desire. For, example at my sister’s wedding, she served Italian ice as part of her hors d’oeuvres because she got married in the hot month of August. Have fun with your wedding and accommodate your temperature, venue, caterer, and guests.
The reception is where you are most likely to get carried away with wedding decorations that show off your rustic theme. Barns, the most popular rustic venue, present endless decorative options. You can create chandeliers that will add a bit of class to your venue; create your own by going to https://pinterest.com or you can buy some off https://etsy.com or https://amazon.com. A chandelier is a great piece to put above the head table for a rustic wedding.
As we discussed in the lighting section earlier, twinkle lights are an elegant touch in a rustic barn. The addition of some twinkling lights around the barn poles or outside of the barn adds light and style to your reception. If you want to add the illusion that the barn is larger, then try to find old mirrors at local yard sales or go to a local store near you that sells mirrors like Home Goods, Lowes, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond. Mirrors make a room feel bigger while reflecting all that is going on around you. They are a classy and rustic touch to your wedding decorations. Plus, you can reuse them around your house after the wedding.
Mason jars are a classic rustic wedding decoration that you can hang from the ceiling, a tree, or have as part of your centerpieces. You can get uniquely colored mason jars to fit your color scheme. Also, many people use real flowers to decorate the reception. A rustic wedding is more earthy, so fake flowers can take away everything you are trying to achieve. Although real flowers are expensive, they are definitely the best choice and worth the price tag. Old vases, glass bottles, wine bottles, or mason jars serve as great centerpieces after you place flowers into them. Yard sales, the Dollar Tree, Home Goods, friends, and family are a great way to find these glass wares.
Also at the ceremony is the head table, if you choose to have one. If you do, let the bridesmaid bouquets double as decoration. Another rustic touch is to use vintage china for your plates and bowls along with vintage silverware soley for the head table. This helps to make the head table stand out. There are many different places to find decorations if you are looking to do a less expensive wedding. Try out yard sales, family and friends, and consignment shops. If you have a larger budget, look to buy products from Home Goods, Amazon, and many other stores.
The most common venue for a rustic wedding is a barn or farm. Typically the ceremony takes place outside (if the weather cooperates) and then the party heads inward for the reception. Although barn weddings are very popular, you have other options that maintain the rustic vibe. Some people choose to have their rustic weddings in an orchard or field. Others choose to get married at a old-fashioned bed & breakfast. Hotels and other urban venues are typically not conducive to rustic weddings.
Now you have more ideas and the materials to create your ultimate rustic wedding. Have fun and experiment with the different ideas to make them your own. I wish you the best on your big day!
Speaking of rustic, check out our article about how to use burlap in your wedding here.