Combining natural and vintage elements to create a casual yet elegant aesthetic, rustic weddings have become all the rage. This unpretentious style offers a warm, inviting alternative to its posh, shiny -- and expensive -- counterparts, creating an experience that puts your special day and beloved guests center stage, relaxed and glowing amid soft, organic details.
If this sounds like your wedding theme match made in heaven, read on…we have the tips and tricks you need to plan the rustic wedding of your dreams.
What does your imagination conjure when you think of a rustic wedding venue?
An expansive, tree-dotted property behind a lovingly restored farmhouse?
A forest clearing carpeted in fir needles and speckled in wild flowers?
A charming lakeside retreat, or an old barn given new life?
One of the best things about planning a rustic-style wedding is that whatever your vision or budget, you can make this theme your own. The great outdoors is the most rustic option of all, but has the added challenge of weather-related planning. If you’d prefer something a bit more controlled, opt for spaces with strong natural elements like wood and stone: barns, farmhouses, wineries, and even treehouses are all fair game.
To create a rustic wedding palette, mingle neutral shades like cream, soft grey, pale taupe, or straw with the subtler hues of nature’s seasonal spectrum. For spring and summer, consider lavender, soft rose, buttery yellows, gentle corals, muted blues, and eucalyptus green. Colder months lend themselves to deeper jewel tones like crimson, plum, deep goldenrod, sage, or sapphire.
Palettes from Coolors
When we think of rustic weddings, we imagine carefully selected natural and vintage elements woven together to create an welcoming, organic ambiance that’s anything but ordinary.
Whether your idea of a rustic wedding is one that just nods to nature or goes all out, adding unpolished wood elements is a must! If a forest or tree-filled property will be your backdrop, nature will do much of the work for you. (How great is that?) Gently renovated barns, too, with rough-hewn exposed beams and weathered walls, offer their own bit of rustic nostalgia.
Seating for rustic weddings is pretty straightforward: consider simple wood chairs, benches, or even picnic tables. For additional mood-setting decor, seek out weathered fence panels, rough-hewn handmade signs, stumps as display tables, and twigs bundled with flowers and greenery for your table.
(For an extra-special touch, we’ll transform reclaimed and found wood into customized, unique-to-you rustic decor elements you’ll treasure long after your big day!)
There’s more to play with than just wood. For a rustic farm wedding, think about incorporating burlap, corrugated aluminum, and even carefully placed rusted elements here and there to add authenticity to your theme. And for the romantic in you, why not some kissing cow bells?
If you picture a forest or lakeside space, consider ways to elevate the everyday: camping mugs become vases for dainty wildflower bouquets or an apropos vessel for your newlywed toast; a repurposed canoe makes the perfect reception-size beverage bar.
Lace trees with tiny string lights, or perhaps add antique-style lanterns and tealight candles nestled in rustic holders to your tables! Simple white china and elegant flatware elevate the experience; for a more cozy feel, set out mismatched vintage dishes and flatware.
Flowers are the crown jewel of any wedding’s decor. Look for seasonal flowers that keep with your theme and go crazy--fresh cut flowers piled high in wicker baskets or bursting from jars, crates, vintage milk cans or aluminum watering cans, or even floating blossoms.
We recommend selecting flowers with an informal feel (wildflowers, lilacs, and even sunflowers easily fit the bill), but if you can’t imagine your wedding without roses or gardenias, we wouldn’t dare interfere!
To avoid waste (and for a personal touch), incorporate potted plants and flowers that you can send home with friends and family to enjoy long into the future.
If flowers aren’t really your thing, you can still easily bring in some green. Opt for potted herbs like basil, mint, and rosemary to decorate tables and spaces. For bouquets, keep it simple with 2-3 different types of eucalyptus. Not only will it fit the theme, but they’ll smell gorgeous as well: fresh, herbaceous, and light.
The rustic wedding is equal parts rugged and delicate, lending a dreamy romanticism firmly rooted (see what we did there?) in nature to your big day. Whether you choose to go the au naturel route--allowing a lush forested backdrop to do the talking--or you prefer to create your own woodsy farmhouse wonderland, here’s wishing you a lifetime of fabulous wedding day memories!