Guide to Planning a Rustic Wedding

Guide to Planning a Rustic Wedding

The proposal has been made, the rings have been sized, the date has been set and your big day is on the horizon. All that’s left to do is to say “I do,” right? Well, not quite.

You’re planning your wedding day, and while that can be incredibly exciting and invigorating, it also comes with some pretty big responsibilities. You need to plan out the guest list, find a venue, pick your stationery, send invitations, taste-test cakes, coordinate colors, and find the perfect dress — not to mention decking out your venue with the right decor to ensure that everything is picture-perfect on your big day.

Don’t be overwhelmed! Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be difficult — in fact, it’s a process of discovery and expression, and when you have a theme, it’s easy for everything to come together in a way that suits your unique style and makes all your decorative dreams come true.

Ten years ago, most couples planned their wedding without a specific focus to center their day on, meaning they had little direction when making sure the various elements of the wedding fit together. As compared to 17 percent then, more than 50 percent of engaged couples incorporate their own unique themes into their weddings today, and there’s a reason this trend has taken off so tremendously.

A theme changes everything. By giving you a basis for the color scheme, kind of venue, and type of decor, a wedding theme offers essential guidelines and helps you streamline the process of choosing your attire, flowers, layout, centerpieces, meal options, cake, and wedding favors — plus, it’s the perfect way to express your interests and make sure your big day matches your personality in as memorable a way as possible.

One of the most popular, creative trends out there today is the rustic or vintage wedding theme. Consisting of a combination of antique and earthy types of decor, rustic themes aim to incorporate elements that are natural and casual but also classy, creating a warm, welcoming, intimate atmosphere that’s both down-to-earth and a little chic. If you’re a couple who wants a balance of simplicity and elegance in your wedding — and you enjoy earthy, natural, and tastefully aged decor that evokes a comfortable, handcrafted feel — a rustic-themed wedding is probably well-suited to your tastes.

If you’re planning a rustic wedding and not sure where to start, these tips will give you an overview of everything you need to cover with your rustic wedding theme ideas. From finding the right venue and coordinating your color scheme to decorating a rustic wedding and brainstorming rustic wedding ideas on a budget, here is a helpful guide to rustic weddings.

Choosing Your Rustic Wedding Venue

When beginning the process of picking out a venue for your rustic wedding, don’t just think about what you know is local or available — and don’t settle for the conventional or typical spot. Instead, envision the possibilities of your perfect wedding. If you could pick any location — real or imaginary — what would it be?

Choosing a Rustic Wedding Venue

Maybe your ideal setting is as visionary as an enchanted forest or a stunning, vintage lodge, as comforting as a down-home ranch or decorated barn, or as simple as a backyard strung with warm lights. Maybe you dream of a covered-bridge backdrop, a view of the mountains or a gorgeous lakeside ceremony. Whether your dream venue is indoors or outdoors, simple or complex, easy to book or a little more challenging, it should match your vision for the wedding itself and reflect both your style and your personality.

When you’re brainstorming locations, make sure to consider the vibe you’re hoping to set and the kind of decor you wish to incorporate. Remember, the more the venue is reminiscent of your style, the less you’ll need to worry about forcing coordination — because your setting will naturally match your aesthetic and the decor you choose to bring in. In some cases, the venue can even contribute to the decor — by adding greenery and tree branches to your setting, for example, or offsetting your rustic wedding decorations with a distressed wall or wood-beamed ceiling.

When you have a few ideas of the kind of venue you want, be proactive with your search, and don’t be afraid to expand your search a little further than you’d planned. If you find an amazing alternative or quirky space you think is your ideal spot, don’t be afraid to make a special request about your wedding. Some sites might not advertise as wedding venues, but could be willing if you ask! Don’t settle for the typical church or hotel event room if that’s not what you want — chase after that barn, ranch, farm, vineyard, or unique venue you desire!

If you’re looking for rustic wedding ideas on a budget and want a simple, cost-effective venue, outdoor locations like public parks, gardens, and backyards are your best bet for an elegant ceremony that won’t break the bank. Just make sure you factor in the season.

Choosing Your Rustic Wedding Theme Colors

Before you pick out your decor, dress, flowers, and other details, you want to make sure to establish the color scheme for your rustic wedding. When it comes to how to plan a rustic wedding, having a set array of colors attached to your theme will give you a much easier time eliminating clashing options and choosing the perfect coordinating decor for your event. The best kind of color scheme for planning a rustic wedding consists of two focal colors — which will stand out most in your attire and decor — and one neutral color that will tie everything together and ground your look.

When choosing your focal colors, think about what kinds of colors appeal to you. Do you want mostly earthy tones like greens and browns to give your wedding decor an especially rustic feel? Perhaps you want warmer shades like reds or yellows, or maybe you’re into the cool, relaxing properties of blues and violets. As for the shades of the colors, decide whether you’d prefer bright, bold shades, calming pastels, or even subdued, washed-out grays. You can choose colors that offset each other — like purple and yellow or pink and green — or mostly monochromatic schemes that consist of different shades of the same color or similar colors — like dark and light blue or pine green and olive green.
When you’ve picked out your focal colors, it’s time to tie the whole scheme together with the right neutral. Opt for a subtle shade that complements your other colors. You can choose from nude, white, cream, tan, latte, or other similar colors. With your color scheme all set, it’s time to delve into rustic wedding decor ideas!

Flowers for a Rustic Wedding

Flowers are one of the key elements of your wedding — after all, you’ll need the best blooms to design your earthy, wild wedding bouquet, decorate your aisle, altar arch, or backdrop, and factor into your rustic wedding centerpiece ideas and tablescapes. Whether they’re real plants or stunning, realistic silk blooms, you want your flowers to complement your color scheme and fit in with your other decor while also matching the mood and style of your theme.

Flowers for a Rustic Wedding

It’s all up to you and your tastes, but for rustic and vintage weddings, the typical, traditional bouquet of roses and a tightly bound shape are a thing of the past. Instead, you probably want arrangements that look more natural, earthy, and even a little bit wild — and that can mean less common types of flowers or more green in your arrangements. The types of flowers you incorporate depend on the kind of mood you’re trying to set.
For a natural, magical aura with a little bit of earthy, fairy-like charm, think about choosing small, playful wildflower blooms that evoke visions of untamed meadows and summer days. Flowers like apple blossoms, snapdragons, wisteria, and cosmos will deliver that colorful wildness and ripeness that makes your rustic theme so enticing. If you need some bright accents to match your focal colors, try adding invigorating sprays of artificial berries or plum blossoms.

If you’re looking for something a bit more subtle and refined but still rustic, try softer, spring-evoking flowers like lavender, hydrangea, dogwood, and magnolia. If you have your heart set on adding roses into the mix, complement them with other elements to keep the arrangement rustic. Rose and succulent bouquets are both unique and elegant.

If you’d rather your wedding flowers add the most simple, earthy, comforting vibes when decorating a barn wedding, choose humble, but bright, blooms like daisies and sunflowers.

Rustic Wedding Centerpiece Ideas

When it comes to your reception, rustic centerpieces for your wedding tables are the stars of the show! Centerpieces are decor arrangements that sit on display in the middle of each table, drawing together different design elements and embodying the theme of your wedding while giving your guests something to admire while they eat and socialize after the ceremony. Your centerpieces don’t have to be too complex or cram together every decor item you can think of — in fact, it’s best to keep them simple and tasteful so your guests won’t be overwhelmed, distracted, or disillusioned about the quaintness of your theme.

When you’re brainstorming rustic centerpieces for your wedding, try to incorporate a couple of key items from your theme and stick to your chosen colors.

If you’re doing a rustic outdoor wedding with a focus on natural elements, you might want to choose items that incorporate grass, moss or dirt. Try filling vintage mason jars with soil, moss, ferns, and LED votive lights for a miniature terrarium look, or just offset a few of your theme flowers with earthy jars. Glass milk bottles and zinc bucket vases are great centerpiece ideas for barn weddings. For a classier touch, you can arrange rustic pillar candles in a tray with a base of faux greenery or frame your centerpiece in a vintage birdcage.

Rustic Wedding Tablescapes

With your centerpieces picked out, it’s time to focus on the rest of the table. While some people think of centerpieces and tablescapes as the same element, a tablescape is actually a design plan that addresses the whole tabletop and incorporates elements of its surroundings to make it match with your entire theme and other decor.

When planning your tablescape, stick to your color palette and a few key items and textures, then plan around those specific themes. For example, if flowers or plants are your key focus and a big part of your centerpiece, let them speak for themselves and organize the rest of the table around them, using gentle elements like lace, burlap, leaves, and jars or tins to accent them without overwhelming the design. If milk bottles are your favorite element, don’t crowd them with mason jars, wood, plants, and everything else you can think of — focus on the glass and only offset it subtly with some secondary elements.

Your place settings can be cute and quirky — like slate hearts with chalk writing — but again, make sure they don’t clash with the rest of your table. You may have several creative ideas, but the key to the aesthetic success of your tablescape is to incorporate only one or two to keep the balance.

Lighting for Rustic Weddings

To illuminate your event with just the right kind of warm glow to set the mood, you’ll need to pick the best rustic wedding lighting decor. The best part of candles, candleholders, candelabras and other lighting decor is that they don’t only provide the necessary light for your ceremony, aisle, tables, and setting — they also create a specific atmosphere and act as additional decorations to offset your theme and other items.

Lighting for a Rustic Wedding

When you’re looking for ideas for rustic or barn wedding lighting, think about the mood you’re aiming for. If you want to create an intimate atmosphere with warm, low lights, tea lights and votives are the perfect lighting options for you. Arrange your assortment of tiny candles on your tables in beautiful vintage and rustic votive holders and tea light holders, create a backyard-style lantern element by placing them in the bottom of glass jars for a halo-like glow, or craft a magical aura by stringing them up around the room, the yard, or the trees with hanging lantern holders. You and your guests will be enchanted by the unique personality your rustic lights add to the wedding.

Rustic Wedding Attire

When you’re working out the details of what to wear at your rustic wedding, remember to stick to your color scheme. The attire of the groom, groomsmen, and bridesmaids can reflect either of your focal colors or your neutral — just try to make sure they offset each other and aren’t all the same color. If your focal colors are olive and violet, for example, with a neutral of ivory, you may want to pick your bridesmaids’ dresses in an olive green, while dressing your groomsmen in suits with ivory undershirts and violet ties. Remember, your groom’s attire should stand apart from his groomsmen.

As for the bridal dress, it should fit into the wedding theme in both style and shade. It’s up to you to decide on the cut and nature of your dress, but when you’re going with a rustic wedding theme, it’s best to choose a rustic style of dress as well. A prim, poofy-skirted wedding dress with a sparkly, bejeweled bodice wouldn’t exactly be the right fit for a rustic barn wedding or a backyard ceremony with mason jars, would it? Whether you find a gorgeous vintage dress with long lace sleeves, or settle on a sleeveless bohemian gown with an asymmetrical skirt, your dress should complement your aesthetic with its personality.

If you’re opting for a classic white or cream-colored dress, it will work well with almost any color scheme, but if you’re hoping to be more unconventional and choose another shade, just make sure it matches your color scheme.

Rustic Wedding Cake

Choosing a wedding cake is like choosing a wedding dress — the style, adornments, and flavor should fit you perfectly. When you’re thinking about what kind of dessert you want to take center stage in your wedding reception, focus on decoration, color, taste, and presentation. They all contribute to embodying your rustic theme.

When you’re taste-testing to pick your perfect flavor, think about what says “rustic” to you. Is it a classy but delicious cake like red velvet, or is it a lighter, more summery flavor like lemon? Maybe nothing seems more reminiscent of rustic style than a mouthwatering carrot cake, or maybe you prefer the homemade flavor of double chocolate to evoke a comforting feeling. Choose your flavor based on that best embodies your personal tastes and perceptions of your theme.

In terms of decorations, keep your cake in tune with your color scheme, and don’t be afraid to add some interesting rustic elements like sugar lace sides or fondant berries. Your cake should be as unique as the rest of your decor.

Rustic Wedding Favors

Favors for a Rustic Wedding

To thank your guests, think up some simple but cute wedding favors for them to take when they go. In keeping with your rustic theme, you might gift them with homemade fudge or brownies, mason jars filled with treats and trinkets, miniature terrariums for their own tables, goody baskets in rustic zinc buckets, or cupcakes baked in glass jars. Whatever unique idea you use, make sure you incorporate a rustic theme or an element of your wedding decor to give them something to remember the day!

Find Rustic Decor for Weddings at Jamali Garden

Whether you’re planning your rustic wedding in a barn, backyard, lodge, park, ranch, vineyard, or garden, Jamali Garden has the right decor to make your day everything you dream of. Offering an extensive selection and wholesale options in a wide variety of styles, we specialize in products that inspire exquisite events. Make your rustic wedding dream a reality and browse our rustic wedding decor today.

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