What Is A Rustic Style Wedding?

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Many couples love the rustic wedding theme because it's warm, cosy, and laid-back. It's also fairly easy to pull off, as rustic wedding décor focuses on textures such as natural wood, dried flowers, burlap, and various organic materials.

Because of the focus on nature, rustic themed weddings often have a more natural and organic feel. Rustic weddings often highlight delicate wildflowers or wood accents that do not look processed. An important part of the rustic theme is that the elements do not look too arranged. This emphasis on the natural gives the rustic wedding theme an ephemeral and otherworldly vibe.

Aside from its quaint charm, rustic wedding ideas also remain popular because of how easy it is to play around with the theme even with a limited budget. With rustic wedding décor, you don't have to overthink each detail. You get to have a wedding theme that helps you be environmentally conscious!

Barn venues, mason jars, and burlap are just rustic wedding ideas. So why has the rustic wedding theme become popular? But over the years, this theme has only picked up speed and is still one of the hottest wedding themes. Some couples dream about a rustic wedding in a barn, while others think about hosting a rustic wedding in a country field.

No matter what type of rustic wedding you are planning, there are tons of beautiful rustic wedding ideas, and we can't wait to share some of our favourites. One of the reasons why rustic weddings are so popular is because the term rustic is such a large umbrella term and can be used to describe a country wedding, outdoor wedding, lakeside wedding, woodland wedding, and more.

Nature and the outdoors are huge components of the rustic wedding style. Rustic weddings are often associated with rural locations, such as barns and other countryside venues, but you can pull off this relaxed aesthetic almost anywhere with the right approach. Rustic wedding style typically combines farmhouse, vintage, and harsh elements, such as wood slices, burlap, baby's breath, mix-and-match vases, barrels, and galvanised metal. You can achieve a classic rustic wedding style by adding elegant details like chandeliers, greenery garlands, candles, and string lights.

The most obvious venues for rustic weddings are barns, ranches, and farms. These venues easily lend themselves to rustic wedding styles because of their outdoor locations and pastoral settings. Vineyards, mountain lodges, and parks or campgrounds are also popular for rustic style and summer weddings.

Some barn or farm venues may close for the winter and early spring, especially if your area is notorious for heavy snowfall. It means that you're more likely to be limited to traditional indoor venues during the winter, and as a result, you may need more decor to achieve a truly rustic effect. If you find a barn wedding venue or farm available during the winter, ask about the venue's inclement weather policy, and don't forget to create a "Plan B" in case Mother Nature has other ideas. Lastly, barns can be very draughty in the winter, so ask the venue if they provide space heaters if necessary. If not, you'll need to factor in the added cost to rent them so that everyone stays cosy and warm.

One thing we love about the rustic wedding style is that it's super versatile. It works with many different colour palettes, and each one can help you achieve a different look depending on the decor you choose.

Popular rustic colour palettes include yellow and navy, burgundy and orange, or coral and turquoise. However, stick with a softer colour palette of pastel hues for a rustic-chic look, such as blush, dusty blue, mint green, or even gold.

Rustic wedding style focuses on handmade details, rugged accent pieces, and repurposed vintage items. However, before you start finalising your rustic wedding decorations, you need to decide if you want your wedding to be traditionally rustic (more on that in a second) or something along the lines of rustic chic elegance.

Traditional rustic decor goes heavy on the outdoorsy elements, like hay bales, twine, raw wood pieces, and antlers. Burlap wedding table runners, mason jars, and baby's breath are popular at traditional rustic weddings. You can even add seasonal details, such as sunflowers in the summer or acorns and pumpkins in the fall, to play up the rustic theme.

Rustic chic style is all about creating a laid-back yet elegant setting. This twist on traditional rustic style keeps the fundamental elements but adds romantic and classic details—think loose greenery, whitewashed chairs, muted metallic accents, and essentially anything you'd see on an episode of Fixer Upper.

Rustic wedding style is all about creating a welcoming feel. So you'll want the bouquets, centrepieces (see our favourite rustic wedding centrepieces here), and floral arrangements to have a loose, slightly undone look. In other words, nothing that feels too perfect or overly arranged.

Most types of flowers work well with the rustic style. Still, we particularly love sunflowers, hydrangeas, daisies, roses, delphinium, dahlias, poppies, and lots of greenery (imagine wildflowers you might see growing in a country field). Of course, baby's breath goes hand-in-hand with a rustic style, but Queen Anne's lace, Craspedia, goldenrod, and even cotton puffs are other whimsical accents that look lovely.

What Do You Wear To A Rustic Wedding?

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Generally, a rustic wedding theme allows for a casual dress code because of the laid-back atmosphere associated with rustic wedding venues. For example, if your ceremony is in a 200-year-old barn or a field at the edge of a forest, asking your wedding guests to wear tuxedos and floor-length gowns may not be the most practical route.

You'll also want to consider the venue when choosing your attire. If you're wearing a wedding dress, slimmer silhouettes in lightweight, breathable fabrics are ideal for rustic settings. It will give you plenty of freedom to move around easily—a must if you're getting hitched outdoors. A more casual dress code also means that you should keep your accessories relatively understated, but don't be afraid to have fun! It is an opportunity to wear things that might seem out of place at more formal venues, like swapping your stilettos for a pair of sandals, flats, or even cowboy boots!

If you're wearing a suit, opt for an informal style in a lightweight material, such as seersucker, cotton, or linen. These options still look polished without being overdressed, and they're ideal for warmer temperatures. Wool suits are a great option for rustic weddings in cooler weather. Skip the suit and sport a button-down with dress pants, a tie, or suspenders for the ultimate laid-back look.

What Kind Of Food Do You Serve At A Rustic Wedding?

For rustic wedding cakes, we love the look of buttercream frosting, which will give your cake a slightly more relaxed look. Dress up each tier with fresh flowers or greenery, skip the allover frosting and opt for a naked or semi-naked cake instead. Fondant gives a smoother finish to your wedding cake and can be personalised with a faux bois pattern or burlap ribbons for additional rustic flair.

Rustic weddings are a prime opportunity to try out some alternative dessert ideas—homemade pies, doughnuts, waffles, and even pie pops are just some of our faves. Pies are especially festive for rustic fall weddings since you can incorporate seasonal ingredients like pumpkins and apples. You can serve pies in addition to your traditional cake or send your guests home with pre-boxed slices or mini pies as favours. We also love cupcakes, candy apples, and flavoured kettle corn as rustic wedding treats.

Favourite Rustic Wedding Ideas

Hay Bale Ceremony Seating

This creative seating idea is spot-on for a rustic wedding if you're exchanging your vows outdoors. It's even better if you're getting married at a farm or other country wedding venue that already has hay bales on-site—add assorted quilts and blankets to dress them up.

Wooden Ceremony Arch

A wooden ceremony arch is a staple decor piece for rustic weddings. We love this birch branch backdrop decorated with greenery and garden-inspired flowers.

Loose, Overflowing Wedding Bouquet

Add to the laid-back vibe of a rustic wedding theme by carrying an oversized bouquet filled with vines, greenery, pampas, grass, and other botanical accents. Focus on using wildflowers and cheerful blooms, like daisies, sunflowers, roses, ranunculus, and poppies, to achieve that farmer's market-inspired look.

Cowboy Boots

What would a rustic wedding be without cowboy boots? These shoes are appropriate for a rustic aesthetic, but they're also practical if you're having a rustic barn wedding and don't want to ruin a pair of new shoes (or deal with uncomfortable heels and laces). Instead, pair them with your bridesmaid dresses for a super-casual look.

Lightweight Suit

Even with an informal dress code, you can wear a suit if you're having a rustic wedding—the trick is finding the appropriate style. Look for suits made from cotton, linen, or tweed on the less fancy end of the spectrum. Another option: skip the full suit and opt for a sports coat and jeans (no rips, please, though!).

Fleece Throw Blankets

Even in the height of summer, it can be chilly when the sun goes down if you have an outdoor wedding. Providing a basket of fleece blankets is an attractive and practical solution that your guests will appreciate.

Wagon Decor

Whether the wagon is purely decorative or you use it in a practical way—such as wheeling a young flower girl down the aisle or displaying ceremony programs—it's a perfect addition to any rustic wedding theme. Choose one in a colour that matches the rest of your decor, and then add streamers, greenery, or flowers to jazz it up.

Burying The Bourbon Tradition

You'll need to plan for this wedding ceremony ritual in advance. About a month before your wedding, visit your ceremony site and bury an unopened, upside-down bottle of bourbon (any brand of your choice) at or near the spot where you will exchange your vows. According to tradition, the bottle will prevent rain and bad weather on your big day! Then, after the ceremony, you can dig up the bourbon and enjoy a celebratory drink with your brand-new spouse. Plus, it's a cute wedding photo op.

Lanterns With Candles

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Lanterns are one of the most versatile details for a rustic style wedding. You can use them to decorate almost anything, including your wedding reception tables, ceremony altar, aisle, venue walkways, tent entrances, staircases, etc. Then, add candles (use battery-operated ones if your venue doesn't allow open flames) for a romantic touch and a bit of ambient lighting.

Burlap Accents

Burlap is a quintessential rustic wedding detail, and even the smallest hints of it will give your decor an outdoorsy, relaxed look. Use burlap sparingly to accent your wedding signs (like the bow pictured here), tablecloths, chair backs, centrepieces, or even your wedding invitations.

Wooden Card Box

Even if most of your guests send gifts from your wedding registry beforehand, likely, some people will still bring cards on your actual wedding day. Personalise a wooden card box with calligraphy or your monogram, and display it on a gift table alongside your guest book or seating chart.  

Honey Dipper Wedding Favours

We love this creative wedding favour idea for a rustic theme. Give your guests jars of honey (we recommend handmade batches from a local farm or apiary if possible) and small wooden honey dippers as a cute and practical favour they'll use.

Warm Colours

If you have an indoor wedding reception, warm colours for your palette might be a good option. It gives your wedding a cosy and festive vibe. Pair these warm tones with quaint floral arrangements, and you have a wild and whimsical garden dinner for your rustic wedding reception. Add in a couple of wooden barrels and crates, and you can have yourself a rustic barnyard wedding theme!

Handwritten Calligraphy

Part of the appeal of a rustic wedding theme is that it feels more natural, warm, and organic. It should also translate to your wedding invitations and seat cards. Instead of opting for bold, printed text, go for an elegant handwritten piece.

Handwritten calligraphy notes add a touch of whimsy, warmth, and magic to your already magical rustic wedding.

Lanterns With Candles

Lanterns are one of the most versatile details for a rustic style wedding. You can use them to decorate almost anything, including your wedding reception tables, ceremony altar, aisle, venue walkways, tent entrances, staircases, etc. Then, add candles (use battery-operated ones if your venue doesn't allow open flames) for a romantic touch and a bit of ambient lighting.

Burlap Accents

Burlap is a quintessential rustic wedding detail, and even the smallest hints of it will give your decor an outdoorsy, relaxed look. Use burlap sparingly to accent your wedding signs (like the bow pictured here), tablecloths, chair backs, centrepieces, or even your wedding invitations.

Wooden Card Box

Even if most of your guests send gifts from your wedding registry beforehand, likely, some people will still bring cards on your actual wedding day. Personalise a wooden card box with calligraphy or your monogram, and display it on a gift table alongside your guest book or seating chart.  

Honey Dipper Wedding Favours

We love this creative wedding favour idea for a rustic theme. Give your guests jars of honey (we recommend handmade batches from a local farm or apiary if possible) and small wooden honey dippers as a cute and practical favour they'll use.

Conclusion

 If you're considering a rustic style wedding, we hope this article has given you some ideas of what that might look like. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer for weddings, so feel free to take these ideas and run with them (or mix and match them to create your unique look). 

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