The latest and, in my opinion, the greatest new thing to hit the wedding industry seems to be brides that are willing to forego the traditional chapel experience and embrace the beauty of wood, candlelight, and the great outdoors. Rustic weddings are, by far, my favorite wedding inspiration. Having just finished planning the rustic wedding of my dreams, I have a few ideas about how it all came together! So what are some of the ways you can add some rustic flair to your big day? Here are the ingredients to planning a beautiful rustic affair!
Selecting your canvas.
The venue that you select is probably the single most important component to planning a rustic wedding! I like to think of the venue as the canvas for which you will paint the picture of your big day. The venue will provide the basic atmosphere for your wedding festivities. It will give your wedding a particular “feel” and possibly even a color palette. Some of my favorite canvases for a rustic wedding are barns, gardens, vineyards, or the great outdoors! At our wedding, we knew we wanted a rustic feel, but we also wanted to have modern amenities, so we opted for the most AMAZING wedding venue- we selected a barn in Poynette, Wisconsin. Be sure to consider amenities when you select a venue. Many of the barns we visited did not have air conditioning, heat or even restrooms! Imagine lil grandma trying to use a port-a-john… not quite the image we all had in mind.
Flowers Set the Stage.
Pick a florist you trust to help you create your rustic vision. Some of my favorite flowers for a rustic feel include peonies, ranunculus, dusty miller, succulents, seeded eucalyptus, dahlias, and baby’s breath. Keep it simple if you are having your soiree outdoors so nature can speak for itself. You will notice my husband and I went with aged buckets of baby’s breath for our ceremony decor- simple, romantic, and very rustic! Bring light pastels into your color palette for a beautiful romantic feel! Bring flowers into EVERY part of your wedding for an overall intimate day, including your cake, your decorations, and even your centerpieces! I love how the long wooden plantar boxes accentuated the soft color palette we chose for our wedding day! I also love how the beautiful puffy peonies complimented the long, romantic, soft bridesmaids dresses my ladies selected!
A rustic wedding can’t go without some personal, intimate touches! This is the part that if you are planning the wedding by yourself can feel really crazy to coordinate! But trust me- it is SOOO worth it to have a wedding that truly reflects the love that you and your significant other share together! This is what makes your wedding different than every other wedding ever held at your venue!
We focused on hand-made details that were meaningful to us. We included a bonfire with s’mores after dinner because that is probably what we would have been doing that evening had we not been getting married, we created a rubber stamp that we used on items throughout the wedding day, I learned calligraphy to create hand-made signs for throughout the barn, we incorporated some beautiful flowers that my father grew for us in his garden, we had a guest book specifically designed for us by a local artist, we included romantic lace everywhere we could and my mother even sewed our lace table runners. I collected some vintage handkerchiefs and had my aunt hand embroider them for a sweet gift to each of our mothers. We created a candy station for our favors where guests could fill a linen bag that we had hand-stamped to take home. We even collected antique pieces of pink depression glass to sprinkle throughout the barn for a more personal feel. All of the plantar boxes for the flowers as well as the table numbers were hand made by a family friend. We lined the entire perimeter of the barn with candle-lit mason jars that we hand-decorated (about 150 lit jars!) and strung globe lights for a cozy feel for dancing! As an added sentiment to our families, we included a beautiful picture of each of our parents’ weddings in vintage frames; after all, they are our examples of how a loving marriage should be. For my something borrowed, I used a handkerchief that has been passed down through many generations of women (including my mother). Since my grandmother passed away shortly after we got engaged, I decided to include her in the “getting ready festivities” by using her antique gold hand-mirror. On the bottom of the menus, we wrote “Per Centanni” which is an Italian blessing to honor my deceased grandfather who spoke Italian and loved all things Italy. My favorite detail of all, is the small heart-shaped patch that I hand-embroidered (which I learned how to do for the first time!) and sewed on the back of my handsome groom’s tie.
Be Yourselves and FEEL THE LOVE!
This is supposed to be the happiest day of your life! One of the trademarks of a rustic wedding is that you and your significant other are sooooo in LOVE that the guests can FEEL it when they watch you look at each other! Enjoy every moment, from getting ready to I Do, and try not to stress! Just be PRESENT. The glow of love is what rustic is ALL ABOUT!
All photo credits go to the AMAZING Emily Steffen!!