The rustic wedding trend is one that never seems to go away. Every year, someone you know is tying the knot in a barn somewhere, sporting cowboy boots under their gown and dancing the night away under fairy string lights. On the one hand, I totally see the appeal; rustic weddings are low-key and simple, which makes for a more comfortable and fun experience for everyone. But on the other hand…how many more uses for mason jars could there be?
Obviously, rustic weddings aren’t going to disappear anytime soon. But if you do decide to have a rustic ceremony, I suggest breathing new life into this aesthetic! Here are a few ideas you can use to make your big day shabby-chic and totally unique.
1. Burlap and Lace
Burlap is a classic fabric in the rustic wedding scene. While it was initially attractive to rustic couples because of its connection to agriculture and farm life, I suspect that the warm color and simplistic look is the reason you see it everywhere today. It’s the perfect neutral, which is why it’s used for signage, stationery, aisle runners, and everything in between.
But if you ask me, burlap’s simplicity is ultimately its downfall. Looking at all that warm taupe can get a little boring after the third wedding of the season! If you want to give your burlap decor a little upgrade, consider pairing it with another classic neutral: lace. Simply layer a piece of white lace (maybe one that looks similar to any lace details on your dress) over any burlap pieces. Just like that, you’ve added a touch of romance and sweetness to your rustic look!
2. Feathered Touches
One of my favorite things about rustic weddings is the way they incorporate nature into the decorations. Nature is timeless and beautiful, and I will never get tired of a breathtaking view or a great floral arrangement. That said, I do think that most couples fail to take full advantage of Mother Nature’s beautiful gifts. Case in point: there are not enough feathers in wedding decor.
Feathers are a unique (and inexpensive) way to add a natural touch to any part of your wedding decor. Mix them into your bouquet for a fun change in texture. Tie them to your napkin holders to bring more nature into your reception space. You can even wear them in your hair to look like a gorgeous wood nymph! Seriously, the possibilities are endless with this underrated rustic decoration element.
3. Glass Bottles
If burlap fabric is a rustic wedding classic, mason jars are the cornerstone of the entire aesthetic. You see them literally everywhere: they hold the floral centerpieces, guests sip cocktails out of them, they’re even hanging from the chandelier! As far as I’m concerned, the mason jar is one decorative element that’s just plain played out. But if you really want a rustic wedding, you have to use them…right?
No way! Let me introduce you to the mason jar’s cousin: the glass bottle. With this vessel, you can achieve the same effect in your tablescape without looking like every rustic reception since the dawn of time. Best of all, glass bottles give you a little more creative freedom. Use bottles of different size and shape for a whimsical, mismatched look. Find bottles of your favorite wine (or other drinks) to give your centerpieces a personal touch. Flex your DIY muscles and decorate the bottles with pictures of you and your partner. The possibilities are endless!
4. Produce Centerpieces
Many rustic weddings have a major focus on green, eco-friendly living. You see this commitment to sustainability in the invitations (made on recycled paper), the favors (succulents or seed packets), and the catering (local, in-season, farm-to-table treats). If you’re planning to have a green, rustic wedding, you can give your caterer a little more space to shine by decorating your tables with produce!
Ask your caterer to build a centerpiece out of fresh local fruits and veggies (or hit up your farmer’s market to build it yourself). Not only is this idea creative and unique, but your guests can also have a quick snack if they get peckish during cocktail hour!
5. Summer Camp Venue
Be honest: from the moment you read the words “rustic wedding,” you’ve been imagining a large, wooden barn. Maybe the ceremony takes place outside (ideally under a wooden arch covered in flowers), but everything else takes place in a large, open barn covered in florals, burlap, and globe string lights.
There’s a perfectly good reason that barns are the default space for rustic weddings: they suit the simple aesthetic, they’re large, and they have an open floor plan that can hold many people. Do you know which other space fits that criteria? A summer camp! If you’re not really feeling the farm aesthetic, but you do want a rustic wedding, consider getting married at a kid’s campground (in the off-season, of course). This venue will easily hold all your guests, give you a rustic, nature-inspired feeling, and totally surprise your guests.