How to Plan the Perfect Rustic Wedding
A rustic wedding is the perfect opportunity to get back to nature. If you want a relaxed and easy wedding day, it’s the theme for you. Think barns, gazebos, fields, flowers and forests– sounds perfect, right?
There’s a reason rustic weddings are ever popular. It’s one of the simplest and most affordable wedding themes, and yet gives off such an effortlessly beautiful and romantic vibe. Rustic weddings can work in any season of the year. They particularly suit natural and pastel colour schemes, as well as autumn hues.
If you want to have the perfect rustic wedding, this is the guide for you. We’ll take you through the best rustic wedding venues, attire, decorations, food and entertainment options. We’ll also give you a few examples of beautiful rustic wedding stationery designs.
What Are the Best Rustic Wedding Venues?
If you want a rustic wedding, the best place to get married is the great outdoors. After all, that’s what rustic means: a rural or countryside affair. So, choose a venue that has sweeping lawns, and plenty of flowers, trees and greenery.
The best time for a rustic wedding is in the late spring, summer, or early autumn. A cold or rainy day wouldn’t matter much if you’re marrying indoors, but for a rustic wedding, the weather is a bit more important!
Barn Wedding Venues
There are hundreds of converted barn wedding venues around the UK. They’re usually found in rural areas, and surrounded by abundant farmland or fields. The interior of a barn, with its old-fashioned beams, stone or wood panelled walls and neutral colours makes for a perfect rustic wedding.
Barns have high ceilings and are perfect for hanging buntings, fairy lights and floral garlands. Most wedding barn venues can be used for the ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception too. The space outside the barn can be utilised for dancing and beautiful nature photography.
Cottages and Farmhouses
If you don’t fancy a barn, an idyllic cottage or farmhouse would make the perfect rustic wedding venue. They’re usually situated amidst beautiful natural gardens overflowing with wildflowers. While cottages and farmhouses may look small and simple on the outside, they can be decorated to your heart’s content.
Forest and Woodland Weddings
If you don’t need a building at all – for example, if you’re getting married during the heat of summer – forsake the ‘venue’ altogether and simply get married outdoors! Many forests and woodland areas throughout the country are licensed for weddings. The shade of the trees will provide some protection from the elements, and being surrounded in greenery is perfect for any nature-lover.
Arnos Vale, in Bristol, is an example of a beautiful licensed woodland wedding venue. It boasts 45 acres of gardens and quaint wooden shelters, perfect for rustic weddings.
Rustic Wedding Décor Ideas
The décor is where a rustic wedding really makes its mark. With a rustic wedding, you don’t want to go too elaborate, ornate or expensive. Avoid ‘bling’ and stick with natural, plain and simple decorations. Everything should give off a very countryside feel.
Flowers are the most important aspect of rustic wedding décor. Stun your guests with huge, dazzling flower arches, garlands, flower crowns for your bridal party, and cascading bouquets. Even your groomsmen can get into the rustic spirit with floral buttonholes.
As you’re connecting with nature, try to include a lot of greenery in your floral décor. Leaves, ivy and fern fronds are perfect. (Don’t forget the hay bales, if you’re getting married outdoors!)
Flower petals or dried flowers also make for perfect confetti. Avoid the usual paper or glitter confetti if you’re having a rustic wedding.
Fairy lights, in our opinion, are essential for any rustic or outdoor wedding. They’re so versatile – you can buy them in any number of colour combinations and bulb shapes, and hang them up exactly as you want to. You can transform any plain barn, pavilion or gazebo into a sparkling dream.
If you’re getting married under a tipi or gazebo, make sure to purchase the kind of lights that are suitable for outdoor use. Nobody wants rain on their wedding day, but prepare for the worst, just in case.
DIY Rustic Decorations
If you’re having a rustic wedding, it’s really easy to make your own decorations. Hessian, burlap, twine, cork and brown paper are all brilliant materials for DIY rustic wedding decorations. Remember that the word ‘rustic’ means plain and simple, so you don’t need to be a craft expert.
For example, mason jars filled with dried flowers make ideal rustic table place makers. Simply tie a brown paper tag with twine to each one, and hand-write the table numbers. Log slices (that you can cut yourself, or buy pre-cut) make great wedding place cards.
If you prefer to buy your décor, there are plenty of rustic themed decorations available. For example, this beautiful Hessian Just Married Bunting.
What Do You Wear to a Rustic Wedding?
So, you’ve chosen where you’re getting married and what the place will look like. The next most important aspect of a rustic wedding is the attire. Say goodbye to black-tie, and hello to a much more casual and cosy dress code.
Rustic Wedding Dress Ideas
Modern wedding gowns, with their strapless sweetheart necklines, princess skirts and bedazzled belts, aren’t so appropriate for a rustic wedding. Instead, go for something simple, with a flowing, natural look.
Floral details and lace work really well in rustic weddings. Smooth-silhouetted and sleeved dresses with long trains are also very popular. Avoid stark white, and opt for ivory or eggshell for a perfect rustic feel.
As for bridesmaid dresses, stick to natural and floral colours such as sage green, dusky pink, or gold. Bright and luminescent colours, such as pillar-box red, don’t work so well with the rustic theme. Materials such as chiffon and lace are great, whereas satin may feel too formal.
Rustic Groom Attire
Silk suits, tails and bow-ties should be avoided if you’re having a rustic wedding. The perfect material for the groom’s and groomsmen’s suits is tweed. It works perfectly with floral and hessian decorations (and is often cheaper, too!).
Go for muted colours such as olive green, brown, grey and navy. For outdoor weddings, you could get rid of the jacket altogether and just opt for a tweed waistcoat over a smart shirt. Don’t forget the floral boutonnieres.
Rustic Wedding Hair, Makeup & Accessories
Avoid overdoing the hairstyle. You want to look naturally beautiful, rather than glam and dolled-up. Loose curls and braids are ideal hairstyles for a rustic wedding – you can still fix your do with hairspray so it won’t be ruined by the wind. A flower crown is the ideal rustic hair accessory (and gives you something to attach your veil to).
As for makeup, avoid bright colours and stark lines. Go for a natural or “no makeup-makeup” look. Peachy blush, sheer lip gloss and light mascara is all you really need for a rustic wedding look.
Rustic Wedding Invitations & Stationery
You’ll want to inform your guests right off the bat that you’re having a rustic wedding. That way, they can coordinate their outfits and wedding gifts accordingly! So, make sure you choose rustic-inspired wedding save the dates and wedding invitations.
For example, these Daisy Heart Wedding Day Invitations are great for rustic weddings. The delicate daisies displayed against a wooden background give off the perfect outdoorsy feel.
It’s easy to coordinate the rest of your wedding stationery to go along with your theme. This Willow Wedding Table Plan would look fantastic at any outdoor or rustic wedding.
Don’t forget your guest book, such as this rustic Hessian Guest Book, for your guests to leave their well wishes. This Wooden Effect Crate would be the perfect rustic storage option for any cards and gifts.
Rustic Wedding Food & Entertainment
When you’re planning food for a rustic wedding, you want to steer clear of fancy, catered three-course meals. You’re not going for a glamorous or swanky vibe. Instead, think simple, wholesome country fayre.
• Picnic food, such as homemade pastries, sandwiches, sausage rolls and fresh fruit
• American ‘potluck’-themed buffet: ask your guests to each bring a home-cooked dish for everyone to share (casseroles, stews, pies and cakes are particularly popular)
• Food vans serving traditional country fair food – e.g. candyfloss, hot dogs and toffee apples. Ice cream is a must if you’re having a summer wedding outdoors!
• Hog roast, served with a variety of help-yourself salads and hot vegetable side dishes (such as corn-on-the-cob)
The best rustic wedding foods are those that guests can help themselves to, buffet-style. This incites a friendly, casual vibe, rather than catered dinners that can seem too ‘posh’ for rustic weddings. With regards to the wedding cake, a lightly frosted ‘naked cake’, decorated with flowers and leaves, is the perfect rustic option.
For entertainment, an outdoor barn dance would be perfect at any rustic wedding. Pick a live musician or band that specialises in acoustic and country music, and you’ll be good to go. And if you want to go the extra mile, a fireworks display at the end of the night is the perfect way to finish off the evening.