Whether you’re planning your own wedding or you’re just casually adding stuff to your Pinterest board, then you know very well that there’s a plethora of wedding themes to choose from, depending on your aesthetic. One theme that has stood the test of time is the rustic wedding theme. Below, we explore everything it takes to achieve this vibe:
What is a rustic wedding theme?
Rustic weddings are typically inspired by nature and the outdoors. The theme incorporates many woodsy and floral accents, as well as items that recall the countryside. It’s all about bringing it back to basics, but that isn’t to say that a rustic wedding theme is boring. In fact, perhaps what makes this warm and cozy theme so exciting would be the variety of textures it uses: from wood, burlap, dried flowers, to various organic materials. Given this non-flamboyant take on weddings, ceremonies with rustic themes are often more laidback than others.
Although weddings held outdoors are best to ace the rustic theme, the same bucolic vibe can still be achieved indoors. If you’re thinking of holding one outdoors, consider a garden venue, a barn venue, or any place that evokes “countryside,” so a country club could also do. If this is out of the question or you’d prefer indoors, any ballroom would do—you can also dress it up with decor (more on that later).
The Dress Code
Since rustic weddings are inherently more chill than others, that vibe also applies to the dress code. For the ladies, shorter hemlines and lighter fabrics are acceptable—think floral, gingham, linen, and silk crepe. As for the gentlemen, they could ditch the suit jacket in favor of blazers, or they could just wear suspenders and a waistcoat to really get that rustic feel.
The Wedding Gown
There’s no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to getting a “rustic wedding dress.” Just like the theme itself, it’s all about texture. Of course, the easiest way to do this is to go for a lace dress, but one that isn’t too covered up so as to help you stay fresh, especially if you have an outdoor venue.
Consider v-neck dresses trimmed with lace, or ruffled cotton dresses fringed with eyelet fabric. Feel free to layer fabrics, too, like sheer lace or floral appliques on top of layers of tulle for a romantic effect.
Of course, the wedding dress wouldn’t be complete without a bouquet. In this case, the bouquet is crucial to sealing that woodsy aesthetic. As opposed to the fresh florals of more traditional ceremonies, rustic bouquets are all about looking a little withered and wild. For example, many brides incorporate dried flowers and leaves, while others use berries for a pop of color. Eucalyptus leaves are commonly used for a pale green look. As for flowers, dahlias, thistles, and anemones are crowd favorites. While you can always go crazy with your own design, if you’re stumped for inspo, you can always stick to pale leaves and flowers (e.g. eucalyptus and white roses), throw in some thistle, and add florals or berries in a rich, deep hue for a beautiful contrast. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even add succulents!
Rustic decor depends on the preferences of the bride and groom. There are different takes on the rustic theme. Some weddings have that “washed out” vibe in all white, save for touches of greenery, others embrace lush flowers and plants, and others like to play with a color palette. Some like to keep the greenery to minimal and focus on the wooden accents. Whatever the case, it’s all about creating texture and a sense of warmth. Aside from wood and flowers, common items used are succulents, twine, gingham fabric, mason jars, and lace. Check out some cool ideas below:
Dress up a banquet table with dried wheat arrangements and warm colors for a chic and festive vibe.
Or, you can opt for a whimsical feel with cool-toned colors and dried leaves.
For a clean and fresh look, stick to white and sparingly add touches of greenery.
If you love being surrounded by nature, fill up the ceiling with a hanging foliage to mimic a garden dinner.
You can even throw in hanging light bulbs or fairy tales for a romantic effect.
Use candles, glass jars, and mason jars for the tablescape.
Use wooden barrels throughout the area for a barnyard feel that’s still stylish.
The beauty of rustic weddings is that you can get away with DIY projects, like this lightbulb fixture with plants.
Like the decor, the food all depends on the bride and groom’s preferences. It also depends on the venue. For example, if the reception venue is held outdoors, it would be best to create a buffet setup that offers comfort food. A sitdown dinner wouldn’t work as well outdoors as it would indoors. However, this shouldn’t stop you from throwing a buffet indoors, too.
Common themes used at rustic weddings are comfort food (best for buffets!) and menus featuring seasonal ingredients from the local area. Comfort food can range from roast chicken, mac and cheese, pasta salads, to baked bread. For a more hands-on experience, you can provide a charcuterie section, coupled with drinks like strawberry wine or lemonade for a countryside vibe! The key is to create a cozy atmosphere that will make guests feel at home.
For the dessert, try going for those trendy naked cakes topped with berries. You can even have tiny versions created as a cupcake alternative.