Rustic weddings 101

Rustic weddings are always popular wedding theme choice, especially among couples who want a cool, relaxed vibe on their big day.

But what is a rustic wedding? We explain below – and show you how pull off a brilliant one!

What is a rustic wedding?

Though the idea of a rustic wedding has been of particular interest over the past few years, the fact is, it’s a timeless wedding theme that has been around for, well, ages. Rustic weddings have a strong country, garden or farm-like influence and they tend to feature lots of natural textures such as bark, and various organic materials and fibres.
Rustic weddings are somewhat casual and are often held in venues such as barns, farms, mountain lodges or ranches. In fact, anywhere that incorporates the great outdoors or the countryside is a perfect fit for a rustic theme.

The décor tends to incorporate lots of natural elements including wood, burlap, wild flowers, fruits and the like. It can be a little bit shabby and using a lot of mismatched elements is not just acceptable, but expected at a rustic wedding.

You don’t need to have all of these elements to have a rustic wedding, for example, you could be getting married in a hotel ballroom but you could be using rustic décor and wild flowers. It’s more about the overall vibe than the individual details.

Rustic weddings should be relaxed, romantic and natural.

They’re not about being trendy (though they can be pretty trendy) and, though earthy and simple items such as mason jars and a hotch-potch of misimatched vases, glasses and plateware are commonly found at a rustic-themed wedding, the possibilities are endless and the only thing they have in common is that they are about simplicity, nature and character… lots of character!

How does a rustic wedding differ from a vintage wedding?

Rustic weddings are often confused with vintage weddings, but they are actually quite different.

While the rustic theme focuses more on the natural elements and the great outdoors, a vintage wedding draws its inspiration from times gone by. Vintage weddings often have an antique Victorian flavour to them. Where rustic weddings feature mason jars full of wild flowers and burlap table runners, vintage weddings are more likely to have vintage vases, antique crockery and lace tablecloths.

How to plan a rustic wedding

There are no hard and fast rules around pulling off the perfect rustic wedding, but the ideas below will definitely help:

Choose a great venue

The easiest way to get your rustic wedding off to an amazing start is to pick a suitable venue.

Though, technically, most any venue can be given some pretty convincing rustic treatment by a clever wedding stylist, obviously, a real barn venue or loft-like venue or garden venue will evoke nature and outdoors with more authenticity than one that is dressed to look rustic.

Some of the types of places you may wish to consider are barns, farmhouses, breweries and garden, mountain or lakeside venues which abound all over Australia.

However, if you simply cannot find a venue like that, then you can always book a standard hotel ballroom and use decor to bring the rustic element into your wedding.

Use suitable decor

The great thing about a rustic wedding is that you can be quite eclectic when it comes to décor.

You will want to focus on natural items, so think about using seasonal fruits and wild-flowers, wood, burlap, twine and moss to create beautiful décor.

You can also bring in country and shabby chic elements including mason jars, lace, hay-bales and gingham fabrics. There are lots of beautiful things that can be done with these items which will really bring your venue to life!

Serve up a little home-style cooking

If you are going to have a rustic wedding, then you want food that matches the theme!

While a lovely three-course meal is always a bonus, think about serving some good old home-style cooking. Look for caterers who can cook up some lovely, simple, traditional fare that will be in keeping with your rustic theme. Most caterers will happily – and enthusiastically – rise to the challenge.

Think comfort food like mac and cheese, roast chicken and pasta salads served up with a selection of freshly baked breads.

If you really want to keep with the rustic theme then you could also tailor your drinks to match by offering lemonade, moonshine and strawberry wine.

Go for a relaxed dress code

Rustic weddings are more relaxed and casual affairs and your attire should reflect the overall theme.

Grooms look great in tweed suits and could even lose the blazer in favour of a waistcoat or suspenders.

Meanwhile, the bride can opt for a soft, romantic gown complimented by a rustic bouquet of seasonal wild flowers.

Some couples even choose to add some quirky touches like cowboy boots and a hat to their attire.

Don’t be afraid of a little DIY

A rustic wedding is one which really lends itself to DIY elements. So, if you’re particularly handy with DIY projects, now’s the time to get stitching, gluing and tying!

It will help you add a touch of your own own personality to your big day, but don’t take on too much otherwise you may become overwhelmed – and, frankly, you will have so much more to worry about and, if you do want DIY, but don’t have the time (or craftiness), there are plenty of  professional stylists and wedding decoration stylists who can help out!