Party Ideas, Weddings

How to Plan the Perfect Rustic Wedding

By Sonia Guzman

When you’re daydreaming of your perfect wedding, do you picture yourself in lace and boots hosting guests in a beautifully aged barn with chic down-to-earth decor? If so, then we have all the rustic wedding ideas you need to make your dreams come true. 

Rustic wedding decor

It’s time to find a use for all the antiques your mother has collected over the years and the old repurposed wood from dad’s shop!  Adding a touch of lace, burlap, or greenery to your family heirlooms and backyard tree limbs can transform them into stunning rustic wedding decor.

Go antiquing

Create a unique and classy cake table by accenting an antique desk with drapery and candles in vintage holders. The brass and aged wood combination is just the right aesthetic for a rustic wedding chic vibe.

Already have a plan for your cake table? An heirloom side table or bureau is also an attractive option for holding your guest book or programs.

Rustic welcome table at wedding
Photo credit: Cedarwood Weddings

Borrow (or rent) vintage furniture to create a lovely lounge area for your guests. Add a touch of lace or burlap to worn pieces to enhance your rustic wedding decor.

Go with lace and burlap

When it comes to planning the seating for your wedding reception, start with a vintage wooden table and mismatched chairs. Then layer your floral centerpieces with a tasteful lace runner for an elegant rustic look. You could even use thrift-store lace curtains for shorter table runners!

Rustic table setting
Photo credit: Kristyn Hogan via SMP

You can’t go wrong with the simple and chic combination of burlap, lace, and baby’s breath. Use twine to tie tableware and napkins, bows, and more as a final touch to your rustic wedding decor.

Rustic wedding flowers don’t need much to be on theme. Simple jute twine wrapped around your bouquets and boutonnieres adds a sweet touch to your flowers and lets the blooms take focus.

Flower bouquet wrapped in jute twine
Photo credit: Jami Saunders

You could use burlap and lace instead (or a combination of the two) for a bigger statement. These rustic wedding flower ideas are especially easy for DIY brides since almost all craft stores sell these supplies.

💐 Pro tip: Hire a professional florist to make these delightful accessories a reality.

Go all-natural

Look no further than your own backyard to embrace the natural decor that Mother Nature provides to add an authentic, down-to-earth aesthetic to your rustic outdoor wedding. Consider stringing fairy lights from neighboring trees or maybe adding some fall foliage to your outdoor table decor.

Trees represent growth and grounding, so they can provide a lovely ceremony backdrop for your new marriage. Choose a big, beautiful tree as the focal point for your wedding ceremony and spruce it up with draperies, flowers, and lanterns.

Outdoor lanterns hanging from tree
Photo credit: Hopkins Studios

👉 Pro tip: Book an event decor company specializing in backdrops and drapery to create your ideal vision.

Homemade signs directing guests to the ceremony or outlining the day’s festivities are a must at a rustic wedding! And don’t let those downed limbs in your yard or scrap boards in your garage go to waste – repurpose them for a cute and creative personal touch that will be perfect for your rustic theme. Even old pallets can have a purpose!

Wood pallet with wedding schedule
Photo credit: Freestone Photography

Utilizing wood in your rustic decor will help you capture that barn wedding feel, and the possibilities are endless! Use versatile and inexpensive wood slices to create stylish table centerpieces and cake stands. Smaller cuts work well for coasters, candle holders, or table markers.

Keep a natural aesthetic and enhance your rustic wedding table decor by incorporating antlers (real or fake) into your centerpieces. Include some soft floral accents to add a feminine balance to the masculine vibe the antlers bring.

Rustic wedding menu

Planning the food and beverage menu for your wedding day is another fantastic opportunity to get creative! Menu items that bring to mind words like “outdoorsy” and “homemade” will mesh seamlessly into your rustic wedding theme.

Food ideas

An adorable popcorn bar is an easy and low-maintenance idea for an appetizer that will hold your guests over until reception time. Just provide the seasoning, popcorn, and bags, and let your guests do the rest! A traditional wooden cart is perfect, but it can easily be substituted with any vintage or antique table. Serve the popcorn out of a metal bucket for charming rustic vibes.

No rustic wedding menu item says “homemade” quite as much as pie! Mini pies in fruit, chocolate, or cream flavors are sweet dessert options. Or serve savory personal pot pies for a delectable dinner or appetizer. Display them on wooden slices for a rustic touch!

Mini pie towers on rustic wood tiers
Photo credit: Set Free Photography

A cozy outdoor wedding isn’t complete without a s’mores station! This favorite campfire tradition is both tasty and fun, especially for guests with children. With inexpensive ingredients, easy setup, and effortless clean-up, s’mores are a budget-friendly option for the DIY bride.

Drink ideas

If you’re planning a rustic wedding, you probably enjoy being outdoors (or at least the idea of it). Showcase your outdoorsy side and have your guests serve themselves out of a beer canoe! It’s an adorable way to display your drinks and it serves as an extra piece of wedding decor.

A signature wedding cocktail is a must-have for your drink menu. Mix whiskey, lemonade, and local honey for a simple, crowd-pleasing beverage!

🍸 Pro tip: Book a bartender to create a custom cocktail for your rustic wedding!

Ice tea and lemonade are excellent non-alcoholic alternatives for your rustic-themed drink selections. They’re nostalgic and easy to spruce up with additional fruit options! Roll out old barrels and wooden crates or pallets to create an attractive beverage station with barn wedding vibes.

Wedding cake ideas

Your wedding cake will be the centerpiece of your rustic wedding, so it’s essential to make sure it not only tastes delicious but also stands out as a piece of art. A classic wood design is gorgeous and fits easily into whatever rustic theme you choose. Add an affectionate touch by including your and your partner’s initials! 

rustic wooden wedding cake

Another eye-catching option is to enhance a naked white cake with simple greenery. Its subtle sophistication will provide an elegant centerpiece for your dessert table.

Naked wedding cake with greenery
Photo credit: Teneil Kable

Burlap and lace aren’t just for tables and bouquets – try it on your cake design, too! Mix in crystals for a little extra bling, or ask your cake designer to add lace or twine bows.

Rustic wedding cake with burlap and flower designs
Photo credit: Alyona Photography

🎂 Pro tip: Hire a cake designer to ensure your rustic wedding cake is perfect for your big day.

Entertainment for rustic weddings

Good music and entertainment are a must for any cool rustic wedding! Whether you and your fiance love country music or you want to wow your guests during cocktail hour, GigSalad can help you book something unforgettable for your wedding day.

The ceremony

Set the tone for a beautiful rustic wedding ceremony with lovely instrumental tunes from a guitarist, harpist, or cellist. If lyrics are more special to you and your fiance, a singing guitarist, country singer, or singing pianist can cover all your favorite songs.

Singing guitarist on GigSalad
Book singing guitarist Brandon Crocker on GigSalad!

The cocktail hour

A silhouette artist is a unique and elegant addition to your cocktail hour. Consider hiring your solo musician for the additional hour to provide background music while your guests mingle and have their silhouettes made. Other rustic wedding ideas for cocktail hour entertainment that stay true to your theme are a photo booth or juggler.

Silhouette artist on GigSalad
Book silhouette artist Sweet Silhouette on GigSalad!

The reception

It’s time to party! Keep the energy up at your rustic wedding reception with a bluegrass band! If you prefer something a bit more contemporary, a country band, cover band, or classic rock band are all great alternatives. Bands on GigSalad are happy to work with you to get your favorite songs into their playlist and keep everyone dancing all night long!

Bluegrass band on GigSalad
Book bluegrass band Angel City Bluegrass Band on GigSalad!

Read this: 5 Things Every Bride Should Know About Booking Wedding Entertainment

A rustic wedding theme is all about embracing what’s in your own backyard and making it gorgeous. Repurpose your family heirlooms, break out the s’mores ingredients, and enjoy the beautiful simplicity of your big day! 

📌 For more rustic wedding ideas, check out our Pinterest page

Ready to book something unforgettable for your rustic wedding? Find the best on GigSalad.

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