What Is a Rustic Wedding? (Ultimate Guide for Couples)

Whether you’re drawn to the nostalgia of simpler times or the natural charm of the countryside, a rustic wedding offers a unique and heartwarming way to celebrate your love story.

What is a rustic wedding?

A rustic wedding is a marriage celebration characterized by simplicity, natural elements, and a countryside feel. Typically held outdoors, it emphasizes authenticity, charm, and personal connections, making it a popular choice for many couples.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about a rustic wedding.

What Is a Rustic Wedding? (Full Explanation with Examples)

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Bride and groom holding a bouquet of flowers - What Is a Rustic Wedding
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A rustic wedding is a wedding theme that brings the beauty of nature and the simplicity of the countryside into a wedding celebration.

This style often features natural elements such as wood, burlap, lace, mason jars, and country flowers, all combined to create a warm, intimate, and comfortable atmosphere.

For example, the ceremony could be held in a barn, a field, or a forest.

Tables might be made of raw or reclaimed wood, adorned with DIY decor, and centerpieces composed of wildflowers.

Lights are often soft and glowing, coming from string lights or candles rather than harsh, artificial sources.

Here is a video example of a rustic wedding:

YouTube video by Newbuild Newlyweds – What Is a Rustic Wedding?

What Is a Rustic Chic Wedding?

A rustic chic wedding theme combines elements of the traditional rustic wedding style with a more elegant and sophisticated touch.

This theme takes the basic components of a rustic wedding—such as natural materials, outdoor settings, and DIY elements—and elevates them with chic accents to create a balance between the casual and the refined.

In a rustic chic wedding, you might find elements of vintage glamour and sophisticated details intermingled with classic rustic decor.

For example, a rustic chic venue might feature a barn or a vineyard setting adorned with chandeliers and elegant drapes, creating a balance between simplicity and luxury.

The table decor might consist of wood and burlap elements, accentuated by beautiful vintage glassware and gold or silver cutlery.

Mason jars might be used, but they would be complemented by elegant, polished details like crystal vases or silk table runners.

A rustic chic wedding dress might involve a classic lace gown paired with a pair of stylish heels and statement jewelry.

The cake could be a plain, rustic-style cake, but adorned with elegant edible pearls or gold leaf accents.

Types of Rustic Weddings (List and Explain)

There are several variations of rustic weddings, each carrying its own unique charm:

  1. Barn Weddings: This is perhaps the most traditional type of rustic wedding. Barn weddings often include hay bales for seating, fairy lights, and pastoral decorations.
  2. Forest Weddings: For those who truly love nature, forest weddings can be ideal. This setting brings a magical feel with towering trees, fairy lights, and nature-inspired decor.
  3. Vineyard Weddings: For wine lovers, a vineyard can serve as the perfect rustic backdrop. The natural beauty of the vines, combined with the elegance of wine barrels and wine-themed decor, creates a unique rustic aesthetic.
  4. Farm Weddings: Farm weddings allow for a variety of rustic elements. From farmhouse tables to vintage tractors and homemade pies, the rural setting provides an authentic rustic vibe.
  5. Beach Rustic Weddings: While not as common, a rustic beach wedding combines the natural elements of the beach with rustic decor, offering a serene and relaxed atmosphere.

Rustic Wedding Theme Colors

When planning a rustic wedding, your color palette plays a significant role in setting the mood and enhancing the natural beauty of your surroundings.

The rustic theme typically calls for soft, muted, and earthy tones, which perfectly complement the natural elements of this wedding style.

Here are some popular rustic wedding theme colors:

  1. Earth Tones: This includes hues like deep forest green, rich brown, and warm beige, which are ideal for creating an organic and grounded aesthetic.
  2. Pastels: Soft and romantic pastels like blush pink, dusty blue, sage green, and lavender are often used in rustic weddings, lending a soft, vintage feel to the decor.
  3. Neutral Shades: Whites, ivories, and greys can provide a clean, simple backdrop against which the rustic elements can shine.
  4. Burgundy and Navy: These rich, deeper shades are especially popular for fall or winter rustic weddings, offering a bold yet traditional contrast to the earthy surroundings.
  5. Sunset Colors: For a more vibrant palette, consider colors inspired by a countryside sunset: warm yellows, oranges, and reds, paired with cool purples and blues.
  6. Metallic Accents: While not a color per se, metallics can add a touch of elegance to a rustic theme. Gold, copper, or rose gold accents can be incorporated in the form of cutlery, candle holders, or decor accessories.

Remember, the key to a beautiful rustic color scheme is to keep it simple and inspired by nature.

It’s all about complementing the natural beauty of your rustic venue, not overpowering it.

What Is a Rustic Wedding Cake?

A rustic wedding cake typically reflects the natural, unpretentious spirit of the event.

It might feature “naked” frosting, where the cake layers are visible or partially visible, adorned with fresh flowers or fruits. Instead of a traditional cake stand, the cake might be displayed on a slice of a tree trunk or a vintage table.

What Are Rustic Wedding Decorations?

Rustic wedding decorations help to establish the laid-back, natural atmosphere that is the hallmark of a rustic wedding.

These decorations typically involve raw, organic materials, and earthy tones to mimic the tranquil charm of the countryside.

Here are some rustic wedding decorations along with their explanations:

  1. Mason Jars: These versatile containers can be used as vases, candle holders, or drinking glasses. They’re an affordable and easily customizable option that adds a touch of nostalgia.
  2. Burlap Accents: Burlap table runners, chair bows, or banner signs can add a rustic, textural element to your decor.
  3. Wooden Signs: Whether it’s directing guests to the ceremony or presenting the menu, wooden signs are a charming addition that embodies the rustic theme.
  4. Fairy Lights: Draped over tables, hung from the ceiling, or wrapped around trees, fairy lights can create a warm, enchanting atmosphere.
  5. Wildflowers: For centerpieces, bouquets, or floral decor, wildflowers are a perfect match for a rustic wedding with their casual beauty and variety of colors.
  6. Antique Furniture: Vintage tables, chairs, or dressers can serve as unique decor elements or functional pieces, such as a welcome table or dessert bar.
  7. Lace Details: Lace tablecloths, chair covers, or banner signs add a soft, romantic touch to the overall rustic decor.
  8. Wooden Crates: They can be used for displaying wedding favors, holding beverages, or as a base for floral arrangements.
  9. Tree Stumps: These can serve as rustic cake stands, plant stands, or even seating if properly treated and finished.
  10. Chalkboard Signs: Great for menus, seating charts, or personalized messages. The casual, hand-drawn nature of chalkboards fits right in at a rustic wedding.
  11. Hay Bales: For outdoor rustic weddings, hay bales can serve as unique seating options or can be used as part of the decor, especially in a barn or farm setting.
  12. Galvanized Buckets: They can be used as drink coolers, floral arrangement holders, or even to hold wedding programs or favors.
  13. Candles: Pillar candles, tea lights, or taper candles add a warm, intimate glow, especially for evening or indoor ceremonies.
  14. Lanterns: Vintage lanterns can be used as table centerpieces, pathway markers, or hanging decor. They can hold candles, flowers, or even fairy lights.
  15. Barrels: These can serve as tables, a base for a rustic bar, or unique décor elements in a vineyard wedding.
  16. Picnic Tables: These are a fun alternative to traditional banquet tables and perfectly complement a casual, rustic theme.

What Is a Rustic Wedding Dress?

A rustic wedding dress often mirrors the simplicity and natural elements of a rustic wedding.

The bride might wear a flowing lace dress, perhaps with a boho or vintage feel.

Flower crowns or hairpins with tiny wildflowers are popular choices for hair accessories. In line with the theme, makeup is usually natural and soft.

What Do You Wear to a Rustic Wedding?

As a rule, rustic wedding attire should be comfortable and simple.

It should also reflect the informal and intimate vibe of the event:

  • Bride: As mentioned, a lace dress with natural makeup and simple accessories like a flower crown or hairpins is the typical choice.
  • Groom: The groom may opt for a vest and shirt combination instead of a full suit. Earth tones are popular, and a pair of nice boots can replace traditional dress shoes.
  • Mother of the Bride: A simple, elegant dress in a muted, earthy tone is a good choice. Pair with comfortable shoes suitable for outdoor settings.
  • Bridesmaids: Bridesmaids often wear dresses in earth tones or pastel colors, reflecting the colors of the wedding theme. They may also wear flower crowns or carry simple, wildflower bouquets.
  • Guests: Attire should be comfortable yet smart, keeping in line with the rustic theme. Think semi-formal with a countryside touch, such as a floral dress for women and a shirt with khakis for men.

What To Eat at a Rustic Wedding?

At a rustic wedding, the menu often reflects the overall casual and homey feel of the event.

The food is usually simple, hearty, and delicious, often incorporating locally sourced ingredients and traditional recipes.

Consider these ideas of what you might eat at a rustic wedding:

  1. BBQ: Rustic weddings are the perfect setting for a classic BBQ. This could include grilled meats, corn on the cob, coleslaw, and baked beans.
  2. Farm-to-Table: As rustic weddings often emphasize a connection to nature and local surroundings, a farm-to-table menu using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients would be fitting.
  3. Picnic Foods: This could include sandwiches, salads, fresh fruits, and cheeses. It’s a fun and casual dining option that guests can enjoy outdoors.
  4. Pizza: For a more unique approach, a wood-fired pizza station can be a great hit. It’s a simple, satisfying meal that can easily cater to different dietary preferences.
  5. Comfort Foods: Think mac ‘n’ cheese, fried chicken, or pot pie. Serving comfort foods can make guests feel right at home.
  6. Pie Bar: Instead of (or in addition to) a traditional wedding cake, a pie bar with a variety of homemade pies can add a sweet, rustic touch.
  7. S’mores Station: If your venue allows for a bonfire, a s’mores station can be a fun and interactive dessert option.
  8. Local Specialties: Incorporating foods or dishes that are local specialties or favorites can give a nod to the local culture and traditions.
  9. Lemonade or Iced Tea Stand: Offering refreshing drinks like homemade lemonade or iced tea can be a lovely touch, particularly for a summer wedding.

The key to planning a menu for a rustic wedding is to think about simplicity, tradition, and a sense of home.

It’s about creating a meal that brings people together and complements the natural, relaxed atmosphere of your special day.

What Music Is Played at a Rustic Wedding?

Music is an essential element of every wedding, setting the tone and mood for the occasion.

For a rustic wedding, you’ll want music that complements the natural, laid-back atmosphere.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Folk and Acoustic: Folk and acoustic music, with their gentle and warm melodies, perfectly suit the rustic theme. Bands like Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, or even acoustic renditions of your favorite pop songs can add a sweet, nostalgic feel.
  2. Country: It doesn’t get more rustic than country music. Classic artists like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, or modern stars like Luke Bryan and Kacey Musgraves can get your guests tapping their feet.
  3. Bluegrass: For a lively, upbeat atmosphere, consider adding some bluegrass music to your playlist. It’s sure to get your guests in the festive spirit.
  4. Indie Folk/Indie Rock: Bands like Bon Iver, Iron & Wine, or The Head and the Heart offer a contemporary spin on rustic themes with their indie folk/rock sound.
  5. Classical and Instrumental: For the ceremony or quieter moments, classical music or instrumental versions of popular songs can create a peaceful, romantic ambiance.
  6. Live Band: If your budget allows, a live band that can play a mix of the above styles can really elevate the atmosphere and make your rustic wedding feel even more authentic.

Final Thoughts

A rustic wedding is all about celebrating love in a relaxed, natural, and authentic environment.

Its charm lies in its simplicity, making every guest feel at home while celebrating the couple’s special day. The trend toward rustic weddings shows that sometimes, going back to basics, and prioritizing genuine connection and warmth, can create the most memorable experiences.

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