For almost everyone, their wedding day is one of the most important events in their lives. So, it’s perfectly understandable why couples spend a great deal of time preparing for their wedding. It is through their wedding theme that they can express their personal sense of style. While some choose to be as elegant and formal as possible, others tend to prefer a simpler way of celebrating their wedding day. One particular wedding theme which is gaining popularity right now is a country themed or rustic wedding.
Have you been eyeing this theme to use on your big day? Maybe you’ve always dreamed of a country wedding or maybe you stumbled upon the idea in a trendy magazine or another blog online? Either way, if that is the case, here are some ideas which can help you achieve your dream! I personally haven’t started to actually plan my wedding (not even engaged yet unfortunately) but these are some of the things that I look at for fun when I’m thinking about what I’d want mine to be like.
Rustic Wedding Venues
The wedding venue sets the overall tone of a wedding. So it’s very important that when you choose a venue, you do it carefully. A rustic wedding is typically one which takes place outdoors or someplace that can be described as a “rustic setting.” Venues which fit the featured theme could include: a colorful wildflower field, near a placid river or lake, or in a verdant forest clearing.
There is nothing like the feeling of being surrounded by vibrant flower blooms as you and your special someone professes your undying love for each other. And what better way to do this than by holding your special day in a luscious wildflower field?
The Wildflower Barn, pictured below, looks so beautiful and carefree. You could surely have the rustic wedding of your dreams there.
Lake or River:
The soothing sound of flowing water will surely add a touch of “country” to your big day. After all, you can’t deny the charm of exchanging vows next to a breathtaking view of a crystal clear lake or river. Another good thing about venues like this is there’s plenty of room to move around, making it a comfortable, relaxed setting for your guests.
Here are a few ideas for that gorgeous and relaxing lakeside wedding you dream of having.
Dreaming of feeling like a woodland fairy on your big day? You might want to consider holding a forest wedding. This is perfect for couples who enjoy nature, and want to share this love with their wedding party and guests. The forest is also a 2-in-1 package; it’s somewhere you could do the ceremony and have the reception at the same time.
As with all rustic weddings, you wouldn’t need to go over the top with decorations with the greenery and flowers around. Examples of decor which can work well with this venue include tree ornaments, moss, wooden furniture and accessories. You can also try a bridal bouquet which features a lot of brightly hued flowers and fresh greenery. Succulents (i.e. cacti) can also spice up a country-style wedding held in a forest clearing.
Here are beautiful enchanted forest wedding ideas you can check out.
Rustic Wedding Flowers
To further emphasize the rustic tone of the occasion, another indispensable wedding must-have is flowers (preferably fresh ones). The possibilities for using them in rustic wedding venues are endless. Aside from being included in the bride’s wedding bouquet, these stunning blooms can also be included in her and her entourage’s hairstyles. You can also use the flowers in to spruce up the wedding venue.
They can be used in different ways:
- The welcome arch
- Scattered on the floor
Rustic Wedding Outfits
A wedding day is the perfect opportunity for the groom and the bride to look their very best as they say their vows. It is also the chance for their entourage to look their best as they bear witness to this important event. Are you wondering what the best outfit is for a rustic country theme?
For the bride:
Though each person in the entourage is essential to the success of any wedding, it is a known fact that the bride should (at least in part) be the star of the day. Having said this, her beauty can effortlessly shine in a simple yet stunning rustic wedding gown. Although there is no “one size fits all” rule in making a wedding dress fit the country theme, here are some ideas…
- Corset-style dresses with a simple skirt and hem can help you to add country to your wedding outfit. This type of dress is also flattering for all shapes and sizes.
- Another way you can integrate the rustic style into her dress is through the use of airy materials such as fine lace and a lack of unnecessary details. Think simple! Through this, the focus is maintained on the theme being as natural as possible.
For the groom:
While the bride is considered to be the main attraction of the wedding, the groom also plays an important part… Thus, what he wears to the “big day” should also be taken into consideration. As with the bride, the main point to keep in mind is that “less is more.”
It is the little and often unnoticed details which count in a groom’s wedding outfit. Two accessories which are worth thinking about adding to the groom’s outfit in a rustic wedding are:
- A cowboy hat
- Cowboy boots
Add a spray of wildflowers (aka a boutonniere) to this and your look is bound to be a hit.
With regards to the suit itself, the aim is for the groom to look laidback and casual, but certainly not sloppy and unkempt. The traditional black, navy or midnight blue-hued suit would work very well with the country theme.
For the wedding entourage (maid of honor, best man, groomsmen and bridesmaids):
Although it is not in good taste for them to outshine the groom and the bride, they do deserve their own moment in the spotlight. Here are some things to consider in choosing rustic outfits for them.
For the female entourage, the primary goal is to complement the bride’s attire. Taken into context, aside from fitting with the theme, the dresses must also be in line with the season during which the wedding will be conducted. For spring and summer weddings, short dresses (those which are knee-length or above) are the way to go. It is the discretion of the female entourage as to what type of sleeve they want. For footwear, anything which is tied to the wedding theme may do (including cowboy boots, sandals, or cute wedges).
During fall and winter weddings, layering is the best bet. A dress with a lengthier hem paired with dressy shoes is a good choice. Not into dresses that much? Another option is a combo consisting of a classy blouse and a long skirt, with matching appropriate foot wear.
For the male entourage, the rules are a bit stricter. Tuxedos are usually not the go-to attire in a country-styled wedding for males. Instead, a “dressed-up” version of casual wear is in order. Sample outfit ideas include: a neat button-up shirt and a pair of neutral-hued pants accompanied by decent shoes.
Rustic Wedding Invitations
Being an important milestone in life, a wedding should be graced by the people who play significant roles in a couple’s life. Because they’re so significant, the way you invite them is important. You want beautiful invitations, right? Here’s how to keep them in line with the country-style theme.
Lace it up and Let it Bloom
There is something about lace which screams “country-style.” It makes a wonderful addition to any wedding invitation. Add to it some floral details (which are in the chosen color scheme of the wedding) and there you have an invitation fit for the most intimate rustic wedding.
For a touch of whimsy in your wedding invitation, try adding some eye-catching details (for example twine and colorful ribbon bows). Turn up the fun factor with a die-cut print which features nature-inspired images such flowers, leaves, and trees.
Rustic Wedding Decorations
Though not the main focus of the wedding, the decorations which adorn the venue can make or break an event. The following ideas can make for a fun yet stunning country-style wedding:
Wood is an irreplaceable part of any respectable country-style wedding. Thus, having wooden fixtures (e.g. tables, signs, placards and boards) ensure that your big day still adheres to its theme.
These adorable light fixtures certainly make a country-style event even more charming. For an easy yet stunning decoration, these can be hung from trees or the ceiling (depending on where the wedding will be held).
Semi-Naked Wedding Cake:
Although it falls under the category of wedding refreshments, a cake could also be classified as a wedding decor. To further enhance the theme, a semi-naked wedding cake (i.e. a cake which shows underneath a thin layer of frosting which has been scraped off) can be a good decor choice.
Floral Cake Decorations (Real or Fake):
In addition to adding flowers to the entrance arc, the aisle floor or in the hair of the bride, adding floral elements to the cake will also spruce up the country theme. Edible real flowers are also a great option!
Rustic Wedding Meal Ideas
Food is one of the things which liven up almost every life event. A wedding is no exception. When it comes to country themed weddings, there are numerous ways by which to satiate your guests’ palate. Below are some ideas on how to accomplish the goal.
Plan Your Menu Based on the Season:
The tip makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons. One, food in season tends to be fresh and a lot cheaper. Two, the complementing food (in terms of flavor) and seasons will be a sure crowd pleaser.
Bonus points if your wedding is in the fall. There’s something about fall food that is naturally rustic-feeling!
A buffet is a great choice because it’s casual but can still be classy depending on the food served. Furthermore, the set up can be made colorful and nature-themed if it’s well laid out.
Wedding Reception Activities and/or Games
At the end of the wedding ceremony comes the reception. This part of the big day is an opportunity for you to mingle and have fun with the guests. Therefore, it is only proper that activities which fit the theme and are also enjoyable be planned.
Themed Photo Booth:
While a wedding (especially if it is of someone who is dear to you) is sure to be remembered for quite some time, nothing beats the liberty of being able to look back on it through printed images. A themed photo booth gives you and your guests the opportunity to make and capture these precious memories.
Any wedding is certainly a joyful time. Why not express this joy through a day or night (whichever applies) of dancing. The newly-weds can arrange for a live band to play some upbeat country music so everyone can let loose. That’s an instant ‘check’ in the country box.
Not particularly fond of dancing? How about belting out one or two (or even more) popular country songs? Guests will have the time of their lives as they sing to their hearts’ content. To make the activity even more fun, it can be turned into an actual competition with exciting prizes at stake.
Wedding Gift Ideas
Being the main focus during the big day, the bride and the groom certainly deserve to be showered with love and affection. However, it also doesn’t hurt to provide them with the things which they will need to start their new life as a married couple together.
(Note: You, as the bride or the groom, can provide subtle suggestions as to what type of wedding gifts/presents you would prefer to receive).
For the guests, the list below provides some useful and practical wedding gifts which fit in the country-style theme.
This gift fits any kind of themed wedding which a guest might have the opportunity to attend. There are practically all kinds of bed linen designs which a wedding guest could pick from. It is also an item which the bride and groom is sure to need (and use) almost every day.
It may seem to be obvious to a guest that, well, people need cutlery! However, some overlook this gift idea in the scramble to search for something unique and unforgettable to give to the newly-weds. Forget dust catchers and other knick knacks. Instead, gift a good set of high-quality eating utensils to the couple. They are sure to remember you each time they share a meal in their home.
Pots and Pans:
Yet another seemingly “unglamorous” gift idea, a good pot and pan set is actually one of the necessary must-haves which every couple should possess. Even if the bride and groom already own some, just gifting one high quality skillet could be a great addition to their set.
Tea, Hot Chocolate, and/or Coffee Set:
Is the couple’s idea of a blissful day incomplete without having had their favorite hot drink? Then go ahead, and give them the gift of a beautiful beverage set. As they take a sip from it, they will be sure to remember the generous giver.
Wedding Favor Ideas
Newly-married couples sometimes feel obliged to show their gratitude and appreciation for the guests who have honored the event with their presence.
Some people consider it customary, therefore, for them to give out wedding favors. I personally any expectations of receiving favors when I attend a wedding, but if you want to do it, here are some ideas!
Mini Indoor Garden Kits:
To keep up with the rustic theme of the wedding, the couple may opt to have herb gardening kits (i.e. mini seed packets, pots, planting medium, etc.) as wedding party favors. As the seeds sprout and grow, they serve as reminder for the couple’s love for each other.
Funny Wine Bottle Holder:
Are you the type of couple who is able to find humor in any situation? Let your guests double up in laughter with this amusing yet useful wine bottle holder. Its novel looks are sure to provide an interesting topic of conversation. Add to that being able to have a bottle of wine within your reach and this product spells out “perfect wedding favor idea not to miss out on.”
Just a Note on Wedding Ettiquette
All of this talk about how to achieve a dream intimate country-style wedding wouldn’t be complete without a section dedicated to how to behave before, during, and after the wedding.
Before the Wedding
For the Couple: Make sure to send a “Save the Date” announcement in case you haven’t sent out the actual wedding invitations yet. Your guests should be aware of the upcoming event and be able to prepare adequately. If necessary, make sure to regularly update your wedding entourage regarding any news or changes in the wedding.
For the Guests: Clarify whether you can bring a plus one with you on the wedding (if your invitation states that you were the only one invited). Most couples conduct their wedding on a pre-planned (and sometimes tight) budget. Bringing an unannounced date might not be the best idea, so make sure to check first.
Let the couple know as soon as possible (the keyword is immediately), whether you can attend the wedding or not. Since most wedding venues usually seat guests according to a predetermined seating arrangement, not responding to the invitation can ruin it and in turn, the atmosphere of the wedding.
Be punctual (on time or even earlier). The wedding day is the day for the bride and grooms to shine. Don’t steal the spotlight by making a late entrance.
During the Wedding
For the Couple: As with the guests, it is important for the bride and the groom to be on time for their big day. It is a big faux pas to make guests wait for the ceremony to begin unless there is a valid reason for delaying it.
Be prepared for any mishaps that may occur, but don’t let them ruin your big day. After all, there will be never be a wedding which is “perfect” in the truest sense of the word.
For the Guests: Be informed of the dress code. Nothing says “rude” more than a wedding guest who is inappropriately dressed. One more piece of etiquette to remember (though some have said this is outdated) is to refrain from dressing in white and other similar hues. This caveat is especially for the lady guests. The wedding day is the bride’s day. Don’t steal her moment.
Switch off all communication devices (or at the very least, put them on silent mode). The wedding is supposed to be a solemn affair. Don’t ruin it by having your device blaring at an inopportune time.
Resist the temptation to take photos relentlessly. At weddings, there are usually professional photographers who are hired to capture the event. Unless the bride and the groom say it is okay to take photos, it is best to avoid doing so.
After the Wedding (Wedding Reception)
For the Guests: A wedding reception usually features what is termed as “cocktail hour”, where the guests can drink and socialize with each other. Once it is concluded, the reception meal typically begins. When you (as a guest) are urged to head to the table, try your best to do so. It is a mark of respect for the people who have prepared the food, as well as the couple who are the stars of the wedding.
Unless you are encouraged by the couple to say a few words during the reception and then make a toast, avoid doing so. If you really want to give a heartfelt message to the couple, wait until they are available to listen and then go tell them private.
If you are planning to head out before the reception comes to a close, be aware of certain formalities to be followed. Even if you need to take your leave, try to wait until the wedding traditions are done with (e.g. cake cutting and eating). The reason behind this is that in the days past, the cutting of the wedding cake served as an indicator that the event’s formalities were concluded and that anyone was free to head home.
Planning any kind of wedding will never be easy. However with the couple working together on making their dream wedding happen, with the help of their nearest and dearest, the process becomes so much easier easier. The secret of making a wedding a success is to enjoy and appreciate the time when two hearts and lives are bound together in unity and love.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments – I would love to hear about your own rustic wedding!