8 Ways to Pull Off A Rustic Wedding

Whether you're more black-tie ballroom, barefoot on the beach or somewhere in between, read our guide for pulling off a gorgeous wedding.
  1. Your Style

    Photo by Corbin Gurkin / The Knot

    Down-to-earth, natural and outdoorsy but still sophisticated, your wedding will feel...just like you. You prefer the rugged elegance of Ralph Lauren or Restoration Hardware over the super-sleek or frilly and feminine.

  2. The Setting

    Photo by The Youngrens / The Knot

    Someplace outside, where nature plays a starring role, like a ranch, mountaintop, farm or lakeside resort. Prefer to play it safe inside? Choose a rustic space, like a cool brewery, a barnyard or a mountain lodge.

  3. Wedding Wear

    Photo by Corbin Gurkin / The Knot

    Forget the ball gown and go with a fuss-free, natural look. Exude understated elegance in a simple sheath with an Empire waist or in an airy ethereal gown.

  4. Color Combos

    Photo by Cramer Photo / The Knot

    Faint colors like matte bronze and tea rose, or even just variant shades of ivory contrasted against natural wood accents, add a graceful touch to otherwise rugged decor. For a bolder look, deep oranges, reds, purples and browns all fit the rustic feel you're after.

  5. Best Blooms

    Photo by Corbin Gurken / The Knot

    Rather than a particular type or color of flower, go with what's in-season. Stick with sturdy and textured flowers and plants that not only look the part, but will also last in an outdoor environment. Dahlias, succulents, sunflowers, ranunculus, craspedia, thistle, chrysanthemums and hanging amaranthus will all stay fresh from start to finish and have an organic look that works well in an outside setting. Texture is the key here. Incorporate natural non-floral accents like pussy willows, veggies, cotton, acorns, Spanish moss and fiddlehead ferns.

  6. The Decor

    Photo by Mel Barlow & Co / The Knot

    Opt for more dramatic decor elements like crystal chandeliers and antique silver amid reclaimed- or raw-wood furnishings in an authentic ranch setting. The juxtaposition of rugged details with feminine touches can complement both sides of your style as a couple. Line dense, reclaimed-wood tables with formal white-linen runners (it's best to leave most of the table exposed). Top bare wood dinner tables with tin pails or birch-bark vases filled with loose, earthy arrangements for a fresh-picked look. And don't be afraid to mix and match with clusters of vessels in different shapes and sizes. Also, look at your venue to see if there are any creative ways to display blooms, like hanging floral chandeliers from the rafters of a barn.

  7. The Music

    Photo by Bonnie Berry Photography / The Knot

    Hire a bluegrass band for the cocktail hour. Then go with a band or DJ for the reception, but give a nod to the rustic setting by asking them to mix in a few of your favorite country songs.

  8. The Menu

    Photo by Adi Nevo Photographs / The Knot

    No fancy five courses here: Go with what you love, whether it's comfort food (like mac and cheese) or seasonal fare. For a more laid-back dinner, stations are a fun twist, or serve dishes family-style. Differentiate your dessert tablescapes by surrounding your cake with a selection of pies, fruit cobblers and crisps.

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