8 Ways to Pull Off A Rustic Wedding

Whether your style lends itself to more of a formal vibe or a countryside soiree, read our guide for pulling it off.
  1. Rustic Wedding Style

    Rustic wedding invitations
    Photo by Christina Lily Photography

    Down to earth, natural and outdoorsy but still sophisticated. Your wedding should feel, well, just like that. You prefer the raw charm of Mother Nature paired with an air of Ralph Lauren sophistication over the frilly and feminine. It may seem daunting to select an invitation that translates all of those details, but we've got a tip for you: Go with a recycled paper like bamboo—it's unexpectedly thick so it feels luxe, but the raw texture embodies rustic to a tee. Chose a calligraphed font or metallic monogram to juxtapose the nature with elegance.

  2. Rustic Setting

    Low-key luxe wedding reception space
    Photo by BRAEDON PHOTOGRAPHY

    An outdoor setting where nature plays a starring role in décor is ideal, like a ranch, mountaintop, farm or lakeside resort. If you prefer to play it safe inside, choose a rustic space like a cool brewery, barnyard or mountain lodge. If you've always imagined your perfect wedding being half indoors and half outdoors, then look to vineyards—they often have beautiful open-air spaces or patio-type decks with partial covering.

  3. Wedding Wear

    White lace wedding dress
    Photo by Studio Austin WEddings

    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. Loose, messy waves styled in a half-up hairstyle emanate the “I woke up like this" cool-girl vibe. Oh and that “no-makeup, makeup" look? We've got you covered with the exact products to pull it off.

  4. Color Combos

    Orange and red rustic wedding tablescape
    Photo by Erin Hearts Court

    Faint colors like matte bronze and tea rose, or even monochromatic shades of ivory contrasted against natural wood accents, add a graceful touch to otherwise rugged décor. For a bolder look, shades of orange, red, purple and brown all fit the feel you're after.

  5. Best Blooms

    Red and white runanculus boutonniere
    Photo by Sarah Kate Photographer

    Rather than a particular type of 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, coxcomb and hanging amaranthus will all stay fresh from start to finish. Make sure your arrangements don't look too structured, and ask your florist to play with wildflower fillers like Queen Anne's lace or thistle at varying heights to make your flowers look like they were freshly gathered from the field. Also, texture is key here. Incorporate natural nonfloral accents like pussy willows, veggies, grains or fiddlehead ferns.

  6. The Decor

    Rustic wedding lounge space
    Photo by BRAEDON PHOTOGRAPHY

    Opt for more dramatic elements like crystal chandeliers and antique reclaimed furnishings in an authentic ranch setting. A lounge is the best way to make your guests feel at home, and it's a playful space to add unique details. The juxtaposition of polished furniture with the rest of your rustic décor will complement the theme well and make it totally yours. Look around your venue to see if there are any fun opportunities to bring in suspended florals, garlands or lighting (chandeliers, anyone?) for a few unexpected décor moments.

  7. The Menu

    Rustic table setting with menu card
    Photo by VIENNA GLENN PHOTOGRAPHY

    No five-course sit-down fete here. Start things off with fresh takes on passed appetizers (it'll encourage people to mix and mingle) like sliders with unique sauces or bite-size tacos. And while you can't go wrong with comfort food, you could also treat your guests to upscale bites like spinach and goat cheese tartlets or prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. When it comes to the main course, make sure your food is as local as possible to ensure the freshest farm-to-table taste.

  8. The Music

    Live music during a wedding ceremony
    Photo by Onelove Photography

    Bring your event to life with live music like an underground country duo or bluegrass band for the cocktail hour. Then for the reception, go with a band or DJ so you can play all your favorite dance jams (no one wants an empty dance floor!).