Rustic weddings: how to style a charming relaxed day

Ideas Rustic charm is so very appealing and can bring warmth to your big day, so it’s no surprise that many couples choose to have a rustic wedding style. Follow our advice and having a beautiful rustic day will be a breeze (through your hessian bunting).

We've all heard 'rustic' being diplomatically used for something thrown together hastily at the last minute, but that's not what a rustic wedding is - or rather it's probably better you don't approach your wedding planning in this way! Rustic doesn’t mean disordered and messy… but it can mean relaxed and welcoming – two things that take planning. For instance, in our seating plan guide, we talked about how to relax your seating without creating problems for yourself and your guests.

The right venue will set off any chosen theme and is so important for creating the right feel. If you pick somewhere overly formal, you’ll be fighting against those formal features right through your rustic planning process. Go for somewhere with neutral or rustic décor to achieve the best effects.

It might have been that you always pictured yourself getting hitched in an opulent stately home, but a rustic theme may not work too well against this. Choosing between your favourite look and favourite venue is just one of the hard decisions that wedding planning is full of, but it’ll be worth it in the end, we promise.

However, sophisticated rustic is totally a thing. Upscale your rustic game by going for a more muted or white colour palette, by keeping clean lines and an uncluttered appearance and by keeping features dainty and understated.

For many couples, rustic weddings involve some outdoor time. Think through what you’ll do if it rains at that moment – and let’s not forget what a strong breeze can do to a hair do or to lovingly scattered rose petals! Everyone wants a beautiful sunny day for saying ‘I do’, and some will be lucky, but you won’t regret preparing for the worst the weather can throw at you.

Rustic doesn’t mean you can't be specific on things like dress code or times. Many couples are anxious that giving instructions to guests could come off as ‘bossy’, but actually the vast majority of guests will hugely appreciate knowing what’s expected of them.

Regarding dress code, white tie isn’t really going to work with a rustic setting, but anything from smart-casual through to standard suits and cocktail dresses will look fine, and it’s really up to you.

Rustic is an attractive choice because it’s a very forgiving style. This means that the pressure’s off to have exact matching everything or to furnish every corner with lavish décor. However, rustic does not equal cheap. In fact, as you’ve no doubt noticed, weddings on the whole do not equal cheap!

Will a hog roast with hay bales cost as much as a three course meal in a castle? Nope, but you probably won’t make as much of a saving as you thought you could, so do rustic because you love it, not to cut corners.

Rustic doesn’t mean you have to buy up a whole Hobbycraft store and handmake ALL OF THE THINGS. That way lies insanity, friends. Pick a few fun bits to make if you want to, but for the rest, get the professionals in (or at least your talented friend who makes killer cakes).

For instance, a popular rustic choice is to buy your own flowers and then to pop a few blooms into hundreds of tiny vases and teacups. This. Takes. So. Much. Time. Plus it needs to be done on the morning of the wedding – filling the receptacles with water, cutting the foliage off the stems and then cutting the stems to size. Plan accordingly. Hint: cute little succulents in colourful pots may be your new best friend!

Last but all too important is your flooring if you’re in a rustic space such as in a barn or outdoors. In beautifully natural settings, the ground may not be level and this can cause wobbly tables or twisted ankles if left unaddressed.

You might want to advise guests to bring/wear appropriate footwear and to advise caterers to check tables hired in for wobbles so guests aren’t wedging their wedding programmes under the legs on the day. A great solution is to hire in some tent flooring for a solid wooden floor that’s level and ideal for seating or dancing.

What rustic wedding features are you using for your wedding? And how are you making it into your perfectly charming, rustic day?

Tags: rustic, wedding, style, theme, design, ideas, inspiration

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