Take the Fuss Out of Your Big Day with a Rustic Wedding

Cowboy boots and sundresses. Old-fashioned silver Airstream trailers for dressing rooms. Barbecue dishes and drinks served in mason jars. Just a few decades ago, you would not have imagined these items being used for a wedding. But, today, the shabby chic, rustic, or country wedding is all the rage. In fact, Jamie Miles, the editor of the popular wedding site, The Knot, recently told Penn Live that black-tie weddings "are kind of over." And also according to Penn Live, the number of brides and grooms choosing a casual wedding has increased from 12 percent to 17 percent in the past five years. So are you interested in giving your wedding an on-trend rustic feel? Then check out the following ideas that will add some shabby chic to your big day. 

The Venue

Barns have become very popular sites for rustic weddings. But there are also other venues that work well for rustic weddings, including wineries or bed and breakfasts. To add charm to these sites, string pretty white lights or hang gauzy white material from the rafters. You might also want to scatter a few hay bales around your venue as extra seating for your guests. And if you need to transport guests from the wedding site to the reception area, think about hiring a few vintage pickup trucks for the duty. 

The Wedding Party Attire

Think informal and simple when choosing your wedding party's attire. It's not uncommon to see bridesmaids today wearing simple unmatched sundresses and the groomsmen outfitted in suspenders or vests at a rustic wedding. 

Your Reception Food

Rustic weddings are known for their no-frills feel, so it's important to keep the food at your reception simple but delicious. Barbecue, for example, will fit in well with a country theme. But that doesn't mean that you should fire up the grill while wearing your wedding dress or tuxedo. And please don't trust Uncle Bob to man the barbecue. The food at a wedding, even an informal one, should not be left in the hands of an amateur. Instead, have your barbecue catered in by a company like Bassett Caterers. That way you and your new spouse won't have to spend your entire reception trying to mingle and cook at the same time. To complete the no-frills look, consider these methods: 

  • Serve your food on mismatched plates and your drinks in Mason jars. Ask your caterer if they can provide these. If they do a lot of weddings, it's very possible they will have these available for your use. 
  • Decorate the tables with informal arrangements. For example, fill a large Mason jar with pretty daisies or wildflowers. 
  • End your meal with "fun" desserts such as rice cereal bars or a s'mores station. 


Use chalkboards to keep your guests informed at your wedding. For example, you can use a chalkboard to do the following: 

  • Welcome your guests. This sign also helps guests know that they have arrived at the right place. 
  • List the program of events. Let your guests know what time you will be serving cocktails and dinner and when to expect to break out the dancing shoes. 
  • Describe menu items at your reception. If you will be having a barbecue buffet, use small chalkboards to describe each entree. 
  • Entertain your guests. Some brides and grooms like to use chalkboards for fun little tidbits. For example, they might use the chalkboard to describe the timeline of their relationship—where they met, their first date, and how the proposal was made. 

The beauty of a rustic wedding is that it gives a bride and groom a lot of freedom in the type of food they want to serve and also in the type of decorations they want to use. Plus, a shabby chic wedding can also save a couple a lot of money over the cost of a formal sit-down affair.