01 Jan 4 Rustic Ideas for an Outdoor Country Wedding
Rustic weddings are very in right now, but whether you’re honoring your country roots or you just love the trend, the rustic theme is perfect for creating a gorgeous outdoor wedding. Small, traditional and cozy—what’s not to like? At this point in the planning you may have a few
“must-haves” on your list, or maybe even a whole Pinterest board full of ideas, but now it’s time to really pull together and turn this dream into reality.
1. The Venue
One of the very first things you need to do after that ring is on your finger is to book your venue. And if you’re dreaming of an outdoor wedding, expect the competition to be steep—spring and summer is the most popular time for people to get married.
That being said, now’s not the time to rush either. The location you choose must give you the kind of backdrop that makes the rest of your wedding theme really come to life. The last thing you want to do is try to redecorate an entire venue that doesn’t have the right look for your theme. Aside from being inconvenient, this approach can also be very expensive since you’re going to end up spending more on decorations.
When looking for the perfect outdoor rustic wedding venue, keep these features at the top of your list:
- Does it offer picturesque scenery?
- Will it accommodate all the people on your guest list?
- Do they provide different options for staging your ceremony and reception, as well as catering options?
- Is there an indoor “back up plan” in case the weather takes a turn for the worse?
- Is there enough parking?
- How close are overnight accommodations for long-distance guests?
If you need a rustic wedding venue in Southern California, Middle Ranch Lodge is the perfect choice. Offering immaculate grounds with manicured gardens, untamed forests, and panoramic mountain views, this special location will create a stunning backdrop for your photos.
2. The Wardrobe
Once you have your venue nailed down, it’s time to go dress shopping. This gives you ample time for dress alterations, and it’s polite to give your wedding party that same flexibility beforehand to find what they’re going to wear.
Most couples want the clothing to match the theme of the wedding. If that’s the case for you, simplicity is going to be the name of the game for rustic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with it. Here are a few ideas:
- Floral print
- Earth tones
- Bolo ties
- Cowboy/cowgirl boots
- Cowboy/cowgirl hats
Since you are going to be outdoors, there is nothing wrong with wearing boots instead of formal shoes. Boots can handle the outdoors and make for one hip looking couple, not to mention how comfy you will feel on your dancing feet.
Don’t be shy about asking guests, groomsmen and bridesmaids to go the extra mile to ensure everyone’s style feels authentic. For example, guys can grow a bit of a stubble or go a little rustic with their beards. Women can make their hairstyles into works of country art using styles like waterfall braids or milkmaid’s braids. These looks are not only beautiful but also help make your country wedding feel much more genuine.
In terms of makeup, go for simple and natural rather than all-out glam. You may need to play it up a little bit more for the pictures, but the look should still have that effortless country charm. Think earth-tone eyeshadow, subtle eyeliner, wispy long eyelashes, nude or pink lips, and a touch of bronzer and blush for a “sun-kissed” glow.
3. The Decor
The decorations at your wedding should really sell the rustic country feeling. Here are a few ideas, but don’t overdo it, either!
The archway: Consider changing some of the basics of your wedding setting. For example, instead of using a traditional arch, a vintage arch covered with bark, greenery and flowery vines will give it a woodsy, earthy feel.
Centerpieces: There are a lot of decorative choices you can make to help pull this off. Some can be as simple as placing mason jars tied with burlap ribbon and a few wildflowers as your centerpieces. You can add tea lights in smaller jars and use wood slices to help showcase the wild and raw aspect of your wedding.
Signs: Another rustic effect is to use wood signs or signs made out of burlap to help direct your guests or to honor the two of you on your momentous day. These natural materials will help create the timeless country setting you’re after.
Furniture: Instead of metal or plastic seats and tables, consider using wooden furniture. Another creative idea is to place hay bales around your outdoor wedding venue. What an easy and charming touch to make simple couches from hay bales covered with a few handmade cushions and cozy blankets – your guests are sure to relax, enjoy & take pictures on them!
Finishing touches: Tumbleweeds can be a fun addition as well as wildflowers, baskets, and rusted-looking iron odds and ends. These make excellent placements in the empty spaces.
4. The Atmosphere
Finally, atmosphere! You’re almost there, but if you don’t have the right atmosphere, then the whole theme can fall short. Aside from booking the right rustic wedding venue, two of the best ways to make sure your theme feels right is to pay attention to the music and the food.
For music, it’s time to bust out some country. But not just any country—go on a country playlist binge and save the most romantic ones that remind you of your significant other. Make sure it’s a good mix of soft and sweet and loud and playful, especially if you plan on offering a dance floor for your guests.
As for food, here are some ideas to take to the caterers:
- Barbecue ribs
- Pulled pork
- Grilled steak
- Fried chicken
- Chicken and waffles
- Mac and cheese
- Baked beans
- Corn on the cob
- Corn bread
- Buttermilk biscuits
- Fruit pies
- Root beer
These ideas should get you started on the right foot for creating the perfect outdoor country wedding. However, we do advise getting in touch with a professional wedding planner to take some of the stress off and make sure you get hitched without a hitch.