Wedding Wisdom: Achieving “Rustic Romance”

I’ll start by saying that I am by no means a wedding planning expert. But having gone through the whole process, I feel like I have a few bits and pieces of advice worth sharing. It only takes one scroll through the Wedding category on Pinterest to know that “rustic romance” is a major trend—burlap, lace, mason jars, distressed wood, vintage books. And I love it all. When I launched into wedding planning after getting engaged, I knew right away I wanted something elegant, classic and soft without going overboard on a particular theme or color palette.

Since wedding planning can be extremely stressful, I wanted to share a few things I learned along the way for anyone thinking about a similar wedding vibe.

Rustic Wedding Venue1. Pick your venue first. It would be pretty tough to pull off rustic romance in a sleek, modern hotel ballroom. You don’t have to get married in a forest with your guests seated on tree trunks (although that could be awesome … or uncomfortable), but you definitely want to pick a place with a romantic feel. Maybe a winery, a barn or an old manor house. Plus, you’ll be shocked by how quickly venues book up (who are these crazy people taking all the good dates 2 years in advance?), so locking down your date is the essential first planning step.

Lace Wedding Dress2. Get the dress second. If you’re getting married on the beach, a ball gown may not make the most sense. If you can, wait to buy the dress until after you book the venue. Then you’ll know what fits (and you’ll also know the final wedding date and potential weather).

Soft Wedding Colors3. Keep colors soft and neutral. We chose lots of white and cream with accents of sage and pale peach. Bright colors can be really beautiful, but a soft palette helps achieve a more romantic and vintage effect.

Rustic Wedding Cake4. Ditch the fondant. A lot of cakes use fondant to achieve a perfectly smooth exterior, but with a rustic theme, you can embrace a “messier” feel. Consider textured buttercream icing, where the knife strokes are more obvious. Fresh flowers and a rustic topper can bring it all together. Etsy is a mecca for finding adorable cake toppers.

Rustic Wedding DetailsDIY Wedding Signs5. It’s all in the small things. An overall venue can give a rustic feel, but small touches in the decorations will pull it all together. We lined the aisle with mason jars filled with hydrangeas, and it ended up being one of my favorite details. Also consider using lace, twine and burlap accents on the bouquets and table arrangements and rustic wood in the decorations.

Wedding Table Numbers6. Don’t go overboard. A theme can be a great place to start planning, but you want to make sure everything flows together without becoming corny. I had to cut myself off at some point with the “rustic” elements (before I went broke shopping on Etsy).

What are your favorite elements or ideas for a “rustic romance” wedding?

All photos by Allison and Chris Britton Photography.