What comes to mind when you think of your perfect wedding? Maybe it’s a big wide-open space. Or perhaps you’re surrounded by wildflowers near a beautiful barn. If those sound like must-haves, you’ll love the list of rustic wedding ideas that we’ve put together.
Rustic weddings are less formal than traditional weddings, but what they lack in polish and pomp they more than make up for with coziness. For people who love to craft and DIY, an arcadian wedding gives you plenty of ways to bring your personality and talent to every part of your wedding day.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of ideas to help you fully realize the wedding of your dreams. From finding the right venue to which kinds of invitations are best for your theme, you’ll find tips, tricks, and tidbits to help inspire your rustic wedding decor, flowers, and more.
A farm or ranch are two of the most obvious and perfect settings for a rustic wedding. The quiet calm of the surroundings, the bucolic charm of the buildings, and the opportunity to get out of town…is there a better combination?
Mountain resorts or parks give you the opportunity to have various different options for your ceremony and reception. Wide valleys filled with flowers or lakes give you a pastoral backdrop, while mountain peaks make for breathtaking scenes. The mountains are usually cooler in the summer than other locations.
When you get married at a vineyard, you get to experience the magic of a ranch with the added benefit of having an unbeatable wine list. Many vineyards offer wedding packages that make the most of their views and Old World atmosphere.
B&Bs and inns solve many of the problems you could run into while trying to plan a wedding. They have room for your guests, they know how to host events, and they’re flexible enough to fit your theme.
Resorts make accommodations for your guests easy, they’re built to host, and they’re usually located in a beautiful area with plenty of options for outdoor ceremonies. You can even make modern resorts look rustic with the right decor.
Sometimes the closest venue options are the best. If you, a family member, or a friend has a large, beautiful piece of property, it could make for an excellent venue for a rustic backyard wedding. Is there a nearby park that has room to host? Parks are another great way to get married outdoors while keeping your budget under control.
Not every rustic wedding is a country wedding. A raw event space like a warehouse provides you with tons of options for bringing rustic magic to the city. Depending on where you live, there may be a lot of buildings that practically burst with rustic charm.
Sage greens and rust orange go so well together because they appear together often in nature. If you want your wedding to feel rustic but still elegant, this color palette just keeps on giving.
Pairing purple with gold is always a great idea. You can go with bold, deep purples or soften them up and choose something like lilac or lavender to play against the gold. Your gold options are wide open, too. Bright yellow golds and more subtle brown-inflected golds all look wonderful with purple.
Reds and blues can be a bit bombastic in their normal form. But if you darken each color, it creates a lush and beautiful combination that is right at home in a rustic setting.
Yellow and green are a common color palette for rustic ceremonies for a reason: They work. A subdued yellow and a green with gray undertones conjures wildflowers and beautiful valleys—a perfect fit for any wedding.
Few color combinations achieve a look that's both gentle and bold as well as navy blue and blush. Add touches of yellow or gold for a classic and elegant accent that will make your wedding colors unique and beautiful.
Choosing a variety of neutral earth tones for your color palette might seem like everything will blend, but the results can be surprising. Start with the main earth tone and then find others that contrast to create a neutral but powerful look.
For fall weddings, there aren’t many better combinations than oranges and reds. By highlighting the vibrant colors of changing leaves and beautiful sunsets, you’re creating a vibe that is seasonal and timeless.
Nature is a big part of a rustic wedding’s charm, and your invitations and save the dates should reflect that. Flowers are symbols of love and growth, which is perfect for announcing your wedding. Colorful floral designs (including ones with photos) and illustrations are all fair game.
Using your engagement photos as the main design element for your invitations and save the dates will provide you and your guests with a great snapshot in time. Using nature photography is another possibility that people are certain to remember.
Choosing beautifully painted nature scenes or illustrations on your save the dates and invitations provides you with tons of great options. Whether your wedding is going to be classically rustic or more modern, there are invitation designs that fit your theme and color palette.
Choosing a gown doesn’t have to be stressful. Rustic weddings give you the freedom to wear just about any kind of gown, including classic gowns. Love lace? Dreaming of sleeves? Need a V-neck? They can all work.
Even at a country wedding, a modern gown can wow—either as a wonderful contrast to the theme or as a part of a more modern rustic motif. So if you’re drawn to modern dress, go for it.
One of the most exciting parts of an outdoor wedding is getting to feel like you’re a part of nature on your special day. A patterned gown takes that one step farther. Classic patterns can hearken back to a different time, while modern patterns keep it contemporary without avoiding the charm of your venue and theme.
The relaxed, almost carefree style of boho gowns are as at home at a rustic wedding as they are at other modern weddings. From slip dresses to dramatic floor-length gowns, boho is the way to go if you’ve got your style and you want to show it off.
Prairie dresses, asymmetrical gowns, vintage styles, and even colorful gowns are all fair game when you choose a nontraditional style of wedding.
Western wear could be the perfect fit for your attire on your wedding day. From small touches like jeans to full-on embroidered western shirts and jackets, you’ll have plenty of ways to dress on your wedding day if you want to keep it Western.
Tweed suits are a classic for a reason. For traditional or boho rustic weddings, tweed is an obvious choice for anyone who wants to be dapper yet down-to-earth. Pair tweed with a vest, a bow tie, no tie, a patterned necktie, or even a bolo tie.
Traditional or modern tuxedos and suits will always be in style for any kind of wedding. Dark and light colors fit right in with almost every color palette, and if you want to bring some rustic flair to your suit, accessorize away.
Jeans or a denim shirt bring the rustic but can still look dressy when done with care. To keep your wedding more relaxed and breezy, denim is a good place to start. If your wedding is casual, make sure to let people know on your invites.
Cowboy boots are an easy way to make your wedding day outfit feel more rustic. From understated suede to elaborately detailed leather, there is a cowboy boot out there that is exactly your style. But other kinds of boots work, too.
Heels at a rustic wedding may be hard to pull off depending on your venue, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider them. Heels are classic, elegant, and look good with almost anything, so don’t toss them as a possibility just because you may be outside.
Few kinds of footwear say relaxed as well as sandals. If low-key is the order of your wedding day, slip into some sandals. Sandals are available in tons of different styles and colors, plus they’re affordable.
Moccasins, D’Orsays, and ballet flats are great because they’re comfortable and work with a variety of styles. They also look good in pretty much any venue, from a rustic warehouse to a beautiful meadow.
Loafers and wingtips are classic wedding shoe options that pair nicely with suits and jeans alike. Boat shoes and canvas sneakers are less traditional, but if you’re looking for a way to change it up a bit, they could be exactly what’s needed to make you feel and look great.
Crowns and tiaras don’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) relegated to traditional weddings. Finely wrought crowns and tiaras with natural motifs like flowers or vines are stunning and beautiful everywhere.
A hair comb is one of those accessories that is sometimes overlooked, but you can integrate the materials and colors that are central to your theme in ways that are subtle and surprising. Polished horn combs keep things natural, while a carved wood comb can highlight anything you want.
Take advantage of an outdoor wedding by making flowers a part of your hair accents. A single flower behind your ear, a crown of wildflowers, or several flower pins can help tie you to your special day in a special place. Choose local or in-season flowers for a look that perfectly encapsulates the time and location of your wedding.
To bring a dramatic, almost regal feel to your dress, choose a cathedral veil. If you want something that feels more modern, a mid-length veil is a beautiful highlight that keeps your dress as the main focal point. Blusher veils look great on their own or paired with a long veil in the back. Floral accents or different kinds of embellishments can help your entire look come together.
Vibrant corsages that make use of wildflowers and other local flora will make you look and feel profoundly connected to your venue. Colorful corsages also let you add exciting splashes of color if you’ve chosen a more muted palette.
Talk to your florist about boutonnieres that will work well with a corsage to create a perfect pairing. Simple is usually better, but that doesn’t have to mean drab. Even small amounts of bold color can stand out.
The bouquet is one of the most important details at any wedding. Working with a florist is one of the most surefire ways to ensure that your bouquet will be on-theme and work with your palette. Don’t be afraid of going big or small with a bouquet, and consider using different kinds of wrappings like burlap or lace.
If you have an arch or pillars or almost anything else at your altar, adding flowers helps carry your theme through to the most important area of the ceremony. Garlands, flower ropes, and other arrangements should match your palette in a way that draws people’s eyes to the altar.
Arches are always welcome at weddings, and they’re especially important to a rustic wedding theme. Decorating arches with flowers makes them feel natural and connected to the space. They also make excellent backgrounds for photographs.
Your seating is a huge part of the way your wedding looks. Luckily, with country-style weddings, you have lots of options to choose from. Older chairs, chairs that mimic the decor of the venue, or even mismatched chairs can all work well for seating. If you’re going the mismatched route, try to keep the variety limited to a few types and colors to add a little consistency without total uniformity.
Who doesn’t love a bench? They’re big, and there’s a style of bench for every theme. Pallet benches and log benches give you a look that is the definition of rustic, while pews bring a touch of refinement. You can use benches during the ceremony and at the reception.
When you want your wedding to feel outdoorsy, hay bales are one of the best choices for seating. They are easily arranged and you can cover them with blankets that work with your colors. Plus, many ranches and farms will already have them at your venue.
Large tree stumps look whimsical and can make everyone attending your wedding feel as if they’re sitting around a campfire. Add cushions or blankets to make them more comfortable.
One of our favorite rustic wedding ideas for summer is having your guests sit on blankets for your ceremony. Have your guests bring their own or lay out blankets in your chosen palette. If you have older guests or guests with limited mobility, make sure to provide them with seating that they’ll be comfortable with.
Large farm tables are one of the best ways to make your guests feel as if they’re all a part of a big family. Farm tables look great and provide you with tons of opportunities for serving food and displaying centerpieces, runners, and other decorations.
If you want a traditional feel for your wedding reception, round tables go a long way toward creating that vibe. Round tables also make it easier to decorate with tablecloths and centerpieces.
Mixing up the types, sizes, and shapes of tables at your reception gives it a looser and less formal feel. You can experiment with different centerpieces and decor to make every table feel unique.
Flatware is a detail that is easy to overlook, but it’s ripe with potential. Choosing an old-fashioned set of flatware adds to a back-in-time vibe. Or go with a mix of different flatware for a big family feel.
Jars and jugs are staples of rustic weddings. Jars are utilitarian but they also give off big-time homey vibes. Work with your bartender to pick out the right size and shape of jars to highlight the drinks you’re serving.
If you can find and harvest wildflowers from the area, they’ll add authenticity and beauty to your centerpieces. Put them in glass jars that match your drinkware or bundle them with twine or burlap.
Lanterns make excellent centerpieces because they work as focal points for design and they also provide light. Frosted or colored glass lanterns create a soft, dreamlike ambiance that can enhance the other rustic wedding table decorations. Use LED candles inside the lanterns for safety.
With so many different candle choices out there, narrowing them down can be tough. Focus on how you want the candles and candleholders to feel or function and go from there. If you can replace regular candles with LED candles, you’ll keep your guests safer and eliminate the mess of cleaning up a bunch of melted wax.
Tin containers always look at home in barns, warehouses, or the outdoors. If you’re in a warehouse in the city or a barn in the country, adding tin containers to your centerpieces is a surefire way to nail the vibe. Fill them with flowers, paint them, or wrap them with twine.
Glass, earthenware, and wood containers let you carry other design choices through to the reception. If you have glass jars with candles lighting the way to the altar, add them to each table. If your venue has antique or old-fashioned containers, they’ll fit perfectly.
Vines and garlands are always a welcome addition to tables because they add great color and texture. They’re also incredibly versatile—they work well on their own if you’re going minimalist and they’re excellent additions to more complex rustic wedding centerpiece ideas. Using local materials is more environmentally friendly and will look more natural.
If you’re getting married on a farm or ranch, making the food that’s grown there a part of your decor is a detail that everyone will be talking about. Match the fruits and veggies to your color palette where you can or include other elements with the food to tie everything together. If your wedding is in the autumn, here's a great rustic fall wedding idea: Create cornucopia centerpieces with local foods.
How do you feed your guests and have conversation-worthy centerpieces at the same time? Use cheese plates! Because cheeses come in so many different sizes and colors, there are many ways to enhance your theme with cheeses and foods that pair well with cheeses. Another positive: You’ll be reducing waste, since those centerpieces will get eaten or taken home.
If your venue has indoor and outdoor spaces, you’ll have almost limitless options for great pictures. For the indoor spaces, make sure your photos capture the communal atmosphere of people together at their tables or on the dance floor. Taking photos in doorways that lead outside means you get the best of both worlds. Plan ahead with your photographer and videographer to make sure you get all the shots you want.
Ask the people who run your venue where the best places for photos are to make sure you aren’t missing out on any world-class views. Take some photos of potential spots when you’re visiting the venue to get your photographer inspired and prepared.
Naked or semi-naked cakes are simply cakes that aren’t completely coated with frosting. Not only are they neat to look at, but you or your baker can also make a one-of-a-kind creation using frosting, flowers, different flavors of cake, and fruit. These cakes look both elegant and rustic, and you can pair them with wine just like you would other types of desserts.
If you want to switch it up with your cake, use wheels of cheese to build a multi tiered “cake” as an appetizer. This savory idea shouldn’t be a replacement for dessert, though. Everyone has a sweet tooth at a wedding!
Stuff envelopes with fresh leaves and have them on your guests’ seats or use other dried petals for tosses that don’t create litter or cause harm to the environment. Lavender buds, rose petals or dried wildflowers are other pretty tosses that are natural and safe.
If you want to guarantee that your wedding favors won’t end up in a box or on a shelf collecting dust, give out food. Your guests will appreciate local jams and jellies, teas, candy, and almost anything else that travels well.
A seed is a great metaphor for love—it starts small, continues to grow, and eventually becomes something that others can see and appreciate. Seed packets with your wedding date and names make for fun, different wedding favors. Extra points if you can find local seeds or if you give out packets that will grow into some of the food you served.
Is there a shop in the area that makes soaps you’ve fallen in love with? Does someone at the local farmers market sell honey from their farm? Giving out local goods as your wedding favors means that your guests get to go home with an item that will remind them of your special day.
Planning signature drinks with your bartender is a fun and easy way to bring in local ingredients. Muddle locally grown fruits to liven up a cocktail or garnish a drink with produce from the area. If there’s a brewery or distillery in the area, stock up your bar with their drinks.
Your menu can be as unique and offbeat as every other part of your wedding. Serve local BBQ or another kind of food that’s delicious but nontraditional. Combine classic comfort foods with fancier dishes or deconstruct an old favorite in a novel way. Talk with your caterer to build a menu that is unmistakably yours.
Sparklers are fun for everyone and they can make the send-off feel truly magical. Plan the send-off to coincide with the sunset for a moment you’ll remember for the rest of your lives.
A guest book with a wood cover is another one of those small touches that will make a lasting impression. To take it a step further, set out small wood slices and markers for guests to sign and leave messages for you, and then display them in shadow boxes or use them to create a tabletop.
Now that you’ve got dozens of rustic wedding ideas, it’s time to start planning. If a wedding is in your future, Zola is here to help! With our comprehensive database of pre-screened vendors, suite of wedding invitations, free wedding websites and no shortage of expert advice, your wedding starts here.