The rustic wedding theme started blooming back a few years ago. At the time, many wedding experts and decorators found it hard to envision that mix of elements: the elegant and the rustic, the lace and the twine.
A year after, burlap and lace became the absolute star of the rustic wedding themes. You could see it featured in invitations, chair sashes, signs, table runners, etc. Today the trend is still incedibly popular (yet not a novelty anymore) and has extended beyond weddings, to bridal showers, baptisms, birthdays and coorporate functions. The rustic wedding theme is a winner, and can have luxury and a down to earth feel, all in one
Rustic weddings, sometimes labelled 'shabby chic', are becoming more popular due to the diversity of brides and grooms and their desires to have the wedding they choose, that speaks of them as people, whether that be a traditional white gown and church wedding or a rustic wedding held on a farm, or in a garden or vineyard. The point is that you are marrying the love of your life and you want the wedding to be the wedding to reflect your personality and style.
A rustic wedding can be both down to earth, shabby and rugged as well as chic, elegant and sophisticated as long as it reflects who you and your groom are. Whilst some would say that lace, pearls and bling do not belong at a rustic wedding, it really is up to you. If used sparingly, they can add the chic to the shabby.
Rustic wedding invitations may feature recycled or handmade papers, hessian or burlap, raffia or twine, corrugated board, typewriter or handwriting fonts and may be dressed up with ribbons or string, maybe add some pearls for a chic touch. Burlap and lace is the most popular wedding invitation trend for rustic, shabby chic and bohemian weddings. Country lace for a cosy look or french lace with beads for an elegant glam rustic celebration,
Locations for a Rustic Wedding
Many locations are suitable, but there is usually an outdoors element, where nature is second in beauty only to the bride and groom. Some of these places include a mountain top, a farm, barnyard, a vineyard, a lake, camp setting, the city park or garden, the beach, backyard, national park, or a resort. If you prefer to have it inside in case the weather changes, try inside a mountain lodge, a winery or brewery, or a clubhouse. Rustic weddings can be most anywhere you want them because it has a great deal to do with the decor.
Rustic weddings held outside can also be much less expensive because you can use the beauty of the surrounds as part of your decor.
You can set up candles to light the way down the aisle and string white fairy lights up in the trees for an evening wedding or reception. Rustic weddings can take on many themes, shapes and sizes depending on what you want and what your budget will allow, the possibilities are endless.
You can add plenty of rustic chic to your wedding, with chairs and tables draped with hessian table runners. Other rustic theme items include:
If this is your first wedding, you may want to wear white. Even brides who wear a beautiful white gown can have a rustic wedding. Picture a beautiful bride walking down the aisle, through a path in the woods, or a barn breezeway wearing a great pair of cowgirl boots and carrying lovely bouquet of wild flowers mixed with straw and wrapped with a piece of hessian or cheesecloth.
Favours or Bomboniere
As mentioned in the decor section above, once the wedding and reception are over you can give away the preserving jars filled with jams, honey, fruit or whatever as wedding favors. You could do the same with any special candles that you've used, like the ones wrapped in cinnamon sticks pictured.
Browse our rustic wedding invitations
Mason Jars: Studio Larsen
Jars: Lindsey Gomes Photographer.
Bride Dress: Morilee By Madeline Gardner.
Cinnamon Candles: Welke.
For starters, let me tell you what I am referring to when I say "stationery". First, you may have noticed it is spelled stationery and not stationary. Not that it matters, but just saying, so hopefully vendors will stop offering wedding "stationary" ;).
For stationery we refer to: the wedding invitations, of course, save the dates, and what is needed for the day itself, such as menus, programs, gift tags, order of service, table numbers, place, escort or name cards and thank you cards, which are usually sent after the wedding.
When you choose a printed design on your invitations, the coordination is pretty straight forward: You ask your professional stationer to simply carry on the design or part thereof, on all the cards and stationery you choose to purchase.
It is important that you choose a flexible vendor, who will not impose an invitation pack, instead of giving you the option to buy only the products you need. This will save you money by not having to pay for items not needed. For example, if you have a buffet dinner, you are not likely to need place cards, but still, you may choose to have a few menus printed, in order to inform your guests of their food choices. The choice should be yours. You should also have the choice of how each item should be decorated. You may want to have very pretty thank you cards and a simple rsvp, since it will come back to you in the mail.
Crafted wedding invitations, with more elements or materials, can be trickier to coordinate. There are more options and the prices can vary significantly. For example, if you have a hessian and lace invitation with a pearl brooch, with all the details printed on matt card, and everything wrapped with twine.... what elements do you combine? Do you use all elements for all products ordered? Do you use just some? Or do you simply stick to the base card for each item? The choice should ultimately be yours.
You can put the lot on all pieces: place cards, menus, programs, table numbers, thank you cards, gift tags, etc. However, it may look a bit over-the-top, without mentioning it could also be a budget buster. For some weddings, it may be perfect, while for others it may be better to use less of the common elements.
By using between 1-3 elements on each category of product it is still easy to identify a coordinated stationery group and decorating theme. To illustrate once more, you may choose hessian for the table numbers, just a twine around the place cards, and perhaps twine and an acrylic pearl on both.
One basic way of coordinating is to have all the stationery printed on the same type of paper and to use the same fonts throughout. Style, colours, shapes and the addition or removal of embellishments can then be used to create a uniqueness for each item. As long as your guest can identify elements in common among all the stationery: same font, same paper, or/ and some of the same elements, your wedding stationery will be well coordinated.
The images above show a well coordinated stationery set, where the only elements carried through the entire set were the natural card that was printed upon and the fonts used. You may choose to have the handmade or specialty paper featured on the menus and table numbers, but perhaps your table is getting busy, and the names cards can be printed just using the pain base card. it can also happen the their way: some venues may not offer chair sashes or colour other then white for table clothes and decorations.... In that case you man want add a bit of colour, bling or accents to the stationery shown at the table: i.e ribbon or bling on place cards, menus, table numbers or just on some and not on others. The choice is yours and the best person to help here, is your wedding planner or the reception organiser to discuss what elements you will have on the reception and have a better idea of what you need in terms of stationery on the day..
Being located on the Gold Coast, and with 50km of sandy gorgeous beaches very close by, what can I say? We LOVE beach weddings! We make 1000's of beach wedding invitations every year for Australia and the USA so I thought to cover this theme and the relevant info you should consider when organising a beach wedding. Got ideas? PLEASE share them in the comment box below!
Beach Wedding Locations
If it`s possible try and book a private beach then you can have your wedding ceremony, and reception all day and night. If it is not, make a list of potential sites, and visit each one.
Ask questions during your visits, such as:
There are 1000's of beach wedding styles that are suitable to wear outdoors, without dragging sand all over it. Many brides opt to have two designs: one for the beach ceremony and a more elegant or formal one for the reception.
TIP/ IDEA: An idea that can help guests to be comfortable with their attire is to buy heaps of thongs and present them in a basket or wooden box. This allows people get changed during the wedding. High heels on the sand can be really uncomfortable and getting sand in your shoes is not much fun. Bare foot attire is also an option you could offer.
Is it going to be a rustic beach day or will it be an elegant glam beach reception?
This is a key question to keep in mind when choosing all services and products for the day.
There are fabulous decorations for a beach weddings and many DIY projects that with a bit of time, can look amazing. Extend the beach theme to your menu and table arrangements. Finger starfish with guest tags located on the table to indicate your guests the seating place. Beach signs with arrows. Mesh, rope, nets are just some of the elements that reflect the beach and ocean. I have even seeing chandelliers holding, only metres from the sand... the choice is yours and I strongly suggest you visit the venue many times to have an idea of the feel you want for your day.
IDEA: Some couples opt for using big sandollars or starfish instead of table numbers and hand write the number or name of the table on each. Serving food inside seashells is a nice beachy touch and very practical too.
How many options we have here! I'll try not to get carried away because this is not supposed to be a beach invitation article!
Briefly I would say: Decide whether or now you want beach elements on your invitations, based on taste, level of formality and budget, of course!
If you love them, you can incorporate shells, starfish or sanddollar embellishments, and combine them with mesh, raffia or twine, in a neat, coordinated way. Scroll wedding invitations closed with string or jute and a shell, or fan shape invitation with a beach design, palms or sea shells, are also unique beach invitation ideas.
If you don't like beach elements crafted on your invitations: Choose the design you want, and have a ribbon or paper band in aqua or beach colours or sandy twine, mesh and raffia, which are simple and warm beachy elements.
You can also use the 'message in a bottle' idea for favours with thank you messages to your guests or even as wedding programs rolled in bottles. We do not usually reccomend these for invitations Use place cards that won't blow away - names printed on shells or sandollars with a texta keep the theme going. Check our beach invitation collection here
The Hawaiian style lei flowers have a very relax beach style, also frangipani, hibiscus or any tropical flower. Enquire with your florist at your wedding destination to put together bouquets with shells attached to them.
A seafood spread would be ideal for beach wedding meals: Prawn cocktail, lobster and fresh local sea food. A lot of caterers (especially abroad) will be able to make exotic sea food dishes. A signature drink is a fun, classy addition to you beach wedding, perhaps in aqua colour to complement the scenery.
Some people like having a unique shape, like a sandcastle, palm trees, seahorse, giant clam, starfish or anything that will really personalise your wedding cake. Others rather a traditional cake with a touch of ribbon in your wedding colours, usually aqua, coral or pastels.
IDEA: milk chocolate shell decorations scattered across the tables or placed in a basket. Only if weather is not too warm!
You could make or buy glass bottles with a message inside as mentioned before. Another special touch to make your beach event stand out is to get glass tubes and fill with messages or lollies.
We have seen fantastic and practical favour ideas such as: sunglasses in every single seat with the wedding date printed on the side and the couple names engraved. Great favours ready to be used if you forgot your own.
Also paper umbrellas, engraved with the couples names and ready to be opened for use during the ceremony and to take home.
Check our beach invitation collection here
Signage: Christopher Nolan Photography
Chairs: Styleme Pretty
Wedding Blog for Real Weddings
Most of the articles are written by Mariana, but we have many contributors that based on their area of expertise, write on our wedding blog.