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How To Plan A Rustic Backyard Wedding

Swap vases for jam jars, Roses for Sunflowers, thrones for hay bales and high heels for cowboy boots.

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The wonderful thing about a rustic wedding is that it incorporates nature, the outdoors and arts and crafts. For the thrifty, low budget wedding couple a rustic wedding theme is perfect on the pocket and on the eye!

In this rustic wedding planning feature you will find inspiration and ideas for rustic wedding venues, rustic wedding flowers, rustic wedding decorations, rustic wedding cake and lots more. 

This guide is free for you to use. Free printables are available to assist with your wedding planning journey hereCheck it out, create a pinterest board and pin your favorite ideas.

Set The Scene - Collect Your Materials

Here is a list of some things you can find around the home, or borrow from friends, neighbors and family to set the scene for your outdoor rustic backyard wedding. This list is not exhaustive and you can see how some of these items can be used in the pictures opposite.

  • Silver Buckets 
  • An old bath
  • An old bicycle
  • An old water trough - wooden or tin
  • Wicker baskets
  • Terracotta flower pots
  • Wooden Logs
  • Wood cut rounds
  • Mason Jars
  • Pine Cones
  • Birch Twigs
  • Lace and Paper Doilies
  • Lace Ribbon
  • Burlap
  • Sack
  • Kraft paper / card
  • Twine
  • Vintage birdcages
  • Vintage picture frames
  • Vintage suitcases
  • Chalk, cupboard, shabbychic style paint
  • Artificial flowers, garlands
  • Checkered Ribbon
  • Empty Barrels
  • Vintage table cloths
  • LED strings of lights
  • Baby's Breath
  • Sunflowers
  • Lots of Greenery
  • Chalkboard and chalk
  • Sunshades/hats/blankets for guest comfort
  • Event Tent/Parasols/Shade
  • Decorating/Pasting/Catering tables/chairs (hire/borrow)
  • Dinnerware

We have lots of images for rustic backyard wedding decoration, create your own pinterest board (you can follow ours here) and pin anything that you like and might like to imitate at your own wedding.

View our Detailed Planning Guide Here

Choosing a location

If you are lucky enough to have a choice of outdoor venues or backyard locations, select the one that has the most natural beauty and elements that you can incorporate into setting the scene for your wedding.

Practical considerations include:

  • Flat ground (even for tables and chairs)
  • Good drainage (not waterlogged or muddy after rainfall)
  • Easy access to washing/toilet facilities for guests
  • Plan B if the weather changes?
  • Access to power points re heating/lighting
  • Access to shade from the sun/wind


When sending out your invitations ensure the details let the guests know that it will be outdoor, possibly on grass and appropriate clothing and footwear is advised. They may need to bring something warm, depending on the time of year. Sun screen and bug spray might be something they want to bring or you can provide.

Ceremony/Reception Layout

If you are having the ceremony in the same space as your reception you need to decide how you will 'set the scene' as you will likely have to move the guest chairs around for each part of your event. Ensure you have allocated help re that! It's not something you want to be doing in your wedding dress.

The traditional layout has the chairs in rows with an isle down the middle terminating at a decorated arch. Alternatively you could have your guests standing and grouped around you.

Tables and Chairs

You can decorate tables, a wedding ceremony arch, wedding tent and trees with artificial garlands or real leafy garlands for a rustic woodland look. Hire or borrow event tables, decorating and paste tables and cover with some clean fresh table linen. 

Ask at your local community hall or school if you can borrow or hire their collapsible chairs for your rustic backyard wedding ceremony and reception. If you are having a boho or shabby chic styled rustic wedding having mismatched tables, chairs and linen will not look out of place, so borrowing from friends , family and neighbors is a great way to make savings.

Wooden pallets are very inexpensive and can be transformed into great rustic furniture, tables, chairs, lounge area and more. Source from local builders merchants, scrap yards and tips.

Outdoor Catering

For a rustic outdoor wedding having a Pot Luck, BBQ, Pig Roast, Grazing Table. All of these are ideal catering solutions for a low cost, budget friendly micro wedding. Dinnerware can be picnic style disposable plates, cups and cutlery, paper napkins and so on. You may want to set up a hand hygiene station with hand sanitizer, paper towels and a bin for safe disposal.

Have plenty of fresh cool water, drinks on ice to help keep guests hydrated and cool. Have a selection of fresh fruits along with cakes and sweets that will survive well outdoors in the heat. Have fly covers for anything that might be sitting a while.

FREE Timeline Guide


Hay bales with thick blankets are a good seating alternative and look great for decorations with Sunflowers, greenery, wood elements, chalkboard signage, colored bottles with single stem flowers. You can have baskets with fruit, bread rolls and cans.

If you are getting married in Autumn, Fall or around Thanksgiving, Halloween, pumpkins make a wonderful decorative feature.

Flowers for a Rustic Wedding

Sunflowers are the top favorite when it comes to rustic wedding flowers. They're big, bright and of course beautiful! You will see them in bridal bouquets, entwined in greenery garlands around tables and decorating hay bales, baskets, and all manner of rustic decor including bicycles, barrels, mason jars and more. In addition to Sunflowers, Baby's Breath is the perfect accompaniment. You can make huge savings growing your own flowers for your rustic wedding,

View Sunflower Growing Guide

View 50 Stunning Bouquet Ideas

View Artificial Flowers, Bouquets

Rustic Wedding Cakes - Go Naked

Rustic wedding cakes can have a informal appearance as with all other rustic decoration elements for your wedding. Naked wedding cakes are perfect for a rustic wedding theme as are those decorated with summer fruits and edible flowers. Cupcake towers are also a modern and budget friendly idea for a rustic backyard wedding. Eucalyptus flowers are a popular decorations for tables and cakes! Below are some rustic wedding inspired wedding cakes to inspire you.

DIY Rustic Table Decor Using Glass Bottles

Take inspiration from these beautiful photos featuring a variety of glass bottles. All colors, shapes and sizes, some decorated and others as they are with a few flowers or a single stem to complete this unique and yet highly effective look. Glass bottles are something you can collect while planning your wedding. Source them from friends and family, your own home, charity and thrift stores, preloved sites and do a shout out online to see what people have. This is a beautiful way to decorate your wedding table without having to spend a fortune. The flowers can be bought but you can also source them from your own garden (start planting now!) or from a green thumbed relative/friend's garden (with their permission of course). If you're super creative you can have a go at painting your bottles, add a decoupage effect, paint with chalkboard coating and use them for 'signage' or spray them with glitter paint, metallic paint and more. The sky really is the limit. Fill the bottles with sand to stop them toppling unless using real flowers. Bottles can also be decorated with lace, burlap, kraft paper tags and stood on wooden log bases, with candles and more for a rustic appeal. If you've used this idea for your wedding please share with us your wedding pics!

View Our Handpicked Rustic Wedding Selection via Amazon!

Rustic Wedding Invitations

Rustic wedding invitations look great when they're made from Kraft paper / card or recycled and handmade papers.  If you have a several items of wedding stationery (separate rsvp, details) burlap and lace ribbon or a simple piece of twine looks perfect tying them altogether. Add a single artificial flower to complete the rustic wedding invitation look. We have sourced some stylish low budget rustic wedding invitations from leading brands, have a look !

£0.49 / $0.49 

ETSY Rustic wedding Invitation set

Budget Rustic Wedding Stationery from $0.09! Zazzle

cheapest wedding invitations rustic sunflowers

Rustic Budget Invitations  from $0.09

Budget Rustic Lights Mason Jars Wedding Invites

$0.61 - £0.61

Budget Rustic Sunflowers Photo Wedding Invitations

$0.61 - £0.61

Budget PHOTO Collage Save The Dates Wedding

$0.09 - £0.09

Rustic Fall Pumpkin Wedding Budget Invitations

$0.61 - £0.61

Rustic Backyard Wedding Food

You can hire a fun food truck to serve a selection of hot and cold take-a-way food stuff and drinks or cook and prepare your own. Kebabs, Pitta Bread, Burgers, Pizza, Steaks are great for hot food offerings, served with fresh salad, couscous, spiced rice, pasta and baked potatoes. Include fresh bread, cheese and cold meat boards, crackers and fresh fruit. If you're catering for special diets, prepare and serve those separately on a different table/section of the table to avoid cross contamination. If you're having a Pot luck, ensure your guests label their dishes so everyone knows what they're eating! Below are some food displays for you to take inspiration from. Curry is a hot favorite for some wedding couples. Have a means to keep the dishes warm. Serve with yogurt, rice and mint sauce.

This article will shortly be updated with ideas for Bride and Groom Wedding Attire suitable for a rustic backyard wedding! Stay tuned ..

Rustic Favors, Table Numbers and Decor

Incorporate rustic table decoration elements with pine cones, greenery (Eucalyptus is very popular) and other natural elements such as Birch twigs and wildflowers. Lace and burlap, sack material and actual sacks, along with wicker baskets and tin buckets are great for creating that rustic look. Favors can also have a rustic theme with kraft paper or card favor boxes, gift tags, natural wood pencils, rustic items such as keys are also very popular for a rustic themed wedding. You can also have seed pack as favors, and even nice teas. Add a popular expression such as 'Love Grows' or 'Love is Brewing' via a sticker or gift tag. Wooden blocks for table numbers really add to that rustic theme. As do a rustic wood Mr and Mrs cake topper. Have a look at some of our selections below. Amazon is a great low budget wedding resource and you can view more of our Amazon rustic wedding picks here.