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How To Plan A Rustic Wedding on a Budget

how to plan a rustic wedding

Swap vases for jam jars, Roses for Sunflowers, thrones for hay bales and high heels for cowboy boots. Comfort and style that's my idea of the perfect day!

Rustic Weddings are the perfect low budget wedding theme solution! Rustic chic is a trend that combines natural beauty, informal natural elements, and a more relaxed community vibe. View our extensive budget rustic wedding planning ideas to get started on your wedding journey.

How To Plan A Budget Rustic Wedding

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From 0.30 Sunflowers and Olive Leaves Wedding Set

From 0.50 BUDGET Rustic Weddings

Incorporating elements of nature, the great outdoors, as well as arts and crafts into your big day is simple and affordable with a rustic wedding. But keep in mind that the ceremony and reception should still contain elements of grace and elegance. Regardless of how natural or casual the atmosphere may be, you do not want it to end up being too rough around the edges. The trick is to find a way to highlight the rustic charm that makes your wedding site special while also adding a simple beauty to it. The frugal and the low-cost couple who want their big day to be both beautiful and affordable will find that a rustic wedding theme is ideal for their big day! 

DIY Rustic Wedding Decoration Ideas

The following is a list of items that can be found around the house, borrowed from friends, neighbors, or family members, or purchased specifically for the purpose of setting the scene for an outdoor rustic backyard wedding. 

  • Silver Tin Buckets 
  • An old vintage bath
  • An old rusty 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 Signs
  • Sunshades/hats/blankets for guest comfort
  • Event Tent/Parasols/Shade
  • Decorating/Pasting/Catering tables/chairs (hire/borrow)
  • Dinnerware

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budget flower arrangements

There are a number of wonderful things that you can do to give the interior of an old barn, where your reception is going to be held, a festive and pretty feel while still maintaining its natural, rustic appearance. A warm and ethereal glow can be cast over your reception by stringing strands of white lights through the rafters and beams of the ceiling. 

Choose straightforward wildflower bouquets displayed in white vases as the centerpieces for your table, or go all out with impressive centerpieces that incorporate a wide variety of natural elements such as flowers, branches, berries, leaves, and more. Either way, your table will have a homey, country vibe. Page down for more detailed ideas for your decorating your rustic wedding venue.

how to decorate a rustic wedding

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Rustic Table Decoration Ideas

On the tables, you should make sure to keep everything tidy and clear of clutter. If you want your dining area to feel airy and open, pick tablecloths, napkins, and chair sashes in solid colors that are made from neatly cut cottons or linen. Checks and plaid are also popular options.

When selecting dinnerware, earthenware, natural pottery, or china with a simple pattern are all good options. Complement these options by serving the beverages in canning jars rather than glasses and by using gallon jugs of fresh lemonade or cider rather than champagne. 

Choose flowers that have been roughly cut, plants that are blooming, bowls of fruits and vegetables, pinecones, pebbles, acorns, pumpkins, apples, rocks, or other organic elements to decorate the center of your table instead of artificial flowers. Try arranging your flowers in old bottles, mason jars, or test tubes for a rustic industrial chic look.

How to pick a rustic wedding venue

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.

Lakeside, woodland, barn, farm, backyard, garden are some of the settings popular for budget rustic weddings.

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 regarding heating/lighting
  • Access to shade from the sun/wind

Rustic Farm Wedding

Despite the fact that farms are not typically considered to be suitable locations for weddings, these non-traditional settings are making a big splash in the world of wedding planning. Farms are becoming increasingly popular as a scenic, rustic, and cost-effective alternative to the traditional reception venue across the United States, particularly among brides and wedding planners. Traditional wedding venues can be prohibitively expensive, but many farms are willing to rent out their barns and open fields for weddings at a price that is much more affordable.

Let Your Guests Know it is a Rustic Rural Theme

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. Sunscreen and bug spray might be something they want to bring or you can provide.

How to decorate a Rustic Wedding Venue

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 aisle 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, a wedding tent, and trees with artificial garlands or real leafy garlands for a rustic woodland look. Hire or borrow event tables, decorate 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.


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.

What food to serve at a Rustic Wedding

For a rustic outdoor country chic wedding having a Pot Luck, BBQ, Pig Roast, Grazing Table are all ideal catering solutions for a low cost, budget-friendly 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.

Guests can sit on picnic blankets or haybales as an alternative to chairs. If you have hay bales, make sure they are blanketed to protect bare legs and provide extra comfort. You can also save money by having picnic-style tables and asking guests to "bring a chair." Cover tables with floral, vintage, striped, or plaid tablecloths. They are not required to match. Use a cheap chalkboard wedding welcome and seating chart to direct guests to the 'picnic' or other dining area. You can also have menu and food option signage.

Have catering options that correspond to the wedding season, such as strawberries in the summer and brownies in the fall. Traditional candies and sweets are a lovely addition. You can include them in the form of a candy bar. Decorate tables and food areas with artificial or real greenery, as well as pumpkins (for fall weddings), polished apples, and clean lemons. A fire pit or bonfire is ideal for creating ambiance, particularly in the evening. After the meal, you can gather around it to sing, play guitar, and tell stories. Or gather around it to watch whatever alternative entertainment you've planned. Don't forget about the S'mores!

What To Wear For a Rustic Wedding

There is a way to dress that is appropriate for a country setting while still maintaining the elegance necessary for a wedding. To put it another way, you should probably avoid wearing a tuxedo, but overalls made of denim are also not the appropriate outfit choice. Finding the perfect balance can be accomplished by opting for a handmade feel for both the bridal gown and the wedding jewelry you wear on your big day. Fabrics with a rough texture, like linen and silk shantung, are perfect for use at a wedding that will take place in a more natural setting because of their ability to convey a sense of elegance. 

You should advise all of the female guests to forego wearing stilettos and instead wear flip-flops or boots so that they can move around the rustic wedding venue with ease. This is because a rustic wedding venue is more likely to have rustic floors as well, such as floors made of wood, pebbles, or even dirt.

what to wear for a rustic wedding

Rustic Wedding Flower Ideas

Sunflowers are the undisputed champions when it comes to choosing flowers for a country or rustic wedding. They are, without a doubt, breathtaking in every respect. You can find them woven into bridal bouquets, adorning hay bales or baskets, and adorning everything from bicycles to barrels. The combination of sunflowers and Gypsophila or baby's breath is one that works exceptionally well together. When filled with wildflowers, sunflowers, daisies, or daffodils, Mason jars make a wonderful container for displaying them. in addition to this, wrap some twine or burlap around the top of the jar, and then tie a bow around it. 

The use of wildflowers in your floral arrangements, such as bouquets and centerpieces, is a natural and beautiful choice. To make a table centerpiece out of some, simply arrange them in a watering can or a jar made of clear glass. Add some pine cones and branches to the arrangement for a more natural and rustic look. Earth tones and neutral colors are typically the easiest to incorporate with rustic themes. 

Peonies, which can be purchased in a wide range of colors to complement the aesthetic of your wedding, are currently one of the most popular types of flowers. If you want, you can combine the peony arrangements with hydrangea or tulips, or if roses are more within your price range, you can use those instead.

Chrysanthemums, and daisies are examples of flowers that are more readily available during the autumn. There is a wide range of vibrant coloration available for mums and chrysanthemums, including shades of golden orange, crimson, and a warm golden brown. Large displays for the end of the aisle and the entrances into the reception area are excellent places to incorporate a harvest atmosphere. 

Rustic Wedding Cake Ideas - Go Naked

Rustic wedding cakes can have an informal look like all other rustic wedding decorations. Naked wedding cakes, embellished with summer fruits and edible flowers, are ideal for rural weddings. For a rustic backyard wedding, cupcake towers are a stylish and cost-effective alternative to traditional cake tables. Table and dessert decorations frequently feature eucalyptus flowers. To get you started, we've put together a list of rustic wedding cake ideas. To add a delightfully charming finishing touch to the cake display table, scatter some silk leaves, apples, and miniature pumpkins around the table.

Cupcakes are not only a convenient alternative to the conventional wedding cake, but they also fit in beautifully with the rustic motif. Cupcake towers with a single tier at the top are increasingly popular, great for a low budget wedding and guests love them! No need to cut and wrap slices, you can have a variety of flavors and you can bake your own.

More DIY Rustic Table Decor Ideas

While you're putting the finishing touches on your wedding plans, start collecting glass bottles. See what you can scrounge up from around the house, with family and friends, in local thrift and charity shops, and on pre-loved websites by putting out a call for donations online. Decorate your wedding table for less than you'd expect to spend. You can buy the flowers, but you can also get them from your own garden or from a friend or relative who has a green thumb (with their permission of course). 

It's possible to decorate your bottles with decoupage, paint them with blackboard coating and use them as 'signs', or spray them with glitter paint, metallic paint, and more if you're feeling very inventive. The sky's the limit, as they say. If you're not using real flowers, weigh down the bottles with sand to keep them from tipping over. For a more rustic look, add lace, burlap, kraft paper tags, and other embellishments to the bottles, such as candles. We'd love to see your wedding photos if you adopted this concept!

If you want to use branches as part of your centerpiece, you can either put them in tall vases or just let them rest on the table alongside the rest of your centerpiece decorations. Either way, the effect is beautiful. Mason jars can be used very effectively as candle holders. As a means of securing the candle in place within the jar, you can use either sand or small decorative rocks. Since mason jars are designed to withstand high temperatures, lighting a candle inside one should not cause any problems. To complete the look of the candles, cut a strip of burlap that is two to three inches wide, wrap it around the jar, and then tie a bow using the same color string that you used for the burlap. Using a can of spray mount to adhere paper doilies to the outside of the jar creates a look that is almost as elegant as it sounds. Wrap the jar in raffia and secure it with a few knots. When lit, it emits a mystical glow that is visible through the doilies. Take stalks of dried wheat and/or lavender and simply tie a ribbon in the theme colors tightly around them. Then, set them up in the center of the table and scatter pinecones, berries, or anything else you believe looks good around the stalks.

Along with more modern wedding options, traditional family heirlooms are becoming increasingly popular.

A vintage typewriter could serve as the wedding guest book, allowing attendees to manually jot down their well wishes and thoughts for the happy couple. Weathered suitcases can be repurposed in a variety of ways to serve as decorative accents and help set the tone. These days, people are making centerpieces out of old books that have been stacked and then either arranged so that the container sits atop the stack or is tucked in among the books.

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