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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!

A rustic wedding is a great way to include nature, the outdoors, and the arts and crafts into your big day. A rustic wedding theme is ideal for the thrifty, low-budget couple who want their big day to be both beautiful and affordable! Rustic wedding locations, rustic wedding flowers, rustic wedding decorations, rustic wedding cake, and much more can be found in this section dedicated to wedding planning in the rustic style. You can use this information at no cost. These wedding planning printables are at your disposal for nothing more than the price of printing them out. Look around and save your favorites to a Pinterest board.

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 regarding 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. Sunscreen 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 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.

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.

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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

When it comes to rustic wedding flowers, sunflowers reign supreme. And of course, they're stunning in every way! For example, you'll find them woven into bridal bouquets, adorning hay bales or baskets, and adorning everything from bicycles to barrels. Sunflowers and Baby's Breath are the perfect complement to each other. Grow your own flowers for a rustic wedding and save a fortune.

View Sunflower Growing Guide

View 50 Stunning Bouquet Ideas

View Artificial Flowers, Bouquets

Rustic Wedding Cakes - 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.

DIY Rustic Table Decor Using Glass Bottles

Enjoy these stunning images of glass bottles for some design ideas. There are a wide variety of different shapes and sizes, some adorned and others left as they are, to create this distinctive yet highly effective style. 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!

View Our Handpicked Rustic Wedding Selection via Amazon!

Rustic Wedding Invitations

Kraft paper / card or recycled and handmade papers are ideal for rustic wedding invites. Burlap and lace ribbon or a simple piece of twine look great tied together if you have numerous bridal stationery items (separate rsvp, information). To complete the rustic wedding invitation style, add a single artificial flower. Let us show you a selection of low-cost rustic wedding invites from some of the industry's most popular suppliers.

£0.49 / $0.49 

ETSY Rustic wedding Invitation set