Destination I Do
Monday, March 5, 2012

Achieve Your Dream "Rustic" Destination Wedding

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Brooke Boling Photography & Marianne Wilson Photography

Much to my personal delight, rustic weddings have been on the rise and they are currently one of the most popular trends in the wedding industry. According to The Wedding Report, 44% of brides have some sort of rustic element to their wedding. So, how can you achieve this look at your own wedding?

Wedding expert, blogger and author of Cheap Ways to Tie the Knot, Cara Davis has some easy tips toward making your destination wedding as rustic as you would like! For more advice from Cara visit Without further ado here are 8 ways to rustic-fy your wedding:

1. Barns
Rustic barns are the quintessential location for a rustic wedding. Dress it up with sweeping curtains (sew together fabric drop-cloths from a home improvement store) and hanging lights (borrowed white Christmas lights work, too). A farm, open field, country church or plantation home can also provide the perfect backdrop to your themed wedding.

2. Painted Wood Signs
Add some personality to the big day with whimsical or romantic painted signs that signal to your guests what's happening where. Look locally for free reclaimed or salvaged wood to add rustic charm and eco-friendliness.

3. Burlap
Nothing says rustic like burlap and this versatile fabric can be used in a number of ways. Use it as table coverings and top with smaller borrowed vintage tablecloths. Also, use it as a background to frame table numbers for your reception, use it as an aisle runner or atop haystacks for extra casual seating.

4. Mason Jars
Mason jars are perhaps the most-seen wedding accessory these days -- and for good cause. They ooze charm, they're economical, they come in a variety of sizes and they go with just about anything. Throw a handful of wildflowers into a mason jar and you've got an instant centerpiece. You can also use them to hold utensils or candy at the reception. Fill them with something sweet and top with burlap and ribbon for wedding favors.

5. Chalkboards
Like painted signs, chalkboards add a fun element to wedding day signage. They make perfect menus, “Mr. & Mrs.” signs on the back of the couple's chairs, seating charts and directional signs. Paint a vintage frame the color of your wedding, then paint over the glass with chalkboard paint for an instant showpiece.

6. Homemade
A rustic wedding is not complete without something homemade. And there's no better place to feature homemade than the reception. Pies are a big trend in weddings this year and local vendors are making it easier to find baked goods with that down-home taste. Decorate the dessert table with bowls of eggs, flour and honey for that extra home-made feeling. Hand-write favorite family recipes on index cards to use as wedding favors.

7. Registry
Guests can contribute to the rustic theme through gift-giving. Register for gift cards at for retailers who specialize in rustic products, like J.Crew, Timberland, Restoration Hardware and Bass Pro Shops.

8. Music
More than decorations, music tells the story of the rustic wedding and instantly sets the mood. Whether it's country, bluegrass, folk or a combination, your choice of musicians, deejay or soundtrack will complete your theme and leave your guests tapping their feet for days to come.

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