A rustic wedding is more than just burlap and mason jars. A relaxed ambiance, soft tones, an emphasis on nature, and warm wood accents are all elements that help create the perfect rustic wedding setting. "The first thing that comes to mind when I think rustic are design elements that feature wood," says McKenzi Taylor, founder of Cactus Collective Weddings explains. "Think wooden arbors or hand-cut wood centerpieces." For additional textures to go with the theme, Taylor suggests using ivory and lace. These materials add an elegant and romantic touch to balance the overall look.
Meet the Expert
McKenzi Taylor is the founder of Las Vegas-based Cactus Collective Weddings, an event service that specializes in micro-weddings and elopements.
Read on for the best rustic wedding decorations for your big day.
Sage Rustic Wood Cake Stand
Whether you're going with a towering three-tiered cake or a single layer, this wooden stand will help set the scene for your woodland-inspired reception. At a 10 inch diameter, it will work with a range of cake sizes. It's also a great option as a tiered charcuterie board on an appetizer spread or to hold treats on a dessert table.
Minted Robin Ott A Hundred Years Wedding Invitations
Setting the tone for your ceremony and reception is a process that begins long before you exchange rings. For a rustic wedding, go with an invitation that speaks to the relaxed setting and natural influences, like this neutral-colored design. The subtle wooden imprint adds a modern—yet still rustic—touch.
The Rustic Earth Wooden Bridal Party Sign
A party sign with the day's details, seating arrangements, or a special announcement from the happy couple is an excellent way to welcome your guests. While a modern wedding may incorporate materials like metal or acrylic, this handcrafted wooden sign is the perfect choice for a more natural, rustic affair. The best part? You can keep it on display in your home long after the honeymoon is over.
Talking Loves Monogram Ring Pillow Alternative
If you're looking for an updated (and creative) take on the traditional ring bearer pillow, consider swapping it for an embroidery hoop with monogrammed lace and satin ribbon to hold the rings in place. This delicate piece is handmade in Turkey and is destined to become an heirloom.
DeaTee Glass Bud Vase Set
There's nothing more charming than swapping your fancy centerpieces for an eclectic mix of vases and stems of multi-colored florals. This set of 20 bud vases takes the pressure out of collecting and saving bottles and jars from friends and family. Arrange the vases down the center of a long table or cluster trios at different table settings.
Build Blueprint Wedding Arbor
Taylor recommends using a wooden arbor in a rustic setting but encourages couples to think outside the box of the traditional arbor. "Arbors today can be a variety of shapes and sizes and dimensions," she says. We love this octagon-shaped version for its unique design and ability to be dressed up or dressed down with florals and greenery.
Twinkle Star 300 LED String Lights
Lighting is by far one of the most important elements of any wedding, no matter what the vibe or style of the event. In addition to battery-operated candles and market string lights, twinkle light curtains add a soft glow that feels informal yet magical.
The Online Artist Personalized Cake Topper
While classic couple figurines on top of a cake is a tradition that's always in style, a personalized cake topper is sure to be the sweetest (and Insta-worthy!) addition to your reception. For a rustic theme, you can't go wrong with an elegant wooden cutout of your names, framed by a simple garland.
Ling’s Moment Wedding Chair Signs
A rustic throne for the bride and groom can be achieved with a piece of pretty lace fabric, an artful wooden sign, and a touch of greenery. This ready-made kit makes it easy to create your Instagrammable chairs on a budget.
Z Create Design Donut Wall Sign
The dessert station is often the main attraction of your reception, and it should feature the same rustic appeal as the rest of your wedding. If you're serving donuts (everyone's fan-favorite treat!) this wooden display wall is the most appetizing and on-theme way to show them off. It's also a great option for the after-wedding brunch.
Oh Lilly Designs Charcuterie Cones
This customized charcuterie cone is the perfect vessel to encourage snacking while mingling during cocktail hour. The design comes as a digital download, so it's easy to print from home or at a local printing service. And then just fill with favorite cheeses, meats and other treats.
ANPROOR Dried Pampas Grass
"Rustic decor has shifted over the years from reclaimed barn wood and mason jars to a be a bit more bohemian in style," says Taylor. Dried pampas grass is a great way to reinterpret the rustic theme—it adds texture, color, and variety to any setting. Taylor recommends adding pampas grass to your decor (both in the ceremony and reception) for a modern, chic vibe.
Gogu Co Sparkler Tags
There's something about twinkling sparklers that make a rustic setting feel complete. These darling tags come customized with the couple's names—it's a personalized touch that's sure to impress your guests. And the added notch for a match ensures you won't be running around looking for a light before your big photo moment.
RY King Battery Operated Flameless Candle Set
It doesn't get more rustic than a candle-lit dinner, but if your venue doesn't allow an open flame, faux candles are the way to go. They set the scene safely, and they won't burn out before you get to cut the cake.
La Mia Casa Heart Garland
This romantic paper garland brings a whimsical charm to any space. Hang them from tree branches at an outdoor ceremony or use them as a creative escort card display at the reception.
OHC Gifts Laser Cut Wooden Table Numbers
These laser-cut wooden signs will make sure that all your guests know where to go when everyone starts to filter into the dining area. Available in black, white, or neutral, they'll add a visual pop to fresh or dried centerpieces.
What to look for in rustic wedding decorations
Natural materials are key when planning a rustic wedding. Think about the location and the venue—is your event being held in an old barn on a bucolic farm? Or is it on a pristine beach, a woodland cabin, or mountaintop retreat? Let the natural environment influence your design choices, and add customized, personal touches wherever possible.
Is rustic decor expensive?
It's important to plan within your means, and truthfully, almost any design style can be achieved on any budget. However, rustic decor lends itself to DIY projects and up cycling, which is perfect for tighter budgets. Handmade objects and natural materials are hallmarks of rustic decor.
What kind of flowers do you need for a rustic wedding?
Taylor loves to use love baby's breath, dried blooms, and eucalyptus for rustic weddings. But don't feel limited in your choices. "Florals of all kinds can be used to create a rustic and romantic space," she advises. Instead of formal, tight arrangements, look for greenery and blooms that feel more laidback and natural.
When is the best time to have a rustic wedding?
There's no bad time to have a rustic wedding, but outdoor settings and airy spaces lend themselves to the theme. With this in mind, be mindful of seasonal weather and local climates if you plan to hold the ceremony or reception outdoors.
Why Trust Brides
Brides contributor Stephanie Montes has been testing the latest trends and products for over 10 years. Stephanie's bylines have also appeared on Elle, Byrdie, Who What Wear, Women's Health, Well + Good, and more. She keeps her finger on the shopping pulse, including the best in gifts at all price points.