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Rustic Wedding Tips

Marriott Ranch's Country-Elegant Weddings 101:

by: Stephanie Thimons


Many brides come to Marriott Ranch with an idea of a rustic country Virginia Wedding. I thought this guide might be benefical for those looking to celebrate their special day in the country. This quick how-to guide will give you helpful tips on how to achieve the perfect rustic wedding.



            Whether it is a refurbished barn, farmhouse or even a cleared spot in a corn field, the setting is the canvas that sets the mood for your whole country theme.



            Go for cozy, intimate elements such as long farm tables with benches, mix-matched country chairs, or hay bales to serve as seating.



            If the setting is the canvas, the décor is the actual painting that brings the country feel together.  Use natural items such as wood, stone, glass, and metal (especially tin).  Here is a list of examples of décor items that can really set the tone:

            Chunks of wood (cheap and easy, just get dad out in the woods with his chain saw to cut various diameters and thicknesses of stumps.  You would be amazed what these can do for centerpieces and buffets).

Mason jars (wrapped in twine filled with candles or wild flowers or used for signature drinks with fun, colorful straws)

Windows – use them for writing your seating chart on or for buffet accents

Burlap – yes it is scratchy but it looks amazing as a runner or just as an underlay at your place card, gift, cake, and buffet tables

Props – any old time looking items picked up at garage sales or antique stores can be grouped together for a cool tableau (ie- old suitcases, typewriter, cans, food scales, watering cans, wine barrels, wooden fruit crates, etc.).  One great item is an old fashioned car which can later serve as the bride and groom’s getaway vehicle.

Signage – rough wooden signs with directional arrows to the wedding ceremony, reception, gifts, placecards, etc. are an adorable touch.



            Again, stick with natural.  Simple white stringed lights with large bulbs give the look of country family get together.  Also, the large round Chinese lanterns and even tin or wooden lanterns with candles work well.



            With everything else being very neutral tones, the flowers are where you get your pops of color.  Sunflowers, colorful gerbera daisies and just run of the mill wildflowers go great in a country setting.  Mason jars, various apothecary jars or tin containers or buckets make great containers.  Fill tin buckets with sod and a few gerbera daisies and you have an instant, inexpensive, colorful centerpiece.


            This is where you let your creativity shine.  Handcrafts make fantastic favors especially when they are personal.  Have a favorite jelly?  Make small mason jars of handmade blackberry jam with a label reading “Jam packed with our love”.  Other handmade items can include salsas, fudge, candy, dips, cookie mixes or spices.


A rustic wedding has the feel of relaxed charm combined with a certain elegance that makes it more than a picnic but when all is said and done, it is the people present and the memories made that make the day special.  Have fun with it!