2020 rustic winter brides we haven’t forgotten you. Though the sun shines more and more and the temperature rises each week, we know your thoughts are focused mostly on your winter wedding.
To help with your planning, we invited Karolina from KWH Weddings by your side, an experienced wedding planner and stylist, to give us advice regarding how to style a rustic winter wedding.
If you dream of having a casual wedding where nature plays a big role and your guests feel comfortable, a rustic wedding is the way to go. Rustic weddings are romantic, natural and relaxed.
Even if it seems like quite a new trend, rustic weddings have been around for ages. The word rustic is an adjective used to describe things relating to the countryside and in the wedding industry, it mainly defines decor made in a natural, plain and simple fashion.
There are few wedding themes as wholesome as the rustic one and here are eight rules to succeed with yours, without any mason jars in sight.
1. Choose a suitable wedding venue
Any countryside venue or location that incorporates the great outdoors is an excellent choice for a rustic wedding.
Though almost any venue with clever styling can be used for the theme rustic, weddings are usually held in barns, farmhouses, lodges or cottages that reflect nature. Beautiful locations can be orangeries, meadows or gardens. Look around for venues with outdoor space and natural elements as it will make it easier to create that authentic vibe; however, it is perfectly possible to dress up a ballroom or industrial warehouse to give away an organic warmth by using the right decorations and furnishings.
Our styled shoot was held in the beautiful, nearly two-hundred-year-old guest house Gästis Vemdalen, where we had plenty of natural light, worn wallpapers and homely furniture to design around.
2. Decide on a natural color palette
To pull off a rustic theme the colors should be natural, earthy and simple. Popular palettes are tones of cream, beige and brown with splashes of color like aqua, burgundy red, forest green, dusty pink, sandy yellow or mustard.
The combinations are endless so find colors that make you happy and that works with the season you are getting married in. Winter weddings benefit from a little warmth and depth whereas lakeside summer weddings can carry lighter color schemes.
For our styled shoot, I chose cream, teal and copper as main colors.
3. Find appropriate decor
The decor on rustic weddings tends to be very organic and includes wood, wildflowers, real plants and soft linens.
Design the venue with nature-inspired elements and don’t be afraid to mix and match by using different glassware and contrasting colored stoneware.
Decorate the tables with clustered small vases of flowers or potted plants instead of large centerpieces.
Play with the natural sunlight and its shadows coming in from doors and windows. Avoid too many electrical light sources even if fairy and patio lights together with lanterns can be very effective when the evening is drawing in. Having real candles scattered around also creates a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
4. Use a variety of textures
Focus on natural materials such as wood, stone, burlap, linen, lace, gingham textiles and knitted fabrics.
By using simple furniture and items that are a bit rugged you can really bring your venue to life. It is very popular to incorporate logs, hay-bales and pallets into the rustic wedding design but it is not necessary unless you really want to. Cleverly using earthy colors and the right materials will take you far. Metallics such as copper and tin are great and it doesn’t hurt if they are rusty, worn or used; it can actually add to the overall look.
5. Serve unpretentious food from local suppliers
A hearty meal made from local ingredients and cooked by chefs from the area is the ideal food to serve on a rustic wedding. Build up a fine menu focusing on seasonal components and apply traditional methods of cooking. Make the food natural and simple, not heavy or boring.
Finding a caterer who is willing to do this is easy and many of them are even looking for opportunities where they can work close to their heritage.
For our shoot, Peter Dahlbäck from Vemdalen Catering wanted to pay tribute to the Swedish mountains and the Sámi people living there by bringing their traditional colors of red, green, blue and white to the table. All ingredients were from the surrounding areas and he managed perfectly to make the menu modern with classic flavors.
6. Have a relaxed dress code
The mood at your wedding should be reflected in your clothes. Make your guests feel comfortable and relaxed by having a casual dress code. Tuxedos and floor-length ball gowns have nothing to do at a rustic wedding.
Brides can go towards soft and romantic dresses with bouquets styled freely and naturally whereas grooms can opt for earthy colors or mix bolder tones. Fun accessories are frequently used at rustic weddings to make them more personalized.
The shawl from Weddings by Laremi was important to keep our bride warm in twenty degrees minus but also a great way to follow the color theme.
7. Do it yourself, or pretend that you did
For a great event, the design and styling should reflect you as a couple and rustic weddings, in particular, are to feel homely. Add a personal touch by using items characteristic to you and make the details unique for your day.
This is a perfect opportunity to use your DIY skills; write seating cards by hand, decorate candle holders and cut out paper flags to hang in the ceiling.
Even if you don’t do the crafting yourself there are perhaps people in your social circle that want to get gluing, stitching and sewing.
8. Snap away outdoors
Capture those fantastic and memorable moments with the right photographer and setting, with stunning outdoor space you will have precious photos to look back at for many years to come. Bring in nature and work together with the lights and weather elements.
Thank you so much, Karolina for your planning and styling advice!
Venue, Gästis Vemdalen @gastisvemdalen
Model, Kajsa Thunell @kajsathunell
Cutlery, Rose Metallics @rosemetallics
Seating cards, So Calligraphy UK @socalligraphyuk