Do mix in decorative elements from other themes
Image by Savan Photography
Rustic is a versatile theme: with some simple twists, you can seamlessly blend it with a whole host of other looks. For a truly modern flair, mix in themes like minimalist or botanical. Think uncluttered design and pale, monochrome tones or else draping mosses, ferns and florals. A touch of the English or French countryside gives an equally elegant approach (simple ceramics, whitewashed wood and wildflowers). You could even draw on luxe or glam style as a polished contrast to earthier, rustic details (classy details like chandeliers, fine china and plush seating work well in this way).
Don’t overdo the brown tones
Image by Jana Williams Photography
Much of the appeal of the rustic look comes through using natural, rough-around-the-edges materials and styles. While we love farmhouse tables, barrels, burlap, and twine in moderation, all those browns can start to look dull and a little passé if taken to excess. To avoid this, simply pare back those beige tones! Try using only one or two statement pieces and skipping the rest (like those gorgeous tables and some barrels for floral decorations). Find ways to upcycle or transform brown pieces (add a fresh coat of paint to those wooden panels or signs, as above) or simply use them sparingly (stick to using burlap accents, rather than a full on table runner).
Do choose a rustic location
Image by The Lodge
It’s golden wedding advice that when choosing a venue, you’re far better to choose a spot that already aligns with your vision than choosing somewhere plain and spending tonnes of time and effort making it look right. For a modern rustic wedding, you’ll ideally want somewhere with a cosy countryside vibe. Look for venues with shiplap, wooden beams or bare stone décor, or for farmhouse/barn or vineyard locations.
Don’t neglect your own personality
Images by Jenny Quicksall Photography and Olivia Gird Photography
Perhaps the biggest problem with a trend becoming so ubiquitous is that you lose any sense of personality. When your guests are celebrating, they should be able to feel your spirit and style throughout, rather than just a seeing a collection of disparate, token items.
Naturally, not every design detail has to “say” something about you or your relationship. But when it comes to a few key style choices, make sure you’re making decisions for the right reasons. Are chalkboard signs something you love so much you’d happily fill your home with them? Do they serve as a nostalgic reminder of childhood? Or are they just something you think you should have because they feature on so many Pinterest boards? The same goes for other overdone rustic elements like twine wrapped mason jars, sliced wood placemats, lace and kraft paper invites and hay bales.
Do keep food and flowers local and organic
Images by Jose Villa Photography and Sandra Aberg Photography
The movement towards organic, seasonal and local produce is a match made in heaven for the rustic wedding, as well as being hugely positive for the environment and your community. After all, being an eco-conscious bride never goes out of style!
Floral arrangements and bouquets that are looser or undone offer a gorgeous, classically rustic look. Opt for flowers that are in season and grown in New Zealand if possible – if you’re unsure where to start, your florist is often an invaluable resource for recommendations and inspiration!
For your menu choices, farm-to-table food is the obvious way to go for the freshest and genuinely rustic fare. Of course, organic is even better for the environment, but be aware that this may come with a significant additional cost.