There’s a certain fairytale charm to rustic farmyard weddings. One of the biggest wedding trends of late, rustic-themed farm weddings exude a casual elegance, a return to nature, and a relaxed and intimate atmosphere where guests can mix and mingle amongst the backdrop of a beautiful outdoors environment reminiscent of cosiness and warmth.
What is a rustic (farm) wedding?
Rustic wedding (farm wedding) is all about creating a relaxed wedding atmosphere that has a focus on farms, gardens, and the elegance and minimalism found in the countryside. They favour simplicity and comfort, connection with nature, and understated design that enhances the already beautiful surroundings of the wedding environment. Rustic weddings are a timeless theme that goes back to basics, embracing the organic beauty found in all areas of nature – colourful wildflowers, the textures of greenery, vibrant produce – and combining them with the understated sophistication of modern aesthetics.
How do you create a rustic (farm) wedding atmosphere?
While ‘less is more’ is definitely a focus of rustic weddings, there are plenty of ways to exude chic and stylish glamour into your outdoor wedding. Rustic wedding decor tends to feature natural textures and materials like wood, bark, copper, and brass, neutral tones, and incorporate natural elements like greenery, wildflowers, and leaves. They are relaxed, romantic, and natural rather than being too showy and over-the-top. It’s all about casual cosiness, an earthy touch, and elevating simple everyday items to become outstanding pieces of decoration.
Shabby chic is a major theme of rustic weddings, used intentionally to provide a cosy, vintage aesthetic that’s still glamorous. Many rustic weddings are hosted in farms, barns, ranches, or lodges, but anywhere outdoors provides the perfect setting for a rustic farm wedding. You can even host your wedding in a ballroom and still make it rustic through the decorations you choose to use.
How to plan a rustic (farm) wedding
If you’re planning a farm wedding, we’ve combined some of our favourite ideas to help you bring your rustic theme to life. Find inspiration for your perfect rustic wedding…
Have an outdoor reception
Hosting your reception amongst the natural beauty of the outdoors is one of the easiest ways to naturally create a rustic backdrop for your farm wedding. You could hire a private property, find an idyllic farm, or even host your wedding in a park. Whatever you choose, hosting your wedding outdoors will ooze rustic charm and beauty before you even get to the decorating part. Having al fresco dining and dancing will elevate your guest experience and make for magnificent photos while also providing the ideal atmosphere for wedding bliss: soaking up the sunshine and giving an openness to your rustic wedding.
Get creative with your escort card displays
Escort card displays provide a fantastic opportunity for showcasing your rustic wedding theme. Highlight countryside splendour by using everyday objectives and transforming them into something special and unique for that rustic vibe. Here are our few favourite ideas for rustic wedding escort card displays:
- Use seed packets as escort cards for your farm wedding. These will have beautiful images of roses, lavender, beanstalks, olives, and other plants, infusing the natural farmyard feel into your wedding.
- Use small escort cards with custom calligraphy and hang them on clotheslines with wooden pegs to create a chic, homey feel.
- Attach a local flower to each of your escort cards. This will create a beautiful escort card display that showcases an array of different colours and textures, doubling as the perfect photobooth backdrop for your farm wedding.
- For a creative rustic seating chart, write the names of your guests on containers or mason jars filled with olive leaf, eucalyptus, and moss. You can place these on a vintage wooden cabinet to highlight the cosy feel of your wedding and infuse that farm-to-table design into your rustic wedding.
Include farm-to-table centrepieces
Luxurious bouquets of flowers make for fantastic centrepieces, but you can also highlight the rustic wedding atmosphere by adding other organic elements to your tables. Consider placing bowls of fresh figs, plums, grapefruit, or lemons on your tables as decorations. To give your farm wedding a more offbeat vibe, go for unexpected fruits and vegetables like artichokes, beetroot, or pomegranates in your centrepieces. It’s all about taking everyday objects and turning them into a focal point.
Another idea we love for tables is creating edible tablescapes for your farm wedding. You can decorate your table runners with garlands of lettuce, tomatoes on their vines, grapes, apples, or bunches of wheat. This will add another chic farm-to-table element while also sprinkling natural colours and textures across your tables. If you’re hosting your wedding on a farm, these fruits and vegetables can be used to feed the farm animals after your weddings.
A more simple way to integrate the natural, organic theme into your table centrepieces is by using moss in lieu of a table runner, scattering it with natural wildflowers and olive leaf, and using wooden charger plates to add a dash of earthiness.
Give antiques a new life
Antiques are a must-have addition to any rustic wedding. Exuding old world glamour and rustic elegance, they are the perfect prop for that shabby chic look that so many farm weddings embody. You can use antiques in numerous ways for your farm wedding, but we love the idea of repurposing antiques and using them in new and different ways that add a sense of whimsy to your wedding. Let a vintage mirror transform into a sign or a menu, use upcycled window frames as hanging decorations, create an eclectic gallery wall with vintage mirrors or picture frames, turn empty wine bottles or vintage whisky decanters into vases.
Another way to use vintage items in your rustic wedding decor is by pairing mismatched items together. It could be different coloured vintage bottles, mismatched vases, or different candlesticks collected together to create a cosy look of casual elegance.
Have a minimalist menu
Less is more when it comes to farm-to-table cooking, and use this opportunity to make your private property wedding menu a simple but refined affair. Embracing a minimalist approach to your menu will let the produce and ingredients shine through, highlighting the farm-to-table aspect of a rustic wedding theme. If your farm wedding chef is using locally-sourced ingredients, make sure your menu showcases that (e.g. Hunter Valley potatoes, Blue Mountains cheese, or Parsley Bay trout), and try to use seasonal produce whenever possible. When you hire CHEFIN for your wedding catering, our private chefs will create a seasonal menu that uses local and native ingredients where possible. They can combine rustic flavours with outstanding produce for a menu that’s minimalist but straight out of a fine dining restaurant.
Simplify your tablescapes
To make your food stand out, embrace a minimalist table setting too. Go for vintage plates with brass or copper accents, wooden charger plates, and mismatched amber-hued glassware to extend that rustic farmhouse vibe to your dining tables. Keep your tablescapes simple with high-end materials and textures like linen, stoneware, iron, or copper. The focus should be on the quality of the elements you want to highlight rather than overdecorating the table with too many bits and pieces. This helps maintain that timeless aesthetic while also highlighting the ‘less is more’ aspect of a farmyard wedding.
Curtains and drapes are perfect for adding a show-stopping hominess to your farm wedding venue and can be used both indoors or outdoors. They will add to the existing architecture of your venue and transform an outdoor space into one that’s more cosy and chic. Drapes and curtains are a fantastic way to add a nice balance between rustic and glamorous, as though you are merging your barn or outdoors venue with a traditional wedding ballroom.
You can go for large, domineering drapes to add magnificence to your rustic wedding venue or more subtle, lacy drapes to accent another wedding prop or setting. Use luxurious fabrics combined with more rustic textures like gauze to perfectly encapsulate that ‘shabby chic’ look. Draping can also be used to fill space if your venue seems too large for the guest count, making the scale look more appropriate. You can also use drapes to lighten up the dark interiors of a barn or farmhouse and break up heavier textures like wood with a bit of softness.
One of the most important aspects of a rustic wedding is the lighting. Lighting goes a long way in creating an atmosphere, and this is your opportunity to ooze luxurious sophistication while creating that rustic farmyard feel by choosing the right elements. If your barn or private property wedding is seeming a little too casual, you can really elevate the space with a hanging metal chandelier or edgy designer lighting that will transform it from farm to elegant reception venue. Hang wreaths, flowers, or vines from your chandeliers or wrap them around your lighting to add a more natural element and highlight the feeling of being in nature.
Globe lights and fairy lights are also ideal for private property wedding, providing warm lighting and subtle hues that sets a romantic mood without too much glare. Lanterns are the epitome of farmyard chic and can be used as decorations to light up dark areas or hung from the ceilings with electric candles. Vintage lanterns can also double up as table numbers! We love the idea of hanging lanterns from trees over outdoor dining tables or dance floors, with delicate greenery woven through them.
Keep that organic theme going to the very end of your wedding by using natural alternatives to confetti. This is not only better for the environment but adds to the rustic farmhouse feel of your private property wedding. You can have your guests toss olive leaves, dried lavender, marigold, rose petals, rice, or calendulas – almost any dried leaf or flower will be beautiful in this context. Fill small woven baskets with the natural confetti to add to the farm wedding vibe. Another great idea we love is to use a vintage dresser as a dedicated petal station. Fill it with small baskets, bowls, and jars of fresh flowers, petals, and leaves for your guests to load up ready for your grand exit.
Highlight the season
Make your farm wedding a seasonal affair by highlighting the season in your decor and decorations. This is a great way to add to the farmyard atmosphere. Focus on using seasonal flowers, highlight seasonal produce in your menu, and let that season pop in your colour scheme. If your private property wedding is during autumn, go for warmer hues in your decorations and use props like pumpkins, straw bales, or wheelbarrows. If it’s summer, focus on brighter colours and summer flowers like jasmine or hibiscus. You can mix those shades with classic wedding neutrals for an understated homage to the seasons.
Highlight the entrance
If you’re hosting your private property wedding in a barn or farmhouse, make the venue pop by creating an entrance that stands out. This will transform your venue from a simple barn to a glamorous wedding venue that combines rustic chic with creative elegance. You can use tall flower arrangements, large vases, beautiful draping for people to walk through, a floral archway, or fairy lights draped over the entrance.
A rustic and elegant display will make your entrance stand out and really pull together the look and feel of your rustic wedding. If your wedding is outdoors, we love the idea of a rustic wedding arch built out of tree branches and decorated with swathes of eucalyptus and fresh roses.
Fill empty corners with displays
It’s all in the setting. Create that perfect farmyard atmosphere by filling empty corners with little displays of rustic elements like wooden boxes of produce, straw bales, lanterns, stacks of old vintage books, wheelbarrows, potted herbs, vintage dressers, wicker baskets, and other decor that evokes the feeling of being in an old cottage in the countryside.
If you’re really wise with your decorating, you can turn these little displays into a chic seating area, a quirky bar, or a whimsical station for donuts, pies, or scones.
Make the most of golden hour
If your rustic wedding is set outdoors, use nature to your advantage. Every day, we’re blessed with one hour of incredibly elegant and flattering light known as ‘golden hour’. This happens about an hour before the sun sets, producing a warm natural light that’s perfect for photographs, memory-making, and drenching your wedding venue with a romantic atmosphere.
Use golden hour to your advantage by coinciding it with your cocktail hour, your first dance, or an equally dreamy moment of your wedding that you want to have an additional wow factor with the magnificent backdrop of the low sunlight.
Use rustic seating
One of the key elements of a farm wedding is letting the natural splendour of the outdoor environment shine. That means staying away from using chairs that are clearly meant for the indoors! Most private property weddings favour minimalist bench-style seating with wooden benches that allow for communal seating and encourage the vibe of togetherness.
We also love the idea of romantic bistro seating, with chairs made from wood or metal – two materials that really help bring together a rustic atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to collect vintage chairs from antique shops and bring them together for mismatched seating that’s whimsical and fun.
Use natural aisle runners
Turn your private property wedding aisle into an enchanting walkway by lining it with gorgeous earthy blooms, wildflowers, or foraged botanicals. This goes a long way in transforming the aisle into a pathway from a fairytale, adding a world of beauty to your special moment and giving that extra farmyard touch to your private property wedding. We also love the idea of attaching natural bunches of wheat, olive leaf, or baby breaths to the seats placed along the edge of the aisle, another way to spruce up your wedding aisle while keeping it simple and chic.
Set up a rustic bar
An outdoor bar is the perfect opportunity to really showcase the rustic atmosphere of your wedding. There are a few ways you can do this. One of our favourite ideas is a wine barrel bar, made by setting up two wine barrels and placing a large wooden board over the top to make your ‘bar’. Decorate the wooden board with some dried flowers, garlands, moss, lanterns, vintage glassware, and plenty of drinks, and you have an exquisite alfresco bar that oozes rustic charm. You can also set up a bar on stacks of straw bales or an old wagon. To truly make an impression, hire creative mixologists and sommeliers to give your rustic bar an added dose of sophistication and farmyard glamour.
Use wedding favours from local producers
Add to the farm-to-table aspect of your private property wedding by giving away locally made wedding favours. This is a beautiful way to impart a meaningful gift to your guests while also supporting the local businesses near your chosen wedding venue. Think of giving away local wines, honey, jams, or chutneys in specially made bottles with your guest’s names on them. When you book your wedding with CHEFIN, we can help you source outstanding products from local artisans and makers to give away as wedding favours. Guests can take these wedding favours home and use them time and time again, keeping the memory of your wedding alive for just that little bit longer…
Have a bonfire
What’s more rustic and cosy than a big bonfire? This is a beautiful after party idea for your private property wedding. Get permission from the land owner and set up a cosy bonfire area where people can sit, share stories, and soak up the evening under the stars with some drinks, laughter, and merriment. We love the idea of placing logs around the fire to use as seating and having a rustic chic barrel or cart with help-yourself marshmallows or a s’mores station.
Let us help you organise your rustic (farm) wedding food
We would love to make your special day even more unforgettable by bringing high-end private chef catering to your wedding venue. We take care of all aspects of your dining experience and make the planning easier for you. A few dining options for your wedding:
Check all our packages and let’s start planning your rustic wedding today.