Say “I Do” to Rustic Weddings

Southern weddings can be characterized in three different ways: barns, burlap and boots. I call them the “three b’s” and they are the epitome of every down-home, rustic wedding.

Maybe you’ve been combing Pinterest for months trying to plan the perfect wedding; or maybe you went to a friend’s wedding and liked their use of burlap and you want to take bits and pieces from everything you’ve seen and create your own flare on things.  Anyone can add their twist to some familiar wedding decorations to create a southern inspired distinctive celebration.

Here are some fun and unique ways to “rustic up” your wedding:

Chalkboards: Sure, a lot of people have them at their weddings but you can go so much further than the standard “choose a seat not a side” script. This is where the bride and groom can get creative and show their silly side (or loving side).

Mason Jars: These are probably the most popular decorations used in rustic weddings. They make great centerpieces – but make them your own with a distinct personal touch. For example mix flowers with pictures of the bride and groom through the ages and match table numbers with pictures taken of the bride and groom at the age of the table number.

Reclaimed wood: There’s nothing more rustic than trees and wood. If you want to have a truly earthy wedding, reclaimed wood is the perfect shabby chic accessory. The best part about it is that you can use the wood anywhere. Create a sign for the ring bearer to hold; or for the back of the bride and grooms chairs; or create arrows that point in your guests in the right directions. You can even use wood as a guest “log” and have all your guests sign it.


Burlap and wine barrels: Don’t go overboard with the burlap. It’s nice to have subtle touches but it doesn’t need to be on every table or chair. Keep it special by keeping it to the bridal party table and surrounding area. Wrap some around the bouquets mason jars or barrels.

This brings us to my favorite accessory to a southern wedding: barrels. These are a fun way to create a relaxed atmosphere. You can use them to serve drinks and wine in, for simple decoration pieces (my favorite is as a photo display of all the loved ones lost), for floral arrangements, or push a few together to form a table for the cake and other desserts.

If you found inspiration in one of these ideas, then my job is done. Truly the best way to create a wedding that’s all your own is by making sure everyone who attends knows who’s wedding it is. From the moment your guests walk into the ceremony there should be personal touches of the bride and groom that give them a lasting memory. And hey, maybe someone will steal your ideas – imitation is the best form of flattery, after all.

Hillary Terhune