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A fresh take on rustic

I’m Karen – owner of Darby & Joan.  We specialise in designing, planning, catering for, styling and creating beautiful weddings and events.  I am very excited to be gracing the pages of this pretty new wedding blog!

Over the past few years there has been a distinct move away from the straightforward hotel package wedding. 

More couples than ever are looking to be involved and very hands-on with their big day, wanting to inject personal touches, get crafty with some DIY ideas and, that much over used phrase – put their own stamp on it.  Over used yes, but it really is the easiest way to describe how couples can create a wedding day made with personality and quirky, interesting décor.

One of these themes that is easy to shape is the rustic style. Call it a barn wedding, laid back festival chic or a simple, countryside relaxed day – this trend has staying power. 

It does have it’s doubters, many thinking that it has been done over and over and that every rustic styled wedding looks the same.  My own feeling is that there are many different styles of rustic weddings and here are some styling ideas that will hopefully show that you can create something special using props and décor that are characteristic of a rustic wedding but with a unique and personal twist. 


Lots of lights!  Traditionally rustic colours are neutral and this can look at little flat.  Lights will make any space radiate and strands of fairy lights will make a big impact and have your venue brimming with atmosphere.  More is definitely more and they add a bit of glamour and sparkle to the proceedings.  Use them from the ceiling, around doorways, in glass jars on the tables, outside, draped around posts and pillars.


The quintessential base for a rustic setting.  Table runners look great and this fabric is brilliant for brides on a budget.  Try layering yours with lace or coloured ribbon.  Hessian bunting is a nice touch but again, look at some that has a little colour or contrasting material to it to bring it to life.

Chalkboards & Slate

Chalkboards are perfect for a rustic day.  Use them for seating plans, menu boards, order for the day, to detail your bar drinks or to welcome your guests.  It's easy to make your own from an old picture frame, or you can hire them relatively cheaply. 

 Slate – a nice change from chalkboards and this material is easy to write on and looks a little more sophisticated than small wooden framed boards. 

 Both are particularly lovely and more elegant with calligraphy rather than standard writing.

Glass bottles & jars

 I love these.  Old bottles in various colors and shapes make for super centerpieces and décor.  Add them to your tables in clusters, hang them outside from the trees or gate posts, use them to line your aisle or dot them around wherever there is a empty space crying out for some colour. This brings me on to the ubiquitous jam jars and Kilner or Mason jars – they are everywhere but I still love them and they can be used in so many ways. So get your glassware out and get creative!


 Ribbon or strands of coloured crepe paper will add pops of colour to the earthy, rustic tones.  Use on your tables, tied to the backs of chairs, hanging from trees or around table napkins.


 Milk churns, wicker baskets, old tins, suitcases, drinks dispensers, step ladders, wooden crates …  all can be used to great effect.


 If your wedding tables are nice enough not to hide – then don’t!  Forget covering them with starched white linens, use a table runner and source some glamorous accents for your crockery and flower containers.  Silver, grown up bronze and crystal all work brilliantly, don’t feel like you have to stick with the shabby chic look.  Lush greenery, blousy flowers and candlesticks …

When planning your rustic wedding nothing needs to be expensive and everything can be hired from a wedding hire company or easily sourced yourselves with a little time and elbow power at those car boot sales and auctions!  Enlist the help of a professional to pull it all together or make a plan, grab some helpers the day before and go for it yourselves.

Try mixing pops of colour and elegant materials with the laid back rustic pieces. Wood, slate, chalkboard, hessian, neutral tones and metals are all typical materials of a rustic wedding but consider bright colours, brass, crystal, silver and lace too.


 Image credits – House & Home, The Lovely Find, Seersucker Events, Bridal Musings, Style me Pretty, Wedding Chicks, June Bug Wedding, Intimate Weddings, Austin Wedding Blog, Green Wedding Shoes, Martha Stewart Weddings, Once Wed, Polka Dot Bride, Glamour & Grace, Wedding Sparrow.

Written by Karen Eggleton from Darby and Joan Vintage at  www.darbyandjoanvintage.co.uk

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