If you’ve opened any bridal magazine or website in the last twelve months, you’ve most likely seen stunning photos and blogs about the rustic wedding trend. It’s one of the most popular wedding themes in the world right now, and for good reason! Local barns and stables are seeing booming business from brides looking for a low-key, burlap and boots style wedding day. I’ve had the pleasure to photograph quite a few of these venues in the last few years, and today I wanted to share with you some of the reasons I absolutely adore the Rustic Wedding Trend.
1. Simplicity In Decor & Environment
Hosting a barn wedding makes life incredibly easy in many ways. For starters, decor becomes such a breeze. If homemade, crafty projects are in your wheelhouse, a rustic wedding theme makes life fun and easy for you. Simple burlap bows, chair sashes, or table runners fit right into the venue and provide a great touch of simple elegance. Centerpieces can be crafted out of virtually any wildflower, using mason jars or milk jugs. Hand-stained wood makes the perfect background for signage, and can be done in your garage over a weekend (while enjoying a glass of wine). Not only do the decorations become easier (and often, more affordable), but the venue itself typically lends to a more laid-back, relaxed feel. Trust me, you will SO appreciate this on your big day. When guests feel at ease, the entire atmosphere changes. Many brides who book rustic or barn venues also request a more casual dress code, which many guests absolutely love (anyone else with a boyfriend who hates to dress up?). Plus, what a great excuse to rock some cowboy boots or hat! Even if you choose not to really “decorate” a barn venue, the ambiance will naturally present itself.
2. The FOOD!
Now, I say this with full understanding that every wedding is different, and that many couples opt for more traditional wedding dinners at barn-style venues. However, by planning a more rustic wedding, you open the door for a wide array of local, non-traditional, and delicious food options. Since many rustic venues don’t have kitchens or catering facilities on site, the odds of you being able to pick/bring in your own caterer or food increase dramatically. Some of my favorite wedding dinners were found at my country weddings. I really feel like I’ve seen it all – from taco bars, to BBQ pork sandwiches, to grilled steak and veggies. Many local catering companies are adapting to this trend, offering more “picnic style” menu options. A few new companies have even sprung up in the last few years, to meet the demand of rustic Minnesota brides. Many couples choose to just BBQ on their own, saving money and making life easy for their guests, who can eat buffet-style until they’re absolutely stuffed. Can you say plastic forks and plates, paper napkins – it doesn’t get much easier. Plus, Pinterest is overflowing with ideas on how to doll up your rustic dessert table: custom cake toppers, wooden cupcake displays, and burlap ribbons are just a few of the thousands of ideas brides have come up with!
3. A More Personal Venue Experience
While I again acknowledge that not EVERY rustic venue shares this quality, I’ve found in my experience that most barns tend to really go above and beyond for their clients. Many are family-owned, and family-run – which means that their business relies solely on the experience of their couples. I cannot express enough how wonderful it is to be in constant contact with the owner of the venue him or herself, instead of a hired coordinator or manager. Often this allows you to have a much more personal relationship with the venue, meaning you’ll be more comfortable asking questions and voicing concerns. Furthermore, individuals tend to be more relaxed and flexible with policies, pricing, and booking than larger venues or corporations. Although the cost of many rustic wedding venues in the Midwest has risen pretty drastically over the past few years (especially with the growing trend for barn weddings), you might be lucky enough to find one of the more up-and-coming venues, as many who were not previously booked for commercial purposes are starting to break into weddings. If you can be one of the first couples to get married at a local barn, you’re likely to score big when it comes to saving money. Many of these venues are also less strict when it comes to rules and regulations, such as noise ordinances and preferred vendor requirements.
4. A Beautiful Backdrop
Let’s admit it – some of the most gorgeous wedding photos ever, come from rustic venues. There’s something wonderful about the simplicity of a red barn, or an open field, or a few hay bales, that really sets the tone for a wedding day. Being “out in the country” allows you to take advantage of the natural beauty not easily found in the hustle and bustle of more modern/downtown wedding venues. Some of my most favorite captures have come from the naturally-occurring sunsets that only look this vibrant and beautiful when outside of the city lights. Most rustic venues come complete with various backdrops and items that make your wedding photos fun and unique – from tractors, to white picket fences, to wine barrels and sheds. Many barns even have animals on-site that make for GREAT photo ops!
5. A Timeless, Historical, and Unique Experience
One of my favorite things about barn venues is the history that comes along with the property. In most cases, the owners are more than happy to walk with you, and tell you about their family’s experiences. To me, finding a venue that carries such a personal connection is very unique. While all wedding trends are somewhat cyclical and tend to come and go, it is clear that the rustic trend we are seeing today will never really go out of style. Beautiful, natural backdrops are timeless and ensure that your photos will always been seen as gorgeous. Plus, because couples are given such free reign at these types of venues, each wedding is truly unique and designed by the couple – meaning that even if you’re the third wedding of the weekend, it’s almost guaranteed that your ceremony and celebration will look and feel completely different than the others.
6. Matching Theme Engagement Session
One of the best parts of choosing a country wedding theme, is being able to incorporate that theme into other aspects of your planning – primarily, your engagement photos! Having a theme that carries from the engagement session to the wedding is beneficial in a number of ways. First, your engagement photos will look wonderful when paired with your wedding photos, allowing you to easily create prints, frames, or canvases for your home or work decor. It also gives you another source of decoration for your wedding day – by printing or framing your engagement photos, you can carry the theme right into your wedding day, while also decorating! I’ve had clients create guestbooks for their family and friends to sign, or use their engagement photos as part of their centerpieces. Framed photos also give you something to use for dressing up gift tables.
Are you planning a country or rustic wedding? What made you choose your theme? What venue have you fallen in love with? We would love to hear your feedback, ideas, and comments below!
Featured Wedding Venues:
*Golden Oak Farm – Northfield, MN
*The Grands at Mulligans – Sartell, MN
*Mayowood Stone Barn – Rochester, MN
*Coop’s Event Barn – Dodge Center, MN
*The Outpost Center – Chaska, MN
Planning a wedding? We would love to hear from you! For more information on packages, pricing, and availability, or to schedule a meeting with us, please use the Contact Page.