First thing’s first--
Think About Your Venue:
Does it have tables, chairs, dishes, silverware, serve ware, etc.? These are all possible extra costs—costs that could add up depending on the number of guests you have.
Does it have a kitchen for the caterers? If you don’t want to serve your guests lukewarm food, this is a must!
Tip: Add dress code suggestions for guests on your wedding website or details card in the invitation.
Bonus Tip: This will determine what kind of icing you should have, fondant or buttercream—make sure to discuss the room conditions with your baker.
How many guests can it fit comfortably? This will help determine your guest list.
Is there nearby lodging for guests? This is something to consider for your guests (especially if you have guests coming from out of town), but also for your first night as Mr. & Mrs. (or Mr. & Mr. or Mrs. & Mrs.—we just love love here, okay?). At The Mohicans guests can stay in our cabins or one of our three tree houses!
What shoes you will be wearing? Rustic wedding venues come in all shapes and sizes, and conditions. Make sure your venue has hard, level flooring, or consider wearing flats if it doesn’t. Also think of the ground outside, will your heels sink in the grass if it is raining?
Tip: Consider buying these
Does it coordinate with any of the colors you are thinking about? One venue we looked at was beautiful and rustic, but it had red and green plaid carpet—not anywhere near the colors I imagined. This was a definite deal breaker for me.
Tip: You want to find a venue that has enough character that it becomes part of the decorations, but not so much that it dictates the decorations. You still need to be able to show your style.
What are your Backup Plans?
For Rain Is there are tent or pavilion available for use if your ceremony is outside? Will you have umbrellas handy for guests?
For Wind Make sure everything is secured in place—outside and inside. Our reception was inside, but there wasn’t air conditioning, so they had ceiling fans running. When we came to check on the event center the morning of the wedding, the menus and place cards that we placed oh so carefully the night before, were blown everywhere. We had to turn off the fans until the guests were seated and then turn them back on.
For Bugs Many rustic weddings are in the woods, and with the beautiful woods, come not so beautiful bugs. Does your venue spray regularly for insects? The Mohicans does. You might also want to have citronella candles on hand, just in case.
Tip: Only as a last, last, last resort provide bug spray for guests. Having guests dousing themselves, and smelling like Off automatically kills any mood you are trying to set.
Now that you have all the info on choosing your venue squared away, there are few things you should know about having a rustic wedding in general.
What Rustic Doesn’t Mean
Rustic doesn’t mean less work. Building off of my last point. Weddings are weddings, you still need to choose the music, photographer, videographer, food, flowers, attire etc. However, your venue might have a list of preferred vendors which might help in your search, but you should still do your research and find the best vendor for your price. Also, even if you find a venue that exudes natural charm and fits perfectly with your theme, you will still probably need to decorate to put your touch on it.
Rustic also doesn’t mean DIYing everything. Sometimes people thing that because rustic is natural, that it means crafty. It doesn’t. Plus, you can buy anything online these days thanks to sites like Etsy. Even if you are the most fantastic, creative DIYer on the planet, please, I repeat, please do not DIY everything. Trust me—I know!
My life’s motto is, why buy it when I can make it. So, for our wedding I DIYed pretty much everything. But it was ok—I had a list of things I needed to do and a schedule for when I was going to do them. Except, other things came up all the time and I was scrambling at 2 am the day before my wedding to finish things. And, I still didn’t get everything done. It was still a beautiful day—but the day went so fast that I didn’t even get to enjoy all of the hard work I put into everything.
Tip: If you are HAVE to DIY, limit it to 2 or 3 things and really make them stand out.
Rustic doesn’t mean dirty. Oh for the love of all that is good. Please read those first 4 words again, and again until it sinks in, and then explain this to all of your friends. When I first told people that I was having a rustic wedding they had a disgusted look on their faces. They thought they were going to be sitting on hay bales in a barn. Rustic can mean so many things, so I liked to add a clarifier. Rustic Ellegance. For you it might be, Rustic Greenery, Rustic Vintage, Rustic Modern even. Just know that you are not limited to burlap. You can make a beautiful rustic setting as classy or as casual as you want, depending on how you decorate it. (I might just have to do a 50 Shades of Rustic post haha).
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