Rustic Weddings Show Mother Nature’s Chic Side

For the farm-to-fable day of your dreams.

Provided by Gibbet Farm/Photo by Prudent Photography

Photo by Prudent Photography Provided by The Barn at Gibbet Hill

For every bride planning a giant urban wedding, another is looking for a more outdoorsy celebration. With warmer weather around the corner, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon of rustic weddings.

“A rustic wedding gives off a charming, casual feel,” says David Gilson, owner of the Herb Lyceum at Gilson’s Farm. His farm in Groton serves up a weekly traditional rustic dinner and even hosted a Top Chef viewing party with the same theme.

“Think of seeing guests wandering the gardens, socializing on the patio under the hickory tree, or gathering in small groups sipping a glass of bubbly.”

That sounds lovely, thanks.

When you hear rustic, skyline city views don’t pop into your head, so let’s start with the obvious. Pick a rustic location: a barn with rolling hills or a garden setting outside a historic home. Places like the Herb Lyceum get a little help from Mother Nature, especially when the ceremony is held outside on a gorgeous sunny day.

Often our couples do little to the design of our property as the green of the grounds, the color of the flowers, and the classical urns are exactly what they envisioned,” Gilson says.

That, of course, doesn’t mean you can’t bring in your own blossoms. Florals are a great way to add a rustic vibe—think: bouquets of wild flowers held together with simple twine, carefree groupings of dahlias tied loosely to the edges of chairs, and wooden basket centerpieces filled with freshly cut sunflowers. Just use anything and everything you would find on a garden stroll. In other words, boring hot house exotics need not apply. You can even incorporate more unique species into the scene, like pussywillows, cotton, acorns, and veggies.

Also consider bringing in a few big items for decor: vintage windows for seating designation, and farm tables or even antique wheelbarrows for housing the favors. How about getting married under a trellis made from vine-draped ladders? The sky’s the limit—unless the wedding is indoors, then technically the barn roof is the limit.

To prevent your rustic wedding from looking too campy or country, do a little playful mashup here and there. “Mix and match textures such as lace and burlap or reclaimed wood with metal to create a complementary look that’s modern and unique to you,” suggests Sara Lin McCay, sales director at the Barn at Gibbet Hill, also in Groton. Try filling mason jars with candles, then wrapping them in burlap and placing on a lace draped farm table. Keep your color palette natural, such as matte bronze, tea rose, ivory, and natural woods.

You can also let the feast be your guide by offering comfort food. McCay suggests “farm-to-fork comfort food, such as chicken pot pie tartlets and miniature grilled cheese with warm tomato soup. [These dishes] complement a rustic setting perfectly.”

Handwrite the menu on a giant chalkboard. And when it comes time for the cake, go naked—a “naked cake” is the hottest trend on the bakery scene, where you skip the icing and let the actual cake itself peek through under fresh flowers.

At a rustic wedding, the natural vibe is front and center. These weddings are down-to-earth, but still sophisticated. Kinda like you.

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