Set the scene
Think about bringing the outdoors in and vice versa as you envision your overall design: fresh flowers and greenery inside, comfortable places to perch and/or mingle outside. Play to the scale of your venue. Take advantage of soaring ceilings with hanging poms or lanterns. Keep the mood intimate with low benches and cozy seating arrangements. Country venues tend to be sprawling, with twists and turns galore. Signs pointing your guests in the right direction help ensure a smooth flow from ceremony to cocktails to reception. Consider the season: Spring and summer lend themselves to lush, garden themes; fall is the perfect time to bring in crisp autumn tones, along with pretty apples and pumpkins.
Mismatched chairs are the perfect partners to a farmhouse table. For centerpieces, display cottage-garden blooms in an earthenware crock.
￼Or, try this idea: White-on-white blooms and a doily table number.
￼Welcomey your guests with a charming outdoor display and thirst-quenchers spiked with mint and fresh berries.
￼Berrylicious treats make cheery wedding décor.
All signs point to fun. Fresh apples bookend a birch-tree escort-card display.
Focus on small nuances and personal touches. Whether it’s a rosemary sprig in the napkins, butcher’s twine around cup- cake boxes or burlap bows around the chairs, these are the details that create unforgettable memories. Strive to maintain a balance between “rustic” and “chic.” Think reclaimed wood against gorgeous white lace, or a grand chandelier hanging from a simple, hand-hewn beam. The décor you bring in should never attempt to cover up the rustic charm but instead enhance it. Be strategic with color accents throughout. Consider shades like yellow, blue, pink, to offset the prevailing tones of green (outdoors) and brown (indoors).
Consider a pastoral outdoor setting.
￼Forever classic: hanging Mason jar lights.
Choose invitation colors befitting a country-chic wedding.
Pops of turquoise offset neutral table linens. And share the love: a plant stand turned cupcake display.
Barns are not always a standard shape, so make sure the floor plan will accommodate the number of people on your guest list. On a budget? A barn offers so much natural appeal that major décor expenses can be pared down to allow the beauty of the space itself to shine through. Barns can be lit to stunningly beautiful effect. They often have minimal lighting to begin with, so consider twinkling string or Mason-jar lights. A barn’s cathedral-like ceiling can also make the venue feel impersonal. Hanging swags of lace or fabric about 12 feet above the tables adds warmth without compromising the breathtaking scale of the space.
String lights placed just so focus the wedding activity towards an open-sided barn.
A framed chalkboard sign adds to the homespun vibe. ￼￼Light up the path with an array of lanterns on tree stumps.
￼￼A burlap-swagged display serves as the perfect gift table.
Stack favors beneath a floral display, and serve a vine-embellished wedding cake.
Adapted from Barn Weddings, text ©2013 Maggie Lord, published by Gibbs Smith.