Rustic Wedding Decorations You Can Make
Gettin' hitched? Save money on your nupitals with homespun projects that turn up the charm.
I always knew that I would be a Bridezilla. What I didn’t expect was to be one for a wedding that wasn’t even mine. Ah yes — from the dresses to the bachelorette party, I have stressed over every single detail of my best friend’s Tennessee wedding, despite my initial claims that I was going to be a “really chill” bridesmaid.
I just like to say I’m eager.
Bridal Party Boot Photo Showcasing Soft Pink Dresses and Hydrangea and Baby's Breath Bridesmaid Bouquets
These soft pink knee-length bridesmaid dresses show off the boot the girls are wearing for a perfect match to the country style. The bride lifts her lace skirt to show her matching shoes. White hydrangea and baby's breath bridesmaid bouquets and the soft pink roses in the bride's flowers create a soft counter to their dresses.
Thanks to the many, many hours I’ve now logged doing wedding research, I have a plethora of information and am happy to report that there are dozens and dozens of rustic-chic wedding ideas you can DIY instead of buy. Here are some of my favorites:
If you've got a printer and a little creativity, you can create custom invitations and save big. You can typically buy packages of blank cards and envelopes at the craft store for under $20. I love this rustic wood-grain invitation; if you love it, you can download the template for free!
Add rustic flair to any floral centerpiece by wrapping the vase in burlap. The look works especially well when using tall, skinny vases as shown here.
There are dozens and dozens of ways to make a beautiful wedding centerpiece. Budget brides and grooms can save money by sticking to in-season flowers, using the bouquets from the ceremony as the centerpieces and if you have the time and the manpower – making your own bouquets. Though you’ll probably want a friend or family member to step in the day of the ceremony, this also opens up a few fun opportunities: group floral design classes, a “make the bouquet” party and trips to nurseries or the farmers’ market.
With so much mixing and matching of patterns, this is a great opportunity to make a statement with bold monochromatic arrangements. Artfully arrange dozens of bright pink ranunculus in a single gold vase to create a striking focal point in the center of the table. Courtesy of Camille Styles, editor of CamilleStyles.com
Paper flowers are a great departure from traditional floral arrangements, but they can still make a strong visual impact. For this garland, we made paper magnolia blossoms and attached them to real magnolia branches, then arranged them all down the length of the table. Design by CamilleStyles.com
Play up an organic color palette by combining cream flowers with green and sage foliage, including rosemary and olive branches. The Byrd Collective used neutral hues to create beautiful small arrangements in old repurposed bottles then scattered them down the length of the table. Courtesy of Camille Styles, editor of CamilleStyles.com
Produce Piled High
For a simple but beautiful non-floral centerpiece, spray paint a compote or urn bright gold. Fill the compote with clementines and garnish with fresh mint sprigs for a centerpiece that infuses the table with beautiful color — and makes for a delicious snack or dessert for guests. Courtesy of Camille Styles, editor of CamilleStyles.com
To add a sense of festive abundance to the table, get creative with non-floral centerpieces that can be used for a holiday wedding. Classic silver ball ornaments add interest when piled high in a silver compote or displayed in apothecary and bell jars. Fill in any empty spaces with mercury glass votives, taper candlesticks, additional ornaments and oversized pinecones. Design by CamilleStyles.com
Make a Splash
Bring the table to life with a touch of kitsch. Goldfish bowl centerpieces are a great non-floral alternative. They are economical and easy to assemble and they are sure to keep the atmosphere light and festive. Design by CamilleStyles.com
Display florals in vintage silver pitchers and vases for a classic, polished look. Loosely arrange white garden roses and polar star roses with green camellia leaves and Queen Anne's lace, then add a pop of preppy color with sprigs of lavender muscari. Design by CamilleStyles.com
Creating modern floral arrangements that don't look overly sparse can be tricky. The Byrd Collective used two rectangular glass vases to create monochromatic bunches of complementary flowers. By grouping together yellow blooms in different varieties, like dahlias, daffodils and billy balls, florals instantly take on a brighter and more contemporary look. Design by CamilleStyles.com
White garden roses, Queen Anne’s lace and ranunculus altogether give the feel of a frosted winter wonderland, and they bring a natural element to the table’s sage and ivory color palette. Create small arrangements in vintage silver vases and bowls, then place along the wooden runner. Design by CamilleStyles.com
You can also reduce costs by stripping down the amount of blooms in bouquets, centerpieces and table settings. “Pad” your bouquets with unique foliage, herbs, fruits and veggies. For table settings, try wrapping small potted plants in burlap – you can give them away as gifts later or plant them in your garden.
Crepe Paper Canopy
Adorn an arbor or wedding canopy with pretty paper roses. They’re easy to make and longer-lasting than real flowers so no worrying about wilting flowers before the ceremony or reception. Get the instructions. Design by Camille Styles.
Wedding flowers don’t have to cost a fortune. Paper bouquets are a budget-friendly alternative, they’re fun to make and they’ll last a lot longer than real flowers. Learn how to make paper flowers. Design by Jess Abbott.
Paper Rosebud Party Streamers
Line the walls of your wedding venue with strands of rosebud garland. They’re easy to make and not too expensive; you’ll need scrapbook paper and grosgrain ribbon. To make a bunch, invite your girlfriends over, offer them some wine and snacks then show them how to cut and roll the rosebuds. Fun will ensue. Download the instructions.
The cake will probably be the most thought you've ever put into a single dessert. Try a stripped down cake with a fun topper that you can make with inexpensive craft store items — like these adorable wooden chairs decorated with a veil and hat.
A simple project that makes a big (and sparkly!) statement, these easy-to-make party flags from Something Turquoise are the perfect cake toppers to really get guests in the celebratory mood.
These peg dolls dressed in traditional African clothing are a great fit for the bride and groom who are celebrating their heritage. Toppers can be customized in an Indian sari, Scottish kilts, Japanese kimonos and more. You can custom order these toppers or purchase a kit to make your own. Design by Creative Butterfly XOX
Icing on the Cake
This yummy-looking cake by Umpleby’s Bakery & Café in Hanover, New Hampshire proves that simple roses made of icing can be just as stunning as a pricey, store-bought cake topper. Bonus: this version is totally edible!
For pieces that are reflective of you and your partner, Concarta offers customized paper sculptures designed to match your likeness, down to every detail, including the flowers. Simply send a photo of you and your partner and include any special details about your wedding. Design by Angela Belt.
Another great idea for a holiday wedding is adorning your cake with a cluster of decadent and delicious sugared cranberries, an unexpected bright bit of color that tastes like candy. Get the recipe here.
Learn to make your own custom wedding cake toppers in any shape you like using polymer clay. Try two darling mice as seen here, or invent your own cake topper masterpiece. Get directions here.
Though the actual beverages will depend on your preferences, serve your wedding drinks up in style with some fun containers. Mason jars are the go-to vessel, but also try milk bottles, jam jars or even mint julep cups. Alternatively, beer lovers and soda enthusiasts can serve drinks right out of the original container — serve them on ice in galvanized buckets. Don't forget the bottle opener!
Drinks From Afar
Some of the best beers are imported from the Middle East and Far East, and offering these beverages at your party can add a fun element of the exotic for your guests. Check your local liquor stores for availability of imported beer, and serve bottles iced down in large galvanized buckets for guests to help themselves.
Raise Your Glass
What's a celebration without bubbly? Serve chilled champagne in mismatched vintage flutes, sourced from your favorite antiques shop or even an heirloom family collection. Create celebratory drink flags by attaching craft paper to wooden skewers and handwriting “Cheers!” on each one. Watch the toasts begin!
Spot of Tea
It’s customary in Morocco to follow large meals with boldly flavored mint tea, and it also happens to make a terrific party idea. To make, simply steep loose green tea and boiling water in a Moroccan-style teapot, then stir in sugar and mint sprigs and allow to steep for a few minutes. Serve in beautifully gilded glass cups.
Nothing says winter coziness like a piping hot glass of cocoa. Allow guests to be their own mixologists: set up a hot cocoa bar stocked with toppings like whipped cream, sprinkles, crushed peppermints and cinnamon sticks. For the adults, decanters with Frangelico and amaretto allow them to turn their concoctions into grown-up treats.
Nothing says summertime in the country like a tall glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade. Guests will be taken back in time as they quench their thirst with this nostalgic favorite. For the adults, kick it up a few notches with a splash of vodka and dress up each glass with a few sprigs of freshly picked thyme.
The Wedding Favors
Thanking your loved ones doesn't have to cost a fortune. Flower seeds are an easy option that come with a bonus: Your friends and family can send you photos once they bloom to remind you of your special day. Another option is to give out bubbles — you can buy large packages of them online or in party supply stores. Adults and children alike can't resist them, plus they'll make for some amazing photos.
Great for centerpieces and favors alike, potted succulents are a wedding trend that is only getting more popular with time. Don't forget to personalize them like Chelsea Costa of Lovely Indeed did here by painting the pots with your wedding colors!
Add taste to your special day by putting an edible image on a sweet treat. Use your save-the-date or engagement photo to make the personalized pops. Lollipics come in 19 different colors and patterns in 11 different yummy flavors.
Hand Stamped, Mail Ordered
If you love the idea of giving out coffee beans as favors, but you just don't have the time to do it yourself, you can even buy the beans already roasted and in custom-stamped packaging from AproprosRoasters.
Catch the Wind
For an outdoor wedding, how about a lighthearted pinwheel to catch the breeze? Make pinwheels to match the wedding's color palette, and include the name of the couple and the date of the wedding. Blank paper pinwheels can be purchased from Paper Source, along with ribbon, paint, stamps and more.
Great for a summer wedding, fresh fruit is a healthy treat everyone can enjoy. For an extra-special touch, package seasonal goodies in cute color-coordinated boxes, like these ladybug boxes from PartyPail.com.
Even easier to care for than succulents, air plants make a great wedding favor (and place holder) even for those without a green thumb. You can find these rustic beauties on thisfineday's Etsy shop.
Create your own custom seed packets out of old magazines, cards or other paper. Simply fill with seeds from your (or a friend's) garden for an inexpensive favor inspired by nature. Learn to make the packets here.
A charming place holder that doubles as a sweet party favor, this DIY terrarium place holder via Green Wedding Shoes is the perfect, easy craft that is sure to impress your guests.
Homemade Lip Balm
Cheaper and safer (no mystery chemicals!) than store-bought lip balm, homemade beeswax lip balm is a great wedding favor for men and women alike, especially during fall and winter weddings. Learn how to make your own lip balm here.
A Little Glitz
Send guests home with a little sparkle. Glitter-dipped cooking spoons are a useful, glam favor that will remind guests of all the fun they had at your wedding every time they cook! Get the full tutorial from Something Turquoise.
Give the bride and groom a sweet send-off with mini party bubbles. To tie the bubbles in with theme of the wedding, place them in small favor bags. Find the bubbles at Oriental Trading Company.
Great as a vase and perfect to send home with family and friends, personalized Mason jars are just the thing for a rustic country wedding. Make your own or buy a set from David's Bridal.
For more handmade wedding decor ideas, check out these links: