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!
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.
Orange, Magenta + Melons
Bring the tropics to your table with these sweet (and totally unexpected!) melon vases from designer Brian Patrick Flynn. Simply hollow the melons, then add a bunch of bright, colorful blooms. Results? Lively and lovely.
Paper flowers are a departure from traditional floral arrangements, but 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
Take your table to new heights with this unexpected (but entirely charming!) floral-alternative—cotton. Not only is this centerpiece perfect for an elegant autumn affair, but it is super simple to put together. Just arrange tall branches of raw cotton in a gilded vase, then complement with understated votives.
This hydrangea centerpiece is a definite day-maker for the non-crafty bride on a budget. Hydrangeas are ultra-affordable, and this DIY is ultra-doable. Simply arrange hydrangea, roses and alstromeria in a block of wet floral floral foam, drop the arrangement into a wood container, then use silver dollar eucalyptus to fill in any holes in the arrangement.
Poppy Pigment (in Tea Pots!)
Love to juxtapose all things old and new? This centerpiece proves that contrasting elements can make the best complements. Get the look by hitting up local flea markets, estate sales or thrift stores for vintage silver tea pots, then fill with fiery fuchsia, orange and poppy pink blooms.
Trail of Glitter
Sometimes less is more, but other times more is more. But, what more could a table need when it already boasts ivory blooms, lush foliage and champagne on ice? One word: sparkle. Take note from Camille Styles and leave a trail of gold confetti along the center of the table for an added touch of Gatsby-like glamour.
Muted, mellow hues make for centerpieces that are simply magical. Take inspiration from the soft shades of mauve and lavender seen here, and replicate this look for an ultra-romantic reception of your own. Use Dutch hydrangea, Sweet Annie artemisia, white astilbe, silver brunia berries, echinacea and copper amaranth.
Polished in Silver
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
Put 'Em on a Pedestal
Bring a fresh look to your farm-to-table fête with a pedestal centerpiece! To recreate, stack one cake plate or pedestal on top of another to create height at the center of the table. If you don't have a pedestal, stack a plate on top of an upside-down bowl, making sure it is stable. Arrange fruit, like grapes in bunches, along with nuts, small apples, pears and artichokes on the stacked plates.
Pinecones + (Snow) White Roses
White garden roses, Queen Anne’s lace and ranunculus come together to give the feel of a frosted winter wonderland, bringing a natural element to the table’s sage and ivory color palette. Create small arrangements in vintage silver vases and bowls, then place along a wooden runner. Design by CamilleStyles.com
Greenery in Glass
Use a trio of glass vases to showcase lush, green leaves for a minimal and masculine centerpiece. Added bonus? This centerpiece celebrates Pantone's pick for 2017, greenery. What's not to love?
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.
A hand crafted, felt wedding bouquet is a beautiful way to create flowers that will last a lifetime. You can choose your own flowers, your own colors, and your own arrangement to create a unique bouquet that will be treasured for years to come. Get the step-by-step instructions >>
The Most Beautiful Salad, Ever
Imagine the oohs-and-aahs you’ll hear when you walk down the aisle with an unexpected edible bouquet. Even better if the ingredients were grown in your garden. This stunner incorporates spray roses and amaranthus with okra and green onions. See More Fab Florals for the Foodie >>
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.
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
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.
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!
Best Day Ever
You don't have to have people cake toppers. Use a phrase that sums up the whole day or even a quote about love that you and your spouse like. Tiny banners with twine are a great choice for rustic weddings. Image courtesy of Rustic Wedding Day.
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.
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.
For something really sweet, consider giving infused sugars like the ones shown here by Eden Passante of Sugar and Charm. Just layer sugar and the dry ingredient of your choice in a sealed container for a few days to let the flavor set. Try dried fruit, vanilla beans, coffee beans, lavender or all of the above!
Gourmet Chocolate Bars
Remove the outer wrappers of store-bought candy bars and cover in gold crepe paper. Then wrap our printable wrappers around the bar and secure with double-sided tape at the back. Embellish with paper rosebuds from craft stores for an unexpected 3D touch.
S’mores are easy and budget-friendly wedding favors that are perfect for a wedding any time of the year. Combine the classic s'more ingredients of a marshmallow and chocolate bar sandwiched between two graham crackers and place in a cellophane bag for a treat your guests are sure to love.
Tins of Lip Balm
Whenever your friends and family clink glasses at the reception, it's customary to kiss. Make sure your lips — and the lips of your loved ones — are smoochable by giving out DIY lip balm as a favor. You can make a plain version for the gents and add a little pigment for the ladies. Add custom stickers to tin lids and they're ready to go.
Painted Wood Chip Coasters
Instead of dropping tons of cash on personalized coasters (because who wants a coaster with your name and wedding date on it?), make stylish versions that your guests can and will want to use again and again. All you need to make these pretty wood coasters is a dead tree branch, a table saw and paint.
Heart-Shaped Tea Bags
This DIY from HonestlyYUM is one gift that your friends won’t be expecting. Inexpensive, inventive and useful, these coffee filter tea sachets are hand-cut and sewn, and filled with your choice of loose tea. GET THE STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS
For the Kids
Small packs of crayons and sturdy clipboards are in abundance at the dollar store. So why not transform them into kid-friendly favors with the help of some twine and our free, downloadable coloring sheets? Place a basket full of these fun coloring packages on the kid's table or favor display for instant fun.
I'm Nuts About You
Make custom trail mix packaged in mason jars. Depending on your type of party, include healthy, savory or sweet ingredients. One mix could include yogurt-covered pretzels, jelly beans, raw cashews, walnuts and white chocolate popcorn. Another could be a mix of roasted almonds and walnuts, caramel popcorn, M&Ms and peanut-butter filled pretzels. Download the fun labels and print them on colored paper. The template perfectly fits a 16-ounce jar. One label reads “It’s time to get nuts” and the other reads “I’m nuts about you”.
Mini LP Coasters
Share your love of music with your guests by turning mini LPs into drink coasters. Search for small vinyl albums or toy albums approximately 4 inches in diameter. Choose an assortment of colors for a playful look, or choose albums with the same coloring for a more cohesive feel. Go one step further and print custom sticker labels featuring the couple's names and wedding date.
Create several gifts from one vintage license plate with cut metal keychains. Search antique stores for old steel plates ranging in different letters and numbers. Use metal snips to cut out the letters and numbers, then sandpaper the edges. Add a hole along the top with a drill and a 1/8-inch drill bit, then attach a metal key ring into the hole.
Pretty Homemade Candy
Who can resist a candy buffet? Stock apothecary jars with homemade truffles and provide take-out boxes to transport the treats. Decorate each box with a sweet printable tag and ribbon to match.
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.
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! MAKE THIS
Mini Evergreen Trees
Leave guests with a gift that they can plant and watch grow. These evergreen seedling favors will grow into full-sized Christmas trees in the right conditions. DOWNLOAD THE FREE PRINTABLE TAG
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.
Mini Pinecone Firestarters
For your guests who have fireplaces or love camping, these homemade firestarters are quick and easy to make. They smell yummy, too, thanks to pine and eucalyptus essential oils. Fill a glass jar with the dried, wax-covered pinecones and tie on a hand-lettered label with twine.
Send guests home in style with neatly packaged "to-go" boxes. White bakers' boxes lined with parchment paper are the perfect containers for filling with treats. Print and cut out these festive tags, hand-stamp guests' names and string onto red-and-white kitchen twine.
For more handmade wedding decor ideas, check out these links: