Besides evoking the Arcadian images of a countryside gathering, rustic weddings are also often casual gatherings where close friends and family can make merry. This image of intimacy around loved ones adds to the appeal of this specific wedding aesthetic.
Rustic weddings represent one of the easiest and most popular wedding themes today. Derived from an eclectic and almost nostalgic longing for the simplicity of the countryside, rustic weddings are often very casual and intimate gatherings, though they are often no less classy for it. A rustic wedding provides a romantic and more personal event for the lovely couple, culminating a love story with a modest gathering amid the idyll of an Arcadian countryside.
In addition to their countryside trappings, most rustic weddings are remarkably modern in their execution. These parties aim to mimic simple rural get-togethers with friends and family members; decorations and flourishes often use improvised and reused items, much like a family down on the farm would when entertaining neighbours.
Organisation and Backdrop
Most rustic weddings are far removed from the black-tie events of more traditional weddings and have less focus on formalities, although there is room for variety. Typical dress codes are more casual and invite lists more restricted to close friends and family.
In the UK, the typical rustic wedding aims to capture the Arcadian essence of the British countryside while maintaining the casual charm of modern life. Bar services and barbecues are a frequent fixture. Most of these ceremonies are frequently held in picturesque rural areas, such as parts of Kent, and take advantage of the ambience of the surrounding countryside.
Rural homes and barns from before the latter half of the previous century make authentic and picturesque backdrops for rustic and vintage weddings. These provide not only a weathered, lived in an environment to capture the authentic charm of the countryside but also create a sharp contrast of textures for gatherings. Rustic weddings can be both indoor and outdoor affairs and can take place at any time of the year.
Rustic vs. Vintage
Both rustic and vintage weddings evoke a nostalgic aesthetic that is at once classy yet improvised. Rustic weddings evoke a romanticised view of the countryside and often showcase the underappreciated beauty of things that are shabby or improvised, such as one might find in a farmhouse out in the country. Vintage styles, meanwhile, rely on a more genteel image of the past, which are often best captured in rural environments but are not bound by them.
Both of these themes also rely heavily on improvisation. Whereas a rustic aesthetic might bring out the beauty of found objects, vintage aesthetics would try to acquire decorations and flourishes reminiscent of antiques. In stark contrast to vintage receptions, rustic gatherings are not restricted to images of the past and can be quite modern in their execution. Frequently, however, rustic and vintage themes are often mixed together, playing into the nostalgia some people have for childhoods spent in rural areas.
A Hearty Feast
The receptions after rustic weddings and associated catering menus continue the theme of a casual gathering in the country. Often, food is farm-to-table fare and served like they would in a rural gathering. For rustic weddings, starters and sides should be casual and easy-going to keep things sociable while hinting at the eclectic rural theme of the entire event. Canapés and in-season salads alike can bring a farm-to-table feel that would delight guests all throughout the event.
Meanwhile, the main dish itself could either be a very casual barbecue or a pork roast, which would satisfy most of the guests’ appetites while still being appropriate for the theme. One can also opt for a posher variation where guests are served their choice of a hearty selection of gourmet rustic meats, poultry and fish served with farm-fresh sides in season.
Pies are a common dessert associated with the countryside. An assortment of pies and pastries are an ideal dessert option for rustic-themed weddings.