Style your barn or rustic wedding with elegance


Table setting at a wedding. Photography by Anna Munro, styling by Horrobin & Hodge

Ten Ways to Style your Barn or Rustic Wedding Elegantly

There's more than just hessian, lace and mason jars out there! We've called on the wonderful Florist and Stylist Yvette Edwards to give you some tips on styling... Download your own PDF at the end.


You have chosen your dream rustic wedding venue, or barn with lots of character.  After styling lots of gorgeous country weddings for couples I am sharing my favourite tips to help you create the most beautiful, relaxed, informal yet elegant feel to your wedding day styling.

1 - Choose a mix of light colours

With a barn or darker venue, to help make your flowers and details pop you could be tempted to use lots of bright colours.  In fact, I have found that using a lighter, pastel palette works best.  All the peach, blush and ivory tones are ideal and compliment the warm colours of any wood.  If you wanted to use a brighter palette I find yellow and coral work well.

2 - Use lots of foliage

Using lots of foliage in your floral arrangements for your barn or rustic wedding not only help to tie in the countryside you are surround by but will help your arrangement to appear fuller and bigger.  This is really important in a barn as the scale of the spaces are larger and you don’t want small arrangements inside.  The added texture also adds to the informality of the flowers and gives you that tumbling country look.

3 - Embrace an eclectic style

Having a more relaxed affair in the country is probably one of the reasons you chose the venue in the first place.  Get inspired by mixed coloured bridesmaids dresses, a range of types of vases for the table and a variety of details throughout your wedding.  Make sure you spend some time carefully curating this type of look so you avoid things looking too messy.

Photography by Catherine Cattanach. Styling by Yvette Edwards

4 - Rustic seating, benches or bales

The fun of having your wedding in the country is that you can comfortably use non-traditional styling details. Have your guests sit on rustic benches for the outdoor ceremony, use hay bales to make a chill out area to relax on and give your dancing feet a rest or add a stylish touch with mixed rustic chairs at your reception.

5 - Archways and petals

Typically there will be a stunning outdoor ceremony area for you to use.  With rolling hills, mature trees or a country garden surrounding you, a floral archway makes the perfect focal point for you to exchange your vows under.  I think adding a few petals for the aisle is always a nice touch. This will set the scene and looks pretty against the grass and make sure you have lots extra for guests to throw.

Wedding styling for barn or rustic elegance Wairarapa Wedding by Siaosi Photography


Wedding styling for barn or rustic elegance Wairarapa Wedding by Siaosi Photography

6 - Think about lighting

Rustic venues can sometimes be on the darker side and lack natural light.  It’s definitely worth discussing this with your photographer and listen to any ideas they may have and plan ahead so they can get the best pictures possible.  If you are spending money on large floral installations it’s worth getting them spot lit so they show up as the sun goes down and don’t get lost in a dark corner or ceiling space.

Black and white of bride and groom having a first dance. Photography by Anna Munro.

7 - Informal seating plans

Even if you are having an intimate wedding or imagine a very laid back reception, you need to give people a bit of direction.  If you leave it as a free for all you can end up having awkward gaps, couples separated and worst of all asking people to move after they have sat down.  So you only need to worry about having a good time, having a table plan for people to find their own seats is great idea.  For your outdoor wedding you can of course make this something very informal, a written chalk board for example, and even allow people to take any seat at a certain table, rather than having individual place cards.

8 - Overlays and runners

If you are lucky enough to have a venue with lovely tables then take the opportunity to use them as they are without a tablecloth. If you do need to cover them perhaps consider adding a soft overlay to the cloth in your wedding colours or choose a natural fabric runner to add some rustic charm.  This also softens the colour of the white tablecloth and creates a more relaxed, informal appearance in keeping with your setting.

Photography by Anna Munro, styling by Horrobin & Hodge

9 - Texture

Texture is a lovely way to add country style to all your wedding details and you can do this with trims, ribbons and twine.  Think about using a mixture of co-ordinating ribbons for your bouquet bindings or twine for the invitations or long flowing sashes for drapes and chair backs at the reception. When you choose your blooms with your florist make sure to include lots of different shapes and sizes, this all adds to the texture and helps create a softer, more romantic look.

Tim Kelly and Nadine Ellen Photography

10 - Sweet treats

A buffet of desserts or sweet treats ties in perfectly with the feel of a barn or rustic wedding.  You will most likely have arranged for some dancing late into the night so a few sugary delights will always go down well with your guests.  You may choose to serve this as part of dessert and of course it means you can have a variety of cakes to enjoy in all your favourite flavours.

Photography by Anna Munro, styling by Couture Candy Buffet.


Click the image below to download a PDF with all the awesome info!

Wedding Styling Wairarapa PDF.


UncategorizedJenny Siaosi