A Rugged Wedding: Who Says It Has to Be Formal? 7 Tips for a Laid Back Affair
Weddings don’t have to be formal any longer.
That rule is long dead. Often, your guests may have more fun at a lax, low-key affair with a focus on love and celebration.
That’s certainly true for the bride and groom, who won’t have nearly as much to worry about if they plan a rugged, laid back wedding.
Here’s everything you need to know to make it happen.
1. Bring out the greenery
A rustic wedding practically begs for wildflowers, and you should feel free to include local flora in your bouquets and table settings. However, for a more natural, laid back vibe, you need to celebrate the greenery in your location.
Not only does that mean including a variety of leafy green plants that trail along the aisle, along with air plants and eucalyptus as decoration, but it also means making the most of the greenery and scenery at the site of the celebration.
If you’re enjoying an outdoor wedding, for example, pose for pictures in the forest or in front of a copse of trees.
Ask your photographer to keep an eye out for interesting nature scenes, whether it’s a verdant meadow or a tangled clutch of grapevines that form a natural arbor.
2. A mix-and-match bridal party
Nothing says super-formal like an impeccably matched bridal party.
Here’s a shocking secret: your bridesmaids don’t have to wear matching dresses, and the pictures might look better if they don’t. In the first of many discussions, sit down and talk to your beloved friends and family about the idea of letting the bridal party choose their own dresses—or their own outfits, period.
Together, you can pick out the color scheme you want to stick to and come up with a few styles that you’d prefer, then let the bridesmaids run wild.
They can wear dresses that flatter their figures and make them feel beautiful, too, but your wedding photos will still have cohesion.
3. A suitable occasion
The relaxed dress code applies to the groomsmen, too. Rather than a traditional tux, which has no place in a rugged, rustic space, let the guys wear suits.
Opt for a country chic aesthetic that incorporates silver accents, plaid patterns, and maybe even cowboy boots. For a dapper look that’s still laid back, think about three-piece suits with vests, the men walking around in suspenders and shirt sleeves, and vintage-inspired accessories, such as oxfords or penny loafers.
The wedding photos devoted to the groom and his boys will have an irresistible vintage edge.
4. A candid atmosphere
Keeping the atmosphere candid, fun, and relaxed is a foolproof way to enjoy a rugged wedding with no stress.
You can still instruct your photographer to pose a few of the pictures, but allowing him the freedom to snap photo after photo during the ceremony and the following reception is an option that results in joyful, unstudied photographs that capture precious moments in time.
It’s sometimes better to give your photographer leeway, in fact.
Left to his own devices, he can grab pictures of the moments you might otherwise miss. Imagine having a photo of your vow recitals, for example. Seeing the way you and your spouse look at each other as you recite your heartfelt vows is a priceless gift.
5. Pretty as a picnic
Adopt a picnic vibe for your wedding. Wooden tables and chairs, food held in picnic baskets, games, fairy lights—it’s not hard to do, and the effect is magical.
Keeping it chill gives you the opportunity to serve up comfort food, glasses of lemonade in Mason jars, and an unforgettable evening. The guests will be talking about your wedding all the up to your 25th anniversary.
6. A buffet of family recipes
The finer details that come together to create a wedding are the most common causes of bridal anxiety.
Maintaining a low-key atmosphere is the secret. Keeping it simple means the bride has nothing to worry about except herself. One way to ensure a smooth flow is to ditch the standard caterers.
A buffet is an easy way to serve food outdoors. Ask your relatives to share their favorite family recipes or, better still, to bring a potluck dish to the wedding.
That way, they get to share in the magic of the day, and at the end, your two families can share in each other’s culinary traditions.
7. All-natural tablescapes
Rustic tablescapes add to the aesthetic tremendously.
Centerpieces made of ferns and grapevine, candles, greenery, wildflowers—you have dozens of options ranging from the DIY approach to the professionally arranged. Continue the theme with your place settings and even the gifts you set out for your guests.
What says laid back and low-key to you? How will you put together a rugged, all-natural wedding? Let us know how you’re planning your big day.
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