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The country-themed wedding is by far one of the most novel-wedding aesthetics. It’s down-to-earth, its simplicity is elegant and it is usually held in the great outdoors; what is there not to like! An outdoor country wedding is the perfect summer setting for a blooming romance. Open woodland spaces and rustic barnyards can host an entire evening of drinking and dancing as the lovebirds usher in the latest chapter in their lives cloaked by warm summer evening air.
To be sure that your country wedding goes off without a hitch, here are a few of the most important considerations that you should take when planning the wedding. This is merely a suggested framework for your event, and you should expound, improvise and elaborate as much as you can until it fits your taste perfectly.
The most important consideration for any wedding is going to be the location of both the service and the reception. Some people have to reserve a venue for their nuptials almost a year in advance, which sometimes postpones a wedding for longer than many couples would like. Being the country boy and girl however, you know that resourcefulness is one of your greatest qualities. You don’t need to exchange your vows in a swanky venue. Your wedding is validated by the love of your family, friends and spouse-to-be. You want your wedding to simultaneously illustrate your lofty affections and your down-to-earth roots.
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An outdoor location for one or both of your wedding events is going to be a high priority. This means that weather considerations are very important, since you don’t want your guests shivering in their seats and cursing your ill-advised winter wonderland wedding. Once you’ve decided on a date, you need to find an area that can host your estimated party attendance and give them room to roam about while enjoying the conversation and delicacies that will be had at your reception.
Barns are the ultimate symbolism for a country lifestyle, so if you can find a preserved one ready for such an occasion as a wedding, it will really boost the overall effectiveness of your country theme. For a daytime service in particular, slivers of sunlight peeking through the old barnyard walls and falling on the wedding couple can be romantic and, quite frankly, exciting for all of your guests to see. The bottom line is that your location is going to function as the canvas for your dream country wedding, so make sure that it will be something that will look good when accented with country-style decoration.
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If you’ve been thinking about having a country wedding, chances are that you’ve already thought about walking down the aisle in your favorite pair of boots. This is a wonderful idea since boots are obligatory country footwear. Cowboy boots are the most iconic element of western culture heritage and they can’t be neglected if you are taking a comprehensive approach to country-style nuptials.
Although the bride will most likely still be wearing white, she doesn’t have to adhere to tradition when it comes to her footwear. In fact, a straightforward pair of neutral Justin Boots may be the best way to bridge the gap between a white wedding gown and an earthy rustic wonderland. Bridesmaids can follow suit, or they can wear a brown slouch variation to complement their colorful bridesmaids’ dresses.
You should also decide whether or not you would enforce a dress code. An entire wedding party that participates in your down-south festivities can only enhance what will already be a pretty fabulous event. Let everyone know in the invitations if western-oriented styles of dress are “suggested” or “encouraged.”
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Fortunately for you, a cowboy country wedding theme doesn’t require that you have consistency in terms of furniture. Instead, the outdoor country wedding should be reminiscent of the days when a rural community would come together and the growing crowd of locals would have to improvise seating when they needed a rest from the activity. You’re obviously excited to spend your reception dancing the night away with all of your loved ones, but the older invitees will want you to have ample seating at your event.
One of the most ingenious ideas for seating that has been used is covering hay bales with burlap or lightly colored sheets secured by twine or thin rope. Hay bales are essentially building blocks that can be stacked and scattered in any way that you think would look best or be most convenient. They offer that quintessential country touch while still providing you with flexibility. A single bale can seat multiple guests like a farmhouse love seat, and they can be scattered throughout the reception space for easy access to everyone in attendance.
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At the dinner tables wooden seating is a must, so don’t worry about deploying an army of folding aluminum chairs to accommodate everyone. A hodgepodge of mismatched wooden seating, maybe even a bench or two gives your dining setting a lot of character, while adding to the underlying casualness of the event. It can also make your seating arrangement pop against the background, and can reflect the diversity of the newly-combined families coming together in celebration of a single event.
Abundant seating should be an important consideration, so any surface that is relatively comfortable and thematically consistent can be used to help your guests take a load off. In fact, if you can somehow acquire a rusty old pickup, just pop down the tailgate to open up seating for about half a dozen of your guests: it will create conversation and be a prime picture location for the entire evening.
The part of your country wedding that will really distinguish you from others is going to be how you decorate the landscape. If you wanted, you could go with the ‘southern social elite’ vibe, but the creative, more accessible ‘rustic romance’ approach will be much more interesting to your invitees and less alienating to your casual guests.
The rustic aesthetic is really a beautiful juxtaposition between the antiquated southern lifestyle and modern-day country living. Your decoration will need to reflect the resourcefulness of the simple country folk, but be highlighted by the traditional trimmings of a romantic wedding. On paper this might sound odd, but anything that rusts or rots could make for some very rich thematic decoration for your wedding background. Think of how great the scenery would look with the occasional cartwheel leaning against a hay bale or a wheelbarrow used as a cooler.
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Table centerpieces are a great opportunity to really seize the country theme and make for an almost anachronistic dining experience. Old milk or cream cans can be used to contain a daisy arrangement at the center of each guest table. Smaller hors d’oeuvres stations around the area’s perimeter might be made of upright wine barrels with a single baby’s breath bouquet sitting in a polished aluminum soup can. Nametags or table assignments can be hanging from horseshoes or etched on circular wood slabs. The country wedding is all about taking easy-to-access items and refurbishing them for a simply elegant wedding event.
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One other suggestion would be to buy a ton of mason jars. Mason jars are the most versatile country wedding accessory, as they can be used for fancy drinks, floral arrangements, they can hold candles, or be used as gift containers. You can even hang them from a barn ceiling as decoration. When it comes to country weddings, you can never have too many mason jars.
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Themed weddings are becoming increasingly prominent in our culture, and reasonably so. Couples are not willing to spend their big day (and their money) going through the motions the way that their parents, and their grandparents probably did in the past. People today want their wedding day to be expressions of the unique personalities that are being united in marriage, and they want their guests to have a genuine impression of who they really are. Themed weddings allow couples to impart a statement about their romantic story on the people whom they share their big day with.
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The key to a southern-themed wedding is to relax. After months (and maybe years) of planning, this is going to be the evening where everyone unwinds and enjoys the company of an enthusiastic couple taking their first steps on a lifelong journey together. Whether they’re on hay bales or rocking chairs, your guests will share in your excitement as they marvel at the wonderful wedding that they are now a part of. Use these suggestions to help you create the perfect country styled wedding.
A native Texan, Patrick contributes his musings on the country lifestyle to websites that share his appreciation of Southern culture. Additionally, a degree in Critical Media Studies enables him to write for related blogs about the film and television art forms. He currently works as a writer in Frisco, TX representing BootCity.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.