White weddings have always been popular, and they often conjure up the image of an elegant, formal event. It is also possible to design a much more relaxed white wedding by incorporating elements that are whitewashed, distressed, and eclectic. This is a look at how to create a rustic white wedding.

Think about how lovely furniture and decorations can be that have been whitewashed, while allowing the underlying wood or metal to show through as part of the design. This style is often seen in cottage style or "shabby chic" design, and is a natural choice for an outdoor wedding. Many of the special elements you may wish to include can be picked up through catalogs, at flea markets, or even found in your own attic waiting to be repurposed.

photo credit: theeverylastdetail.com
A great place to begin designing a rustic white wedding is with the ceremony. Set up whitewashed folding chairs in rows outdoors in a field or under a stand of trees. Line the aisles with whitewashed lanterns suspended from shepherd's hooks planted in the ground. The lanterns can be filled with flickering candles to create a romantic ambiance for the ceremony. The altar floral arrangements should have a loose and freshly-picked appearance, such as garden roses. Include unexpected natural elements such as lamb's ear, seed pods, or herbs for an eclectic feeling.

Naturally the bride will wear a white wedding dress for her rustic theme white wedding. Since rustic implies something that is somewhat rough hewn, select a wedding gown in a textured fabric like silk dupioni or linen, rather than a smooth and shiny satin. A loose hand-tied bouquet with similar blossoms to the ceremony floral arrangements will be lovely. Handmade wedding jewelry and a simple veil will complete the look. Choose a bridesmaid dress in an understated hue, such as sage, cinnamon, or wheat, paired with handmade wedding jewelry in a contrasting shade.

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photo credit: lilyandiris.com
The reception is where the vision for the wedding's theme often really comes to life. Fill the reception space with whitewashed lanterns full of candles, whitewashed wooden chairs, and white tablecloths. For the centerpieces, create overflowing arrangements of white blossoms in unique vessels. Whitewashed wooden boxes would be a great choice for vessels, as would a weathered looking white painted metal pail. The decorative accessories should look as though they were left outside in the elements, resulting in imperfections in paint finishes, rough textures on wooden items (but not the chairs!), and metal or wood showing through paint. Accents in natural materials like jute, rope, and burlap can be layered into the whitewashed color scheme for extra texture.

A rustic whitewashed wedding is a very comfortable combination of the traditional white wedding and an informal outdoor celebration. It is a beautiful and timeless style which would be completely at home in a barn, field, country inn, or other outdoor location. Have fun creating a wedding which is light, easygoing, and relaxed, which your guests are sure to enjoy immensely.


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