26 Budget-Friendly Rustic Wedding Ideas in 2021

With a few DIY projects, you could easily shave hundreds of dollars off of your wedding budget.

Anja Winikka
September 26, 2021

Rustic weddings give you the chance to save quite a bit of money on wedding decorations and your venue. With a few DIY projects, you could easily shave hundreds of dollars off of your wedding budget. Centerpieces and wedding decorations are all doable, especially if you have a few family members and friends to help. The trick to successful budget-friendly wedding projects: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. (In other words, unless you’re a professional caterer, don’t stress yourself out by trying to cook or bake a wedding cake for 100 people!). Here, a few of our favorite rustic budget-friendly wedding ideas.

Best Venue for Budget-Friendly Rustic Wedding

  1. Barn wedding venues can be some of the more affordable venues, especially if they’re in a truly rural setting.
  2. If you don’t have a barn venue, consider looking for an existing shelter or building that you can rent and add a tent alongside––to keep your guests sheltered from the elements at your outdoor wedding.
  3. Another idea: Botanical gardens and parks (check your parks department website for details) might have a good deal for a smaller wedding, especially during the off-season.

Rustic Fall Wedding Ideas on a Budget

Fall lends itself to rustic weddings, with its clement temperatures and abundance of natural beauty. If you’re planning a fall wedding on a budget, the changing leaves offer a stunning backdrop and could inspire your wedding colors.

  1. Dried wildflowers make for muted but beautiful wedding bouquets.
  2. Centerpieces of seasonal gourds or fresh apples in terracotta dishes create a down-to-earth ambiance.
  3. Orchards sometimes offer affordable barn venues, and sparkling cider makes a great alternative to champagne.

Budget-Friendly Wedding Ideas

Rustic wedding themes can take inspiration from vintage items you already have or are readily available at a thrift store.

Affordable Flower Arrangements

It’s easy—even tempting—to spend on wedding bouquets. But if you’re truly looking to trim your budget, there are some good guardrails you’ll want to put in place. Whether you’re going to do them yourself, go with pro-made arrangements or a combination, you’ll benefit from a few of these budget-friendly flower arrangements tips.

  1. Lush bouquets of greenery with a few big, white blooms create a beautiful contrast that allows you to cut back on the cost of wedding flowers (in other words, the bigger the flower, the more space it fills and the fewer stems you’ll need).
  2. Sprigs of baby’s breath are having a moment. And the best part is that these delicate, white, and affordable flowers are everything you want for a rustic wedding.
  3. Other affordable flowers to consider for your rustic wedding: lavender, Peruvian lilies, daisies, and sunflowers. For a fall wedding on a budget, the neutral tones of pampas grass and heather can meld with the warm colors of autumnal wedding flowers.
  4. Galvanized buckets look adorable filled with affordable wedding flowers of your choice. Decorate with ribbon for a festive touch. They could line your wedding aisle — larger buckets could sit on the ground, while smaller buckets would dangle from chair backs.

Table Runners and Wedding Ceremony Chairs

  1. Burlap is practically synonymous with rustic weddings. You could use burlap as a table runner, with a layer of lace trim for a wedding upgrade. Lace could also elevate your seating—try tying lace in a bow around the backs of your chairs.
  2. Know this: Fabric stores are usually not the cheapest place to find lace. Repurposing curtains or tablecloths you find at a thrift store are an even more affordable way to source the pretty trim.

Rustic Wedding Centerpieces

  1. Mason jars and twine make classic rustic wedding centerpieces and are an affordable option.
  2. Twine-wrapped bottles of different sizes also create a homespun look that could hold a single sunflower or tulip.
  3. White votive candles (which you can buy in bulk) surrounded by a few strands of greenery make a simple yet elegant decor for your tablescapes.
  4. Simple is best – artificial garlands of eucalyptus or wisteria can work well as centerpieces for long tables.
  5. Doilies make a cute addition to DIY wedding centerpieces. They could adorn a mason jar or wedding-ify simple wooden rounds.
  6. Create centerpieces using rustic wooden rounds. Paired with candles, wooden rounds look like something out of a fairytale.
  7. If you’re handy with a saw, you might be able to repurpose a stump from your backyard. Smaller stumps could make candle holders, and larger stumps could make convenient spots for guests to place their drinks.
  8. Make a single slice into a pine cone or a small branch to create holders for place cards or menus.

Make an Entrance

  1. For an evening wedding, light your wedding aisle or reception venue with LED lanterns. They offer a soft, ethereal glow at a budget-friendly price.
  2. String lights could light your wedding ceremony arch.

Pallets and Crates

  1. Pallets can make easy bespoke wedding signs, or serve as a background for photos.
  2. You could also turn a wooden pallet into a large day-of program or a menu, which will save you on the printing.
  3. Repurpose an old window and use the panes as a seating chart. (Glass pens are an affordable addition to your crafting supplies.)
  4. Wooden crates make convenient props. They could be part of a display for your wedding favors or your guest book.

Anja Winikka has spent more than 15 years marketing to and engaging with both engaged couples and the small businesses that power the weddings industry.