Barn and farm weddings are the hot trend right now. But we’re often asked by brides: How should I decorate my rustic space? How can I create a romantic, beautiful environment in a dark, cold barn? Are there any special tips?
Well, the brand-new book Prairie-Style Weddings—Rustic and Romantic Farm, Woodland and Garden Celebrations by Fifi O’Neill (2014: Chronicle Books; $30) answers all of that—and more—and offers some great DIY projects to help you achieve a formal barn environment. It’s what they call “prairie style.” Here are just a few of the many settings you can create. To see them all, be sure to go pick up a copy of the book. It offers great ideas for your garden bridal shower, rustic rehearsal dinner, romantic ceremony or barn setting!
BARN BLISS: A touch of glamour elevates a rustic barn to the height of prairie-style elegance. Combining the best elements of rustic charm and flea-market flair—with an added dash of vintage glamour—this fabulous setting bursts with charisma and romance. The barn bliss theme takes a classic, timeworn barn and elevates it to an enchanting site for a wedding reception.
Long, wide panels of gossamer fabric hung from wood poles attached to the rafters create a dreamy effect in a large, open space and contrast with the rough, weathered walls. Rugs scattered on the floor add warmth and beauty. Tea-dyed antique lace tablecloths add a layer of refinement to the rustic wood tables. Overhead, a crystal chandelier sparkles with golden light. Mismatched heirloom china, glassware, napkins and candlesticks bring both elegance and nonchalance to the table.
PRAIRIE-STYLE CEREMONIES: Prairie-style wedding ceremony is about simplicity and celebrating with family and friends. Heritage, nature and homespun elements define the festive vibe and inspire the décor, but the right location plays an important role in this romantic rite of passage. A prairie-style ceremony often takes place in a gorgeous outdoor setting, be it a dreamy woodland grove, a sanctuary-like garden, a magical meadow or a lush cornfield.
One of the many advantages of a prairie-style ceremony is the freedom from adhering to wedding conventions. As you plan your ceremony, let nature provide a beautiful backdrop, and add personal touches that allow your personality to shine, whether you create your own altar, get resourceful with guest seating or even skip the notion of a center aisle. When it comes to prairie style, simple does not have to mean minimal, and your individual style will help create a memorable, one-of-a-kind ceremony.
WOODLAND VOWS: Within the majesty of a woodland environment, weathered barn doors draped with lush homemade garlands form a welcoming entryway to the ceremony site. Rows of white pews are simply decorated with flowers and ribbons; the leaf-strewn aisle leads to a trio of vintage windows draped with garlands, which defines the altar area. From above hangs a wreath of silk blooms and flowing ribbons. A heart of rose petals creates an intimate space for exchanging vows.
RUSTIC REHEARSAL DINNER: An unexpected juxtaposition of elements adds intrigue to a vintage barn setting. This intimate rehearsal dinner setting gets an organic feel from rough and rustic elements and a woodsy outdoor backdrop, but is made elegant with a few unexpected decorative twists that embody prairie-style resourcefulness.The bending striated trunk of a mature tree makes a spectacular one-of-a-kind centerpiece for a primitive table built from reclaimed lumber around the tree’s base. For seating, hay bales are softened with quilts and throws and topped with burlap-covered pillows. Garden lanterns, glass candleholders embellished with mesh and button, mercury votives and a fanciful pearl-strewn chandelier cast a romantic glow over the casual, charming tablescape.
Cheerful royal-blue enamelware and warm pink transferware are mixed at each place setting and set atop cross-section slices of tree stumps. Wineglasses mingle with mason jars, and kitchen towels take the place of traditional napkins. Wood stands in various heights provide perches for pitchers and teapots filed with a variety of fresh flowers, while moss covers the table as if creeping outward from the tree.
The natural textures of wood and hay, the gentle sparkle of candlelight and the juxtaposition of rugged and elegant elements create a rustic revival setting that guests will soon not forget.—Excerpted from Prairie-Style Weddings—Rustic and Romantic Farm, Woodland and Garden Celebrations by Fifi O’Neill (2014: Chronicle Books, $30).
For more ideas, see our Barn, Outdoor and Tent Wedding Pinterest board!