How to Have a Stunning, Attractive Country Wedding

If your Pinterest wedding planning board is drowning in a sea of anything “rustic wedding”, sometimes it’s a pain in the butt to figure out how to make your wedding country or rustic. It seems like everyone is having a rustic wedding, but maybe you want your wedding to stand out somehow other than the typical burlap decor.

As a lover of everything country, and background in the agriculture industry, my photographer eyes search for elements that attribute to a truly country wedding. These essential elements of a country themed wedding are for the bride and groom who want their wedding to be a step above all the other rustic weddings.

Make your wedding however you want, but these following factors convey the truly country vibe, down-home atmosphere that are shown by great photography!

Have Your Ceremony and Reception at a “Farm” Wedding Venue

Many barn venues once used to be a small working farm. The farm wedding venues in CT, MA, and beyond are older, more steeped in history than many barn venues from out west (where I lived). Older barns have a more weathered look inside and out, and some farm venues with history often attract history buffs and barn photographers. However, the reason for having your wedding at farm wedding venue, gives you and your guests an outdoor, fun, relaxed atmosphere. You also are bound to have plenty of photos with lots of wood texture, and foliage in portraits.
Some venues already have wood crates and wine barrels to use also, which is nice!
brown wood crates for ceremony decor

ceremony decor at a wedding in Oregon

Get a Professional Photographer Who Shows you Barn Reception Photos

Just because a setting is beautiful doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get great photos from anybody. However, having photographed in plenty of barns, and farms, even before I was a real “photographer”, I’ve noticed that it does take some skill and strong knowledge of lighting and camera settings to not miss a shot when photographing inside barns. Do you want memories to back on decades later, and show your grandchildren your day as how you saw it?

If you want your skin tones to look normal skin color, then look for photographers who show you barn reception images. If you’re a photographer reading this, you might hate me for suggesting that a bride request to see a full set of wedding images from start to finish. Because most barns are dark and just all brown wood inside, we are looking at a completely different lighting situation from a reception room that has white ceilings or painted walls (which is easy to photograph in). Once reception starts, the sun is going down, and there’s not enough natural light. Some photographers may shoot just relying on the little ambient light that exists inside a barn, which often results in blurry photos, or hard-to-focus situations (believe me, I’ve experimented!). Or, some photographers may put a flash on top of their camera, having their light “bounce” off of the ceiling to take pictures of people. Both methods will result in photos with wonky colors, that are not the easiest to fix later. My ideal method is doing manual color temperature settings in the camera, and using multiple, off-camera flashes, including one handheld speedlite flash, with color gels. With this, I get better angle and dimension of light that looks more natural.

bride and groom branding their wooden piece

I used off-camera flash to get this shot of Julie and Beau branding their wood signature slab!


Show off Them Cowboy Boots

What country wedding is complete without cowboy boots?! I think this is a “given” but I wanted to mention this because weddings when the whole wedding party also wears cowboy boots will definitely communicate the country vibe. Show off your fancy boots, and also you don’t have to worry about having uncomfortable feet! Plus, you can always change into sandals later if it’s really hot weather!
bride and bridesmaids with cowboy boots and plum purple dresses

Dance to Country Music at your Rustic Wedding

We know that here in Connecticut and Massachusetts, not everyone loves country music. Having lived out in Idaho and Oregon, dancing to country music is really common AND fun! Don’t forget this is your wedding, so make this the party that you’ve dreamed of. At Julie and Beau’s wedding at Candlelight Farms Inn, country music was the highlight! It was so fun to photograph the delight of guests when the wedding party started doing line dancing and seeing some folks join in, too.

wedding party country line dancing at Candlelight Farms Inn

Wheat, Sunflowers, or Wildflowers in Florals and Decor

Many of the country weddings that I’ve photographed incorporate wheat, sunflowers, or wildflowers in the wedding decor. They add a country flair, color, and textured look to the bouquets and boutonnieres. One thing to note about using fresh wildflowers is that they may wilt in the boutonnieres or bouquets quicker, so keep them cool, or keep bouquets in water.
Mason jars are popular, but I’ve been to weddings where my clients also use glass milk bottles, or a variety of old glass bottles.
I hope this blog article was helpful in giving you ideas on having a country wedding. I can’t wait to see what all my clients have in store for their wedding this season! I’ll be hearing some country music, seeing guests enjoy the farm venue, and photographing some more sunflowers and cowboy boots. Are there any ideas that you have for a country wedding?

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