How To Design Your Rustic Vintage Wedding in Just a Few Minutes a Day


I love introducing all of your Rustic Wedding Chic readers to people I love in the wedding world and today I am happy to showcase a great guest blog post by Rebecca who is the voice behind the wedding blog, Plan Vintage {Wedding}. You might remember Rebecca from the amazing review she did on the Rustic Wedding Chic book! Toady, Rebecca is going to help you plan your Rustic Vintage Wedding in just a few minutes a day! So take it away Rebecca…

Hello to all you lovely Rustic Wedding Chic readers and huge thanks and hugs to Maggie for inviting me to write for you. I am super excited to be here! Imagine creating a rustic vintage wedding that has the two of you written all over it. In just a few minutes a day.

A cool, rustic vintage vibe weaved throughout, all wrapped in a warm, intimate family glow. As lovers of all things rustic and vintage we all want that elusive, easy to plan, on budget, cool rustic vintage wedding. Right?

But loving rustic vintage alone isn’t enough to make this cool, hip wedding appear effortlessly in front of your eyes. The amount of time and focus it takes to make your wedding design a reality can be huge and where does all this extra time and focus come from? How do you hold down a demanding job or run your own business and plan this beautiful wedding at the same time? Come with me as I share my quick and easy formula for designing your rustic vintage wedding in just a few minutes a day.

“The details are not the details. They make the design.” Charles Ormond Eames, Jr

I love this quote; I feel it sums up everything you need to know about designing a vintage wedding. Once you have those pesky details nailed down, the rest is easy! Isn’t it?

“No, it isn’t! Even the thought of deciding what I want, what color I want it in, how many I need, where I get them from, how much they will cost, who will receive the delivery…arrgggghhh…no it’s not easy! And I’m supposed to have perfect taste, know exactly how it will all go together and get all this done while I’m stuffing a sandwich in my mouth during my miniscule lunch break”

Ok, now breathe. I had a feeling you might say that. How did I know? I know because you’re not alone. So many of you feel the same and I can totally understand why.


It’s actually quite simple. Time comes from planning. Planning comes from a having a system. Once you have a system it’s quick and easy to plan your vintage wedding design in just a few minutes a day.

Step 1 – Choose your venue

Step 2 – Choose your vintage wedding

Step 3 – Create your inspiration board

Step 4 – Choose your decor items

Step 5 – Decor tracking sheet

Step 6 – The real fun stuff – what to wear!

Step 1 – Choose your venue
The more the existing venue decor is reminiscent of the look you love, the less decor you will need to bring in. The less decor you need to bring in, the more precious time and money you will save. When the existing venue decor is close to what you are already thinking of, the more time and money you will have left over to play with the smaller, fun details. Get the initial vibe right and then have a ball playing with the details! If you’ve found a space you love but they don’t do weddings or at least don’t advertise that they do, just ask.

Sometimes it’s just that no one has ever asked them or they have only done a few weddings. You can find the quirkiest, alternative venues if you just ask!
Step 2 – Choose your vintage wedding colors

As easy as 2 + 1..literally!

Just remember the basic principle of choosing two focal colors plus one neutral to ‘ground’ the look and you are half way there.

What to do if you are completely stuck? If you just don’t know what you like or where to start, use this wedding planner trick that always works for me.

Hop onto Google and search for images of art with colors you love or a feel that makes you comfortable or happy and use those as your starting point…I guarantee that will work for you. Design images work well in the same way. Then choose two focal colors plus one neutral such as white, cream, latte, nude….

Look at the tone of the focal colors – are they brights, pastels or toned down, grey-based colors? Maybe they are they different shades of just one color or Ombre? An ombre palette looks stunning, when matched or ‘grounded’ with a neutral like cream or latte.

Step 3 – Create your Inspiration Board

As you collect more and more images for your inspiration board, you might start to notice that a style or particular era is appearing. Perhaps you’re drawn to rustic glamour weddings or DIY, crafty weddings that use a lot of eclectic décor pieces. Looking over the images you’ve collected will tell you a lot about how you want your wedding to look.

Once you have the first draft of your inspiration board, you can start to whip it into shape and focus on the look you really want by editing your board.

Step 4 – Choose your decor items

Now this is not nearly as daunting as it sounds if you use this simple trick. Break down the decor items into four main groups:

1) Paper Suite

This includes your Save the Dates, invitations, escort cards, place cards, seating plan, labels, etc etc. The choice you make for your paper suite will give your guests a taster of what to expect at your wedding and sets the tone for the rest of the design. Choosing a rustic vintage design will reinforce the look of your wedding and give the decor and colors a clear direction.

2) Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important elements in your vintage wedding design and can save you time and money when executed carefully. Think strings of warm, glowing lanterns strung above your reception space…no need for tonnes of other decor items as the light will be the focal point.


• Once you settle on a color palette you love by putting together your inspiration board, then focus on the patterns and textures that will feature in your tablescape.

• Decide what design element you want to focus on and find that first. Maybe you love vintage milk glass? Focus on the glass first as your primary design element so it doesn’t compete with your secondary design elements. Maybe you love kitschy Seventies bits ‘n’ bobs? Find some fun, eclectic pieces to build your look around.

• Don’t want flowers on your table? Go for a centerpiece of succulents or herbs to keep connected with the natural world which adds zesty energy to your table but gives you a more earthy and quirky look than flower centerpieces. Moss-filled terrariums will add a chic vintage feel to your wedding table.

• Don’t overcrowd your table with multiple elements that you just love and couldn’t leave out. An overly-busy table will confuse your guests and has a tendency to dull the appetite, so show off the things you really love by not having them jostle for position with a table full of vintage collectibles.

• Include the unexpected! Surprise and delight your guests by including something to make them smile. Think homemade fudge favors or cupcakes in a jar.

Just follow a few simple guidelines and, most importantly, keep it simple. In fact you must keep it simple, not only for your own sanity and wedding budget, but also because you don’t want to overload the tables and make them a design minefield for the hungry guest hunting through all the lace and burlap just to find a fork!

3) Details

Pull all of the smaller details together under this one heading and start by making a clear, simple list of each small item/detail so you can see them laid out in front of you.
The most useful thing I can on pass here is aim to limit your suppliers where possible. Choose three or four suppliers and look to source everything you can from them. The fewer suppliers, the easier your life will be. Choose carefully and it will be a breeze. Of course, this won’t always be possible but just keep in mind the more suppliers you introduce, the more complex your life will become {and who needs that when you’re planning a wedding!}. Don’t make life harder for yourself than you have too, stick to the tried and tested methods. They work!

Step 5 – Decor Tracking Sheet

So how to keep track of where you found those darling picnic-inspired favors and how much is the delivery charge for those coveted latte lace lanterns you found weeks ago?

The secret to keeping track of the smallest details of sourcing and purchasing your decor is to use a tracking sheet. So easy to use, as long as you keep it updated which only takes a few minutes a day, you can easily keep track of all of your sources, delivery times, costs, etc etc
vintage-wedding-invitationSetting up a worksheet on Google Drive {used to be Google Docs, but still works in the same way} means you can access your Decor Tracking Sheet from anywhere and you can share it with anyone you choose like your bridesmaids and your Mum. Have an extra column for ideas and notes and then if your BFF finds the perfect ribbon wands she can make a note in your tracking sheet…easy!

When I plan weddings for my lovely vintage brides I use a Decor Tracking Sheet and wouldn’t be without it, it’s like my planning blueprint. I track everything from where I found an item, cost, delivery costs, delivery times and on and on. I also find it really helpful to paste images into the sheet to jog my memory when I come back to it.

5 Tips to save your sanity!

Don’t doubt that you can design your own wedding, it’s just a matter of following a few steps and working out what you love and what you don’t.

2. Always check the small print – check the delivery terms carefully and the associated fees and if you’re not sure, don’t buy. Contact the supplier to ask them to be clear about the points you’re unsure about. Never assume!

3. Keep it simple, the more details you add, the more over-dressed your wedding will become.

4. There will always be other designs, different invites, but make your decision and go with it so you don’t drive yourself crazy.

5. Check the returns policy carefully.

Step 6 – The real fun stuff – what to wear!

Your design may come first followed by your gown choice or you may find your gown first and then you can build your decor look around it. Either way, are you going to go boho-beautiful or romantic rustic?

Leave yourself plenty of time and headspace to find your gown and bridesmaids outfits, not forgetting your groom and his boys! Whatever you decide, remember that your gown will take centre stage, so make sure it works in harmony with the rest of your wedding look.

5 Mistakes to avoid

What mistakes do I see couples making that add to their general feeling of overwhelm, indecision and confusion? {I know it all sounds gloomy, it’s not. I’m just being brutally honest about what I see couples going through}.

There are 5 mistakes I see couples making that crop up time and again that I want to share with you here. After all, forewarned is forearmed.

The demon budget

• Your budget can be your friend or your foe right from the start of your planning and which one it is entirely depends on you. If you truly want to rule your budget, rather than the other way around, make creating and agreeing on your wedding budget the very first thing you do after you get engaged. I know it’s not a sexy thing to do and I know you want to zoom straight to the look and feel of your wedding. I know. I’m the same!

• Once you have discussed and set your budget, I guarantee the rest of your planning will be smoother and more enjoyable and you won’t spend half the time with that horrible, nagging, churning feeling when the subject of money is mentioned or those final invoices start to arrive.

Control the décor monster

• With vintage weddings in particular, it is very easy to try to bring in everything you love and every decor idea you have seen over the months. That is a sure-fire way to end up with a confused and over-dressed wedding. Too much ‘stuff’ will make you guests feel lost in the wedding and they wont be able to fully relax and enjoy the day.

• If there are too many signs and chalkboards with instructions and messages, too much decor and overwhelming tablescapes it can feel claustrophobic. Create your inspiration board, choose your color palette and identify your look and feel.

• Each time you make a decor choice, ask yourself if it fits with your original vision. If it doesn’t, resist the temptation to make the purchase {a great money-saving tactic}. Make a plan for purchasing your decor within your budget and stick to it. I guarantee it will stop you over-rustic-vintage-bride dressing your wedding.

It’s good to stop thinking

• Does it seem strange to advise you not to think too much about your wedding planning? There is adifference between planning and then over-thinking, second-guessing and driving yourself crazy.

• Each time you re-visit a decision you’ve made or decor you’ve chosen, remember this.
There will always be other choices you could have made. There is no one right choice. Some choices are more appropriate than others but on the whole have faith in your decisions and don’t be forever thinking ‘what if’.

• It is so easy when planning your wedding to lose sight of the main reason for planning all of this hoopla. The more events, locations, guests and decor you add, the more complex your wedding will become and the harder it will be to plan and coordinate.

• Each time you are tempted to add another pre-wedding event or another location to the list of things you have to organise, STOP!

• Ask yourself if the outcome will be worth the extra time and effort it will take on your part to arrange it. If you still want to do it, then go ahead. I just ask that you really know and understand what you are adding to your ‘To Do’ list.

Take care of you

• Now there is no denying that planning your wedding is so much fun but can be oh so stressful. And, by the way, give yourself a break here. How often do you plan such a huge life event and invite all of your friends and family and, often times, foot most of the bill? Not often I’ll bet.

• When you start planning how to put your wedding together, you must also make a plan for how to keep yourself together. Don’t let the wedding suddenly take over your life and your relationship. Plan to have a wedding-free day at the very least once a week where you and your fiancé don’t discuss the wedding at all and you spend time together doing something you love. This is even more important as the wedding gets closer when it’s all anyone in your life talks about and plans for. It’s also good to set aside some wedding- free time with your friends when the subject is banned and you purely concentrate on your friendship and catching up.

• When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed by your wedding planning, just turn off the computer and the phone and walk away. Decisions can wait. Look after yourself so you enjoy this exciting time in your life and don’t start to view your wedding as something to get through so you can get back to normal. Make the planning part of your life but don’t let it take over your life or your relationships.

So just stick to this simple system of designing your own rustic vintage wedding, take one thing at a time and just put in a few minutes a day…easy!

Happy Planning! Bec from Plan Vintage {wedding} xx

Sources – All photos are courtesy of Ruche

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