Rustic, Barn Wedding Decorations

Budget Friendly Barn Decorations

I have always enjoyed been obsessed with design and style.  So naturally the design and theme were a very exciting, important part of the wedding for me (Mr. Blue Eyes smiled and went along with everything) 🙂 We wanted our wedding to stand out and be a unique experience for our family, friends, and us.  Luckily I have a very talented family, my auntie has an unbelievable design talent.  She offered to help me create a show-stopping, budget-friendly design.  If you read the “Our Family” section you know that I am a teacher and Mr. Blue Eyes owns his own company.  We try to budget everything in our lives and that included our wedding.

Wedding TipBefore you start shopping for decor get some inspiration.  Look at magazines, Google, and of course the mother ship…Pinterest.  You need to have an idea of what you want the outcome to look like before you get started.

We wanted a vintage, rustic feel for our wedding and that is where I began.  I searched the Internet for barn wedding pictures as inspiration and boy did I find it.  The lighting, draping, candles, flowers…all the pictures were magical and I became so inspired.  The next step was to figure out how to get my inspiration pictures on a budget.

Barn Wedding

Barn Wedding Inspiration Photo

Inspiration for the lighting and burlap.

Inspiration for the lighting and burlap.

After finding inspiration I decided on a color scheme and overall feel for the reception.  It was not going to be a cookie cutter, ballroom wedding because that is so not who we are.  I knew I wanted the barn to look natural featuring ivory, burlap and a few fall pops of color like eggplant and gold.   With those ideas in place it was time to start planning…seriously we only had 3 months and my goodness that barn was huge!

Goodwill Vignette

Goodwill items creating an adorable vignette outside the ladies bathroom.

We planned to create vintage, rustic vignettes all over the barn and on all the tables.  These vignettes were going to include lights, candles, mason jars, mirrors, and other knick knacks that would create a cozy, personal feel.  This meant that we were going to have to get a lot of stuff, however on our budget we couldn’t afford a lot of stuff!

Seating Chart

This table was set up outside the entrance. We used old window panes to write the seating chart.

After the “vision” was created it was time to plan and shop.  The resale and antique shops became my best friend.  I hit up every Goodwill, St. Vinny’s, and antique store in a 50 mile radius and it paid off.  We ended up spending a total of $1,100 on decor!  so let’s get started with the tables!

Card Table

This is one portion of our entrance table. We used a bird cage to collect our cards.

The Table

Mason jar candle

This is one sample of the mason jar candles we put together.

We had around 40 tables to decorate, which is no small task.  As a base for the tables we used ivory table cloths which we rented from our caterer.  On top of that I made all the table runners out of burlap (seriously so easy, cheap, and gorgeous)!

Table View

Our long family style set-up helped create a unique setting.

We did not use a single fresh flower at the reception except for the two larger pieces we brought from the church.  I know you probably are thinking I am crazy but that sweet auntie I told you about had an amazing vision of using dried Hydrangeas.  Luckily my family and friends all pinched in at the end of the summer (late August – mid September) and we cut hundreds of Hydrangeas to use at the reception.  We tried not to get a lot of the green Hydrangeas because that is more of a summer look.  I focused the effort on purple and pink Hydrangeas that dry in beautiful brown and purple tones. To go on top of the runner I bought fake, green vines from a whole sale website.  Yes, I did say fake but seriously we saved so much money on flowers.  We filled in the vines with the loads of dried Hydrangeas we had cut.  It looked amazing.

Long Table View

A view of our tables during the set-up.

Wedding Tip: Don’t spend your whole budget on fresh flowers when there are so many that look great dried!

Dried Hydrangeas

Close-up of the dried Hydrangeas on our tables.

Drying the Hydrangeas was easy but you do need a lot of vases and containers.  After you cut them in late August/early September put them into a one of the vases with some water.  Then just leave them and wait until the water dries out.  When the water has completely dried spray the flowers with hairspray.  It sounds a bit goofy but seriously it helps the flowers stay!

Close-up vignette

A close-up vignette from one of our outside tables.

Mr. Blue Eyes and I still have vases of the Hydrangeas around our house and it has been 2 years! Every time I look at them it reminds me of our wedding day.

Just to recap the tables we had the ivory tablecloth covering the table then the burlap running down the middle.  Then on top of that we had the greenery (fake :)) with the dried Hydrangeas running through the vines.  We added ribbons of various colors throughout the vines as well.  Then we spread mason jars filled with tea lights on each table.  I really love odd numbers (don’t ask me why) so each table had a 3, 5, or 7 jars.  We wrapped the jars in twine, ribbon, and tool to give them a little flair.  For our table numbers we used various sized frames that we painted gold.  Then my sweet sister covered the back with vintage wallpaper and glued wooden numbers from Michael’s, which she painted, in the center. We also bought a bunch of vintage saucers from Goodwill and placed a bottle of wine on each of the tables to add a family style touch.

Table Numbers

This an example of our table numbers.

A few weeks before the wedding my auntie and I did a mock up of a table in the basement.  Then we took pictures so that the day before the wedding when we were setting up all of our helpers could see the vision!

Seating Chart

A closer view of our seating chart.

Wedding Tip: If you are setting up the decor for your wedding STAGE your tables, take pictures, and pack each tables decorations in a box.  This will help immensely when you head to the venue with all your family and friends who are going to help set up! 

Bar vignette

One example of a vignette that was set in the bar area.

One of my favorite touches that we added were the drapes that framed the entrance to the barn.  We talked with a local bridal shop and got an unbelievable deal when we rented their entire set of drapes.  The drapes were also used inside the barn to cover some less then tasteful murals that hung behind the head table.
Draped Barn Entrance

Our dreamy entrance..dripping in drapes and Hydrangeas.

From the moment Mr. Blue Eyes and I pulled up with our wedding party our entire wedding was a dream.  We couldn’t have asked for a better or more beautiful day.  What a wonderful way to start our life together.  We are so blessed.





About Celia

I am a blue eyed gal living with my blue eyed hubby and our blue eyed Weimaraner in Wisconsin. Teaching is my day job and I just love it! There is nothing that I would rather be doing for my profession. In my free time I love designing and crafting our little apartment. I also have a love of all things water like swimming and boating. Take a minute or two to get to know my blue eyed family.
No comments yet.

Leave a Reply