Tips + Tricks | Planning a Tent Wedding

To feed off of our previous blog [Tips + Tricks | Planning a Barn Wedding] we thought we would give our readers some tips + tricks on our other specialty – T E N T weddings! Weddings can get S T R E S S F U L in the planning process, and if you are getting married + having your reception outside [or under a tent], here are a few things to think about:

LAYOUT:
One of the M A I N components of planning a backyard/tent wedding is envisioning the space and finding the perfect tent/rental vendor to suit your needs. [Apres Event Rental is one of our favs]. In thinking about the layout of the space ask yourself these questions: Is there enough room for a tent [or two] that can hold the guest count? Is the area flat? Are there trees/branches that would get in the way of the tent? [taking into consideration that the tent stakes/ropes can take up to 7 F E E T on each side of the tent]. Another important thing to consider is the flow of the event space. Make sure there is enough room for your guests to mingle, dance, stand in line at the bar, walk through the buffet, etc. Think about the guest tables and head table layout [P R O – T I P: Rectangle tables will take up less space in a tent then round tables]. Another concept to think about is can your space accommodate parking for your guests. If the space isn’t large enough, you could considering hiring a shuttle service to bring in guests from the hotel (consider Renee’s Royal Valet). As part of the services we offer at Rustic Elegance, we provide a consult at your home and also draw up a detailed layout of your tent and surrounding space!

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 Draping // Lights by: We’ve Got It Covered

LIGHTING / POWER:
While planning a tent wedding, lighting and power will play a key aspect in your day. You’ll want to ensure that all areas are well lit for guests to walk around with ease in the dark. Don’t forget the path to the bathrooms and parking. Also, you may want to add a solar light to the bottom of each tent stake so guests won’t trip over them in the dark. For lighting inside of the tent, we recommend consulting with one of our favorite vendors, We’ve Got It Covered, for ideas on different options [and even D R A P I N G]. You’ll also want to ensure that you have enough power available for the lights, DJ, bathroom trailer, keg trailer, coffee makers, fans, etc. Make sure you locate the breaker box ahead of time and designate someone to flip it back on if one trips [pssst – hire Rustic Elegance to worry about that for you!]. When thinking about power, it is also helpful to have a few extra extension cords on hand. Also make sure to keep all cords that are in use out of the walkways so guests won’t trip over them.

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 Photo by: Kate Becker Photography // Lights by: We’ve Got It CoveredDay of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Planning Tent Wedding_0714.jpg

Photo by: Bethany Meister Photography // Draping // Lights by: We’ve Got It Covered

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 Photo by: Studio Starfish Photography

TECHNICAL DETAILS:
Not the most fun part of tent wedding planning [but one of the most important parts] is ensuring that you have everything set with your city/location. Check with the city to see if a permit is required to host a party in your backyard/on property – every city is different in this aspect. Also, you may want to add extra insurance coverage with your homeowners insurance for the day of the wedding in order to cover any accidents that may occur [but we are hoping for a S M O O T H day!].

DECOR:
Another detail to think about is decor and centerpieces! Make sure your centerpieces are heavy enough so that the wind can’t blow them over! Consider using battery candles vs. real ones, so these will stay lite on a windy day. [P R O – T I P: Opt for a seating chart versus place cards for outdoor weddings to avoid fly away place cards!]. Another option to dress up your tent would be to rent R U S T I C [but elegant] furniture! At Rustic Elegance, we offer a variety of fun rental options [couches, vintage hutches, chairs, etc] that could spruce up the tent space.

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 Photo by: Jamie Lauren Photography // Draping // Lights by: We’ve Got It CoveredDay of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Planning Tent Wedding_0697.jpg
Photo by: Jamie Lauren Photography // Draping // Lights by: We’ve Got It Covered

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Photo by: Bellagala // Rentals by: Rustic Elegance

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Rentals from: Rustic Elegance 

VENDORS:
Because you are getting married in a backyard setting vs. getting married at a place where a lot of the vendors are already included, hiring vendors with expertise in this type of setting is a must! Check with your caterer to see if they have experience cooking on site so they can ensure S M O O T H service + a memorable meal. If you’re looking for a caterer that does it all, we love working with A’BriTin Catering – they are A M A Z I N G! When considering dessert vendors, make sure you pick something that can withstand the heat. Cakes with a L O T of frosting can melt quickly in the S T E A M of MN // WI summer days. For your bartender, considering hiring a licensed service, who also carries liquor liability insurance. Liquid Motion and With a Twist are two good options [with both of these companies, you can still provide your own kegs/wine]. Also consider renting a keg trailer to keep all your beer [and white wine] COLD.

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 Photo by: Jeannine Marie Photography // Food by: A’BriTin Catering

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Photo by: Jeannine Marie Photography //  Bartending: Liquid MotionDay of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Planning Tent Wedding_0708.jpg
 Photo by: Jeannine Marie Photography //  Bartending: Liquid Motion

WEATHER:
With an outdoor tent wedding, weather can be an issue! You can never predict Mother Nature – it could be too hot, too cold, too windy, too rainy, etc. But planning ahead can ensure a perfect day no matter what. Considering order sidewalls for your tent, not only can these help on a R A I N Y day, but they can also help if your guests are blinded by the sun, if tablecloths are blowing off, or if floral arrangements are blowing over. [When deciding on your tent size, you’ll want to ensure that it is B I G enough to host everything under it [bar, dance floor, dining, etc.] and if it ends up being nice out – that’s a B O N U S and you can move some items outside! If the weather ends up not cooperating, make sure you have a back-up plan/layout in place for your ceremony. When thinking about H O T weather – consider ordering fans to keep guests cool, and overstock on ice/water to keep guests hydrated. If you are thinking about C O O L E R weather – consider bringing in heaters + blankets for guests to stay warm. If it’s supposed to be a rainy day – consider having U M B R E L L A S on hand [you can rent these from Rustic Elegance!]

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Photo by: Eileen K PhotographyDay of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Planning Tent Wedding_0712.jpg
 Photo by: Eileen K Photography

LITTLE [BUT BIG] DETAILS:
When you plan a tent wedding, it’s not “all inclusive” like a golf course or hotel venue. You’ll have to provide some of your own items – Including Bathrooms [P R O – T I P: We recommend a least one Porta Potty to every 75 guests. On-Site is a G R E A T option when it comes to renting bathrooms – they even have trailers with A C!]. Don’t forget a hand washing station! Also, not so fun, but important to remember is garbage cans. You will want to make sure you have plenty on hand [with bags that fit]! Don’t forget to add recycling bins to cut down on waste. Clearly label these for guests to put waste in appropriate bins. Something to consider is who will be in charge of clearing dirty glassware off the tables and checking for full garbages periodically throughout the night [and where will these be put when full!].

In outdoor settings, you’ll want to ensure that your guests are comfortable. Consider providing sunscreen + bug spray, a bathroom basket with all the goodies, and even dancing shoes [or flip flops] for guests to use on the dance floor. While we are on the topic of shoes, it’s never a bad idea to remind guests to wear O U T D O O R friendly shoes + attire [H E Y – you can even add a note on your invitation or wedding website].

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 Photography: Alison Lea Photography

CLEAN-UP:
At the end of the night and after all of the F U N, having a tent wedding can leave you with a hefty “to-do” list of clean up items. Think ahead about who is going to blow out candles, clean up glassware, empty garbages, clean up the decor, remove your centerpieces, etc. It’s definitely not one of the most F U N parts of planning – but it can turn into a hassle if it is forgotten! Friends + family will be tired from dancing the night away, so we suggest hiring someone [like us!] to close out the end of the night + clean up.

MOST IMPORTANTLY:
Last but not least – to ensure that your day is P E R F E C T, appoint a contact person to greet vendors, implement the rain plan, keep things on schedule, and to handle any last minute problems that may arise! [hire a Day of Coordinator like Rustic Elegance] so that you and your family can also enjoy the day! Backyard weddings can be A M A Z I N G + extremely beautiful, but if not executed in a proper manner, can leave guests remembering the bad instead of the good. Our goal as Day of Coordinators is to P L A N ahead, be fully prepared for anything that comes our way, and have your guests remember how B E A U T I F U L your day was, as you start this exciting new journey with your partner!
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Photo by: Shots by Bridge
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 Photo by: Bethany Meister Photography 
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 Photo by: Brye Davis // Rentals from: Rustic Elegance
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 Photo by: Kate Becker Photography // Lights by: We’ve Got It Covered
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Draping by: We’ve Got It Covered
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 Photo by: Jamie Lauren Photography // Decor: We’ve Got It Covered

Megan + Kolten | Legacy Hill Farm

This week, we wanted to F L A S H B A C K to 2016 when Megan + Kolten were married. Rustic Elegance planners Lynse + Kellie had an absolute blast planning this wedding with the couple.

Having their special day at Legacy Hill Farm, the Rustic Elegance duo set up the space with rental items from Rustic Elegance including the buffet hutch, barrels, suitcase for cards, table runners, mason jars, cake stands, and Y E S, the white sofa. Florals for the wedding party were provided by Studio B Floral while Megan’s aunt provided floral arrangements for the guest tables. As Rustic Elegance set up, the ladies spent their morning getting prepped and ready for the big day [in their adorable matching robes]! The guys got ready on the other side of the farm, prepping in their own ways. Prior to the ceremony, Lynse and Kellie ran a quick “day of” rehearsal with the wedding party to prepare for the day. With their morning full of pictures and fun with Eileen K Photography, it was finally time for the M A I N event!

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Megan walked down the aisle to “You Are Mine” by Spensor Canes with her E L E G A N T dress flowing behind her. Post-ceremony, guests enjoyed A M A Z I N G food from This Little Piggy, followed by Nothing Bundt Cakes for dessert [which is one of Kellie’s personal F A V O R I T E S]. The couple also participated in a fun alternative to the typical “Dollar Dance” – they did a “Cake in the Face”! They asked guests to place money in either Megan or Kolten’s jars, and whoever had the most money in their jar got the cake in their face by the other. Kolten ended up being defeated by his S T U N N I N G bride of course! After dinner time, the dance had B E G U N! The couple danced their first dance to “The Thing About Us” by Steve Moakler – and it was so C U T E. The rest of the night, guests packed on to the dance floor, enjoyed a bonfire, and even some fresh popcorn for their late night snack [gladly maintained by the Rustic Elegance team – F R E E smells for us!].

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As the night came to a close, the gracious couple let us take their flowers home at the end of the night, and we in turn donated them the following day. All in all, Megan + Kolten were an absolute D R E A M to work with, and we loved every minute of their special day.

Vendors

Venue: Legacy Hill Farm

Catering: This Little Piggy

DJ: Generation Now Entertainment

Rentals: Rustic Elegance

Florist: Studio B Floral

Photographer: Eileen K Photography

Hair/Makeup: SM Makeup Inc.

Desserts: Nothing Bundt Cakes

Planner: Rustic Elegance

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Kelsey + Isaac | Creekside Farm

In the end of October 2017, Kelsey + Isaac had an A M A Z I N G wedding at Creekside Farm. Planned by Rustic Elegance team members Angie + Kellie, this wedding was definitely one for the books! Tammy, the owner at Creekside Farm, was so extremely H E L P F U L on this day, and absolutely wonderful to work with! The couple spent their morning getting ready in the respective bridal/groom suites. They then met for outdoor F I R S T L O O K photos in their unplanned winter wonderland! Kellie helped keep the bride’s dress out of the snow by standing in the back of some of the photos and holding up the bottom of her dress so it didn’t get ruined! Although the snow was unplanned, it made for G O R G E O U S photos, and Kellie noted how fun it was taking them in the snow. Photographers from Midwest LifeShots Photography, Scott + Jen, were so easy to work with and Kellie said her cheeks were sore the next day from giggling so much through the shoot!

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The couple was planning for an outdoor ceremony, but to their surprise, they were blessed with S N O W [turning their fall wedding into a W I N T E R wonderland!]. Implementing the back-up plan, the Rustic Elegance team swapped their outdoor ceremony into an an intimate indoor ceremony inside of the barn. During their elegant ceremony, guests were able to enjoy the warmth from the in-floor heating that the barn had [a R A R E find]. The wedding party entered from the side of the barn, and the flower girl was also escorted down the aisle in a wagon [absolutely A D O R A B L E]. Kelsey made her grand entrance through the large barn doors at the back of the barn with her dad + guests were tearing up at the beautiful moment [and Kellie may have shed a tear or two, too!]. Kelsey + Isaac also had a unique unity tree planting during their ceremony, which was S U P E R special [we loved this idea!].

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After the ceremony, we flipped the barn into a very special reception venue with the help of Tammy and the Creekside Farm staff. Distinctive Catering & Events did a fantastic job prepping the buffet food for the night, and even cooked up the late night snack of wood fire pizzas [so D E L I C I O U S]. For dessert, guests enjoyed Dippin Dots and Nothing Bundt Cakes [Y U M]. After dinner, guests enjoyed a slideshow of the couple on a screen provided by Creekside [what a F U N way to look back on memories of the couple!]. As the night progressed and the dancing started, DJ Dan from Adagio DJ Entertainment had the guests dancing the night away, and as always, is so F U N to work with! Rustic Elegance cleaned up the reception area and packed the trailer back up with decor at the end of the night. We took home the flower arrangements, per the couples request, and donated them the following morning to Golden Living Center in Wayzata, which created lots of S M I L E S!

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Kelsey + Isaac, we had an absolute B L A S T working on your wedding with you two. Rustic Elegance is so blessed to work with couples as S W E E T as you two, and we wish you the best with married life! Special shout out to Midwest LifeShots Photography for sharing these extra S P E C I A L photos with us for the blog.

Vendors:
Venue: Creekside Weddings & Events
Catering/Bar: Distinctive Catering
DJ: Adagio DJ Entertainment (Dan)
Florist: Sweet Peas Floral Boutique
Officiant: Minnesota Officiants
Photography: Midwest LifeShots Photography
Desserts: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Hair: Tina Huppert
Makeup: Sarah Halberg Makeup Artistry
Coordination: Rustic Elegance

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Melanie + Dan | Backyard Wedding

Melanie + Dan had such a F U N wedding this past summer! Their ceremony and reception were at the bride’s parents farm and it was so S P E C I A L for everyone involved. The back story of this couple is nothing short of a C U T E love story: they met/dated in high school, but went their separate ways for a while. When they reunited – the sparks flew again and they knew it was meant to be! The flower girl and ring bearer were the bride’s children, and were nothing short of A B S O L U T E L Y adorable [especially in the pictures throughout the day!].

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Day of Coordinator, Backyard Wedding , Melanie + Dan_0518.jpg Getting ready for the B I G day ahead! Day of Coordinator, Backyard Wedding , Melanie + Dan_0519.jpg

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 How A D O R A B L E are these two?!

The ceremony was intimate and sweet, and was underneath the tree that Melanie used to play under as a kid, making it extra special. The set-up for the ceremony and reception was simple, and full of Rustic Elegance rentals! They rented lanterns, tables, a mason jar chandelier, cupcake stands, signage, frame for their seating chart, mirrors, couches, lighting, table runners, chalkboards, ceremony doors, the bar, etc. It was S O much fun setting out and working with the Rustic Elegance decor – we had a B L A S T doing it! The couple also had mason jars filled with kid activities and we loved that special touch for the kid friendly wedding.

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Day of Coordinator, Backyard Wedding , Melanie + Dan_0493.jpgThese centerpieces are so S W E E T – we love the baby’s breath combined with our rustic table numbers!

Day of Coordinator, Backyard Wedding , Melanie + Dan_0495.jpgThe ceremony site for this wedding was P E R F E C T!

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Day of Coordinator, Backyard Wedding , Melanie + Dan_0517.jpglove is S W E E T [+ desserts are too!]

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So simple + E L E G A N T – we love this chandelier!

The Back 40 Catering did a fantastic job of catering in dinner for the night, and also provided some of the desserts. The other U N I Q U E dessert was mini donuts which were run by Rick and were A M A Z I N G. Guests were given their guest favors of can koozies to use throughout the night, and to use at the fully stocked bar. As the dance was started by the DJ from J Faye Music, the couple provided extra flip-flops for guests to use for their dancing feet [L O V E this idea!]. They also had two bonfire pits that were blazing late into the night. At the end of the night, Kellie & Kelly [with the help of Steve], cleaned up all of the rentals and anything else they could to ease the stress of the couple.

Melanie + Dan – we at Rustic Elegance want to take a moment again to say how T H A N K F U L we are to have met you and we had SO much fun helping with you special day! You were a blast to work with – and we hope that married life is treating you well. Special shout out to Shelley Kay Photography for sharing these beautiful photos with us!

Vendors:
Venue: Family Farm
Catering/Desserts: The Back 40
Mini Donuts: Rick
Bar: Benny
Rentals: South Central Tent Rentals
Decor: Rustic Elegance
DJ: J Faye Music
Photography: Shelley Kay Photography
Makeup: Small Town Beauty
Bathrooms: Vosika Portable Toilet Rentals
Coordination: Rustic Elegance

Day of Coordinator, Backyard Wedding , Melanie + Dan_0512.jpgSneak peek at his future W I F E!

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Day of Coordinator, Backyard Wedding , Melanie + Dan_0514.jpgOne of our F A V pictures throughout the day – the looks on everyone’s faces is P R I C E L E S S!
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Day of Coordinator, Backyard Wedding , Melanie + Dan_0496.jpgGuys being – well – G U Y S!

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Day of Coordinator, Backyard Wedding , Melanie + Dan_0501.jpgH O O R A Y – these two are getting married today!

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Day of Coordinator, Backyard Wedding , Melanie + Dan_0488.jpgKellie helping out the B E A U T I F U L bride!

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Day of Coordinator, Backyard Wedding , Melanie + Dan_0490.jpgDown the aisle – here we G O!

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Day of Coordinator, Backyard Wedding , Melanie + Dan_0489.jpgFinally M A R R I E D! Time to celebrate.

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Day of Coordinator, Backyard Wedding , Melanie + Dan_0485.jpgThe sunset couldn’t have looked any more A M A Z I N G on these two lovebirds.

Lauren + Micah | Backyard Wedding in Glenwood City, WI

Lauren + Micah – where to even start with this love story? These two were so G R E A T to work with and their love for one another was undeniable! Kellie was the lead planner on this wedding and met with the couple during their planning process and knew it was going to be an E L E G A N T [& dreamy] wedding. For one of the planning meetings with Kellie, they also met with their DJ [Jason from Three Six Sound]. It was a fun dual meeting and Kellie learned L O T S about DJing at weddings and all of the F U N planning that goes into making sure the music is a good fit for the crowd. Lauren + Micah also opted to have Rustic Elegance help with their rentals for their day and they D E C K E D their wedding out with our special rustic touches!

The day began with the girls getting ready at the house on the property where the wedding would occur. A List Bridal Hair and Makeup prepped the girls for the day ahead. Rustic Elegance worked on setting the tables in the reception tent, using white linens, complemented by maroon napkins. The couple rented vintage plates from Rustic Elegance, as well as their head table. Pristine Floral added floral arrangements to the center of all of the tables for the P E R F E C T finishing touch. The day was a little chilly, so in order to keep guests warm + toasty, we opted to reach out to our heating experts from Sunbelt Rentals to come and pipe in some last minute heat. The couple then took their photos [which turned out absolutely S T U N N I N G thanks to JLauren Photography] and even got a few with their pup, Cooper!

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The couple decided on using family owned land and creating a B E A U T I F U L wedding site from scratch. The ceremony was lined up with rental chairs from Ultimate Events, complemented with a draped arch by We’ve Got it Covered, and finishing touches from Pristine Floral [the outcome was G O R G E O U S]. The aisle was formed by natural trees on the land [it couldn’t have worked out any better!]. Lauren and her dad walked down the aisle accompanied by music from the Loring String Quartet. After the couple said their “I do’s”, Rustic Elegance along with friends and family helped move the chairs from the ceremony to the tent for the reception.

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Next, passed appetizers were served by This Little Piggy Catering during a cocktail hour. Cocktail tables [rented from Rustic Elegance] were placed around the reception area for guests to gather before dinner. The couple rented a beer trailer from Liquorhaus, and had Bar Pro as the bartender. As guests were seated they were dismissed to grab their plates and head to the buffet line [with plenty of A M A Z I N G options]. Post speeches and dinner, it was time for some sweets! The dessert table was F I L L E D with cupcakes from Nadia’s Cupcakes, placed elegantly on barrels and a tabletop provided by Rustic Elegance. The couple rented cupcake stands from Rustic Elegance as well, adding a special touch to their display! After dessert, the dance had begun! Three Six Sound did an amazing job luring guests into the large shed where the dance floor was and kept the guests involved until the end of the night.
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Lauren + Micah – it was a T R E A T to work with you two and your wedding was absolutely D R E A M Y [& one we will never forget]! We loved getting to know you two and hope that married life is all that you hoped it would be.

Special shout out to JLauren Photography for sharing the B E A U T I F U L photos from the day – we A D O R E them!

Vendors
Ceremony: Family Land in Glenwood City, WI
Catering: This Little Piggy
Bartender: Bar Pro
Beer Trailer: Liquorhaus
Rentals: Ultimate Events
Decor: We’ve Got It Covered
Dessert: Nadia’s Cupcakes
DJ: Three Six Sound
Ceremony Music: Loring String Quartet
Florist: Pristine Floral
Photography: JLauren Photography
Transportation: Right Way Shuttle
Hair/Makeup: A List Bridal Hair and Makeup
Bathrooms: Onsite

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Kristina + Derek | Steele County Fairgrounds

Kristina + Derek were so F U N to plan with! From the first meeting with Rustic Elegance, lead planner Kellie knew that their day was going to be a P E R F E C T start to their forever!

The ladies had their hair and makeup done at the house with Amber Budd + Brittany Kinne prior to heading out to take some photos with Whitnei Abel Photography. Kristina and her bridesmaids had G O R G E O U S floral bouquets designed by her cousin, Sara, who works for Creative Concepts Floral. Post-pictures, the wedding party headed to Rice Lake Church for an intimate ceremony with close friends and family.

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Day of Coordinator, Steele County Fairgrounds, Kristina +Derek_0418.jpgKristina getting ready with the help of her L O V E L Y wedding party!

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Day of Coordinator, Steele County Fairgrounds, Kristina +Derek_0430.jpgNothin’ F A N C Y, just love.

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Day of Coordinator, Steele County Fairgrounds, Kristina +Derek_0429.jpgSuch fun + simple floral decor – we L O V E D it!

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Day of Coordinator, Steele County Fairgrounds, Kristina +Derek_0441.jpgWalking out of the church – finally M A R R I E D!

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Day of Coordinator, Steele County Fairgrounds, Kristina +Derek_0416.jpgSuch a F U N shot of all their friends + family post wedding ceremony. This will be a cherished memory for the couple for Y E A R S to come!

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The reception was at the Beer Garden barn on the Steele County fairgrounds and made for a G R E A T area for all their guests [they had about 350 total – wow!]! As far as decor, the picnic tables were lined with lace table runners, centerpieces including bundles of baby’s breath in copper vases, and an added vintage touch of old soda bottles. There were also high top cocktail tables set up throughout the space to account for standing room for their large guest count. The inside of the barn was draped with S T U N N I N G cafe lights from We’ve Got It Covered that gave an extra rustic element to the space. The couple rented wine barrels from Rustic Elegance which were used as decor outside of the reception venue [we added a cute sign provided by the couple and some extra florals to make it look super C U T E!]. For their guest book, the couple had wine bottles labeled with their significant anniversaries to come and asked guests to sign the wine bottles [adorable!]. The couple also brought in their own yard games to add to the Beer Garden’s terrace and it was the place to be for the kids that attended their reception!

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When the couple arrived at the reception site as newlyweds, they said a few words to their guests before dismissing everyone to head to the buffet. Torey’s Restaurant did the buffet style catering for their informal flow style dinner throughout the night, with a wide variety of food options, and also manned the bar for guests. Desserts were served from rented Rustic Elegance cupcake stands [on top of some more of our wine barrels] with the cupcakes being provided by Perfect Day Cakes [which were Y U M M Y!]. The couple also had their Photo Booth set up for guests to use [TC Photobooth] which was a H U G E hit. After dinner + speeches, it was time to D A N C E! The Fabulous Love Handles did a G R E A T job and were very fun and engaging with the crowd [especially the little kiddos!]. The kiddos also had a blast playing with the G I A N T balloons, board games, and glow bracelets that the couple provided! In front of the band stage on the dance floor, the couple added cute marquee letters spelling L O V E that lit up the dance floor [so fun!].

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Kristina + Derek – we A D O R E D being the day of coordinators for your wedding. The simple love that you two have is a reminder to us all that true love is so S P E C I A L. We hope that married life is treating you well!

Special shout-out to Whitnei Abel for sharing these photos from the couples day – they are P E R F E C T!

Vendors
Venue: Beer Garden at the Steele County Fairgrounds
Catering/Bar: Torey’s Restaurant
Desserts: Perfect Day Cakes
Decor: We’ve Got It Covered
Hair/Makeup: Brittany Kinne + Amber Budd
Band: Fabulous Love Handles
Florist: Creative Concepts
Photographer: Whitnei Abel
Photo Booth: TC Photo Booth
Rentals: Rustic Elegance
Coordination: Rustic Elegance

Tips + Tricks | Planning a Barn Wedding

Planning a wedding can be S T R E S S F U L. There are SO many things to think about – your wedding party, budget, food/beverage, etc. After enjoying some time engaged to your future life partner, one of the first orders of business that every couple will have to decide on is the venue. From hotels, golf courses, event centers, etc., every couple has a venue style that they can envision themselves tying the knot in. One of the latest crazes in the wedding world is getting married in a barn, one that has been transformed into a beautiful wedding venue. At Rustic Elegance, we are fortunate to specialize in backyard, tent, barn, vineyard, and orchard wedding coordination. We love working with these types of venues – which start as a blank canvas but may require more planning then if you held your event at a full-service hotel or restaurant. Being in business for over 5 years, we have come up with our top 10 tips for planning a barn wedding, and we would L O V E to share with you all!

CLIMATE CONTROL
You might not think about this right away, but many barn wedding venues will face the outdoor elements because of the different seasons throughout the year. If you’re planning on getting married in the scorching summer months, you might want to think about adding some fans or renting an AC unit to ensure guests are comfortable. Also confirm with the venue if they have air conditioning as an option – there are a few out there. If you’re planning a fall/winter wedding at a barn, consider having space heaters or renting a blow-in-heating unit, so nobody will have to endure the harsh MN/WI winter during such a heart-warming day!

BACK-UP CEREMONY
Many barn venues have B E A U T I F U L outdoor options for ceremony sites, or a barn that can start as a ceremony site, where your guests are then invited outside for a cocktail hour, and the barn is then transformed into your beautiful reception venue. While outdoor options for ceremonies and cocktails hours are fantastic – there is always the chance of weather getting in the way. When planning a barn wedding, have a back-up plan if utilizing outdoor space. Also, think about who is going to help initiate a back-up plan once you have one, including ensuring guests are dry and safe, and moving any previously set up décor from your outside space indoors.

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Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Planning a Barn Wedding_0403.jpgPhoto by: Nicole Spangler Photography

POWER
Many barn wedding venues are repurposed older barns, that were decorated and transformed to create a place to make lifelong memories from your special day. With the older barns, there may not be as many sources of power or outlets that you will need. Consider bringing a few extension cords or power strips to ensure that your vendors will have enough power to work.

FLOW OF THE VENUE
Layouts of barn venues/the farmland are very different throughout MN/WI. Some have one barn, some have two, some have bridal suites, some do not. When visiting venues, consider the space and spending your entire day there. If you do decide to use the barn space for both the ceremony and reception, there will have to be a “flip” period, or a time when the venue changes from ceremony layout to reception layout. Also when thinking about utilizing this space, also question who will be flipping it for you – the venue workers, family members, or you could hire a day of coordinator [like us] to take all of it off your hands.

LOCATION, TRAVELING AND HOTEL BOOKINGS
If you are centrally located in the Twin Cities, chances are you will have to travel a little bit into the countryside for your wedding if you choose a barn venue. Also keep in mind that this means your guests will also have to travel, and some may opt to stay in a hotel. Consider booking a block of rooms at a hotel nearby for your guests, and providing a shuttle to and from, to encourage safe travels and further encourage dancing the night away.

DECORATIONS
Barn venues have their own elegance throughout, created by the wooden beams, posts, and rustic décor that the venue has. With the venues permission, you will have the chance to dress up the barn to your D R E A M! A few things to think about when decorating inside the barn:

Centerpieces – If there are going to be doors open at the venue, wind may try to blow away your décor. Think about heavier centerpieces, such as wood logs, heavier flower vases, etc., so that the decorations stay in place! Also, consider who is setting out the centerpieces [florist, family, you, planner, etc.] and who is gathering them at the end of the night.

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Lighting – Barns are typically only lit by a few overhead lights and may be seemingly dim on your initial visit to the space. To brighten the room [as well as everyone’s day], think about adding string lights across the ceiling or a chandelier over the head table, for a dramatic effect.

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Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Planning a Barn Wedding_0395.jpgPhoto by: Whitnei Able Photography

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Keep it simple – The barns that we have been so fortunate to work with are beautiful on their own with no decorations. Try to concentrate on the true beauty of the barn with light décor, or choose to focus on a focal point in the room.

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Photo by: Midwest LifeShots Photography

DRESS FOR THE OCCASION
All barns have different surroundings. Some may be surrounded by grass and fields, others by dirt paths/roads, etc. Ceremony sites may be all grass, rock, or they may be in the barn itself. Either way, remind yourself and your guests to wear farm or grass friendly attire, especially footwear, for your special day.

EVENT INSURANCE
Some barn venues require extra “event insurance coverage” to host your event at their venue. This is extra event insurance, in case there were anything to go wrong. This may be an added fee to your budget, so it’s something to keep in mind. Check with your venue or planner to verify.

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Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Planning a Barn Wedding_0404.jpgPhoto by: Nicole Spangler Photography

VENDORS AND DAY OF COORDINATORS
Unlike hotels, event centers, or golf courses, most barn venues do not have an in-house caterer, bartender, or coordinator, which means that you will have to outsource for these vendors. When deciding on vendors to help with you day, it is important to choose vendors that have experience with the outdoor/barn type venues. Some caterers will bring a grill/tent set-up and cook right on site – how A M A Z I N G is this? This set-up ensures food will be freshly made for your guests. Other vendors will bring food already made at their facility and transport it to the barn [not as fresh – but still yummy!] Barn venues may have restrictions on how loud a DJ or band may play, therefore, hire a DJ who has had experience with this type of venue. Also, look for a DJ who has experience with outdoor ceremonies and equipment that can withstand the “wind” noise. When considering your make-up/hair artists, hire someone who can keep your make-up and hair in place despite the weather elements. Last, but not least, hiring someone who is going to capture the magical moments from your day! When hiring a photographer, it is important to hire someone who has had experience with the barn type venue. Lighting can be a challenge and photographing with the elements [heat and rain], can be a tricky. Consider asking your photographer if you can view an entire album from a wedding they have photographed at a barn venue [this way, you know they aren’t showing you just their very best photos]. Hiring vendors with outdoor/barn experience is a must, and will ensure every element of your day will flow smoothly and you won’t have to worry about a thing. Many barn venues will have a list of preferred vendors that they enjoy working with. Think ahead about all the tasks that will need to be completed from start to finish throughout your day, from set-up, greeting vendors and guiding them where to set up, to giving last minute payment to vendors, greeting guests, directing guest traffic etc.

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Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Planning a Barn Wedding_0402.jpgPhoto by: Ester Knowlen Photography

CLEAN UP
Depending on your venue choice, you may have to clean-up the venue the night of your wedding, and remove all items that you had brought in, including décor, presents/cards, floral, food, etc. Plan for someone to help designate the clean-up effort, so that you aren’t tacked on with any extra clean up fees, or make sure your wedding planning team can take care of it.

BONUS TIP
One more bonus tip because we just have so much to share! When putting together your seating chart, we always recommend assigned seating for your guests, to make their dining experience a G R E A T one! One common mistake we see is that guest names are listed by table number vs. alphabetical order. This layout forces guests to have to look at all the tables/names to find their own. Instead, consider putting guest names in alphabetical order by their last name, to ensure guests can find their tables/names with ease. Also, we recommend using a list/frame type style vs. place cards. At barn venues, the barn doors are usually wide open to let the natural breeze in and this provides the perfect opportunity for fly-away place cards. When deciding on what will be used for your actual table numbers, consider something large enough to be seen from a distance, and something that is stable against the elements as well [have these placed on the table facing the door that guests will be entering from].

We’ve seen some extremely remarkable weddings at stunning barn venues across MN/WI, and have had the chance to work with some pretty amazing couples! We feel so grateful every day to be doing something that we love and feel so passionate about. We hope that our barn wedding tips have helped you consider how great it is to have a wedding at a barn venue, and that you also consider Rustic Elegance to help coordinate your special day! Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Planning a Barn Wedding_0409.jpgPhoto by: Asher Marie Photography

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Planning a Barn Wedding_0399.jpgPhoto by: Emily Isakson Photographic Services

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Planning a Barn Wedding_0406.jpgPhoto by: Shelley Kay Photography

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, Planning a Barn Wedding_0408.jpgPhoto by: Marc Andreo Photography

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Jodie + Nikki | Bloom Lake Barn

This past fall we had the absolute H O N O R of being a part of Jodie + Nikki’s special day! This couple was A M A Z I N G to work with throughout the planning process, and Rustic Elegance lead planner Lynse loved working with them. Although Nikki was blessed with a last minute broken foot, this couple S T I L L found a way to make their day P E R F E C T [with the help of a wheeler and a golf cart!].

These two lovebirds spent their special day at Bloom Lake Barn. They prepped for the day with their all lady wedding party [who were such a B L A S T!]. Jodie’s side of the party was dressed to the N I N E S in woman’s tuxes – and looked F A N T A S T I C. Nikki also fashioned a unique vintage wedding dress that was S T U N N I N G. Their ceremony was absolutely adorable and so romantic! The setup looked G O R G E O U S – and the overcast parted just in time for them to be able to walk down the aisle [it was the perfect day – we couldn’t have asked for more!].They both hand wrote their vows – and ended up starting them I D E N T I C A L to one another [that’s when you know you’ve found your true soulmate].

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Throughout the day, we L O V E D all of the personal touches that were specific to the couple. They opted to have a shot ski used as a guest book [how F U N is that?!]. They also had a wedding cake topper that was P E R F E C T for the couple [& pretty self explanatory!]. Their videography was done by Paul Jennings Film, who did a great job covering the day from beginning to end. The night ended with dessert by Sara’s Tipsy Pies. With a Twist Bartending was fantastic to work with [as always!] and kept the drinks flowing all the way to the dance! Bellagalla did a G R E A T job getting all of the guests on the dance floor and kept the love spreading through the music into the night!

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Lynse noted that this was one of the most high E N E R G Y weddings that she had the pleasure of coordinating, and that she had the B E S T time getting to know Jodie + Nikki! These two souls are sure to live a H A P P I L Y – E V E R – A F T E R!

Special thanks to Joe Lemke Photography for sharing these G R E A T photos from the day – they tell the story perfectly. Also, shout out to Paul Jennings Film for sharing their video with us – what a F U N keepsake!

P.S. This was Lynse’s last wedding with Rustic Elegance as she moved on to a new business venture – owning a resort up north – so fun! We are so thankful for the heart and soul that Lynse put into her time coordinating with Rustic Elegance, and she will be greatly missed. We hope the best for her in her new adventure in life!

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Vendors
Venue: Bloom Lake Barn
Photography: Joe Lemke Photography
Videography: Paul Jennings Film
Dessert: Sara’s Tipsy Pies
Bartender: With a Twist
DJ: Bellagalla
Coordination: Rustic Elegance
Catering: Friend of the couple
Floral: Family friend