Don’t get me wrong, burlap is wonderful. It’s an easy decoration that screams, “I’M SO RUSTIC!” Take a spin on Pinterest and you’ll see hundreds of projects using the stuff. Table runners, signs, swags, bows, placemats, frames, you name it. Here’s something about burlap that you might not realize…it’s an annoying sack of potatoes. Literally. Minus the potatoes. It can be really messy if you don’t know what you’re doing with it. Cut it wrong and it frays. You’ll have bits of burlap and weird fuzz all over the place. It’s also, EVERYWHERE. Everyone uses burlap, because it’s readily available in large quantities at every corner store. Okay, that might be an exaggeration. But try walking into a craft store and see what happens. So, unless you’re a burlap connoisseur and it’s your life’s mission to have a burlap-y wedding, choose a rustic aesthetic that will keep you from pulling your hair out. Because, let’s face it, you’ll probably do that later, making a seating chart.
Opt for these country chic additions instead!
It doesn’t get more rustic than plants. Load up on the baby’s breath. It’ll give you that rustic, southern charm you’re looking for. It’s beautiful, smells heavenly, and is affordable to boot!
Try incorporating twigs, ivy, and log slices into your décor. Use a slice of wood as a charger under the dinner plates. Use tall sticks in vases for centerpieces. Instead of using burlap as a chair sash, use a string of ivy tied up with twine. Don’t go too heavy on the foliage though. You don’t want your guests to think they are in a game of Jumanji. Unless that’s what you’re going for, of course.
I’m not talking 80’s hairband metal. Or maybe I am. But honestly, metal décor is so underappreciated on a daily basis, let alone at a wedding reception. You can find metal letters and numbers big and small, at your local craft store. If they are brand new, shiny and not a dent in sight, get a hammer! Wear them out a little bit. Give them some bumps and bruises. Ding the surface for some unique character.
Have the flower girl carry a tin bucket filled with petals. Or put the rings in an antique tin soap box. Oh you don’t have an antique tin soap box laying around? That’s weird. Go find one, or something like it. Not everyone will remember little details like that, but there will always be someone that comes up to you later and says, “Hey, that metal ring box was cool!” Chances are that person will be me.
Don’t have the funds for metal? Go to the dollar store and get plastic everything. Buckets, tubs, frames, vases. Pretend you’re on an episode of Supermarket Sweep and throw everything in your cart! Then go to the hardware store, get a bunch of metallic paint and get to sprayin’! For one night, you can fake it. That’s it though, just the once. Don’t tell your fiancé.
If you still think you need that pop of rustic flair you may be missing from burlap, try different fabrics. Mismatched tea towels, tweed, muslin, or even canvas. A crisp white cotton goes a long way. Create or purchase a custom wedding day stamp and give your fabric a makeover. Keep it simple and chic. Country chic, if you will.
A little bit of lace can go a long way. Most commonly, you’ll see it paired with burlap. But since you’re not going to use burlap, try pairing it with brown leather or wood accents.
If after all this, you still feel the need for burlap, then just do it. It’s your wedding. You’ll burlap if you want to.