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Rustic chic event decor

Some of the most stunning, unique and affordable event decor can be found in your very own community. Check out your local Goodwill store, antique store, flea market or yard sales, and you’ll probably come across great deals on vintage pieces that can be used as decor for a rustic chic-styled event. You may already have many of these items in your own home!

Paper lanterns

Below are a few ideas for the types of items you should look for as well as experts’ advice on how to use them to give your next event a rustic chic look.


A wealth of items are available to use when adorning tabletops. Shari Ivler, a decorator and designer, recommends using planter box centerpieces. You can easily fill a long wooden box with flowers that complement the season, mood or color scheme of your event. Ivler suggests filling the box with all white roses or selecting flowers of the same color that vary in shades of light and dark.

Jess Wrobel, owner of Jwrobel LLC, offers another suggestion for displaying flowers: “Mismatched, but pretty pitchers and teapots found at flea markets and yard sales make beautiful containers for a wildflower display,” she explains.


Earlier this year Anne Churchill, owner of AnnaBelle Events & Rentals, planned and styled a rustic chic wedding reception that was hosted at a historic, red barn. To decorate, as well as to achieve lighting throughout the space, she used a variety of inexpensive items. “The ceiling of the barn was dressed with bubble lights and paper lanterns, providing a beautiful glow long into the evening. Additional lighting was hung in the surrounding trees: Mason jars, filled with a little sand, glowed with candlelight,” she explains.


Simplicity is key when it comes to covering tabletops at a rustic chic event. Churchill explains that draping the dining tables with crisp, white linens helps to create an inviting, chic look that won’t take attention away from the existing rustic decor. She further explains that it might not be necessary to cover each table. “If it’s a nice solid piece with a good finish, leave it bare. Even if it’s not perfect, it will add to the rustic look.”

You might also consider Wrobel’s suggestion: She recommends adorning tables with a double layer of inexpensive, landscape burlap to achieve a rustic chic look.


In addition to lighting and tabletop decor, you can use a wide variety of inexpensive, vintage accessories to further create a rustic chic look. Check out flea markets, yard sales, Goodwill stores and auctions for vintage pieces. Churchill suggests looking for tins, tools, signs and small furniture pieces.

Event designer Meg Burford of Main Event Caterers was recently married and used several antique and handmade items to give the ceremony and reception a rustic chic atmosphere. “I used tree slices from AC Moore and a burning
tool to create my table numbers; collected antique keys from all over the state of Virginia, eBay and Etsy, which were turned into escort cards and placed on handmade frames with wooden easels…. My mom and I made three cake toppers for each cake and decorated a ballroom with old family photos to make the place feel like ours,” she explains.

These are just a few of the items you should look for when styling a rustic chic event. With a little creativity, you’re bound to come across other vintage and rustic items that can be used in clever ways to create a stunning event.

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