Mason jar centerpieces, hay bale seating and barn venues have exemplified the rustic-themed wedding, a top industry trend for the last several years across the country.
The popular theme was prevalent among products and services showcased among many of the 109 vendors at the 2018 Bridal Spectacular on Jan. 7 at The Linc. However, Mid-Missouri industry experts said marrying those items with romantic, vintage decor and classic accents gives local brides a new “rustic elegance” to their nuptials.
“As soon as Missouri found that (rustic theme), I don’t think that it is ever going to go away,” said Stacey Halstead, a florist for 30 years before opening his Jefferson City-based custom floral design business florissimo. “We are starting to elevate that a little more and more. We are moving away from hay bales to mixing in chandeliers and beautiful pieces with candles, creating a fancy atmosphere in a barn. … I call it high-low.”
This charming blend of casual and sophisticated has served one, newer barn venue in Mid-Missouri well. The Legacy Barn — located in Barnett between Eldon and Versailles — has held 15 weddings since they officially opened last summer and has booked many more this year.
The Legacy Barn was once a functioning, working barn located on property owned by Kathryn and the late Jack Hutchison for 40 years. Until recently, the farm produced cattle, crops and hay, according the Legacy Barn’s website. The couple’s oldest daughter, Judy Jo Hutchison, decided to turn the barn into a wedding and event venue and celebrated its first wedding June 3, 2017, with the nuptials of Dodge, Jack and Kathryn’s youngest grandson, and his fiancé Tara.
The Legacy Barn truly embodies “rustic elegance,” a phrase they use to encourage weddings and other events at the venue. The main floor has more than 3,000 square feet and is accented with white lights, tastefully draped fabric and gorgeous chandeliers among the rustic wooden beams. The barn’s loft also boasts private bride and groom dressing areas, adorned with the same rustic elegance that many Mid-Missouri brides are seeking.
“The dressing rooms have Victorian furniture and a vintage look. You see that rustic theme and romantic, Victorian style married together nicely at the Legacy Barn,” Judy Jo said.
Named after a movie, “The Legacy,” in which Jack and Kathryn along with their ox teams and covered wagons appeared, the Legacy Barn also gives each bride and groom a piece of rustic barn wood with their names as a memento and thank you.
“They are starting a new journey and creating their own legacy, and we appreciate them to be a part of ours at the Legacy Barn,” Judy Jo added.
To add into a barn setting or outdoors venue, a variety of themes could be achieved with chalkboard signs, polaroid guest book ideas, tables, centerpiece accents and candy dishes from one of the event’s main sponsors, US Rents It, which specializes in wedding and party rentals and provides an assortment of pristine furniture, equipment, decor and accessories for every occasion. For brides continuing to embrace rustic elegance, a new rental business out of Kingdom City also has a slew of wedding essentials to rent.
Co-owned by mother and daughter Angela Shramek and Brianna Brown, The Upper South exhibited an array of perfectly matched pieces at the show from burlap and lace utensil holders and wooden “Mr. and Mrs.” head table decor to repurposed vintage furniture, such as the popular Sweet Caroline white buffet.
“We do big things like the buffet tables and dressers down to small things like table decor,” Brown said. “A lot of this stuff can be expensive or hard to find because it is so popular.”
In fact, Brown utilized many of the same items in her own wedding a few years ago. According to Shramek, the lady they had rented the pieces from for her daughter’s wedding needed to sell her business for personal reasons. The mother-daughter team decided to take on the operation as a side business and have supplied “rustic rentals” at and helped coordinate several weddings, bridal showers, baby showers and other events across Mid-Missouri and as far away as Kansas City and Arkansas since owning The Upper South for the last few months.
Renting equipment is cost efficient while providing the same quality, cohesive theme and personalization as buying items they may not use or will have to sell later.
“Renting items gives it that beautiful elegance and theme without having to drop a lot of money,” Shramek said. “That style is popular and the variety of items available can truly make your wedding unique.”
Custom floral arrangements also add a personal touch to every bride’s dream wedding, and Halstead said his personalized floral designs can meet all themes, including “high-low” and rustic elegant styles. On display at the Bridal Spectacular, Halstead and his partner Jamey Essig showcased Halstead’s brooch bouquets and an original floral centerpiece featured in an ornate antique bowl.
“We can do that in-between look, where it still looks like you raided grandma’s attic, but you got the really good stuff,” he said with a laugh.
Halstead said they live for the elevated centerpiece for weddings and special events, with all their custom floral arrangements in a super stable vase that often can serve multiple purposes throughout the day.
“They are used at the church as altar pieces and then taken to the reception venue. Our brides often buy three to five to be used at their venue, with two brought over, doing double duty during the entire event,” he said. “In a place like The Millbottom that has super high ceilings, you need something to eat up that vertical space. … It is great to have two or three different types of centerpieces, allowing your eye to move around the room. … It makes the room seem more full and interesting.’”
From centerpieces and altar decor to bouquets and boutonnieres, Halstead said florissimo’s clients have seen big color trends in grey, navy, peach, blush and burgundy.
“Those are the big color trends right now for flowers. … About two years ago, Pantone’s color of the year was marsala, a burgundy color. That is how long it takes to follow trends. This year’s Pantone color of the year is ultraviolet, which is a really bright purple. I don’t see us doing a lot with that color at all, but maybe in two years we will,” Halstead said with the smile. “With burgundy being so prevalent (in flowers), you have many choices, like the ranunculus. Burgundy dahlias were huge last year, using them in every wedding I did in October.”
Garden roses are still popular, and the rustic elegance carries over in the actual arrangement with succulents and other beautiful greenery complimenting colorful blooms, Halstead said.
“Another trend is more unconstructed bouquets, more wild and not as tight,” he added.
The casual yet elegant theme carried over to many dresses seen on the runway during the Bridal Spectacular’s fashion show, which ended out the 31st annual event presented by Central Missouri Bridal Association. Ana Marie’s Bridal, located in downtown Jefferson City, showcased more than 15 different dresses from two designers.
“Sweetheart has a little more casual, outdoorsy, even boho bridal dressed, where Stella York has a wide range of styles from casual to more formal church wedding gowns,” said Wendy Gladbach, owner of Ana Marie’s Bridal.
Ana Marie’s Bridal models cascaded down the runway in many wedding dresses detailed with lace and beaded embellishments that were still simple, classic and unique. Many of the dress’s silhouettes were blush, champagne and other light hues other than classic white.
“It makes the lace pop. … and it compliments the woman’s skin tone. A lot of ladies can’t wear ivory or white. That little bit of color, enriches the dress and they look better in it,” she said.
Some gowns stuck with the recently popular strapless trend, while many others sported delicately embellished lace cap sleeves or spaghetti straps. In addition, low backs, cut-outs, or gaps in the main fabric of the dress, and cut-outs on trains were a popular trend seen.
“Cut-outs, particularly on the side of the bodice and on the trains, are very popular right now. … We are also seeing a lot more detail and design on the train,” Gladbach said. “In our area particularly, we have a large Catholic community where long masses and wedding services are held. That back detail is complimentary to the bride as they mainly have their backs to their guests during the ceremony, while dancing at the reception. … Plus that simple, beautiful lace and detail also compliments the more casual, rustic weddings we have in our area.”