Have a hankerin’ for some good old fiddle music while you walk down the aisle? Is a cowboy hat more your dress-up style than a tiara? Are you and your beau both country to the bone? Maybe you should consider a western themed wedding!
Western, cowboy and even country wedding themes are very popular, and they give brides a wide latitude in choosing how formal or informal they want their wedding to be, since western can easily be both – it’s easy to find and coordinate everything from dresses and tuxes to flowers and favors.
Choosing Your Western Theme: Formal or Informal?
The first decision on the Western wedding planning checklist is whether to go with a more formal event or a more informal celebration. And the easier way to decide is by answering the question; how do you envision your guests looking on the day of? Do you want them in dressier ensembles or relaxed in more casual attire?
The answer to this question will trickle down to every other part of the festivities. From how you serve your meal – plated or buffet – to where the ceremony takes place – in a barn or in a church!
Just think about what kind of event you want it to be at its core before you start adding details to your theme.
Western Wedding Attire & Dress Code
Western outfits for the bridal couple, the bridal party and the guests can range across a broad spectrum of color, cost, and formality.
The bride and her bridesmaids can wear anything from elaborate lacy Southern belle hooped gowns to slender tailored jean skirts trimmed with rhinestones.
While guests can come in cocktail dresses or sundresses with their favorite pair of boots on!
The groom could don a fancy Western-design tuxedo and horseshoe cufflinks or black cowboy jeans, a nice white button-down shirt, a string tie – although a cowboy hat and cowboy boots with either ensemble is just about mandatory.
Of course, if things are more casual, it’s perfectly okay to go with a pair of nice jeans and a button-up for both the bridal party and the guests.
Decorations & Wedding Favors
Decor and floral designs can range from informal to formal as well for Western weddings. Which is actually a blessing, because you’ll really get to personalize your theme in the best of ways.
Western-themed wedding favors are easy to find and there are many to choose from. Items with horseshoes, horses and cowboy boots are popular and can be found on candles, mint tins, matchbooks, pictures frames, and favor boxes.
For a more homemade touch, the bride or the bridal party can put together small burlap “feed bags” to give to guests that contain candy or spiced nuts!
Decorations & Flowers
When it comes to accessories and decorations, it is the little touches that can make all the difference. For example, check out the cute idea below for a rustic, country, cowboy wedding, it is a set of horseshoes as escort cards. Be honest, how much fun would that we at your cowboy wedding?
Flowers for cowboy or country weddings can also range widely from the formal to the informal. Florists can accommodate a western theme by providing elaborate bouquets that feature sunflowers, daisies, and chrysanthemums. However, local seasonal wildflowers are also an excellent choice for western-themed weddings, with the advantage that they should be relatively cheap, easy to obtain, and will probably provide a lovely fresh fragrance during the ceremony.
If you plan on having your western-themed wedding in the winter, but still want to use local flowers, speak with a local greenhouse several months prior – they may be able to pot up your favorite flowers and have them available for your wedding as both decorations and party favors for your guests. Also, cacti are a surprisingly popular choice for western wedding decorations, especially if they are blooming – their blooms often have a delicate beauty that provides a nice contrast to all those sharp spikes!
Western wedding food can be a lot of fun to plan because you have so many comforting and satisfying treats to pick from. Whether you want a plated meal or a buffet-style dinner, load up on the cornbread and coleslaw that makes everyone happy!
Figuring out your menu may seem daunting, but since you have a theme in mind, you have a great place to start jumping ideas off of.
Hors d’oeuvres may include: bacon-wrapped shrimp, lamb lollipops, or mini BBQ sliders
Side dishes may include: smoked gouda mac and cheese, roasted vegetables and potato salad.
Main courses may include: roasted chicken, flank steak and vegetarian tamales **accompanied by buttermilk biscuits or jalapeno cornbread.
Desserts may includes: mini apple pies, bourbon balls and a s’mores bar.
Drinks may include: Whiskey sour, mint julep, craft beers and local, sweet wines.
Western Wedding Cake
We all know that the cake is the centerpiece of the wedding and something every guests anticipates seeing. For country weddings, you just have to have a cute cowboy and cowgirl cake topper or some other western themed topper for your cake.
Or you could go with the super trendy, “naked” cakes that we’ve seen flying around the wedding world. They have an edgy, more rustic vibe that fits well within the Western theme.
Put your cowboy boots on and get ready to dance because no western wedding or country themed wedding would be complete without some country western wedding music!
Brides can choose to march down the aisle to a fiddle, guitar, or harmonica playing a romantic country favorite. Wedding receptions can feature line dancing or square dancing. Also, Celtic music is a style of music that is often closely associated and similar to country music and is frequently played at western themed weddings.
Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley
Valentine by Martina McBride
Your Everything by Keith Urban
From This Moment On by Shania Twain
God Gave Me You by Blake Shelton
This is completely up to the bride, but a Western wedding without a song list filled with country music would be an absolute wash. Make sure you include all of your favorites as well as some that you can easily “boot scootin boogie” to by night’s end.