How to Plan a Western Wedding
It can be as formal or as fun as you like
By Jen Whitten
Wedding planning involves walking a fine line between traditional elegance and your own personality. It is not uncommon for brides to wonder if their favorite music or theme is appropriate for the big day. While it is advisable to consider the comfort level of all your guests when thinking about an option out of the ordinary, you don't have to squelch who you are to get married. Even if not everyone in your family is a fan, you can plan a Western wedding in as formal a manner as you like.
- What You Need to Know
- Ideas of what a Western wedding is can vary based on whom you consult. It can be anything from a wedding featuring country-western music to a wedding with a cowboy and cowgirl flair. Define what it means to you and use that as your guide throughout the planning process to avoid muddled elements that don't quite work together.
Decide on the season for your wedding. Depending on where you live, winter weddings can rule out a wedding under the stars. Knowing when your wedding will be helps narrow your location choices.
Find a venue. While you can have a Western wedding in any location you like, some spots are more authentic than others. Look for converted barns, rustic ranches or locations boasting wildflower fields outside. As in real estate, location is the most important element.
Shop for wedding apparel. Even the most traditional of gowns can gain a Western edge with the addition of a bit of blue or red embroidery. For an all-white look, consider shortening the skirt and adding a modest amount of fringe. Daisies or wildflowers in your hair will help tie in any gown.
Hire entertainment. Rather than the standard DJ, think about hiring a live band to play all your favorite Western tunes.
Create an Old West atmosphere. If your theme leans more toward the days of the Gold Rush, use appropriate elements in your décor. Decorate with wagon wheels, strong boxes and cactus plants. For casual weddings, replace chairs with fabric-covered bales of hay.
Work on the reception menu. Western wedding receptions feature a full array of food with all the fixings. As a rule, you cannot go wrong with anything from the grill. Catfish, chicken, steak and brisket are all popular options. Fried chicken anyone?
Arrange your transportation. Exchange the standard wedding limo for a stagecoach or carriage. If you and your groom are comfortable, consider riding off into the sunset on horseback to make your grand exit.
About the Author
Jen Whitten is a freelance writer and worked in the event and wedding planning fields.
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