How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

One of my favorite wedding themes is rustic, which can include a western, barn, farmhouse, woodland, or country vibe. Today we’re showing you how to plan a western themed wedding with a handful of tried-and-true ideas, both handmade and do-it-yourself. We’ll show you how to plan a western themed wedding with ideas for invitation, venue, time of year, attire, ceremony + reception decor, and gifts. And, we’re making this post just a bit sweeter: we’ve teamed up with the lovely Debbie of Knotty Notions to present another fun giveaway! What’s up for grabs? Read on to find out!

How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding (invites: jen simpson design)

invitation: jen simpson design

How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

1. Start with the invitation.

Every great event starts with the perfect invitation. A wedding, particularly one with an overall theme, requires an awesome invitation to gear up your guests. This is one beautiful style in yellow and blue.

country wedding invitation - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding (invite: jen simpson design)

jen simpson design

2. Pick a Venue.

The venue where you’ll tie the knot makes a huge impact on your overall theme. If you’re planning a country wedding, western wedding, or one with a woodland vibe, pick an environment that totally complements your theme. For instance, a country wedding would be beautiful at a ranch, on a farm, in a barn, or in an old farmhouse. A backyard wedding (or one in an open field) are also great options if you’re not able to pick a barn or farm.

barn wedding reception venue - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

braedon photography via barn wedding ideas

3. Time of Year

When you plan a western themed wedding, you’ll want to consider the time of year. While you can plan this style in any season, it is much more convenient to have warmer temperatures, as your ceremony and/or reception will likely take place outdoors. The best time of year for a western themed wedding is spring, summer, or early fall (before it gets too chilly).

4. Attire

A western wedding is more casual than other themes. Instead of heels, the bride might opt for a pair of western boots.

cowgirl boots - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

madden girl

The bride might wear a veil, or she might opt to wear a cowgirl hat instead (if even just for the reception).

cowgirl hat - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

ri novelty

A wedding dress of any style works well with this theme, although many brides tend to wear more casual dresses that are flowy and made of organic cotton or lace. If you’re getting married in a cooler month, you can add a top layer — like a cardigan or a plaid shirt.

bride gown plaid shirt - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

photo: ciara richardson

The bridesmaids can go casual in mismatched dresses or matching ones, paired with western boots.

mismatched bridesmaid dresses and boots - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding


The groomsmen, too, should dress more casual. A button-down shirt and tie, paired with jeans and boots, is one perfect option.

groomsmen in jeans and boots - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

photo: justin battenfield via ranch wedding

5. Ceremony + Reception Decor

While your venue will play a large role in the overall (natural) decor of your ceremony and reception space. However, there are many fun + inspiring ways to add a personal touch to your handcrafted wedding. Let’s explore a few hand-picked decor ideas.

A ceremony and/or reception sign will tell guests where to go. Weathered + worn fit right in here!

wood ceremony sign - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

the hipster housewife

A unique cake topper that features western boots or ‘just hitched’ are a few of our favorite finds.

western boots wedding cake topper - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

red heart creations

Horseshoes are a symbol of good luck and an ideal decor piece for this wedding theme! (See where to buy horseshoes for weddings.) You can use horseshoes to make escort cards (see this post for inspiration), for ring toss as entertainment for guests, or as chair signs.

horseshoes wedding chair signs - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding


Western wedding programs are a must-have for this theme. Here is one design we love, which is made in a ‘fan-like’ form to cool off guests.

western wedding program fans - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

abbey and izzie designs

Tie in unique decor touches, like colorful bunting and hay bales around your ceremony and reception space. Here, the bride is preparing for her walk down the aisle with her father in an outdoor, backyard-style DIY barn wedding.

western wedding ceremony decor - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

photo: melissa prosser via diy barn wedding

We’ve seen this done many times before, but we still find mason jars + red striped straws to be a totally charming detail. Mason jars and country / western weddings are made for each other. (We love mason jar drinking glasses even more, since they have a handle for holding.)

mason jars + striped straws - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

photo: melissa prosser via diy barn wedding

Unexpected details can add to the casual, handcrafted flair of this wedding theme. One of our favorite ideas? Fabric-wrapped napkins.

fabric wrapped napkins - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

photo: melissa prosser via diy barn wedding

Your ring bearer can carry a western themed wedding pillow — or choose a fun alternative instead. Have you ever seen a buck rack used as a ‘pillow’? Brilliant idea!

buck rack ring pillow alternative morganthecreator

morgan the creator

Instead of a guest book, ask guests to leave well wishes in a rustic keepsake box on charming heart-shaped wood.

wedding wishes and advice rustic box - How to Plan a Western Themed Weddinghearts inside wedding wishes box - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

knotty notions

Drink in western style! These burlap koozies feature ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ on the outside.

burlap beer koozies - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

hello love weddings

What’s synonymous with a western themed wedding? BBQ! Give guests these unique bbq rubs as favors.

bbq rub wedding favors - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

dell cove spices

Ever western wedding requires one of these: a ‘just hitched’ banner!

just hitched banner - How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding

little retreats

6. Gift Ideas

Gift-giving for a western themed wedding is fun! If you want bridesmaids or groomsmen to wear western boots, consider buying their pair (these can get expensive, though, so this is ideal for a smaller-sized wedding party). Other ideas include the following:

– horseshoe jewelry

horseshoe bracelet

my distinct designs

– cowboy boots cuff links

gun cuff links

spotlight jewelry

– western ring bearer badge

western ring bearer badge

knotty notions

– western flower girl jewelry

western flower girl jewelry

stamped one of a kind

– personalized print for mr + mrs

western wedding print

michael dexter design

This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, just a few ideas to get you started! Find TONS of handmade wedding ideas here!

Giveaway: Western Themed Wedding Advice / Guest Book Box

Now that you know how to plan a western themed wedding, it’s time to win a little something to get you started! One lucky EB reader will win a rustic wedding advice box by Knotty Notions, as shown below. Box includes fifty (50) wooden hearts inside for guests to write their well wishes! This item measures 6.5″ by 4.5″ by 3″. It has tarnished metal details and has been stained a natural color to keep the integrity of the wood.

rustic wedding advice box

Giveaway Details

o Enter between 2/26-3/4/14 (11:59pm EST)
o Prize: Rustic Advice / Guest Book Box by Knotty Notions
o Winner will be randomly selected and announced on 3/5; winner announced on this blog post and emailed
o Winner has 72 hours to respond to email or new winner will be selected
o Free shipping included to U.S. + Canada only
o No purchase necessary
o Winner has 3 months to claim prize
o Prize value: $70 | No cash value
o Past giveaway winners within 30 days not eligible to win
o Use entry form below to enter

– – –

Happy Planning!


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Emma Arendoski

CEO/Editor at Emmaline Bride
Blogger, author, wife + mother. I love coffee, DIY, handmade + all things wedding. Check out my books: "The Handcrafted Wedding" (2012) and "The Inspired Wedding" (2014). You can also find me blogging at Emmaline Baby.
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  • Justyne M

    i like the Wedding photo frame. Personalized for the Father and Mother of the Bride.

  • rebecca greeno

    love the cake topper.

  • rebecca greeno

    love the rustic wedding box.

  • Justyne M

    the ring bearer badge is so cute!

  • rebecca greeno

    love the we do birds cake topper.

  • Leah Warner

    I love the Mr. & Mrs. Wood Slices!!

  • Justyne M

    i like the Wedding Cake Topper Love birds We Do.

  • Marnay

    The Wedding mini clothes pin table number holders are so creative. I love the glitter!

  • rebecca greeno

    We aren’t having a ring bearer, but if we were, I would pick this:
    RUSTIC ring bearer pillow

  • Christina C

    I think the wedding hangers are so cute!

  • Tara Trovitch

    Love the bride in her flannel!!

    • Emma | Emmaline Bride

      I love it, too! Who would have thought a plaid shirt would look so darling with a wedding dress?

      • Tara Trovitch

        We are doing a barn and while not ‘country’ in the least, I may add this to the pics list!!

        • Emma | Emmaline Bride

          Great idea, Tara!

  • Awilda Mapelli

    I liked the Rustic Wedding keepsake box.

    • Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Great choice, Awilda! It’s a great way to keep heirlooms after your wedding day (and tie in your theme, too).

  • Alexis M

    Love the rustic wedding cards sign shaped like a heart!!

    • Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Ahh, I love that sign, too! Great find!

  • Marnay

    My fiance would love the Man Cave wooden coasters

    • Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Haha, I know… those are pretty awesome. Perfect for the groom’s gift!

  • Dell Cove Spices

    Awwww – thank you, Emma, for featuring our BBQ Spice Rub favors! We’re actually making a set of State BBQ favors for a bride with family from different parts of the US. She wanted each table to honor the food of her loved ones’ states – so there’s the Charlotte BBQ Ribs table, the Memphis pulled pork BBQ table, the Chicago Honky Tonk table, the St. Louis Finger-Lickin-Good table, etc. Talk about a tasty wedding…!

    • Emma | Emmaline Bride

      You’re welcome! Love those BBQ spice rub favors. That sounds like such an awesome idea… it’s a great way to personalize the tables!

  • Eileen L

    The wedding ring box with the birds on it is beautiful!

    • Emma | Emmaline Bride

      The ring box is my favorite ring pillow alternative! I love how you can reuse it after the wedding day to store jewelry.

  • Hannah S

    love it all!! especially the advice box :)

    • Emma | Emmaline Bride

      I love the idea of an advice box. Those hearts are great because you can use a Sharpie marker on either side… so if you have 100 guests, 50 hearts will still work just fine. Good luck on the giveaway!

  • rebecca greeno

    Rustic Christmas ornament- Our First Christmas- is what I order.

    • Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Nice choice, Rebecca!

  • Martania Taniaknowsbest Penn

    I’m swooning over the Wedding pets-Wood Burned RUSTIC Photo Prop. Dog puppy sign. I’ve been looking for something fun and original for our little princess to wear on our wedding day. And this is absolutely perfect!

    • Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Great find, Martania! Good luck on the giveaway!

  • @Knotty_Notions

    Knotty Notions is being featured here! How to Plan a Western Themed Wedding | Emmaline Bride® via @EmmalineBride

  • Casey Barreto

    Love the rustic engagement photo prop for dogs but no way would my two stay still long enough for a picture!

    • Emma | Emmaline Bride

      Hi Casey,
      I know what you mean! :)

  • @_ragdoll

    Win a rustic guest book / advice box for your #wedding!