Tips & Tricks for a Rustic-themed Party

Rethink the debut celebration with a low-key yet memorable affair that won’t blow a hole in your pocket
Photo from the author

On January 5, my boyfriend’s sister celebrated her 18th birthday. Unlike most debuts in fancy hotels with hundreds of invited guests, Jazelle chose to celebrate only with her immediate family (I was her brother’s plus one) and close-knit group of friends at a private resort in Tagaytay.

Before the big day, Jazelle and her mother had been planning the party on their own for weeks. Jazelle ordered balloons, floaters and fairy lights from Shopee while Tita Reda scoured over the displays at Landmark for wicker baskets, pillowcases, and plant decor. After a month of scrolling through Pinterest, online shopping, and several trips to department stores, the result was a beautifully decorated rustic birthday party.

I was amazed that the mother-daughter duo managed to pull off everything without the need for a party planner that I wanted to share some of their tips and tricks.

1. Choose a venue that’s close to nature

If you choose the right venue, you’re likely to plan less decor to achieve that rustic look, and a venue that’s close to nature suits this particular style best. Beautiful rustic venues include a landscaped garden, a lake ranch, or a private resort that offers fantastic mountaintop views and fresh air.

The Green Olive Garden in Tagaytay is a private, exclusive venue for all sorts of events and features a pool, theater room, and different suites, among others.
Photo from the author

Your 18th birthday can be a quiet celebration in a tranquil setting with your family and closest friends
Photo from the author

2. Use lots of neutral brown shades and greenery

Opt for brown hues with splashes of greenery for your color scheme to ace the classic rustic look. Wooden furniture is always the best idea for a rustic party, and you can switch it up from wooden benches to wine barrels as tables.

Tita Reda got a little more creative with the seating arrangements. She purchased several pallets to use as tables and spread pillows all over the grass to act as seats. The fun seating style created a more woodsy and carefree feel to the affair.

The pallets are sold for P280 apiece at Cavite Photo from Reda David

For details, decorate the tables with fresh flowers, faux tree stumps, vintage pieces and deep green ferns. You may scatter the stemmed flowers all over the table or place them in mason jars to act as centerpieces.

Pro tip: empty Sola bottles are a great alternative to mason jars
Photo from Jeremil David

The fresh flowers matched the color scheme of the desserts table
Photo from Jeremil David

3. Low and soft lighting is ideal

A soft and warm glow is the epitome of a rustic party. Harsh lighting is a definite no-no, so string some outdoor fairy lights around the trees and add tealight candles on the tables for a charming and cozy atmosphere. You may also set up paper lanterns or some vintage-style lamps that tie together with the theme.

String Chelsea lights and fairy lights across the trees by nailing them in a crisscross pattern
Photo from the author

Pro tip: You can use battery-powered candles that are usually sold in department stores
Photo from Reda David

The splash of color added a festive flair to the neutral brown shades of the furnishings
Photo from Reda David

5. S’mores is a great crowd pleaser

Instead of the usual chocolate fountain, have a s’mores bar station. The station is pretty easy to set up. You just need chocolate bars, marshmallows, graham crackers, barbecue sticks, and a small earthen pot filled with charcoal. The delicious treats are sure to be a hit with your guests!

Illuminate the table with some fairy lights
Photo from Reda David

6. Don’t forget about the party favors

Give out party favors that fit the theme. If you want to go au naturel, you may give out tiny potted succulents or herbs, such as basil or rosemary. Other souvenir ideas include soap bars packed in burlap bags, wooden bookmarks, and jars of honey or fruit jams.

Jazelle’s party favors were floral-scented colognes in these intricately-designed small bottles.

I got a tulip-scented one and I’m absolutely in love with the bottle’s pattern
Photo from the author

So how much did this laid-back debut cost?

The venue in Tagaytay cost about P30,000, which covered an overnight stay for some 30 to 50 people. The catered food was about P11,250 and the flowers were at P1,300. All in all, a manageable expense for a celebration that might just be more memorable than an extravagant affair, with the 18 roses and candles and the grand ballroom.

The rustic theme is popular for weddings but their versatility makes them great for all kinds of parties. With these tips and tricks, you’re sure to pull off a rustic-themed party that will be a visual treat to your guests.

About The Author

Chryss loves ice cream, literature, and East Asian pop culture. She would like to pet your dog.

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