The Death of the Mason Jar III: A Darling Day

Posted December 19, 2013

This is our third installment of the Death of the Mason Jar Series. If you missed the first two, check them out here: Part I, Part II. We’ve encouraged you not to just take our word for it—which is why we are ECSTATIC about having a guest blogger this week. Yep, none other than Jessica Barley of A Darling Day. We have had the pleasure of working with her for weddings like Emily & Daniel’s. If you haven’t seen her rentals, you need to stop what you are doing right now and check them out (click here). She’s also a fantastic photographer. Basically, this talented vendor is extremely knowledgeable and has great perspective as someone who used mason jars in her own wedding. Without further ado, here’s what Jess had to say about this topic…

“Rest in Peace, jelly jar. And may I add burlap to that list? Yes, you rest in peace, too, burlap.

My husband and I were married in April of 2010 (you can see images from our wedding here). We served beverages in mason jars and made a backdrop for our cake table out of burlap. They were cute details, but they were not personal. The details that really made our day unique were the ones we fabricated on our own, the ones that were not rooted in blog inspiration. Here are some examples:

My husband’s last name is Barley, so one of my friends made us a graphic of barley wheat that we used on our invitations, programs and welcome bags. My major in college was fashion design, so our wedding had a lot of fabric details: handmade floral bridesmaid dresses and fabric flower bouquets. We both love old wood, so we made our favors by cutting pieces of reclaimed wood into blocks and stamping them with cute little sayings. (I’ve included some photos by Chris Moncus Photography).

Pinterest can be a helpful planning tool, but it is no replacement for personal touches, for the things that are unique to you as an individual and you and your fiancé as a couple. Those will be the details your guests will remember. And because Pinterest is so overly saturated with mason jars and burlap details, the effect of using these elements at your wedding can feel stale.

My tips for planning a rustic wedding (no need to default to mason jars and burlap!):

If you are going for a rustic look for your wedding, choose a venue that naturally caters to this look. The best rustic weddings are typically outdoors at farms or venues that have an old structure like a house or barn. A venue is essential to the theme of your wedding and can automatically set the tone for your guests.

Do not overlook what the style of your dress can say about the style of your wedding! If you are having an outdoor, rustic wedding, have this in mind when choosing your dress. You should pick something with an easy style. A princess-style ball gown with a super full tulle skirt is probably not the best choice. Consider your groom’s attire, too. A black tuxedo doesn’t really scream “rustic”. The attire you choose for your bridal party should mimic the style of you and your groom. Anything too formal will seem out of place in a rustic setting.

When adding details for a rustic wedding, think of ways to incorporate natural elements: florals, wood, moss, herbs, fruit, bark or stone. Natural elements are timeless by definition, so they will never go out of style. Florals are especially important, and finding a florist who excels at organic arrangements is essential. Consider using floral vessels with a variety of shapes and made from a variety of materials. I like mixing tarnished metals to achieve a rustic look, like brass, copper, silver and pewter. Tarnished metal candlesticks and votive holders are great additions to florals on a table. And the romantic ambiance created from candlelight is an added bonus. (Attached are two images of florals in a tarnished metal cup and a metal candlestick. Florals by Willow Florals, photography by A Darling Day.)


Look for furniture pieces or small props that are well worn. “Rust” is an essential part of the word “rustic”, so look for rusted or paint-chipped details. Swapping out a standard table for a piece of distressed furniture is an easy way to incorporate this idea. I like to use a unique piece of furniture at the main points of interest: the guestbook table, gift table, dessert table, favor table, etc. Find rentals that fit your theme! Banquet tables covered in polyester linens and plastic folding chairs can easily be swapped out for farm tables (no linens required) and mismatched wood chairs. The effect is immediate and effortless. (Take a look at a post on my blog with more images from our Indigo Dinner Party here.)”

 Well, we think Jessica really hits on some amazing points, particularly with the paint-chipped, rust feel. Well worn items really add authenticity and depth to the design and theme of the event, and the NotWedding is loving this look too! Their theme this upcoming September 2014 for the very first NotWedding Greenville, SC might be incorporating some of these same concepts… stay tuned for our final installment of this series after the holidays—and in the meantime, keep up with our recaps of our past 2013 events!