4 Inspirational Elements to Create a Rustic Outdoor Wedding Table

Whether you are hosting an event at home or an outdoor reception elsewhere, try these decorating tips for an intimate rustic wedding, outdoor wedding shower, spring entertaining Event, or summer al fresco dining!

picnic table with beautiful centerpiece and string lights

With everything going on in the world right now, outdoor wedding ideas and table decorations may seem a strange topic. But I began gathering inspiration for this post shortly before social distancing became the new norm… And I’ve decided that going forward with this post is my own small way of claiming the hope that we will get through this to the other side.

A couple of months ago, my extended family gathered together in the Texas hill country to celebrate my grandmother’s life and hold her funeral… For me, it also meant returning to the place where I was married. Sixteen years ago, my husband and I said our vows in a nearby chapel and then danced the night away amidst the trees draped with twinkle lights beside this pool filled with floating candles.

hill country backyard with dark blue pool, stone wall covered with ivy, and views of the hills through the trees

The DIY reception we threw in my grandparents’ backyard was simple, humble, budget-friendly… and utterly magical. Being back there (for the first time in 14 years, I might add, since my grandparents sold the place shortly after our wedding) was mind blowing.

It brought back all the memories of our backyard wedding day: thousands of string lights (and countless hours stringing them through the oak trees), folding dining tables draped with white tablecloths, candles galore, goldfish swimming in the centerpieces (not kidding!), and even the fireworks show that was set off overhead during our first dance. Intimate, rustic, charming, and glorious. And, naturally, I’m not biased at all. 😉

It got me dreaming, though, of outdoor spring and summer entertaining: rehearsal dinners, graduation events, dinner parties, and more. And in an effort to dream of better days to come – days when we can again gather in celebration together – here are a few ideas for creating your own outdoor entertaining magic.

4 Tabletop Home Accessories for Creating the Perfect outdoor centerpieces

I’ve found after hosting weddings, baby and wedding showers, and a host of other outdoor receptions that every table needs a few elements to create stunning and simple outdoor table decorations.

rustic dining table with centerpiece of wooden candlesticks, lanterns, and glass vases | Maison de Pax

A few simple tabletop items you might already have in your home, along with great food and company, can transform almost any outdoor living or dining area into an intimate DIY reception.


Whether you are wedding planning or just preparing a little evening summer entertaining, add instant ambiance to your outdoor decorations with candles. From tea light votives to jar candles to large lanterns filled with pillars, candles create a magical glow. I love using candles at different heights, and unique candle holders can make a table feel luxuriously curated.

To make your guests feel more comfortable on a cool evening, I also love having propane gas fire pits near seating or on the table for an enchanting and cozy warmth.

Create a rustic outdoor wedding table with unique candles, string lights, and greenery - Maison de Pax

String Lights

In addition to candles, I love using overhead lighting in the trees with string lights! String lights have become incredibly affordable and can endure harsh outdoor environments with new LED options that still give a warm glow.

I love this rustic outdoor table setting with vintage-look lanterns, but the layers of string lights really bring this outdoor space to life.

Interested in learning how to hang string lights? You can read more about that here.

picnic table with globe string lights hanging above | Maison de Pax
Create a rustic outdoor wedding table with candles, string lights, and greenery - Maison de Pax

Or for another option, these cute globe lights are strung in between my outdoor patio umbrella and feel fun and festive for a more casual outdoor dining experience perfect for summer parties.

gorgeous outdoor dining and living space with so many fun decorating and summer entertainment ideas!

Greenery and Florals

Flowers and greenery are pretty traditional choices when setting a table, but you don’t have to be limited to classic centerpieces. Depending on the style of your party or wedding decorations (and budget), I think there are practically endless options. Both simple, affordable greenery and elaborately lush floral arrangements can be beautiful!

For my older brother’s rehearsal dinner, we used mason jars filled with grocery-store stock and herbs.

rustic wedding decorations | creative decorating ideas for a rustic chic wedding or rehearsal

And this outdoor table has only free greenery harvested from the trees, no flowers at all!

Create a rustic outdoor wedding table with candles, florals, string lights, and greenery - Maison de Pax

On the other hand, lots of flowers can also make the perfect contrast to a rustic setting. My baby brother got married a few months ago, and his beautiful bride did an amazing job with everything!

Create a rustic outdoor wedding table with candles, florals, string lights, and greenery - Maison de Pax

The romantic tapers and string lights among the wooded background felt like an enchanted forest… And the wedding centerpiece is bright and bold with overflowing florals and cobalt blue dining sets.

Create a rustic outdoor wedding table with candles, florals, string lights, and greenery - Maison de Pax

Seasonal Produce

One of my favorite ways to bring a more unique look to your party or wedding table is to incorporate seasonal produce. For example, cabbage or gourds make beautiful table decorations in late summer or early fall.

gourds and wooden bowls make a rustic fall table decoration

Even better, they can be used as creative floral or candle holders. These sweet apples and pumpkin candles are perfect for a DIY wedding or any charming dining experience.

Create a rustic outdoor wedding table with candles, string lights, and greenery - Maison de Pax
Create a rustic outdoor wedding table with candles, florals, and greenery - Maison de Pax


I hope that gave you some inspiration for your next outdoor wedding, shower, or celebration… even if you’re just dining al fresco with intimate friends.

As I look through these pictures and remember my own big day, I can’t help but dream of the celebrations we may plan in the future for our four kids. And who knows? Maybe it will even include a backyard wedding or two.

Don’t forget to pin it!

Create a rustic outdoor wedding table with candles, florals, string lights, and greenery - Maison de Pax

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  1. I enjoyed viewing these fabulous tables-capes. My plans are to use a few of these ideas, as soon as I am able to do so. Thanks for sharing. Please stay safe

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