We recently had the honor of photographing the amazing team that makes up Rustic Elegance! If you are planning an outdoor backyard, tent, or barn wedding – you will want to look into their wedding planning and coordination services, as well as their vintage and rustic rentals that include furniture pieces, dessert stands, centerpieces, and more!
Why? Because they get all things weddings + outdoors! Since 2012, Kellie has been leading the Rustic Elegance team to create stress-free, unforgettable days for her couples. Over the years, her team has grown to include additional talented women to help coordinate and execute wedding days. We have teamed up with Rustic Elegance for numerous weddings, styled shoots, and events and always enjoy working with them! When it comes to outdoor weddings, they think through everything to eliminate any potential hiccups and make the day so smooth for not only the couple and their guests, but for all of the vendors, too!
In the midst of a busy wedding season, Kellie took a moment to answer some questions for us to share more about herself, Rustic Elegance, and weddings with all of you! So, let’s jump right in!
How did you get into wedding planning?
Kellie: I went to college for graphic design and while going to school, I worked at Lafayette Club, Interlachen Country Club, and the Minneapolis Club. I always loved working events – there was just so much excitement in the air! Once I graduated, I worked in design for ten years, but just hated sitting at a desk in an office all day. So, it was actually my mom’s idea (thanks, Mom!) to start a wedding planning business that specializes in tent/barn/backyard type weddings. This would utilize my love for events, design, and the outdoors! So, I took her idea and ran with it and have been coordinating weddings ever since 2012!
Your team has grown so much since then! How has this changed how Rustic Elegance operates and assists couples?
Kellie: By adding additional team members, we are happily able to assist even more couples with having the best day ever. We were finding that we were booking dates up fast and hated not being able to help couples, so we knew it was time to expand our team. We are also able to offer more extensive packages/services. We just started offering a Backyard Elite Package, which includes extra coordinators onsite that can accommodate a larger, more involved wedding.
What are the three most common reasons couples decide to hire a planner & day-of coordinator for their outdoor wedding?
Kellie: One – feeling anxious! They are anxious about what they are “forgetting” or there are too many wedding details floating around in their head. We help them stay organized, know what to be working on and when, and also make sure no detail is forgotten…this helps eliminate the “wedding nightmares”.
Second, they want to be present on their wedding day! They want to enjoy their day and not be setting up decor or managing vendors – and they want the same for their family & friends.
Lastly, the professional advice! Especially with outdoor weddings – where a venue is created from scratch – there are so many details to think about and hiring an experienced professional to advise on these details will ensure the day is well-thought-out. We are also connected with a large vendor community and can advise on which vendors excel with outdoor weddings (like Jeannine Marie Photography!)
What's your favorite part of the planning process?
Kellie: I actually love when I tour a home or backyard for the first time. It is so fun to hear the couple’s ideas and to help them bring these ideas to life and exceed their expectations of what the day can look like.
What's the most important question couples should ask their outdoor venue (or consider themselves if hosting a backyard/private residence event)?
Kellie: A very important question to ask is: What is the rain plan? Everyone is hoping for the perfect weather day – but we live in Minnesota, and the weather is just so unpredictable! It is important to love the rain plan just as much as the original plan. This could mean adding an additional tent for the ceremony ahead of time, or doing a room flip in a venue. Whatever the plan might be, make sure to know what these options are so you can plan ahead.
What's your favorite new trend for outdoor weddings?
Kellie: I am loving how desserts have evolved over time – anything goes these days! Ice cream trucks, deep-fried waffle bar, donuts, etc. It’s fun to see how couples are tailoring their dessert option to fit their personalities!
What's the most memorable/favorite idea that your team helped a couple plan?
Kellie: We helped a couple this summer that weren’t big dancers, so they opted out of the traditional dance. The groom called me the week of the wedding and wanted to do something special for his bride, and we just loved his ideas! We ended up surprising the bride by creating a special dance for just them in the hayloft of the barn and the guitar player from the cocktail hour was in on it as well. We set up candles down the aisle and had a circle of lanterns where he led her for an emotional first dance. We kept guests out of the barn so they could have this private moment together. It was so thoughtful and so special!