Country Wedding Reception

Get tips on planning a homemade country-style wedding.

Country Wedding Reception Couple Kissing

Country Wedding Reception

Abby and Greg Duntz found the field of their dreams on rural property belonging to the bride’s parents—the rustic setting for their wedding reception.

Abby and Greg Duntz in cornfield

Bride and Groom in a Cornfield

The charm of the farm won out over big-city venues when Chicagoans Abby and Greg picked a place to tie the knot.

Wood veneer wedding invitation and envelope

Wood Veneer Wedding Invitation

To suit the casual feel of their wedding, Abby and Greg designed invitations using a wood veneer paper stock.

Abby and Greg Duntz leaving church after wedding

Bride And Groom Leaving Church

The wedding ceremony was held in a small local church. Abby’s father, a minister, helped officiate.

Wedding rings tucked in ear of corn

Wedding Rings in a Corn Husk

A farmer friend planted corn to serve as a country-style backdrop to Abby and Greg’s wedding celebration.

Wedding party standing in a cornfield

Wedding Party In A Cornfield

The wedding party posed amid head-high cornstalks.

Abby and Greg Duntz in front of windmill

Bride and Groom By Windmill

A windmill added a romantic country touch to a portrait of the happy twosome.

Wedding reception tent in the country

Wedding Reception Tent

A reception tent was set up at the edge of her parents’ backyard, Abby notes. “There was nothing but farmland to look at in every direction—which we loved!”

Wedding reception tables under tent

Wedding Reception Tables with Runners

To personalize the dinner tables, Abby and her mother selected Amy Butler fabrics, which they sewed into floral-patterned runners.

Wedding program on hay bale

Wedding Program

Leftover fabric from the reception table runners was used to frame the wedding programs. “It was the hard work of Greg, my bridesmaids and a hot glue gun that got them done,” says Abby.

Oil lamps close-up on reception table

Oil Lamps on Reception Table

Abby and Greg hit every antique store they could find to collect 80 vintage oil lamps they used as table decorations.

Dog's photo on table number

Reception Table Number Featuring Dog's Photo

Photos of the couple's dog, Cooper, made whimsical table numbers.

Wedding flower arrangement in cheese box

Flower Arrangement In Cheese Box

Antique cheese boxes were used in nostalgic floral centerpieces.

Scrapbook-style wedding guest book on antique table

Wedding Guest Book on Antique Table

The guest book rested on one of the antique tables Abby’s parents collect.

Scrapbook wedding guest book close-up

Scrapbook Wedding Guest Book

The scrapbook-style guest book invited guests to leave a note for the couple in their own little envelopes.

Wedding reception place card holder and jam

Wedding Reception Place Card Holder

Abby’s dad built a place card holder out of recycled barn wood.

Calligraphed wedding place cards on clothesline

Calligraphed Wedding Place Cards

Hand-calligraphed place cards hung on mini clothespins.

Canned strawberry jam wedding favors

Strawberry Jam Wedding Favors

The bride and groom spent a full day mashing strawberries, mixing and canning their tasty wedding favors.

Hay bales in semi circle around fire pit

Hay Bales Around Fire Pit

Hay bale seats were set up around a campfire prepped for making s'mores.

Wooden peg wedding cake toppers

Wedding Cake Toppers

A friend who is a pastry chef made a small Boston cream wedding cake topped by wooden peg figures representing the couple and their pets.

Chocolate wedding reception desserts

Wedding Reception Desserts

Hundreds of bars and pastries filled the dessert table.

Moon shining on wedding reception tent

Wedding Reception Tent In Moonlight

A waxing moon bathed the festivities in a loving light.

Bluegrass band playing under tent

Bluegrass Band Playing

A bluegrass band serenaded guests into the wee hours.

Wedding guests making s'mores around a fire

Wedding Guests Making S'Mores

The celebration ended sweetly with guests choosing from homemade marshmallows—in caramel, vanilla, chocolate and cinnamon flavors——to make gourmet s’mores.

Country Wedding Reception Couple KissingAbby and Greg Duntz in cornfieldWood veneer wedding invitation and envelopeAbby and Greg Duntz leaving church after weddingWedding rings tucked in ear of cornWedding party standing in a cornfieldAbby and Greg Duntz in front of windmillWedding reception tent in the countryWedding reception tables under tentWedding program on hay baleOil lamps close-up on reception tableDog's photo on table numberWedding flower arrangement in cheese boxScrapbook-style wedding guest book on antique tableScrapbook wedding guest book close-upWedding reception place card holder and jamCalligraphed wedding place cards on clotheslineCanned strawberry jam wedding favorsHay bales in semi circle around fire pitWooden peg wedding cake toppersChocolate wedding reception dessertsMoon shining on wedding reception tentBluegrass band playing under tentWedding guests making s'mores around a fire


When Abby Ernst and Greg Duntz started checking out cornfields, they weren’t preparing to harvest. They were planning their wedding.

Though they live in downtown Chicago, they found that big-city wedding venues didn’t suit them. But while visiting Abby’s parents near rural Franksville, Wisconsin, “we were relaxing in their backyard, surrounded by beautiful farmland,” Abby recalls, “and we knew—this place was us!”

In keeping with their dream of a wedding that was intimate, comfortable and personal—a chance for guests to experience real Midwestern charm—they made their special day as DIY as possible. With help from family and friends, they built, baked, canned, sewed, restored and recycled. “My father married us in a small neighborhood church,” says Abby, a pastor’s daughter. An outdoor celebration followed in a 40-by-60-foot tent on her parents’ lawn, bordered by acres of green-and-golden stalks.

“That was one of the best wedding presents of all,” Abby notes. “Mom and Dad’s neighbor is a farmer, and he knew we wanted a backdrop that really said country. So he planted corn just for the occasion!”

Less pomp, more personality
According to a 2012 survey of 18,500 brides conducted by, more couples are choosing casual weddings. Last year, 17 percent of brides described their weddings as casual, compared to just 12 percent in 2009.

Do-it-yourself is another trend, with 48 percent of couples designing their own programs, 47 percent making their favors and 37 percent sending DIY invitations. In fact, rustic weddings, or those with rustic elements, have become so popular that they sparked an entire website in 2009,

Photography by m three studio photography.

terry 1 June 29, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I loved everything about this wedding! Im sure a great time was had by all!
Thanks for the photos!


Susan 2 June 2, 2014 at 7:09 am

And be sure to check out “Fresh from the Field Wedding Flowers” by Lynn Byczynski and Erin Benzakein (who graces the cover of the June 2014 issue of Country Woman!) for information and inspiration on using local, seasonal flowers for your casual, country wedding. It is a great resource for flower farmers (like me) and DIY brides wanting to use garden flowers or local blooms in their bouquets!


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