For the Love of Primitive Antiques

A Primitive Style Wedding

Tis the season of saying the “I do’s”… I was recently asked of my thoughts on how to do a prim style wedding.   I have to admit that I had to sit back and think a little bit on how you could incorporate the pomp and circumstance of what people think of when wanting that perfect classical wedding and then throwing a primitive twist into it.  I have photographed many weddings in my day and to date I have to admit that a prim style is one that I haven’t seen yet.  My own wedding(to my wonderful husband) some 24 years ago had a rustic bohemian style which we played out high up on the side of Mt Rainier much to the chagrin of our guest that dared to come, but I wouldn’t have considered it a primitive style, though I had a love for antiques and primitives even back then.  So at first I fell back on what I told all my previous clients and told them to look at photos of the magazines they like reading.  After that though, I started thinking a little more about it.  I got back with them and suggested that they first needed to find the location and then play off of that.  Some ideas I had on locations were old post & beam barns, old wineries(these two I knew were no-brainers), antique colonial homes, historic railroad depots, for a Autumn wedding find a Maple Tree Grove that has the trees in their vibrant fall foliage , covered bridges if you are lucky enough to live around one and the town allows it, or even a friends field.  Once the location is found at that point it should be easier for deciding on decorations.


  • Antique canning jars – wrap rusty wire around the necks and making a loop so they can be hung on beams in old buildings or on tree limbs if outside.  Use battery operated tea lights in them(these are much safer than their flaming counter parts) If you can’t find a stash of antique jars use new or recycle store bought food jars with taking the labels off.  You can also put whole coffee beans, cinnamon stick chunks, or drieds(fruits, corn or flowers) in the bottom of the jars when using the battery operated tea lights which will also give a subtle yummy smelling aroma.  To help make the battery operated tea lights look prim you can grunge them up with bees wax and cinnamon.
  • Old railroad lanterns or barn style lanterns – chippy paint or rust is a must
  • Tall skinny hand forged wrought iron candle stick holders(again I recommend grunged up battery operated taper candles for safety purposes) – Hanging and table top varieties


  • Long antique wooden plank gathering  tables – even if you can only find one, it would make a beautiful way to showcase the wedding cake.
  • Primitive Cabinets – to use for table wares, gifts or even food
  • Antique tool caddies – the type that have partitions in it so you can stand the silver ware up in each of the partitions
  • Wood Bowls – Make sure that they are food safe
  • Brown butcher paper or burlap or tea stained muslin for table top runners – add a little flair with some scatters like small pine cones, cinnamon sticks, small rusty jingle bells, or dried flowers
  • Primitive drop front desk for the sign in book
  • Antique gallon size canning jars with antique flower frogs for table top flower vases
  • Use bronze ware chargers with the dinner plates


  • Enlarge sepia toned or muted colored photos with distressed edges of the happy couple to hang or to put on antique style easels.
  • If your’e using a field try putting small potted trees in old stone ware pickling crocks
  • Hang garland made of dried fruits, pinecones, or cinnamon sticks in any combination on beams of buildings, railings, or outdoor trees


  • Some ideas for the bouquet are dried flowers maybe even throw in some dried fruit, long pheasant tail feathers(naturally molted, please) or pincones.  An all pinecone bouquet by glueing the pinecone type of your choice individually onto 6 to 8 inch long wooden dowels, then wrapping the bunched together dowels in ribbon or raffia.  Bunch together a lot of autumn colored Maple leaves that still have their stem intact together for a vibrant colored Autumn bouquet.  Or a large bunch of Sweet Annie with the stems wrapped in ribbon would also be very pretty and prim.
  • For the guys a little bunch of Sweet Annie about 2 or 3 inches in length tied with a single ribbon would make a nice boutinier or a small single 1 inch diameter pine cone glued to 1 to 1 1/2 inch small diameter wood dowel with the wood dowel wrapped completely in ribbon would make another nice choice for a boutinier.

These are just a few ideas, but what ever style you do your wedding in remember to put in a little of your own flair, make it personal that way the beauty of you and your loved one will shine through!

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