Thinking of having a western-themed wedding? This is a great way to enjoy a fun, casual, and unique start to your marriage. But if you need some ideas to get your inner cowgirl (or cowboy) working, here are a few tips to get you started.

The Right Place

Western wedding are often more casual affairs, and they can be perfectly suited for alternative venues. Rather than paying for a traditional wedding location, consider offbeat options like a barn, a ranch or farm, an old farmhouse, or even a large and open field. Backyard weddings are another good idea—and generally the cheapest way to go. Because western weddings are often outdoors, you may want to make sure you choose a time of year with good weather and have a backup plan in place, such as a rented tent or alternate covered space.

The Right Ambiance

If your western wedding is outdoors or in a nontraditional venue, you'll need to rent lots of tables and chairs for your guests. Rustic or weathered rentals are perfectly acceptable for this type of theme, but you can also "dress down" regular party rentals. Add rustic table decorations like mason jars wrapped with string, wildflowers, plaid napkin holders, burlap, horseshoes, or cowboy-boot place cards. Accessorize with hay bales and hang a large "Just Hitched" sign over the entrance or the sweetheart table for an easy focal point. You can find furniture to rent by visiting sites such as

The Right Food

Cookout food is a perfect complement, and you can choose your own favorites to offer. Consider having a barbecue right on the spot (if you have a good griller or your catering service can provide one). Set out a simple buffet of classic comfort foods like mac-n-cheese, potato salad, rolls, baked beans, or coleslaw. Or, work with your caterer to create fancy versions of some of these classic favorites.

The Right Outfits

Wedding dresses for western ceremonies tend to be less formal than those for other weddings, and they are often more flowing and made from organic cotton or lace materials. You can add some charm to the wedding attire as well by adding details like cowboy boots instead of heels for the bride. Bring some western accessories for the pictures or the reception, such as cowboy hats for the bridal party or a plaid shirt or cardigan for the bride if it's a chilly evening. If the groom wants to dress more casually, too, button-down shirts and ties paired with jeans are perfectly respectable western wedding attire. 

By embracing the western theme at your wedding, you can create a fun and memorable day for everyone with less fuss and expense than you might think. And then, you and your partner can ride into the sunset with sweet memories.