by Lisa Duong

Alright shabby chic aficionados and burlap lovers – your time is up.  We’ve endured brown this and Kraft paper that with string ties and lace detailing long enough!  I thought I’d sit back and wait for this wedding trend to blow over like a bad hairdo, but as we push past another year of baby’s breath buckets and wooden picnic furniture, I’m calling it.   Casual wedding lovers take note: your rusty bicycle decoration is not rustic – like I said, it’s rusty.  Mason jars as cups are great, unless you’re putting wine in them, in which case, the shape of the glass will probably do the wine a disservice.  I don’t recall any sommelier suggesting a mason jar-shaped glass to open up the bouquet of any wine.

It’s your wedding! A once in a lifetime event where fairy tales happen and attendees dress in their finery.  It’s one of the few events where they are no limits – no one will say, “That bride’s dress is too fancy.” Or “Crystal wine glasses? How dare they!”  Have you wondered what royalty feels like?  This is the day to experience everything you’ve ever wished for – and unless you’ve been dreaming of a burlap wedding all your life, read on because contrary to popular belief, elegant weddings need not be expensive.

 Invitations and Stationery

The cost of Kraft paper and envelopes are sometimes even higher than regular white card stock stationery because Kraft products are now seen as trendy.  Your local office supply store may have standard correspondence stationery for a good deal (since it’s much more popular) while only specialty stores carry a wider selection of Kraft paper products.  For comparison, this author made the trip to a local big box craft supply store and found Kraft envelopes ranging from $5.60 for a pack of 12 to $7.60 for the larger size, which was also in a pack of 12. A big box office supply store sells linen card stock envelopes for $5.99 in a pack of 24.  Regular card stock envelopes without the linen feel were even less at $4.99 for a pack of 24.

 Ribbon over lace and other details

OK, you can use lace if you want, but consider the beautiful satin ribbons readily available at the dollar store.  Speaking of dollar store, dangling crystals and charger plates in elegant gold and silver are also available. A charger that is inexpensive makes a great table upgrade that creates a beautiful look without needing too much accent – even on an inexpensive tablecloth.

 Table cloths

One of the most popular pro-burlap arguments I hear are about the cost effectiveness of burlap table runners and table cloths.  Yes, they are a good deal if you need something to cover the table, but you also need to eat on this not-so-smooth surface. Plus, there are not too many rental companies carrying burlap linens (because it’s not a linen – case in point!) so many brides end up bearing the entire cost of purchasing yards and yards of burlap.  What they did with it after remains a mystery.  Renting poly-blended linens will keep within the same budget and up the elegance factor.  Consider the rental cost of a blended linen at $7 – $8 each, versus burlap which sells for $2 – $5 per yard, depending where you are located. We recommend for renting, but there are also a lot of inexpensive linens to be found on Amazon if you take some time and look for them!


Instead of buying mason jars, rent a proper glass for 20 cents apiece. Or, for smaller weddings, raid your family’s fine stemware collection.  Remember that crystal glass mentioned earlier?  Your mom might have just enough of them for the wedding party’s table.

Trends come and go, but elegance and style is timeless. Even if the décor ends up looking dated a few decades later, at least it still looked like an important event, rather than a cute party.

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