Charm Guests with Old-Fashioned Rustic Displays

We show you 7 simple ways how

If you’ve popped open Instagram or scrolled through Pinterest during in April 2017, chances are you were bombarded by unicorn everything. And while multicolored bagels, pink hair dye and pastel glitter have their charms, it’s safe to say that sometimes we want more substance than just the glittery shiny new thing. According to Chef Brad Nelson, VP of Culinary for Marriott International, your attendees are probably feeling that same sentiment. 

“Although we’ve seen a considerable lean toward flashy food and décor in the last year, spurred in part by things like the ‘unicorn’ trend, there’s also been a significant retreat to natural textures, less complication, and a more rustic viewpoint” Nelson says. “Rustic signifies something that doesn’t stray too far from its natural state, which can equate to being healthier and less manipulated, and ultimately more real.” 

When it comes to both your food and meeting décor and setup, a natural theme tends to foster a calmer, less chaotic ambience than rainbow colors and sparkling finishes. Rustic is perfect for a relaxing weekend retreat or as a refuge from a high-stakes business gathering. From natural-colored buffets to vintage spirits to roadside flowers, here’s how you can retreat to rustic in your next meeting.   

1. Natural-Colored Dining

From wildflower centerpieces to wooden tables, one of the best aspects of a rustic table display is that it’s often accessible and cost-effective––a trip to The Home Depot or a craft store should do the trick. 

2. Wildflower Centerpieces

Although stunning exotic floral arrangements have a wow factor, a simpler presentation of blooms––such as wildflowers you’d find on a hike––may induce a sweet sense of nostalgia. Display in mason jars to up the effect.  

3. Vintage Spirits

While fancier meetings call for cocktails served in martini glasses or with skewered fruits, there’s still something to be said for a no-frills, mason jar-encased spirits display. 

4. Cheese and Wine Spreads

There’s no better food or drink to serve in a rustic display than cheese and wine. Serve the charcuterie on wood for an even more natural appearance. 

5. Farm Table Alternatives

Whoever said that tables had to be, well, actual tables? When shopping for rustic serving tools and displays, consider out-of-the-box furniture like stacks of hay. Just be sure to bring a broom for stray straw cleanup afterward. 

6. Mini Mason Desserts

While mason jars have long been hipster-esque beverage containers, it’s easy to forget how versatile they are. Try serving up a favorite summertime dessert (e.g., cornbread, pudding) in the jars for guests to enjoy. 

7. Boxed Lunches

Brown bag lunches (or brown boxes, in this case) don’t just have a nostalgic, rustic feel to them. They’re also environmentally friendly and cost-efficient.