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Vintage vs. Rustic vs. Shabby Chic

from Bettina

We hear these words used to describe wedding themes a lot, but what exactly do they mean, and what’s the difference between them? The short answer is: vintage = time, rustic = place, and shabby chic = style. But let’s break it down a little more.

(Photos courtesy of Rachel May Photography)

(Photos courtesy of Rachel May Photography)


A vintage theme is one that uses items and decor that depicts a certain period in time, or the items themselves are aged. For instance, an old suitcase used for cards, a 1950’s pickup truck as a getaway car, an antique typewriter as a guest book, lace and floral china, are all examples of decor for a vintage wedding. To avoid confusion, some vintage items can be defined as being shabby chic, but not all shabby chic items are vintage decor.


Rustic tends to describe an outdoorsy or farm/countryside look. You’ll see outdoor elements such as, Earth tones, unfinished wood, moss, leaves and other natural textures used in the decor. Burlap, twine, cowboy boots, plaid, linen, mason jars, handmade wooden signs, chalkboards are also items that can be part of a rustic theme.

Shabby Chic

Shabby chic is a design style used to describe a softer, opulent cottage style; it can describe an overall look or the item itself. Usually items have a weathered, distressed, or aged look. Shabby chic decor also tends to be new items that have been made to look old, or vintage materials that have been used to created modern items. Which is why some vintage things are considered shabby chic.

With our 1800s chapel, exposed wooden beams, re-purposed church pew bar, Stevenson Ridge is the perfect venue for anyone looking for something a little vintage, rustic, shabby chic, or even all of them combined!