Ok, you know we love an opulent wedding here at Brides—but that said, more and more brides and grooms have chosen to go in a minimal, less over-the-top direction for their wedding decor than in years past. Minimalism doesn't mean eliminating all decorations completely, but rather, it's a matter of elegant simplicity.
Tablescapes set with marble chargers and white linens can bring a spare yet sophisticated feel to an outdoor reception or formal dinner. Pared down florals, lighting, and embellishments can make for a polished approach, and minimalism is a great option for urban brides who find themselves attracted to the latest fashion trends and who stay up-to-date on modern styles.
Think of colors in the neutral, somewhat washed-out family—whites, grays, petal pinks—paired with materials like lucite and marble. We love when minimal designs include organic elements like fresh herbs and monstera leaves, as well as the use of accent materials like metal name cards or gold geometric vases. Intricate glassware or handwritten calligraphy can also add character to a contemporary display.
Some examples of a minimalist style in a ceremony set up? Ghost chairs, understated ceremony backdrops, and a simple, classy bouquet of a single stem or a handful of the same type of flowers. As for the reception? Soft candle lighting and metallic flatware, a clean table display, low-lying floral arrangements, and modern signage sprinkled throughout.
For more ideas on how to incorporate a minimalist design into your wedding, we gathered our best tips from experts who are qualified in all things refined.
Less is more
“This tabletop goes beyond basic with the thoughtful layering of ivory, gray, silver, and platinum,” says Laurie Arons, founder of Laurie Arons Special Events, who opted for fewer decor items and an emphasize on color scheme. “Our bride understood that a refined, well-edited look could be more impactful than too much of everything in one space."
Start with your stationery
Using a slim calligraphed font in shades of gray, black, and metallic can add a hint of minimalism to your stationery or invitations. “I love the use of translucent materials when working with a more modern theme or style,” says Cindy Skanderup, founder and creative director of Bliss & Bone. “It really adds a touch of elegance and depth.”
Proportion is key
Julie Bunkley, owner and creative director of Invision Events, relies on the importance of proportion when curating a minimalist space. “Picking clean-line and low-profile items only work if they are the right size and shape for the space you are working with,” she says. Applying this idea to a lounge area for your guests is just another way to spotlight this progressive style.
Gravitate towards simplicity
To execute your minimalist design, simplicity is key. Elegant decor is exactly how Jennifer Thye, owner of Imoni Events, approached this staple for cocktail hour. "A simple white bar adorned with a golden monogram adds a touch of personalization and style to any event,” she says.
Elevate hors d'oeuvres
Daniel Capra, executive chef at Paula LeDuc Fine Catering and Events, added sophistication to this hors d'oeuvres display by using a gold-trimmed serving piece.
Integrate sleek seating
“Ghost chairs are a perfect way to be chic and modern without imposing on the decor or scenery,” says Heather Lowenthal, owner of Posh Parties.
Consider black as an accent color
"Black is one of our favorite colors to use when designing a wedding,” says Kelly Clark Leonard, owner and lead producer of Event of the Season. “It's chic, classic, elegant, and bold. A little goes a long way."
Craft an elegant bouquet
“Keeping your bouquet simple doesn't have to mean boring,” says Adam Donovan-Groves, owner of Donovan-Groves Events. “This lily-of-the-valley bouquet was perfect for our bride's beautiful spring wedding."
Don't go overboard with ceremony decorations
According to Alicia Falango, founder of Alicia K Designs, the most important aspect of creating a minimal display is the thought that goes behind each design plan. “Minimalism with event design can be amazing as long as it all looks put together and styled properly."
To avoid overcrowding your table display, or other elements of your day-of decor, Danielle Dworkowitz, owner and event designer at Creative Touch Parties, suggests adding sprigs of fresh green herbs or succulents to each place setting.
Opt for single-flower centerpieces
“Consider using a single bloom or single type of flower in your floral arrangements,” says Amy Nichols, owner of Amy Nichols Special Events. Using only one type of flower will help translate your simple and polished vision.
When it comes to dessert, Callista Osborn, owner of Callista & Company, recommends embellishing your cake with thoughtfully placed seasonal fruit instead of flowers.