If the thought of over-the-top details makes you want to sprint to City Hall, I encourage you to adopt the “less is more” approach. 

The concept of minimalism has officially hit the wedding style scene, so after years of tulle, taffeta, and elaborate table scapes, this trend towards simplification couldn’t be more refreshing after a global pandemic.

I like to think of minimalism as clearing away the clutter, eliminating the frills, and being very intentional about what you choose to be part of your big day. In essence, a minimalist wedding should only include the things that—in the words of Ms. Kondo—spark joy. Here is how:

1. Make it exclusive.

For the sake of streamlining your wedding, keep your guest list strictly A-list. Fewer guests require less of almost everything else—food and drinks, tables and chairs, centerpieces, and even wedding favors. Plus you get an invaluable bonus: more quality face time with that cozier group of guests you invited!

2. Trim your tribe.

You’ll also want to keep your wedding party to a minimum. One or two siblings or very-best friends is all you need for (minimalist!) moral support.

3. Set the mood.

Whether it be simple hand lettering, or abandoning all inserts in favor of one sleek, all-inclusive design, couples are opting for clean and contemporary wedding invitations. For a luxurious look, choose high-quality paper or even clear acrylic stock or vellum. Geometric lines and touches of marble or metallic will add the WOW factor to minimalist stationery—while digital invitations are the perfect way to go entirely paperless!

4. Opt for an unadorned venue.

For a truly minimal backdrop, a “blank canvas” wedding venue is the way to go. Industrial spaces are a popular choice for minimalist weddings, since these venues are no-frills by nature (think a roof, four walls, and a floor!). A modern, raw-space venue is the ideal choice for a bare-bones aesthetic, but if your style is more organic than urban consider holding your wedding outdoors in a forest clearing, a sprawling meadow, or in front of an expansive view.

5. Choose uncomplicated attire.

When it comes to shopping for a wedding dress or suit, look for styles with clean lines and a structured silhouette. Minimalist weddings aim to clear even the visual clutter—so stick with solid colors or soft, muted motifs. They also tend to favor neutral and natural color palettes like black, navy, cream, white, or taupe—but don’t be afraid to add a strategic pop of color to bring everything to life.

6. Amp up the ambience.

Though minimalist weddings favor a neutral color palette, “basic beige” doesn’t have to be boring! Luxurious textures and materials will bring visual interest (as opposed to clutter!) to the overall look. Rich velvet fabrics, shiny greenery, glimmering geometric shapes, and chic acrylic accents will look stunningly opulent—even if the colors don’t exactly pop. 

7. Simplify your ceremony.

Keep the focus on your I DOs by choosing a no-frills backdrop for your ceremony. For example, a grounded arch made of pampas grass or a simple geometric structure are both unfussy and elegant. Having an “unplugged” ceremony is also key to making your vows the focal point: kindly ask your guests to turn off and/or put away all of their tech devices so they can be fully present during your ceremony.

8. Ask yourself what’s truly necessary.

To legally tie the knot, you just need your fiancé, an officiant, and a marriage license. Everything else is extra! So reconsider traditions, include only the details and formalities that are meaningful to you both, and forget the rest. After all, who says weddings require flowers, cakes, dancing, or even dinner, for that matter?!

9. Pare down the petals.

If flowers and/or foliage is one of your must-haves, we recommend choosing just one understated bloom—like white orchids arranged in large luxurious clusters—or even single-stem bouquets and centerpieces. And dried flowers go surprisingly well with the minimalist aesthetic! Or ditch the flowers entirely, replacing them with graceful greenery. Frame your ceremony with delicate strands of ivy or lay lush, leafy runners across the tables for a simple-yet-sophisticated look.

10. Add architectural elements.

Less is more when it comes to décor! Choose structured centerpieces with geometric shapes, sculptural candelabras, or clear ghost chairs that lend a clean, modern effect without obstructing the view!

11. Go naked.

Well, not you. But your wedding cake certainly can! Forego ornate decorations in favor of a naked cake (no icing!). However, if “naked” is a tad too minimalist for you, then consider a gorgeously geometric white wedding cake with marbled fondant or hints of metallic. Or, instead of a cake—or an over-the-top dessert table—stick to one type of confection like mini crème brûlée pots, some rustic apple pies, or a silver platter of cake donuts.

2. Lighten up.

If you’ve embraced the “less is more” approach and are all about paring stuff down, resist the pressure to amass that pile of wedding gifts and just. don’t. register. for them. Request that your guests not come bearing gifts and, instead, ask them to donate to a favorite charity. Because “scaling back” is even better when it results in “giving back”!

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