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The Minimalist Wedding Trend Explained

Jun 5, 2023
By Wedding Spot

Planning a wedding can be a daunting experience, especially if you’d like to curate the entire event using the minimalist ideals of “less is more”. But don’t worry! With the right tips and advice, minimalist weddings can be simple, elegant, and budget-friendly all at once. This guide provides everything you need to know about creating the perfect minimalist wedding. Keep reading to learn more about minimalist wedding ideas for venues, dresses, food, decor, DIY projects, and more!

But first, what is a minimalist wedding?

A minimalist wedding is a ceremony and celebration that focuses on simplicity. There is an emphasis on quality over quantity, and on achieving the look of a well-thought-out affair without all of the fuss of more traditional weddings. Minimalist weddings focus on essential elements such as the ceremony, the food, and the decor, while eliminating extraneous elements that can take away from the overall aesthetic.
Minimalist weddings are sometimes characterized by a focus on natural elements, such as greenery and wood, or a sleek and modern look, with clean lines and metal, and a neutral color palette. The goal is to create a timeless and elegant atmosphere that is both beautiful and comfortable. Minimalist weddings also tend to be more intimate, with fewer guests and a more relaxed atmosphere. This allows the couple to focus on the important aspects of the day, such as the ceremony and the celebration.

The Basics of Going Minimalist

When planning a minimalist wedding, it’s important to keep in mind that less is more. The goal is to create an event that looks and feels polished without being over the top. To achieve this look, start by selecting a limited color palette. Stick to two or three colors that complement each other and use them throughout the ceremony and reception.

When it comes to decor and design, avoid anything that is overly ornate or excessive. Instead, focus on clean lines and simple shapes. Choose furniture pieces that are functional yet chic, and opt for muted tones and neutral shades. In order to truly achieve the minimalist look, it’s important to be selective when it comes to accessories and decorations. Aim for subtle touches, such as flowers or greenery, rather than extravagant centerpieces or garlands.

For the wedding dress, a minimalist bride should opt for a timeless silhouette that is both elegant and understated. Avoid overly embellished gowns and opt for a dress that is simple and classic. The same goes for the groom’s attire; choose a suit that is tailored and timeless.

13+ minimalist wedding ideas to maximize any budget

Choosing a Venue for Your Minimalist Wedding

When selecting a wedding venue, use a tool to find one that has a timeless feel. In general, a classic ballroom or an outdoor space with minimal landscaping can be perfect for a minimalist wedding. Here are some of our favorite real-life examples of minimalist wedding venues.

1. Combination wedding venue and accommodations

The fewer bookings you need to research, compare, and reserve, the more minimalist your wedding venue to do list will be! For example, O’ahu Wedding Villas & Venues offers a wider variety of ceremony and reception areas right on their property ranging from gardens to ranches, all on site. You can simplify your wedding planning process by booking their on-site hotel for you and your guests.

Pro tip: Narrow down your search in Wedding Spot by selecting venues that offer both “Ceremony and Reception” and “Rehearsal and Reception” on the left-hand menu.

2. Dual ceremony and reception services

Why book two different wedding venues when you can book one and be done? You may even get a discount for doing so. Venues such as Castle Farms offer both indoor and outdoor spaces, which means you can host both halves of your wedding day all in one place. Wedding venues that offer indoor and outdoor spaces or multiple indoor spaces with different architectural details and aesthetics make one venue feel like multiple.

3. Go BYO

Some couples find the process of choosing a venue even more complicated when they have to factor in alcohol packages or required bar tab minimums with their venue. Keep it simple by bringing your own booze. Venues with BYO policies such as Nestldown make it easy for couples to bring in one or two of their favorite wines and/or a signature cocktail for a truly minimalist drink menu.

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Simplifying Your Wedding Decor

Not only should you rely on your venue’s existing features for decoration, you should also keep your decor minimal. Think about what is absolutely necessary for the celebration and eliminate any unnecessary items. By keeping your decor simple, you’ll make sure that your guests won’t be distracted from the real purpose of the day: celebrating your love.

Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks for streamlining the look and feel of your wedding décor.

4. Let the space do the work

When decorating the venue, focus on accenting its existing features rather than creating something new. For example, if you are hosting your wedding in a garden, let the greenery be your main source of decoration.

5. Choose modern furniture made with natural materials

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When selecting furniture for your minimalist wedding venue, look for pieces that are simple and elegant. Tables and chairs that are made of natural materials, such as wood or metal, look best. You can also add a few accent pieces for a bit of personality if needed. Think vintage rubs, unique table lamps, and handmade family photo displays!

6. Prioritize reusable pieces

For example, instead of buying elaborate centerpieces or table settings, opt for items that you can use for multiple purposes. Hint: glass vases to hold flowers as well as candles.

7. Set the mood with Pinterest-worthy lighting

When it comes to lighting, focus on creating a warm and inviting atmosphere rather than a flashy display. Candles are perfect for setting the mood, while string lights can provide a soft glow to an outdoor reception. You can also add some remote-control puck lights for lamps that aren’t near an outlet. These solutions are typically affordable and can be used over and over again in the future!

Finding the Perfect Dress for a Minimalist Bride

Look for minimalist wedding dress styles that are classic and timeless rather than trendy or overly ornate. For example, an elegant sheath dress with minimal embellishments is a perfect choice for a bride who’d like her natural beauty to take center stage. When it comes to accessories, pick one or two statement pieces such as a necklace or bracelet and keep the rest of your look simple. Here are some of our favorite minimalist yet chic wedding dress ideas.

8. Pair unique silhouettes with simple fabrics

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An off-the-shoulder cut is universally flattering, showing off the legs, waist and decolletage. Plain yet luxe white fabric makes it look upscale and classic, but keeping it simple maintains the  minimalist feel despite the unique design.

9. Rely on draping to add texture

Draping can add visual interest to even the simplest of wedding gowns. It’s effortlessly beautiful and can be adjusted to suit any body shape. Pair it with a matching earring and bracelet set to complete a glamorous, minimalist look.

10. Use luxe materials

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Minimalist wedding dresses shine when they are made from high quality materials and flatter the figure. Think about showcasing a streamlined yet stunning minimalist wedding dress that uses silks, a square neckline, or simple boning to elevate the entire dress.

Minimalist Wedding Food Ideas

Minimalist wedding foods are all about finding at least one crowd-pleaser main dish and simplifying both the meals and the organization of it all. Here are our three tried and true tips for minimalist catering ideas that will suit any upscale gathering.

11. Rely on DIY stations

When it comes to a minimalist wedding menu, the best and easiest way to solve everyone’s dietary needs is a make-it-yourself spread where everyone can pick and choose what they want on their plate. That’s why buffet-style meals are perfect for achieving a simple yet elegant menu for a minimalist wedding.

Our favorite elegant wedding buffet setups offer a sushi bar or a taco station. These are often crowd-pleasers and provide guests with plenty of options while still keeping the setup fuss-free. Win-win-win!

12. Serve portions

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Serving foods that are prepared as single portions makes it easier for your catering team to prepare and serve meals throughout the night. For example, you can serve cupcakes instead of one large cake you have to slice to each individual’s size. Serve a cauliflower steak rather than a pasta for your veggie option.

13. Stick to a simple menu formula

Our favorite wedding menus offer each of the following:

● One meat and one vegetarian main dish
● Two to three options for sides, one of which can be salad
● One dessert option, usually cake or cupcakes (we love wedding favors containing candy for those who aren’t as into it cake, too)
● Serve one red and one white wine option for drinks, along with water and at least one carbonated beverage

Following this minimalist wedding menu formula will cover all of your bases. Just make sure to work with your catering team on additional options or specially prepared versions for anyone who has severe food allergies or dietary restrictions.

Creative Alternatives to Traditional Wedding Elements

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If you’re looking for ways to make your wedding unique without going overboard with decorations or elements, consider swapping out traditional items for creative alternatives. For example, opt for creative seating arrangements such as bean bags or benches rather than chairs. Or, instead of having a DJ play music throughout the reception, build a playlist with requests submitted by guests before the big day.

Minimizing Your Wedding Budget

Planning a minimalist wedding doesn’t have to be expensive—in fact, it can be quite budget-friendly when done correctly.

Start by setting a realistic budget and sticking to it. This will ensure that you don’t go overboard with expenses. When shopping for decorations or supplies, look for bargains and try to get multiple uses out of each item. For items like favors and small décor, look for bulk discounts. And finally, consider cutting costs by doing DIY projects or having friends or family members help out with tasks, like baking desserts or creating centerpieces. If you’re feeling brave, you could even try to DIY your own flowers.

Making Your Minimalist Wedding Memorable

It might seem like minimalist weddings are boring, with the focus being having less stuff involved than typical weddings, but minimalist weddings done right can be incredibly memorable. Focus on creating meaningful experiences, and the rest will fall into place.

Keep your ceremony and reception minimal yet personal by incorporating elements from your love story into as many aspects as you can. This could include readings from favorite poems, songs that have special meaning to you both, or the appetizer you shared on your first date. Personalizing your wedding to include meaningful elements and experiences, you’ll ensure that your minimalist wedding will be remembered for years to come!

Up next, decide whether or not you should hire a wedding planner to help organize your minimalist ceremony and reception with our guide.

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.