couple cutting modern wedding cake

25 Modern Wedding Ideas We Love

Mar 9, 2020
By Wedding Spot

Want creative modern wedding ideas that will inspire your own planning choices? Keep reading! In this post, we’ll give you inspiration with ideas for dresses, venues, cakes, flowers, and favors — and show you real examples and simple ways to replicate them for your own big day. Then, we’ll help you learn more about wedding themes and how to successfully pull them off. 

What is a modern wedding?

In short, it’s a themed ceremony and reception that uses design inspiration from the early to mid-20th century. The main characteristics include clean lines, geometric shapes, monochrome or black and white color schemes, minimalist decor, and nontraditional choices. Natural elements such as sunlight, wood, and metal feature heavily in modern designs. 

Contrary to popular belief, modern and contemporary weddings are not interchangeable. Contemporary weddings use today’s trends while modern ones take their cues from a specific period of time. This means that contemporary style is constantly evolving and modern style is static.  

Discover 25 modern wedding ideas for your big day:

Dress ideas

Modern wedding dresses are chic, minimalist gowns. They often come in a variety of silhouettes, use minimal detailing, and create long, clean visual lines. They have many different necklines to choose from, but they all use simple straps. And their skirts are usually flowy with little to no tulle. 

If the dress uses lace, it will be on the back, accented with tiny buttons. And if the dress has beading, it will repeat the same pattern all the way down. Also, some brides opt to wear jumpsuits or cocktail dresses for an even more modern look.

  1. Jenny Yoo Piper Gown. This is a modern version of the classic wedding ball gown. The stand-out features are its spaghetti straps and the gathered fabric in the back.

  2. Vera Wang Low-Back Wedding Dress. Modern dresses such as this one use form-fitting silhouettes and subtle detailing.  

  3. Theia Trinity Jumpsuit. Skip the dress and wear pants instead. Modern jumpsuits feature flowy legs and one allover fabric. 

  4. Bardot Strapless Taffeta Mini Dress with Ruffles. Ditch the skirt for an even edgier take. Notice how the designer pairs a simple, uninterrupted dress with a single standout feature. 

  5. Catherine Deane Niki Gown. Choose a cascading beaded dress such as this one if you want a modern style with more texture. 

Venue ideas 

Modern venues feature simple designs, rectangular structures, and minimal decor. They use natural elements such as stained wood and metal in their furniture and artworks. Natural light is also a design priority, which is why they feature large glass windows, walls, and doors. Venue decor is clutter-free and keeps a neutral color scheme throughout — except for the occasional pop of color. 

  1. The Clubhouse at Anaheim Hills Golf Course, Anaheim, California. This venue uses brick exteriors, white chairs and walls, and clean lines in its design. 

  2. Felina, Ridgewood, New Jersey. The Felina has an Art Deco style complete with a grey, gold, and white color scheme. Plus, it has lots of modern geometric accents. 

  3. Pavilion Grille, Boca Raton, Florida. The standout features of this venue include clear glass window walls, tropical garden, and sleek canopy. 

  4. The GlassHouse, San Jose, California. The GlassHouse is another great example of how modern venues prioritize natural light. Their giant glass wall and clear chairs pair nicely with an assortment of plant trellises. 

  5. Red Circle Inn, Nashotah, Wisconsin. The Red Circle Inn is a venue with a monochrome white color scheme and dark wood fixtures. 

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Cake ideas

Modern cakes usually have three tiers, uniform white frosting, and an accent piece or design element. They’re often monochrome and feature texture. If they have color, the hue is either bright or patterned. Layers, lines, and shapes make the designs stand out from the rest.  

  1. White layered circles. This all-white cake has cascading paper circles that pop out from the side. The added texture and unusual shape make it both modern and interesting. 

  2. Geometric lines. A white cake base with black lines looks beautiful with a medium flower arrangement in an assortment of bright blooms. 

  3. Marble frosting. White and light gray marbled frosting pairs well with muted white flower accents along the tiers. The orange, peach, and white flower arrangement at the top completes the look. 

  4. Black and white stripes. Bold black and white stripes pair well with blushing rose heads and dark berry accents. This Parisian twist uses an antique gold and crystal stand for the display. 

  5. Geode crystals. This all-white cake would be boring if it didn’t have these stunning edible rose quartz slices. Combine any simple white base with a colorful natural element to recreate this stunning design.  

Flower ideas

Modern flowers have nontraditional designs and blooms. White flowers and green foliage make up the base for most designs. Although they sometimes use roses, modern bouquets will often include natural feathers, grass, or tropical foliage. Common structures of these arrangements include cascading elements, S-curve stems, and loose shapes. 

Florists who make these arrangements often start with one or two types of flowers in the same color, add some greenery, and tie it all together with a contrasting ribbon. Because most modern wedding flowers follow this simple design, they’re easy to DIY. 

  1. Asymmetrical bouquet shapes. Sleek wedding dresses look lovely with an unexpected bouquet shape such as this one. The trick is to layer greenery that has contrasting textures then hand-tie it all together. 

  2. Wide black and white ribbon. This gorgeous striped bow pairs well with its white and black floral color scheme. The greenery helps keep this look modern rather than goth or contemporary.  

  3. Rainforest accents. Combine palm fronds, ferns, orchids, and/or birds of paradise to recreate this look. The tropical elements are all interesting by themselves and modern design is all about simplicity, so keep arrangements to a maximum of five different types of flowers and greenery. 

  4. Electric yellow, pink, blue, or purple. Neon hues look gorgeous with neutral color palettes. This idea is great for summer weddings. 

  5. Monochrome flowers. Combine white blooms with one or two shades of any accent color to recreate the look. 

Favor ideas

The best modern wedding favors use a combination of natural elements, minimalist designs, and geometric patterns. Just about any wedding favor that is black and white or has clean straight lines counts as modern. Or they can serve as an accent piece for the rest of your wedding decor. Look for wedding favors that have a fun color and shape or are unique in some way. 

  1. Statement potted plants. This mini ceramic pot is cylindrical, features black and white paint with a splash of neon pink, and holds a succulent. 

  2. Minimalistic temporary tattoos. Inkbox offers custom temporary tattoos that last up to two weeks. Create a small design that has shapes, lines, dots, or leaves along with your names or wedding date. 

  3. Stainless steel credit card bottle opener. The minimalist design is on theme and practical for guests who have to travel. Customize them with your names and wedding date for as little as $0.96 per opener. 

  4. Geometric wood coasters. Use white paint as your base then draw the black lines with a thin permanent marker and a ruler with this easy-to-make option.

  5. Personalized stroopwafels. This edible wedding favor features straight lines and boxes as part of its design, which makes it both modern and delicious at the same time. 

How do you throw a simple but elegant wedding?

Modern weddings can be both simple and elegant. However, if you want to try a different theme, use monochrome color palettes, minimalist furniture, and a budget-friendly venue to create a simple but elegant wedding. 

What are popular wedding themes?

As of 2020, the most popular wedding themes include modern, boho, rustic, garden, beach, Fall, and backyard. 

How do I choose my wedding theme?

To choose your wedding theme, first, review your budget. Some themes are more expensive than others although most still look great on a budget. Next, choose your venue. Your ceremony and reception venues will have their own unique architectural styles, which you may not be able to alter or cover if you choose a theme that clashes. Then, consider your likes and interests as a couple. Are there any styles or colors you both already love? Use those to help finalize your wedding theme choice. 

Put these modern wedding ideas to work!

Now that you have ideas for cakes, dresses, flowers and more, you’re ready to create the most memorable day. Up next, add a splash of color to your design with these purple wedding ideas. Or plan the outdoor wedding of your dreams using ideas from our forest theme wedding 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.