How To Have A Minimalist Wedding

Let's Marie Kondo your big day.

Minimalist Wedding Ideas | Minimalist Ceremony at HYNPT LA with delicate greenery arch

HNYPT, Los Angeles | Caleb John Hill

We've all seen the overflowing floral installations and decadent dessert tables, but let's be real: Planning a wedding is complicated enough—and when you tack on these grandiose décor ideas it can be downright overwhelming. (Pinterest, we're looking at you!)

If the thought of over-the-top details makes you want to sprint to City Hall, we 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 tablescapes, this trend towards simplification couldn't be more refreshing.

We 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's how to do it:

How To Have a Minimalist Wedding | Simple white wedding reception at Blanc in Denver CO

Blanc, Denver

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. Pare down your party.

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 that takes center stage, or abandoning all inserts in favor of one sleek, all-inclusive design, minimalist 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!

Minimalist Wedding Invitation by Aerialist Press

Aerialist Press

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.

Minimalist Outdoor Wedding with pampas grass arch at Gorge Crest Vineyards in Washington

Gorge Crest Vineyards, Underwood WA | Maria Lamb Photography

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.

Minimalist Wedding Dress with Jimmy Choo heels

Loke Roos | Jimmy Choo

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.

HNYPT, LA | Paper Ban Photography

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. Prune 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.

Ashley Smith Events | Sarah Falugo

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!

Morgan Manufacturing, Chicago

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.

Bruna Kitchen Photography | Marvelous Cakes | The Hopeful Romantic Events

12. 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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Some clients may have paid to be placed in our editorial and some of these links may be affiliate; however, we never include a venue, vendor, or product unless they have a proper place here. This is part of our Core Values. We create our website first and foremost to be good for the couples using it to plan their Big Day. We won't stray from that for a few advertising dollars. #scoutshonor

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