The Nuts and Bolts of Planning an Industrial-Chic Wedding

Industrial Chic: It's as if Restoration Hardware and an old, empty warehouse had a wedding.

Olio | A Modern/Industrial Event Space

Industrial-chic weddings give new life to once-neglected or abandoned spaces like former factories, revamped warehouses, and converted lofts. Seemingly unappealing details such as exposed brick, peeling paint, visible pipes, and cement floors look strikingly beautiful when paired with modern wedding décor.

A throwback to the Industrial Revolution, this style mixes unrefined structures with sleek, contemporary design. The result is both gritty and glamorous, so it's no wonder industrial-chic weddings are having their moment.

If this style speaks to you, scroll down for 5 tips on achieving an elegantly edgy look:

Two brides holding hands in front of their industrial-chic wedding reception

The Lytle House

1 } Find a "raw space" wedding venue.

Okay, so what exactly IS a raw space? When we say "raw" we mean that the venue is essentially just a shell: Four walls, a roof, and a floor. Bare bones. A total blank slate.

If there's one thing raw-space venues have in spades, it's character. Although you'll essentially be building your wedding from the ground up, the point of an industrial-chic wedding is to let the inherent features of your venue shine.

We have lots of Loft/Warehouse/Industrial wedding venues on, but here are a few that really embody the essence of industrial chic:

Olio | A Modern/Industrial Event Space

Bride and groom standing in an empty warehouse

Aria | Robert Evans Studios

The Green Building New York Industrial Wedding Venue

Lev Kuperman

UNION Kansas City MO Industrial Wedding Venue


2 } Be mindful of your budget.

Since raw-space venues are the opposite of all-inclusive, they have the potential to break the bank. After all, you'll have to rent even the most basic wedding items on your own tab.

These "extras" can include everything from the tables, chairs, linens, and flatware to the sound system and lighting—things you'd never have to worry about at, say, a ballroom wedding venue.

The good news is, industrial-chic weddings are no-frills by nature, so the flowers (assuming you even have them) and décor can be kept fairly minimal.

Bride and groom kiss in front of minimalist industrial-wedding ceremony

Aria | Robert Evans Studios

3 } Explore your décor options.

With your venue providing so much visual interest, there's no need for an overabundance of décor—but the things you do bring in should make a statement.

We recommend focusing on rich textures, mixed metals, architectural patterns, and sophisticated foliage to dress up your urban event space.

Here are some of our favorite industrial-chic wedding décor ideas:

• Acrylic & Lucite •

Adding crystal-clear acrylic or lucite elements lends a cool, contemporary vibe to an industrial space, while never blocking the view:

Clear acrylic wedding invitation

Gerber + Scarpelli | La Vaca Designhouse

Industrial-chic wedding reception with greenery and ghost chairs

Morgan Manufacturing | Kristin La Voie Photography | Liven It Up Events

Clear lucite Chiavari chairs and acrylic candelabras

Studio 52 | Madeleine Collins Photography

• Geometric Patterns •

The architectural nature of hexagons and other angular shapes makes them the perfect structural accompaniments to a stark setting:

Geometric ceremony structure at an industrial wedding

Strongwater | Amy Peppercorn Photography

Hanging installation of geometric shapes at an industrial-chic wedding

HNYPT | J Wiley Photography

Geometric vases as wedding décor

Katie & Alec Photography

Geometric wedding cake that looks like marble

Laura Kelly | The Cake Whisperer

• Foliage •

We're partial to using greenery for raw-space weddings; however, monochromatic florals add a neutral touch of color:

Industrial-wedding ceremony arch covered in greenery

Studio 52 | Madeleine Collins Photography

Long, white wedding tables with greenery runners

Aria | Matt Lien Photography

An industrial-wedding ceremony at UNION/PINE with a hanging greenery installation

UNION/PINE | Catalina Jean Photography

• Draping •

Clean white draping adds an air of elegance as well as an eye-catching contrast to the brick-and-mortar backdrop:

White draping for the ceremony backdrop at an industrial-chic wedding

Strongwater | Amy Peppercorn Photography

Luce Loft industrial wedding ceremony arbor with white draping

Luce Loft

Industrial-chic wedding ceremony with metal chairs and white draping

Morgan Manufacturing | Kristin La Voie Photography | Liven It Up Events

• Mixed Metals, Stoneware, & Wood •

Galvanized metal, gleaming gold or copper, stainless steel, reclaimed wood, and even stoneware fit perfectly within the industrial theme:

A rooftop wedding ceremony with copper chairs at The Pearl SF

The Pearl

Industrial-chic wedding reception at Morgan Manufacturing, Chicago

Morgan Manufacturing | Kristin La Voie Photography | Liven It Up Events

Industrial-chic wedding table setting with stone placemats and copper silverware

Ashton Kelley Photography | Simply Gorgeous Events | EAlexDesigns

Cement wedding cake for industrial-chic wedding

Don't Tell Charles

4 } Illuminate the space.

No industrial-chic wedding is complete without ambient lighting. However, this wedding style doesn't just use lighting as an accent—the fixtures that come with raw spaces are themselves often a sight to behold.

• Chandeliers •

Perhaps the most statement-making lighting fixture of them all, chandeliers may be the most surefire way to up the glam factor:

Crystal chandeliers in an industrial-chic wedding venue

The Loft by Bridgeview | Studio 27

• Marquee Lights •

Salvaged-metal marquee letters are graphic enough to hold their own in an industrial space:

Monogram marquee lights at an industrial-chic wedding

Strongwater | Amy Peppercorn Photography

• Edison Lights •

Edison-style light bulbs not only have an old-fashioned look, they cast a warm-yellow glow:

Hanging Edison lights for an industrial-chic wedding

Laura Anne Watson Photography

• Votives •

Votive candles look especially industrial when set in mercury glass holders atop a reclaimed wood table:

Glowing votive candles on a distressed wood table

Robert Evans Studios

5 } Think outside the box for photo ops.

Juxtaposition isn't just a fun word to say. It's also our favorite part about the industrial-chic wedding style. Play up this concept by posing in your wedding best in front of the grittiest, grimiest, and most graffiti-d of backdrops.

Bride and groom kiss in front of wall of graffiti

Studio 27

Newlyweds stand in front of dilapidated wall at their industrial wedding venue

Houston Station | Zoe Life Photography

Bridal party poses in front of large brick warehouse

Castaway Portland

Rainbow appears as newlyweds kiss at their industrial-chic wedding

Strongwater | Amy Peppercorn Photography

It's easy to see why industrial chic is in!

→ For even more inspiration, check out our Industrial-Chic Weddings board on Pinterest.

Photos: Wilshire Loft • The Pearl • Studio450

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