Are you looking to have a refined, sophisticated wedding? Consider “quiet luxury” as a guiding light for your celebration. Though the term has been trending since it hit the news during Gwynneth Paltrow’s trial in Park City, it’s really the way people with great taste have been expressing themselves through clothing, lifestyle, and entertainment for ages.
Having a wedding that epitomizes quiet luxury will ensure a timeless design that will stand the test of time.
Here are seven ways you can embrace quiet luxury while remaining true to your own preferences. At its core, the aesthetic about making personalized choices that showcase your refined tastes.
What Is Quiet Luxury
Before committing to the quiet luxury aesthetic let’s take time to define what it means in today’s world.
Quiet luxury is a style that is timeless, clean, classic, and effortlessly sophisticated. With a quiet aesthetic, it is all about elevated simplicity from what you wear to how you entertain.
Quiet luxury is not for everyone (I’m looking at you, maximalists) but if this idea appeals to you, read on!
How to Have a Quiet Luxury Wedding
Make It an Experience For Your Guests
A quiet luxury wedding means quality over quantity, including everything from food to entertainment. Creating the right ambiance through careful choices, including the wedding venue and the mood, will ensure your guests will always remember your wedding.
Also customizing the experience to suit the preferences of each individual guest makes you a gracious host in tune with your guests.
Obvious logos and brand names are an easy way to display your wealth but broadcasting this is the opposite of quiet luxury. Instead of going for the big name champagne, consult with an expert to find a brand that is exceptional but also lesser known.
It takes confidence to make choices like this but people in the know will admire your selection. In terms of fashion, focus on quality construction and fabrics to define your style.
Custom garments from the brand One/Of would be a great way to personalize your quiet luxury look (and not as expensive as you might assume). Brands like The Row are known for the quiet luxury aesthetic.
Sometimes a trained eye is a good idea. Consider hiring a wedding stylist who can help you find outfits that exude the quiet luxury vibe throughout the whole weekend, from the bridal luncheon to the farewell brunch.
I can personally recommend Lesley Brickman of The One Gown (Los Angeles) , Gabrielle Hurwitz (New York), Julie Sabatino of The Stylish Bride (New York and Florida) and former Bazaar editor Carrie Goldberg (New York).
It’s In the Details
Focus on the details that elevate the visual experience, such as coordinating the staff wardrobe to the decor. I love seeing the waitstaff in matching ties and white aprons! Look for opportunities to charm with personalized touches.
Fill the room with your favorite home fragrance (I adore Nest’s Bamboo candles). Have the bar serve drinks in top-quality glassware along with a customized linen napkin instead of paper.
Seek out unique upscale china rentals (I like Maison de Carine) and combine with low lighting, candles, lamps and luxe tablecloths so that your reception tables feel more like you are entertaining at home.
Keep Your Colors Palette Focused
One of the keys to a quiet luxury wedding is to keep your colors subdued.
This means incorporating neutral colors or at least a focused color palette (such as green and white or beige and pink) throughout the event to maintain that timeless aesthetic.
Having your wedding be “black tie” is a sure fire way to keep the look of the entire wedding more focused. Some top event designers who specialize in quiet luxury include Greenwood Events (Montana), Pineapple Productions (D.C.), Rafanelli (Boston) and Tara Guerard (South Carolina).
Choose Your Decor Moments
A seven-tier cake that descends from the ceiling as smoke wafts around would be memorable but maybe not in the right way.
If quiet luxury is your goal, an exquisitely decorated small cake would be more in line. And then serve your guests a choice of luxurious desserts of their choosing, the cake itself just being one of the options.
10 Things That Hint Quiet Luxury at Weddings
Prepping for your wedding day look should start months in advance with a skincare routine that brings out the best of your natural beauty. This goes for both the bride and groom. When it comes to makeup, less is definitely more, and a dewy ethereal glow is exactly what you want on a wedding day.
A Change of Outfit
Showcase your great taste throughout the weekend by having outfits that are appropriate for each moment. A ballgown might be perfect for your cathedral ceremony but something more streamlined would be best for navigating the reception.
I also believe that a dancing dress is a great way to evolve your style over the course of the wedding day. From a photographer’s standpoint, a change of outfit also infuses the pictures with a freshness and energy.
Accentuate with Heirlooms
Nothing is more timeless than one-of-a-kind family heirlooms. Incorporating vintage pieces like jewelry helps achieve a luxury look. Wearing cherished pieces will boost any bride or groom’s luxurious aesthetic and also lend a vintage flair.
Be Present – No Phone Policy
Not just for celebrities, the “unplugged” no-phone policy is trending across weddings. Afterall, privacy itself is the ultimate luxury. Plus it requires your guest to be present in the experience without distractions.
If this feels too extreme for you, it’s still a good policy during the ceremony and helps make sure that well-meaning guests don’t interfere with your professional photos. Make sure your ushers inform every guest that phones should not be used during the ceremony and also have your officiant make an announcement.
You won’t regret not having dozens of phone screens pointed your way and instead see the smiling faces of your nearest and dearest.
Transport Yourselves in Quiet Luxury
I’m a big advocate of a great car to transport you to/from the reception. Not only is it practical but also gives the photographer a new location for pictures with ample natural light.
Many of my favorite shots over the years have been taken in cars! For your luxury aesthetic think a vintage Mercedes or Jaguar with a light interior. Borrow a car from a friend or seek out unusual rentals in your area.
The Comforts of Home
When it comes to a luxurious reception, you have to consider seating choices in several dimensions. Of course, there is the essential dining seating, which should be as comfortable as possible (always test before renting, not all chairs are uniformly comfortable).
But also, think of installing lounge seating areas throughout the reception spaces, including outside. Don’t forget to accent with lamps, books, and personal objects to give everything a homey touch.
Make sure your guests have ample opportunity to connect with friends or recharge throughout the evening. These lounge zones can be a great spot for pictures too.
Priority on Service
Don’t be tempted to skimp on servers, including your bartenders. There is nothing more annoying than waiting in a long line just to get a drink at an event.
Since you can’t take care of your guests personally, it’s a good way to make sure everyone has great experience as they dine at your reception.
Offering Food Choices Signals Luxury
Food is a hot button for many people, especially these days where there is so much more awareness about diet. Offer multiple choices for food and be sensitive to food allergies and aversions.
Someone I know well eats vegan and told me that the vegan option is rarely delicious and often the same thing (grain stuffed pepper for the record) at every wedding. Work with your caterer to offer a curated variety!
Top-Tier Musical Experiences
A luxury aesthetic includes thinking through the musical experience of the event. Invest in a live band that will play through the entirety of the event. Most bands charge extra to have continuous music with no breaks.
Having shot hundreds of weddings, I think it’s well worth the additional cost. Also, spend time with your band prior to the wedding day to make sure you’ve communicated your preferences about the playlist and their stage presence. It’s annoying (not to mention vulgar, IMO) when a band self-promotes or really does anything except perform music throughout the evening.
Also, ask them to show you their performance outfits to make sure their look is in line with your wedding style. If budget allows, you could offer to pay for Rent The Runway outfits for the main performers.
Mindful Party Favors (or None at All)
In the last few years I’ve seen a steady decline of couples giving out party favors at the end of the night. And for good reason, it’s wasteful to give something that will just end up in the trash.
Either focus on a meaningful party favor that enhances the overall experience or go the route of no favors at all. One of my favorite ideas is to order extra cake and have individual slices boxed up for guests to take as they depart the event. Almost everyone loves a little treat to enjoy when they get home or the next day.
Cheers to that!