One of the first and most important wedding planning decisions you are likely to make is deciding on a style. The style you choose will impact almost every choice, from your wedding dress and flower selection to food options. 

Ideally, the wedding ceremony and reception will reflect your tastes and create a comfortable, memorable atmosphere for guests. 

Consider taking an online quiz that can help you pick a wedding style. It may help you identify which wedding style best matches your personality and tastes.

5 Popular Wedding Styles

Taking a look at popular wedding styles can help you choose the one that is right for you and your partner.

Southern Elegant

Southern Elegant weddings are stylish and graceful, but also warm and inviting. Guests are sure to enjoy a relaxing, elegant experience at a wedding inspired by this style.

Compatible venues include beautiful outdoor spaces, historic Southern estates, and elegant ballroom settings. These events often reflect historic Southern styles.

Common Southern Elegant wedding choices include:

  •   Ivory wedding gowns and flowers
  •   Southern belle-influenced bridesmaids dresses
  •   Tan suiting for groom and groomsmen
  •   Candlelight
  •   Period touches like horse-drawn carriages and parasols
  •   Southern-inspired, multi-tiered wedding cakes with simple icing work
  •   Sit-down dinner service

Classic

The classic, or traditional, style might be the most popular style. This is the style often portrayed in TV shows and movies. Classic doesn’t mean “boring,” however. Weddings styled traditionally are familiar, comfortable affairs for guests.

Traditional wedding ceremony venues often include many traditional rituals and touches, like church settings (often the bride’s home church), simple outdoor setups, and historic, elegant municipal buildings.

Common classic wedding elements include:

  •  White wedding gowns and matching flower girl dresses
  •   Long, simple bridesmaids dresses and tuxedos for the groom and groomsmen
  •   Large bouquets and floral arrangements
  •   Rituals like giving the bride away, tossing the garter, and  towering, intricate wedding cakes
  •   More substantial dinner choices served buffet style

Modern

Modern, or contemporary, weddings showcase current styles in a striking, fashionable way. Couples who choose this style often share an affinity for minimalistic design. 

Modern weddings might take place at a local art gallery, a modern art museum, or an architecturally-significant public building. Despite a focus on modern design elements, contemporary weddings can feel every bit as warm and joyful as more classically-inspired weddings.

Contemporary weddings often feature:

  •   Clean, minimalistic design touches like geometric centerpieces
  •   Simple, form-fitting wedding gowns and a sparse, elegant bouquet
  •   Bridesmaids dresses 
  •   Non-traditional suiting for the groom and groomsmen
  •   Secular elements such as selecting a non-religious officiant
  •   Squared wedding cakes or individual non-cake desserts
  •   Light, trendy dinner options

Rustic

Rustic weddings often feature a crafty, charming vibe. This style has become especially popular with brides who love crafting. Couples seeking a casual, nature-inspired feel are often drawn to a rustic wedding style.

Rustic weddings are often held in historic or historically-inspired, converted barns. These venues typically include all the modern elements needed to catch significant events.

Rustic weddings often include:

  •  Twinkling fairy lights strung throughout the venue or outdoor space
  •   Decor with a homey, “country” feel
  •   Lacy, casual wedding gowns and bouquets created from local wildflowers 
  •   Jeans and button-up shirts for grooms and groomsmen
  •   Casual, off-the-shoulder sundresses for bridesmaids
  •   Decor with a crafty, DIY feel – think Mason jars
  •   Cupcakes or wedding cakes with nature-inspired design
  •   Picnic style food served buffet style

Offbeat

Offbeat, eclectic weddings appeal to couples who refuse to adhere to traditional norms or expected rituals. These events truly reflect the individuality of the couple and can run the gamut when it comes to an overall theme.

Offbeat weddings include weddings based on popular culture themes like Lord of the Rings or Star Trek. Other eclectic weddings might celebrate a holiday like Halloween or New Year’s Eve. If you can dream it, a wedding can be created around it.

Offbeat weddings feature elements unique to the happy couple. They are often energetic, bright, and party-inspired. Most of all, they tell a story.

A Final Note

No matter which style you choose, you can personalize your selections. Any style can be applied in a way that captures your spirit. Create a day you and your guests will fondly remember.

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