How to Make an Impact with Understated Wedding Decor

Less is Always More

When it comes to designing your big day, it can be tempting to go a bit overboard. After all, wedding decor is pretty darn beautiful, and resisting all of that pretty can be tough. But, there’s just something about understated wedding decor done right that we can’t resist lately—clean lines and lots of white space can speak volumes on their own. Today, then, we’ve tapped the expertise of Alana Cutler, owner and stationer at Bourne Paper Co. to talk making a major impact with seriously understated wedding decor. Read on for this savvy stationer’s take on the timeless notion that less is often so, so much more.

Complete, don’t compete.

To me, understated design is finding a way to convey the essence of your personal style in a very refined and subtle fashion. This often means focusing on the foundational elements of your event—like your venue!—and finding ways to enhance that, rather than compete with or overwhelm it. When working with bespoke clients, the first question I ask them is to describe their venue. Oftentimes, couples feel they need to over-design the space—but remember that you chose your venue for a reason! Finding ways to draw attention to what you love about the venue—rather than covering it up in tons of decor—can be a great source of inspiration.

minimal wedding design
Photo courtesy of Whiskers and Willow Photography

Opt for au-natural.

Don’t just let your venue guide your design—focus on the season as well. Is there a single seasonal element you can draw inspiration from? A single cherry blossom element, for example, can be so much more impactful than an entire spring scene on your invitations. Getting married in the fall? Incorporating fall hues or an organic elements—like pressed foliage—into your wedding stationery can be an understated design element that really compliments the natural beauty of your space (and gives guests a taste for what they can expect from your nuptials).

"Wedding stationery is a very "hands on" element, so incorporating the concept of texture can be a great understated design element. This could be something as simple as using an extra-thick paper or an envelope liner with a textured finish. My personal favorite? Blind letterpress or embossed details."

wedding ring and wedding invitation
Photos courtesy of The Lockharts (left), and Whiskers and Willow Photography (right)

Think: modern, clean elements surrounded by lots of white space.

From a trend perspective, a lot of my clients are gravitating towards simple, modern typography. Think: classic, serif fonts and lots of white space! When paired with elements that are more dressed up or decadent—like a dreamy wax seal—this can make your wedding stationery feel both unique and refined.

Overall, my best advice for couples who want to design a more understated wedding? Don’t be afraid to edit! Individual elements on their own may be beautiful, but when you bring too many design elements together, they tend to compete with one another and can lose their impact in a flash (so don’t be tempted to scoop up every single decor item you see or incorporate every single Pinterest trend). I’m a huge believer in the concept that less is more. The elements of your wedding don’t have to be elaborate or plentiful to be impactful. Oftentimes, the most impactful decor items are the ones that are left to shine on their own with plenty of surrounding space.

bride holding her bridal bouquet
Photo courtesy of Whiskers and Willow Photography

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