Grandmillennial Weddings and Inspiration

grandmillenial style

I resonate very strongly with the “grandmillennial” style and design inspiration, which I’d guess many of you do, as well. When I’m asked where I draw inspiration from, particularly when it comes to weddings that I plan and design (or editorials that I produce), I rarely, if ever, am inspired by or look to other weddings or the wedding industry in general for inspiration. I would much, much prefer to draw inspiration from other people, places, and things than directly to other weddings or editorials themselves, as I believe I do my best creative work for weddings when I draw inspiration from elsewhere. Nature, travels, cultures, personal stories, and home and interior design (including landscape and architecture) are the places I find the most inspiration, for sure. From the perfectly inspiring color palettes found in undisturbed nature to the stories people tell and their histories to traveling and being inspired by new places, people, foods, cultures, and design, to home decor and interior design… I could get lost in a sea of inspiration in these places! One of my favorite blog posts I’ve written is about my thoughts on inspired, fresh design, and these five key points still resonate deeply with me today.

What even is “grandmillennial”? And how can grandmillennial style infuse weddings? Grandmillennial style is, in a nutshell, granny chic. Someone who loves grandmillennial style loves her grandmother’s style but with a modern and fresh twist. She has a penchant for feminine and romantic details and design, yet she loves them for their meaning and their history. She yearns to honor past history and has an appreciation for legacy and heirlooms, all while looking ahead toward the future. She understands the importance of quality, lasting materials and legendary design, all the while putting her own mark on it to make it feel fresh and updated. A grandmillennial is inspired by blending feminine and floral patterns, natural textures, a smattering of pastel colors, and design that showcases her personality and her story. She wants to both use and create family heirlooms and collected antiques. She wants these beautiful and thoughtfully chosen details and design elements to shine, not just for the sake of surrounding herself with beauty, but because they are meaningful and intentional.

As you can imagine, I resonate deeply with grandmillennial style. The very first time I heard this coined design style, I instantly connected with it and felt like many aspects of my design style were encompassed within this one term. If you’ve been around for any length of time, you know just how important I believe so many of these elements to be: the heart behind things, surrounding myself with beauty, thoughtful and meaningful details and design, feminine and romantic elements, designs with white and pops of pastel colors, ruffles and rattan and floral patterns, family heirlooms and the importance of legacy, infusing your story into the details, classic yet fresh, and so much more. While I don’t think I go too overboard with “granny chic” in terms of interior, wedding, or personal style and design, I am naturally drawn to pops of these design elements and the heart behind grandmillennial style.

There are almost unlimited ways that you can incorporate grandmillennial style and details into your wedding day and its design. Of course, there’s also a spectrum of how “grandmillennial” you may want your wedding to look or feel, so you can choose just one or two well-placed details or a whole slew of them to speak to your design preferences and wedding day aesthetics and overall feel. You can design your wedding around a color palette of pastel(s) with white for a fresh, feminine look (I love this one with dusty French blue, soft green, and white!). Soft pinks, mauve, dusty French blue, butter yellow, soft green, and lilac or lavender are all commonly used in grandmillennial design, commonly blending more than just one color for a more feminine and romantic look. Layering patterns, textures, and various design elements help achieve a more collected wedding design with plenty of depth and meaning. Clean lines and minimal designs no longer! Give me all of the ruffles, tight floral patterns, bows, and soft, feminine fabrics and linens, which are perfect to keep in mind when curating bridesmaid gowns for your ladies, linens for your tables, and bridal details for your wedding day.

Incorporating elements of nature, along with natural textures and details, is key: rattan and cane design elements, like in floral vessels or glassware or reception table chargers, can easily achieve this look. Lounges for your guests to enjoy can mimic your home and make them feel comfortable, welcome, and warm. You can, essentially bring your dream living room and/or dining room vibe to life at your wedding and in your reception by thoughtfully choosing elements that could be found in your own home or your dream home. From collected items to family heirlooms, like a ginger jar collection, family china to use for serving your wedding cake, using embroidered or monogrammed linen napkins, using a cake knife and server that has been passed down through generations, using toasting flutes that are family heirlooms, adorning your cocktail hour with framed family wedding photographs, it really is all about thoughtful, intentional details that honor the past but are used in fresh and beautiful ways.

So many couples these days are forgoing a traditional wedding venue in lieu of a private estate or family home wedding. Not only do these private homes provide a beautiful backdrop for a wedding, but they are innately filled with an abundance of rich family history and so much meaning. I think so many couples are think of their wedding, both in feeling and design, more and more in terms of “home.” They want their guests to feel even more tied to their unique love story and the family, traditions, culture, and meaningful details that make up their story. Bringing in design details that speak to who they are and where they come from, along with creating both a literal and figurative sense of “home,” is so important now more than ever. Can you imagine getting ready for your wedding day in your childhood bedroom or walking down the staircase for your first look on the same stairs where you used to wait for Christmas morning or saying your vows under the magnificent oak tree that you used to climb as a child? What would it be like to return to your family home, long after your wedding day, with the memories of where your marriage began and where you had your first dance with your father and where you danced the night away with your loved ones? Bringing elements of home into your wedding is powerful, both in honoring the past and in creating future memories, too.

One of the most impactful and special ways to incorporate grandmillennial style is by wearing pieces on your wedding day that hold special significance and family history. These days, many brides are reimagining and modernizing their mother or grandmother’s wedding dress from generations prior, which is such an intentional way to showcase an heirloom and honor family history. Other brides are choosing to wear a wedding gown with a statement bow, soft ruffles, or vintage lace as a nod to grandmillennial style. Romantic, feminine details are understandably sought after, and you’ll see an abundance of this in bridal collections. Monique Lhuillier and Oscar de la Renta are both trailblazers in terms of bridal style, and I’m seeing such a gorgeous resurgence of non-white bridal gowns, soft floral patterns, oversized bows, imaginative details, romantic and feminine designs, and luxe embroideries these days. Swoon! Outside of wedding gowns, so many brides are choosing to wear bridal details that have been passed down through generations as a particularly meaningful nod. From your wedding veil to your shoes to a garter to jewelry, it’s such a thoughtful way to remember and honor the past and those loved one who have gone before you.

In terms of home and interior design, grandmillennial style is abundant these days! I often think that home and interior design styles and trends are later reflected in wedding trends, and I think we will see more and more of these elements in design-forward weddings this year and in the coming years. We’re seeing so many small and tight floral patterns in home design right now, like in wallpaper, bed linens, rugs, and more, along with cane, wicker, and rattan furniture and home decor finds, tasteful pops of pastel colors all over the home (while paired with white, of course), an immersion into traditional interior design and details with character, quality heirloom-worthy wood furniture, collected items like china, vintage glassware, floral prints, photos, and more, and those personalized or old-fashioned details that are infused with meaning and a collected look: needlepoint, embroidery, monograms, vintage books, and heirloom trinkets.

All this to say, the grandmillennial style for weddings is one that I can get behind! I think we’ll see wedding designs and details that embrace more and more of the layered and collected look with fresh, meaningful, and intentional details that speak to legacy and family history. From feminine florals to ruffles and bows to rattan… from floral linens to embroidered napkins to curated tabletops… from bridal details that have been passed down through generations… from bringing elements of home and interior design into your wedding day… I cannot wait for weddings to continue to embrace these beautiful elements and their special significance more and more.

all weddings shown here are planned & designed by Stephanie Shaul Events with photography by Adelyn Boling Photography, Kelsey Nelson Photogaphy, and Anagram Photo.

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