“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” ~Hans Hofmann

Minimalism is more than a theme - it’s a lifestyle and one that has planted a carefully crafted flag in society. With so much stuff piling up in our homes, newsfeeds, and email inboxes, it’s no wonder that people are clutching onto the idea of simplifying and organizing.

The minimalist aesthetic and mindset has also made its way into weddings. Since 2016, couples have had more of a drive to plan highly personal weddings that set aside traditions, expectations, and things that just end up feeling more like obligation (i.e. wedding favors) than something the couple and their guests really care about.

But choosing a minimalistic wedding theme doesn’t mean the tables are bare, the decor is DIY, and the whole experience is lackluster. It’s quite the opposite! And it’s not about cutting the budget at all, although a minimalistic approach can lead to more money in your honeymoon fund.

Martha Stewart Weddings contributing writer Alyssa Brown writes that having a minimalist wedding is about, “focusing on the most essential details in order to ease your stress and allow your mindset to feel clutter-free.”

Related: Simple Self-Care Ideas For Brides

And Lyndsay Weir wrote on Huffpost UK edition, “People associate minimalism with owning as few items as physically possible. Minimalism is not about that. It is about living only with what makes you happy. Having items to enrich your life, experiences to fill your life, and getting away from the bad clutter that just detracts from your happiness.”

Basically, being more mindful about the choices you make and prioritizing quality over quantity will help you plan a wedding that you really appreciate.

If that sounds good, keep reading for tips on how to plan a minimalist wedding that’s abundant in love, laughter, and a lifetime of memories.

Bride sitting on the steps of a chapel holding the arm of the groom while he looks down at her while standing next to her at Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

GET INSPIRED

Do some “research” and get inspired by other couples who have planned minimalist weddings. Look at photos of their venue and decorations and see how they incorporated things that were essential to them.

Check out Minimalist art for design ideas and adopt Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s motto, “Less is more.”

You can also get inspired by reading Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. She also has a show on Netflix, which you’ve probably heard of: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

The great thing about planning a minimalist wedding is that you’ll learn things you can apply to your everyday life. You may even find yourself decluttering your home, donating bags of unused items, and creating a happy, stress-free space.

Bride and groom facing each other with their foreheads touching while sitting at a table decorated and surrounded by bohemian style florals and arrangements in a room with wooden panel walls at The Addison Grove in Austin, Texas. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

FIND YOUR HAPPY

One of the first things you should do when planning a wedding with a minimalist theme is to take the word need out of your vocabulary. We’ve all been guilty of thinking we need such and such item when what we really mean is that we want it or feel like we should own it because, doesn’t everyone? But when we attach a need to something, we’ll often find that it leads to something else we “need.”

Joshua Fields Millburn describes this perfectly in his book, Everything That Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists. “See, when I moved out of the house earlier this week, trawling my many personal belongings in large bins and boxes and fifty-gallon garbage bags, my first inclination was, of course, to purchase the things I still ‘needed’ for my new place. You know, the basics: food, hygiene products, a shower curtain, towels, a bed, and umm … oh, I need a couch and a matching leather chair and a loveseat and a lamp and a desk and desk chair and another lamp for over there, and oh yeah don’t forget the sideboard that matches the desk and a dresser for the bedroom and oh I need a coffee table and a couple end tables and a TV-stand for the TV I still need to buy...I guess I need a dining room table too, right? And a rug for the entryway and bathroom rugs (bath mats?) and what about that one thing, that thing that’s like a rug but longer? Yeah, a runner; I need one of those, and I’m also going to need…”

You can probably see how this line of thinking can seep into wedding planning. Instead, think about what really makes you happy. What are the essentials and the non-negotiables? What makes your heart sing? Do you really need wedding favors and garlands of greenery on chandeliers and tables overflowing with candles and flowers and place cards and trinkets and…

Chances are, you probably want less than what you feel you need. Maybe your essentials are luxurious linens and vases of lavender. Or maybe you only adorn your tables with an elegant mix of greenery and long, tapered candles.

Practice mindfulness when planning and shopping for your wedding and ask yourself, “Does this bring me joy? Is this something I really want or is it something I think I need because of obligation/expectations?” This can also apply to your entertainment, menu, and just about anything you’ll encounter during wedding planning.

Related: How Much to Tip Wedding Vendors

Bride holding her bouquet as the groom embraces her and kisses her forehead in a white wooden room with natural wooden floors at Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

FLESH OUT THE THEME

When it comes to minimalist wedding decor and design, the point is to keep things clean, spacious, and fuss-free. Many couples stick to a simple color palette like monochrome or neutral, but don’t shy away from adding pops of color like vibrant red, dusty blue, and elegant gold.

Play with clean lines, lots of light and space, and simple, but luxurious details found in textures and fabrics. You want your decor to speak for itself. With less stuff cluttering the space, you and your guests can appreciate and focus on what is there and really be in the moment.

One of the perks of having a minimalist wedding is that there is less stress involved. When you pare things down, you’re given more time and energy to put towards things that really matter. Plus, having a minimalist wedding means you’ve created something highly personal by subtracting all the unnecessary stuff in favor of adding things that mean something to you.

Get started on planning your meaningful wedding and enjoy the abundant freedom that comes from minimalism.

I'd love to share some of the best minimalist wedding ideas I've seen over the years. Hit the button below and let's talk!

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