Modern Weddings: The Ultimate Guide For 2021

Jennifer Skulski

Published: Sep 9, 2021

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Interested in having a modern wedding to celebrate you and your partner’s union? If you’re looking to keep up with the current trends for a contemporary style, then a modern-themed wedding is the perfect theme for you.

There are a variety of different ways to achieve the chic modern vibe you’re searching for. Consider wearing a sleek, modern wedding dress, ordering a trendy wedding cake, showing off your wedding hashtag, and designing modern invitations. All of these simple details are important for pulling off a beautiful modern wedding.

Let’s dive into the best ideas and tricks to create an incredible modern wedding theme.

What’s A Modern Wedding?

Having a modern wedding is all about embracing a trendy, elegant style when planning your big day. Modern-themed weddings typically celebrate minimalism to bring about a crisp and fresh feeling to your venue. 

They often will include more neutral wedding color schemes rather than be bursting with color. As for the decor, your tables and venue space should feel more open with an emphasis on embracing negative space. Greenery often becomes a must-have embellishment rather than excessive floral arrangements.

Now that we’ve set the scene of the feeling and look of a modern wedding, let’s dive further into the venue and aesthetic aspects.

modern wedding aesthetic

Typical Venues Of Modern Weddings

As you’re considering your modern wedding venue, you’ll want to avoid spaces with a tight and cluttered feel. This type of wedding theme is all about open spaces and minimalism. You’ll want a venue that feels contemporary and spacious, perhaps with high ceilings and bright lighting.

Modern venues may include an elegant rooftop, a spacious brewery, a magical garden, or a large, industrial location.

The Aesthetics Of Modern Weddings

For modern aesthetics, always opt for minimalism over excessive decorations and other cluttering embellishments. Make your ceremony space and venue feel open with simple and sleek designs such as white drapery, greenery, and clear objects when it comes to chairs, tables, and plates. 

You don’t have to go overboard with your planning to achieve a trendy look. In fact, focus on the mantra “less is more.” With the decor, flowers, and greenery you do decide to decorate your space with, be sure that it appears purposeful and elegant for a stunning modern aesthetic.

Why Choose A Modern Wedding?

If you and your partner are having trouble thinking up wedding theme ideas, you can’t go wrong with a modern-themed wedding. It’s perfect for the couple looking for a trendy, stylish celebration that feels classy instead of overly themed.

modern wedding theme

Why A Modern Wedding Suits You

If you embrace minimalistic designs and would rather your big day feel bright, beautiful, and chic rather than overly concentrated on a specific theme, then a modern themed wedding will without a doubt suit your needs.

Modern Wedding Advantages Over Other Wedding Types

A modern wedding theme will be trendy enough to stand out and be memorable without being over the top in theming. Other wedding types such as rustic weddings require very purposefully themed decor. Every accessory and decoration needs to feel “rustic” in order to achieve this immersive theming.

However, when it comes to a modern wedding, less is definitely more. Your decor and accessories can be more subdued and subtle to create a stunning aesthetic with half of the required planning and decorations that other wedding themes may require.

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How To Plan An Awesome Modern Wedding [6 Steps]

With a bit of forethought and preparations, you can create a stunning modern-themed wedding to match your vision and needs. Let’s go over the top steps for planning your modern-day of matrimony. 

1. Create Your Budget

creating your budget

Before any planning can commence, you and your significant other must decide on a wedding budget. After understanding how much a wedding costs, you and your partner need to discuss what wedding day aspects are most important to you and what aspects you wish to cut out.

There is no one-size-fits-all budget. Every wedding expense is personal to the couple hosting their big day. Set your budget ahead of time and stick to it. If you appear to be going over your budget during your planning process, find creative ways to cut back in different places.

2. Organize Your Thoughts And Plans

wedding planning notebook

Many different moving parts go into planning your modern celebration. Thus, it’s important to stay organized. As you begin your planning process, don’t forget to consult the wedding day checklist. Organize your thoughts with spreadsheets, planners, or online tools that can help keep track of the planning steps you complete and those you need to begin.

For further assistance and to ensure you don’t miss a thing, consider hiring a wedding planner to help you take care of the minuscule, but ever-so-important details in wedding planning.

3. Research And Select Your Vendors

high ceiling venue

Every wedding needs a variety of different vendors and services from the venue, to catering, to photographers, entertainers, florists, and more. You’ll want to make sure you properly research the vendors you’re interested in having in order to find the right services at the right price for you and your partner.

You’ll also want to make sure you book all of your vendors in advance in order to ensure their availability. Once you’re certain of your wedding date, you can begin looking into various vendors and hiring the best ones.

4. Choose Your Guest List And Wedding Party

wedding party

With your budget, venue, and wedding date all set, it’s time to inform your guest list of the details. Whether you’re interested in small weddings or large gatherings, it’s time for you and your partner to settle on your guest list.

Once your guest list is set in stone, you can design your beautiful modern wedding invitations and get them sent out as soon as possible. Now is also an excellent time to select your bridal party and wedding party by asking your closest friends and family members to have a special role in your big day.

5. Plan Out Your Decor And Style

wedding details photo

While your wedding theme is taken care of as you’ve settled on a modern vibe, you’ll still have to select the type of modern decor and style you’re looking for. What color scheme are you thinking of? What type of wedding cake do you want? Have you fallen in love with a modern wedding dress yet? How about your wedding rings?

There are a lot of important style decisions that need to be made from table centerpieces to floral arrangements, to wedding attire, and more. Now is the time to let your creativity shine and explore your modern theme options.

6. Finalize Your Details And Enjoy!

wedding ceremony exit

After planning everything from vendors to guest lists to decor, it’s finally time to start implementing your vision as your wedding day draws near. You must figure out if your venue or other services will help with your wedding day setup or if you need to enlist the help of your friends to get everything in place.

Once all your planning is finalized and complete, let your happily ever after begin! Enjoy every moment of your big day as it truly is a day to remember. The memories you make today will be the stories you’ll tell for years to come. Soak it all in amid your modern wedding wonderland. You deserve a celebration!

25 Modern Wedding Ideas For Inspiration

1. Magical Draping

modern wedding with drapes

This beautifully modern drape and lighting design accentuate the height of the venue, bringing about a magical, and spacious vibe.

2. Soft Colored Bouquets

modern bridal palette

For a modern feel to your bridal bouquet, opt for a soft color palette that’ll brighten the room and stand out in originality.

3. Shaping Your Wedding

wedding arc photo

Yes, even shapes can have a strong impact on the aesthetic of your wedding day. Trendy arch shapes as seen in this seating chart are an incredibly modern look.

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4. Give Your Desserts Some Style

donut dessert cup modern wedding idea

Do something different come dessert time for a modern and classy feel such as by filling a cocktail glass with fun, miniature treats.

5. Create A Clear Tablescape

minimalist dining table decor

Having clear accessories to your table designs such as clear plates, clear glassware, and clear votive candle holders will contribute to a fresh and minimalistic environment.

6. Use Purposeful Splashes of Color

modern orange color for wedding decor

Having a modern wedding doesn’t mean you can’t have color. However, try to make your accented colors feel as purposeful as possible. Make sure it’s truly adding life to your venue without being excessive. 

7. A Modern Toast

drink station wedding idea

Embrace a modern, trendy wedding toast such as by including a decorative wall full of your festive champagne glasses.

8. Unique Guest Books

Having a guest book is a fun wedding tradition in order to remember all the lovely guests that came to support you. For a modern wedding, consider a unique guest book alternative such as audio messages from a super trendy device that won’t clutter a table with paper and pens.

9. Create A Flower Frame

modern floral frame

This simple flower design can make a big statement. Instead of going overboard on an entire floral wall, consider a flower design like this one that can beautifully frame the subjects in front of it.

10. Get A Modern Cake Topper

modern wedding cake topper

To match your modern-themed wedding, consider a modern wedding cake topper like this one that is clear, geometric, and classy.

11. High Ceiling Venues

high ceiling venue ideas

The higher the ceiling is at your venue, the more open, spacious, and modern your celebration will feel.

12. Menus and Utensils Say A Lot

menu and utensils mix

If you’re committing to a modern-themed wedding, let your menus and utensils speak wonders in their unique and trendy designs.

13. A Stunning, Clear Chuppah

chuppah for modern jewish wedding

For those couples planning a modern Jewish wedding, this clear chuppah is a beautiful addition. The flowers on top appear as if they are floating in this stunning, modern design.

14. Consider Your Lighting

lighting reception idea

Keep your lighting simple yet elegant. Instead of investing in elaborate chandeliers, consider minimalistic lighting such as string lights for a dazzling effect. 

15. Embellish With Greenery

table number signage

Embellishing areas of your venue with greenery can go a long way in creating the chic, modern appearance you’re looking for.

16. Minimalistic Table Numbers

modern table number idea

For modern table numbers, consider simple yet stunning cards placed in glass that look gorgeous while also not consuming a large portion of your tablespace.

17. Let Pastel Shades Be Your Best Friend

pastel shades for wedding reception

Light colors help open up a room to make them feel brighter and bigger. For a modern aesthetic, consider brightening your space with pastel colors.

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18. Consider Clear Chairs

clear chairs for modern look

Clear chairs are not only stylish, but their see-through nature helps make your venue feel less cluttered and more modern.

19. Take Your Party To The Rooftop

modern rooftop wedding reception

A rooftop wedding can perfectly capture a modern aesthetic as you’re surrounded by the wide, open sky and skyscraper view around you.

20. Charcuterie Board For Snacks

charcuterie board idea

What’s more modern and trendy than a charcuterie board? Offer your guests an assortment of snacks by putting out stylish charcuterie boards for all to enjoy.

21. Modern Wedding Arch

wedding arch

Modern wedding arches typically will bend the idea of what a traditional arch looks like. Often these backdrops are decorative columns or geometric shapes such as hexagons, pentagons, or triangles.

22. Simple Signage

simple modern wedding sign

Try using simple signage like this example to welcome your guests to your modern wedding with a sleek and elegant design.

23. Embrace An Industrial Look

hexagon for industrial wedding look

A location with an industrial style complete with brick walls can be the perfect backdrop for your modern ceremony.

24. A Black And White Theme

black and white wedding theme

Black and white themes are common for modern weddings as the contrast between the two colors offers a bright, bold, and sophisticated look.

25. Use Open Spaces

open spaces for modern wedding

Modern weddings depend on open spaces like this venue to elevate the atmosphere of your desired modern theme.

Modern Wedding Dresses

Modern wedding dresses embrace a chic and trendy feel. They are typically characterized by their sleek and polished appearance. An A-line wedding dress is the perfect modern wedding dress style as it highlights one’s curves in a classy manner.

Design Trends For 2021

For 2021, off-shoulder satin gowns are definitely trendy for the sleek, modern look. Other popular design trends of this year include having a dress with shoulder capes. If that’s not your style, consider the ever so trendy look of a modern tea-length dress.

For additional inspiration for your modern wedding dress design, let’s take a look at five different wedding dress examples from Cocomelody and other bridal brands.

5 Ideas For Modern Wedding Dresses

1. The Shoulder Capes Look

shoulder capes on wedding dress

2. A Sleek Slip Dress With A Train

slip dress with train

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3. A Plunging Neckline

wedding dress with plunging neckline

4. The Sophisticated Satin Style

modern satin wedding dress

5. A Tea-Length Wedding Dress

tea-length wedding dress

Modern Wedding Cakes

Modern wedding cakes are apparent by their refined appearance. Rather than elaborate embellishments, they are more minimalistic with a sleek and clean look. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re not equally stunning. They are often incredibly unique and trendy with their geometric or marbling designs.

Modern Wedding Cake Trends For 2021

Contemporary cake trends for 2021 like to focus on geometric embellishments. Abstract shapes can truly take your modern-themed wedding cake to the next level. Other trends involve decorating the cake’s exterior with a marbling or watercolor effect. It is also quite popular to have each cake layer be a different design, while still seamlessly coordinating with the cake as a whole.

For more inspiration on how your modern wedding cake might look, please enjoy these five stunningly contemporary examples.

5 Ideas For Modern Wedding Cakes

1. An Elegant White Cake

elegant white wedding cake

2. Different Tiers, Different Designs

wedding cake tiered designs

3. Watercolor Wedding Cake

watercolor wedding cake

4. An Abstract, Geometric Design

beautiful modern cake

5. Modern, Marble Wedding Cakes

modern marble wedding cake

Modern Wedding Must-Haves

Wedding Hashtags

wedding hashtag on matchbox

In this modern age of technology and social media, you can’t have a modern wedding without wedding hashtags. Wedding hashtags are a memorable slogan to commemorate you and your partner’s loving relationship.

After deciding on your awesome hashtag, you’ll need to advertise your slogan on signs, neon lights, your wedding cake, and wedding invitations in order to encourage your guests to put your hashtag to use when they post. As you and your guests use your unique hashtag, you’re creating a specialized digital photo album to remember your big day for years to come.

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Online Wedding Invitations

modern digital wedding invitation

Wedding invitations are a must in order to let your guest list know the exact details of your celebration. However, with a modern wedding, it may be best to consider having your invitations be online instead.

Digital wedding invitations are a contemporary way to share your wedding details online for both practical and environmentally friendly reasons. If you use a wedding invitation service like Greenvelope, you’ll also be able to track your RSVPs, message your guest list, and organize surveys all in one convenient online location.

Pandemic-Specific Must-Haves

The global pandemic has definitely made us more cognizant of our health and safety. For a modern wedding in 2021 and beyond, it’ll be important to consider additional health and safety protocols in order for your big day to go off seamlessly.

For starters, consider including hand sanitizer stationers or even personalized sanitary bottles for each of your guests to use throughout the day.

sanitizing station for pandemic wedding

Your guests may have varying levels of comfort in how they interact with you and other guests in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Please be aware of these concerns and comfort levels. Try to limit areas where every guest will touch and be around. 

For example, instead of a buffet option where all your guests are touching the same serving utensils, opt for individual meals. Or instead of a guest book all your guests surround and write in, consider a fun digital option.

As modern weddings generally feel best in open, spacious areas for a freer and fresher vibe, try keeping your guests properly spaced out as well. Consider adding smaller and more tables to your reception and keeping households together. This will ultimately make your guests feel more comfortable when attending your modern celebration.

Make Your Wedding A Modern One

If you and your partner have decided that a modern wedding is the best theme for you, then it’s time to start officially planning your exciting day! Modern-themed weddings involve a sleek and minimalist aesthetic that is hard not to adore.

Get creative in your planning and decorating process and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. A trendy, unique vibe is perfect for a modern wedding. Take your ceremony to spacious venues such as rooftops, industrial spaces, and hip breweries. Don’t forget to enhance your location with light colors, long drapes, simple signs, and clear decor to complete your open and spacious wedding atmosphere.

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