These days I seem to be drawn to lots of neutrals, white flowers, and subdued colors – I apologize to those of you looking for wild or unique color palettes! Today’s inspiration board is mostly white and silvery grays – a minimalist palette that allows for more ornate details, like the millefeuille skirt, the ornate silver frames, and the whimsical calligraphy. Things that might seem over the top* in outrageous colors.

(*This is not to say that you can’t have both a riotous color scheme and ornate details – it’s just more difficult to do so tastefully.)

Mood: simply refined
Palette: winter white, silvery gray (with bits of chocolate torte and orchid leaf)

{click image to enlarge}


Top row from left: wallpaper table runner with potted orchids from Wedding Style Guide, potted trees from Martha Stewart via This is Glamorous, tiered mini dress from Martha Stewart Weddings
Row 2: gray invitation with calligraphy by Betsy Dunlap, monogrammed chocolate tortes from Martha Stewart Weddings
Row 3: chocolate truffles from Coco Delice, framed photos via Curious Sofa, Mindy Rice bouquet photo by Jose Villa, pocket flower from The Sartorialist

When you’re trying to make every single element in your wedding totally original, you’re more likely to end up going crazy with DIY projects, or to spend tons of money hiring professionals to personalize everything for you. And if you know this going in, and still want to do it, then go right ahead. For everyone else, focusing on just a few special details should help to save sanity, and maybe even some money. Since simplicity is currently my favorite wedding word, here are some of the doable special details I had in mind when creating today’s inspiration board:

- Hire a calligrapher to create your invitation for you, then have them offset printed. They’ll look both custom and tasteful, and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
- Tables are dressed up with a wallpaper table runner (some good wallpaper sources here), and a row of potted orchids. Orchids can get pretty pricey, so look for a nursery near you and find out if you can get a deal for buying more than a few plants.
- Is it just me, or have boutonnieres become as big as corsages? Instead, how about plucking a single flower from your bridal bouquet, and tucking it in to your groom’s buttonhole or pocket?
- Display parents’ and grandparents’ wedding photos in beautiful antique silver frames. It’s a lovely, thoughtful touch (and less self-centered than a slideshow or photo display of the bride and groom).
- Instead of paying more for a wedding cake, purchase decadent chocolate tortes from a local bakery and personalize them with monogram stencils and cocoa powder. To continue the chocolate theme, place brioche molds filled with truffles on each table.

Update! I just came across phalaenopsis orchids on the IKEA website for as little as $13 each. They’re not available for purchase through the site, but you might be able to find them at your nearest IKEA store.

12 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Inspiration Boards
  1. Canadian in London

    This is stunning. I think if you'd add a few industrial effects or have it in a industrial venue the contrast would be amazing. (And maybe make it a little bit more masculine!)

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  2. miss fancy pants (the bride)

    Love it!

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  3. Miriam

    It's so rare to come across truly unique and tasteful ideas for budget weddings & parties… thanks, as always, for the inspiration!

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  4. Camille @ Style Notes

    Beautiful! Amazing how you used such a simple, classic palette, but still created a consistent & unique feel for the entire fair. Ruffles, vintage silver, & calligraphy make a major statement even in muted tones.

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  5. Sarah@FoglioPress

    I really love these muted color schemes! They are so understated and elegant. Wonderful inspiration!

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  6. Anonymous

    great inspiration! can you give more info about the tiered mini dress?

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  7. Michele

    Soooo perfect, so perfect. I love neutral weddings.

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  8. Sarah

    i'm not a big DIY person, and our budget is already ballooning enough, w/o even trying to go above and beyond! so for personalized details, i recommend the following (this is just what we're choosing to do, anyway!): customized wedding guestbook from an etsy sellerdesigning our paper goods (save the dates, invites, programs, menu cards, etc)a customized wedding cake is included with our reception hall costsstill trying to get my florist to see eye to eye with me on the design!

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  9. Ann

    Great tips, Kathryn! I really like the suggestion to hire a calligrapher.To save on floral costs, we did our own boutinnieres for our wedding using orchids, but our wedding was on a very hot day and the flowers wilted :(. If you choose to make your own boutinniere, pick a hardy flower :).

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  10. Kate@ Kids and Cocktails

    This is beautiful. I'm not sure how I missed it the first time, but I really hope it wins the photo shoot contest. It would be amazing! Neither Snow or Besty Dunlap's hand lettering would be amazing.

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  11. thefinaltouchideas

    Love the frilly layers! So much texture.

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  12. marryinglaterinlife

    I love your comments on ways to save money on a wedding. Some women are marrying later in life and may not have the resources or desire for planning a large, expensive wedding. Your suggestions show clever and easy ways to save time and money.

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