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  • Writer's picturekatiepersuasionpho

Tips for an Old World Wedding Aesthetic

If you love European charm, the Old World wedding aesthetic, and feminine romance this post is for you. The allure of escaping with loved ones is arguably stronger than ever in our post-pandemic world. In addition to an intimate, memorable experience- lavish beauty, architecture, centuries of history, fantastic cuisine- there are many reasons I could plead the case for Continental nuptials. However, whether you’re getting married abroad or staying local, I have collected helpful ideas on how you can have a European wedding closer to home.

Creating an Old World wedding aesthetic

Hire the right team

Start with your planner! He or she can help you turn your vision into reality, connect you with other vendors who share your style, and even save you money in addition to stress. If you are local to the Memphis area, Kelsey Morgan Event Styling is an excellent planner who specializes in Old World aesthetics. If you’re heading to Europe, you must work with Emerald Aisle Wedding Planners to help you navigate the difficulties and complexities of being an American planning an overseas wedding.

Set the tone

Often overlooked, invitations set the tone for your entire event. Invest in an irresistible suite that evokes Old World visions. Practically speaking, look for:

-Hand crafted paper with distressed edges, calligraphy, wax seals, art enclosed in the suite- for instance, a pen sketch of your venue. Raw edged silk and velvet ribbons are exquisite inclusions to bind your stationary.

-Set aside your paper details to be photographed ahead of time! Be sure to ask your floral designer to provide you or your photographer with a few loose florals to arrange beautiful vignettes of your stationary. Make arrangements for your professional to include elements such as vintage stamps, antiques, and textiles to create an elevated documentation for your thoughtful invitations

(Suite below by The Vintage Inkwell)


Establish an environment of Old World elegance with your venue. Look to classical architecture and materials for inspiration. Neo-classical, tudor, and Spanish are all architecturalexamples of you can look to that give you a sliver of Europe as your backdrop. Stone, marble, antique masonry, and even stucco are frequently used in historical buildings. Above all, look for gardens! Classical landscaping will lean more formal; cottage gardens, vineyards or rolling fields will feel more rustic. If you are staying close to home, and home happens to be in the Memphis area here are 5 Venues That Feel Like Europe.


-Look to natural, flowing fabrics for your linens: such as raw silk, and linen. 

- Examine classical, Rococo, and Dutch paintings to get an idea of the shape and textures used in many of the arrangements. Florals should be lush, over the top, romantic, and a little wild! If you are in the Memphis area, here are two floral designers who excel at this style:

-Ornate details, abundant florals and tapered candles in your tablescapes are a must. Look to rococo metal work for candelabras, signage, and seating. Calligraphy, and hand crafted paper for seating arrangements will continue the tone you set with your invitations. Wood, stone, and pottery will create a more rustic feel- think Tuscany; metal with patina, and fine china will bring a more elevated formal atmosphere to the forefront- imagine a French chateau. 

Cake and Food

-Tiers! Gracious opulence is what you want to provide for your guests with a high end, European experience. Talk to your cake artist about details that they think will echo your vision. For instance, are you more inspired by hand painted cakes that reflect art from a specific period? Perhaps you fancy filigree and roses worthy of Marie Antoinette. Your planner will be able to help you fine tune your dreams, and communicate them with your creative team.

-Food should most definitely be styled elegantly with appropriate servingware. Avoid sleek, modern staging. Your planner can help you liaise with the floral designer and caterer about incorporating generous flowers into the presentation of your feast. 

-As fun as novelty stations are, they will feel out of context in your celebration. Perhaps opt for the taco bar at your pre-wedding celebrations, and offer a menu focused around classical proteins at your reception. 


-Historically, brides would have valued modesty and traditional symbols of purity on their wedding day. Long sleeves, flowing fabrics, and lace will all get you in touch with your inner royal. Veils will go far! Even if you choose a more modern gown to suit your taste, a veil will speak to your Old World alter ego. Men’s fashion should be more formal and classic. A trendy or colorful ensemble will be jarring. Opt for a classic, high quality tux or well tailored suit. 

A quick work about color palette. Bright tones are too modern for your vision. Whether you prefer pastels or moody hues, keep your colors muted. 


All your planning, and execution will be thwarted if you don’t have your event documented in a manner that honors your choices. Once your dress is packaged, the cake eaten, and flowers wilted- how do you keep those memories accurate and sharp? Through your chosen photographer’s storytelling. Trendy, ultra-modern photography is fun and lovely- but does it really speak to you? If you chose an Old World, European aesthetic, my educated guess is a resounding no. Seek out a professional who is inspired by classical art, and whose work reflects the images that inspired you during your wedding research. Romantic, windswept images with true-to-life or bright and airy film aesthetic are typically the styles represented in most publications and accounts that feature high end European weddings. You can also find a lot fashion forward posing and formal portraits- no doubt inspired by French Vogue, itself.

I hope this has been a helpful roundup, and that you depart feeling inspired.

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