Cottagecore Weddings Will be Everywhere in 2021—Here's What You Need to Know

Gen Z made the style a trend.
sarah hanlon associate editor the knot
by Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon associate editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Associate Editor
  • Sarah is an Associate Digital Editor for The Knot, with special focuses in fashion, pop culture and wedding trends.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Dec 18, 2020
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If your social feeds have recently been dominated by quaint countryside vignettes, antique décor inspiration and prairie-style fashion, you're not alone. This style, appropriately named cottagecore, is taking over the internet. Popularized by Gen Z, cottagecore is an aesthetic that celebrates a slower pace of life. Rooted in simplicity and nostalgia, the cottagecore aesthetic is becoming a mainstream buzzword thanks to TikTok trends and pop culture references (think: Taylor Swift's sister albums folklore and evermore). And in 2021, cottagecore weddings will be one of the biggest trends in the industry.

Cottagecore is, in a sense, becoming the "new bohemian" of weddings. It's romantic and whimsical, but it's much simpler than the flashy Coachella-inspired aesthetic that was once synonymous with boho style. So, how do you throw a cottagecore wedding? We've got the scoop on everything you need to know about bringing the latest internet phenomenon to your big day. Below, we share the origins of the cottagecore aesthetic, along with plenty of inspiration for your wedding dress, venue, décor and more.

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What is Cottagecore Aesthetic?

Simply put, cottagecore romanticizes the purity of simple pleasures. It was created out of nostalgia for a slower pace of life in a rural setting (like, for example, a cottage tucked away in the English countryside). Visually, cottagecore is represented by light and airy fabrics, pastel colors, floral prints, earthy flowers, farm animals, homemade crafts and freshly baked goods. One Reddit user explains it simply: "Your grandma, but like, hip."

While the cottagecore aesthetic has circled the internet for years, its early beginnings can be traced back to ancient Greek mythology. Stories and poems indicate that Grecians had an intense fascination with the region of Arcadia, where villagers enjoyed a slower, primitive way of life compared to the bustling city of Alexandria. In the 2010s, the aesthetic grew predominantly on Tumblr before making its way to mainstream social media in recent months. The coronavirus pandemic accelerated the trend, with many taking solace in its comforting visuals.

In weddings, cottagecore is becoming a new form of the bohemian aesthetic, beyond macramé decorations, flourishing flower crowns and pampas grass. Recently, boho style has begun to evolve in favor of softer textures, lighter colors and subtle accents, all key elements of the cottagecore aesthetic. Below, we explain everything to know about planning a cottagecore wedding in 2021. From cottagecore wedding dresses to invitation suites, learn about how to bring the internet phenomenon to your nuptials.

Cottagecore Wedding Fashion

One of the clearest ways to bring this aesthetic to your wedding is through a cottagecore wedding dress. Cottagecore fashion is rooted in Western traditionalism (think: prairie-style dresses, billowing sleeves and ruffles.) These styles have already started appearing on runways as well: two of the biggest wedding dress trends of 2021 include Bishop sleeves and ruffled skirts.

Cottagecore wedding dresses are whimsical and ethereal. When looking for a gown that fits this aesthetic, consider elements like loose sheer sleeves, floral lace patterns, tulle layers, smocked bodices and wispy, voluminous skirts. A cottagecore wedding dress can also include pastel undertones and colored floral embroidery. Retailers like LoveShackFancy and BHLDN specialize in similar modern bohemian styles—even David's Bridal has a guide for shopping their collection of cottagecore wedding dresses.

When shopping for a cottagecore wedding dress, keep in mind that there are plenty of ways to interpret the aesthetic. The most important elements of cottagecore fashion are whimsy and simplicity (so consider skipping sparkly embellishments and structured silhouettes). If your cottagecore wedding dress feels appropriate for frolicking through a wooded forest or laying in a field of wildflowers, you're on the right path.

Grooms can style a cottagecore wedding suit too. Opt for a base color other than black, like light gray, pastel blue or emerald green. Accent your suit with accessories like a floral tie or pocket square, brown leather suspenders and a relaxed button-up shirt underneath. Consider also outfitting your wedding party in corresponding pastel looks with floral or paisley accents.

Cottagecore Wedding Venues

Cottagecore wedding venues are easier to find than you realize. Using a tool like The Knot Marketplace, begin your search by looking for outdoor wedding venues in your area. To create a strong cottagecore aesthetic at your wedding, lean into nature as much as possible. Immerse your guests in the elements by hosting the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception outside if you can. (Consider renting a tent if weather is a concern.)

It's possible to host a cottagecore wedding even if you can't book a wildflower field or a quaint rural farm. Through additional elements like lighting, décor and floral arrangements, you can bring cottagecore to any venue, from your backyard to a garden estate to a historic castle. Even in an urban setting, thoughtful accents and attention to detail can bring elements of cottagecore to your big day. We break down the most impactful cottagecore wedding ideas below.

Cottagecore Wedding Lighting

Feeling cozy is another key descriptor of cottagecore. One of the best ways to create a warm and comforting environment at your wedding is through lighting. Tents and twinkly lights are one of 2021's biggest wedding trends, especially because couples are spending more on light fixtures.

When planning the design of your nuptials, don't overlook the impact of string lights, tea lights and candles, especially if you're channeling a cottagecore aesthetic. Visually, these lighting options will make it look like you thought of everything to style your big day. Plus, accenting a tented or open-air reception with twinkle lights will create a fairytale-inspired aura of romance and whimsy.

Cottagecore Wedding Décor

There are other ways beyond lighting to integrate cottagecore décor to your wedding style. When planning floral arrangements, consider replacing traditional blooms with bouquets of wildflowers. You can also replace floral arches with garlands and wreaths of greenery. Consider also using potted plants as cottagecore décor to bring depth and dimension to your altar, the aisle, seating areas and the reception space. Even if you're not saying "I do" in the middle of a lush pasture or surrounded by towering trees in the woods, you can bring the same vibe to your venue with thoughtful greenery arrangements.

Beyond plants, cottagecore décor is also heavily influenced by vintage prints. Consider including a floral pattern print on table runners, seating cards or fabric used to tie bouquets. A trip to your local antique shop can also inspire your cottagecore wedding decorations. Small pieces that remind you of this aesthetic can transform your wedding tables, the bar or even the bathrooms.

Your wedding color palette is another opportunity to embrace the aesthetic. The most common cottagecore colors are light hues of pink, blue, yellow, green and ivory. If you're incorporating these colors into your wedding, consider balancing it with a darker, brassy shade like antique gold or a jewel tone. Including a darker color will add depth to your cottagecore color scheme.

Cottagecore Wedding Invitation Suites

To create a seamless cottagecore wedding theme, incorporate the aesthetic into your invitation suite too. The same rules for cottagecore décor can also apply to your wedding stationery. Choose two or three pastel shades as a base, and accent it with a darker hue to bring depth to the design.

Since farm animals are a major component of the cottagecore aesthetic, consider incorporating them on your invitations. Work with a calligrapher to design a style that fits your taste, or look for stamps with animals or greenery that match your overall wedding vibe. You can also consult an online invitation design site for pre-made templates that match your style. To find cottagecore wedding invitations, use keywords like "minimal," "bohemian," "nature," or "floral" in your search.

While your wedding invitation design might not feel as impactful as, say, your reception setup, your invitations give a preview of your wedding day. If you want a seamless wedding theme that'll wow your loved ones, bring it to life with your invitations first. And if you're planning a cottagecore wedding, your invitations are a key way to make the style stand out.

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