How to Bring Your Favorite Internet Aesthetic to Your Wedding Day

From cottagecore to dark academia, these buzzy styles are perfect for your nuptials.
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • 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 Jul 02, 2021
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There are plenty of helpful wedding planning tools on the internet that'll help bring your dream day to life. From The Knot's custom checklist to real wedding photo galleries and your trusty wedding Pinterest board, inspiration and guidance can be found just about anywhere—including TikTok. While you might not think of this popular Gen Z app as a must-use planning tool, it's full of inspo for your big day. And, believe it or not, you can use it to conceptualize the style or theme for your nuptials.

In recent months, plenty of buzzy new aesthetics have risen to popularity thanks to the video-sharing app. "Social media channels like TikTok are becoming very influential when it comes to wedding jewelry and style trends," says Don O'Connell, President and CEO of Charles and Colvard, noting that celebrities and influencers, as well as general social media trends, have a direct impact on weddings.

And, while you might be hesitant to model your day around an internet trend, experts say it's actually a great way to personalize your wedding. "Time stamping your wedding is part of the magic," says Zerina Akers, fashion designer and bridal stylist for Zales. "You can weave in pops of your favorite trends through jewelry, hair accessories, makeup and additional outfits throughout your wedding day, like the reception and the after-party."

So, whether you're obsessed with whimsical cottagecore fashion or you can't get enough of the Y2K resurgence, you can (and should) weave your favorite elements into your wedding day, from your invitations to your reception playlist or your after-party outfit. After all, infusing your wedding day with personalized details is the best way to make it feel thoughtfully tailored to you and your S.O. "There's no better time than your wedding day to get excited about embracing your favorite trends," Akers adds. "Styling your big day is all about what makes you feel confident."

To help you bring your favorite internet aesthetic to your wedding day, we've rounded up six of the most popular style trends online right now. Brush up on your TikTok aesthetic knowledge below, and take note of your favorite tips and ideas (inspired by real couples) to make your wedding day feel like a true representation of you.


Buzz words: Whimsical, bohemian, natural, rural

If you're obsessed with all things cottagecore, you probably loved Taylor Swift's sister albums Folklore and Evermore or you fantasize about starting a new life on a quaint English countryside in a modest cottage surrounded by mountains and fields of wildflowers. The cottagecore aesthetic, which is one of the most popular TikTok styles, romanticizes the purity of simple pleasures and was created out of nostalgia for a slower pace of life in a rural setting. 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."

Cottagecore is 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. When compared to the grandmillenial aesthetic (which we explain below), cottagecore is simpler and earthy. A cottagecore wedding would take place in a lush field, a quaint barn or a rustic manor. Floral arrangements should include wispy wildflowers and grassy leaves, and cozy string lights will create a warm and intimate atmosphere for your nearest and dearest. The goal is to make your wedding day feel like an oasis of all things cozy and homey.

Dark Academia

Buzz words: Gothic, moody, scholarly

Originally from Tumblr, dark academia is a popular aesthetic that romanticizes writing, poetry, classic Greek and Gothic architecture and the arts. It's heavily inspired by the Harry Potter series, and it's often associated with academic prep school vibes, literary themes and dark, moody color schemes.

When it comes to weddings, the dark academia aesthetic manifests in deep hues of black, gray and maroon, rich red florals and gothic-style fashion. If you're all about this style, a long sleeve lace dress or vintage tweed suit would make for perfect wedding outfits. The ideal setting for a dark academia-inspired celebration is a cathedral, a historic library or home, or any building with exquisite architecture (and serious Hogwarts vibes). Consider weaving elements of literature throughout your event design–you might name tables after your favorite book characters, or decorate your space with vintage stacks of your favorite novels to make guests feel like they've set foot in an Ivy League library.


Buzz words: Antique, frilly, preppy

Millennial design style was, at one point, associated with sleek modern furniture, clean lines, line art and lots of plants. But in recent years, some have ditched this minimal aesthetic for something much more ornate. This aesthetic has since been coined "grandmillennial" (think: grandparents + millennial). It favors frills and chintz, as well as detailed china and ginger jar patterns. Picture a room filled with monogrammed pillows, ruffled linens, needlepoint decor, blue and white ginger jars stacked in cabinets with fine china and walls covered in floral wallpaper. It's like your grandparents' house from the late 1980s and 1990s, reimagined.

A grandmillennial wedding will feature pastel hues of pink, purple and blue, as well as intricate floral patterns and lace fabrics. This TikTok aesthetic will feel frillier and preppier than a cottagecore wedding—while that aesthetic is rooted in natural textures and colors, the grandmillennial style is brighter and more vibrant. Look for vintage-inspired wedding venues, and don't be afraid to mix patterns and colors in a way that would make your grandmother proud. We recommend designing a custom monogram crest to stamp on various elements of your day, like your invites, signage and favors. You might even consider serving tea, elegant finger sandwiches and your favorite pie for dessert.


Buzz words: Regal, ornate, opulent, lavish

Fully inspired by Bridgerton, the regencycore aesthetic is influenced by Europe's regency period circa 1800. The style is characterized by deep hues of gold and brass and contrasting shades of light pastel pinks whites. Ornate art, opulent architecture and dramatic fashion silhouettes like empire waistlines, full skirts, corseted bodices, rich silk fabrics and pearl jewelry are also key components of this style.

An opulent regencycore wedding would take place in an ornate ballroom, a lavish estate or courtyard, or a historic home. Look for venues that have natural, regal charm—grand staircases, renaissance paintings, chandeliers and gold accents are all key elements of this maximal TikTok aesthetic. Pastel color palettes are encouraged, or you can go so far as to plan a completely monochrome wedding for a memorable experience. Paying attention to detail is key for a regencycore wedding, and there's no such thing as decorating too much. Towering floral centerpieces, gold silverware and glassware, brass candelabras and baroque signage will transport your guests back in time and make them feel as though they've stumbled onto the set of a Bridgerton episode.


Buzz words: Instagram-worthy, laid-back, beachy

Self-proclaimed "VSCO girls," this one's for you. While VSCO refers to a popular photo editing app, the internet aesthetic truly skyrocketed to digital fame in 2019. The app allows users to edit photos with preset filters to create a cohesive social media aesthetic, and it's often associated with laid-back, beachy or cool-girl vibes. (The phrase "Pics or it didn't happen" is also closely tied to the VSCO aesthetic.)

So, what does this mean for your big day? A VSCO wedding would be designed with plenty of Instagram-worthy moments for guests. (Think: Interactive food experiences, unique entertainment like dance performers or a live painter, and statement lighting or floral installations.) It would have bright colors, a cohesive design palette, and it would boast the most popular wedding trends of the moment. Couples inspired by this TikTok wedding theme might even plan with an eco-conscious focus—details like sustainable favors or a farm-to-table menu would fall in line with the environmental-friendly elements of the VSCO aesthetic. And, of course, no VSCO-inspired wedding would be complete without a polaroid photobooth so guests could take pictures home with them.


Buzz words: Grunge, edgy, futuristic

In the words of Taylor Swift, you, too, can come back stronger than a '90s trend—even on your wedding day. The Y2K aesthetic has taken TikTok by storm, romanticizing the edgy grunge of the late 1990s and the futuristic vibes of the early 2000s. This isn't a new trend to the wedding industry either. Hairstyles and wedding dresses inspired by the '90s are alive and well on Bridal Fashion Week runways and in real weddings across the country.

To host a Y2K wedding, start with your venue. We recommend exchanging vows at an edgy rooftop or an industrial warehouse to replicate the grungy late-'90s aesthetic. And, when it comes to fashion, this is your chance to rock a two-piece wedding gown with a tube top and brown lipstick, or personalized matching tracksuits at your after-party. Music was also a defining element of the Y2K era, so work with your band or DJ or create a '90s-themed wedding playlist with your favorite boy bands and techno hits that'll have guests partying like it's 1999.

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