You may hear the words “granny chic” and think kitsch ornaments, orthotics, and handbags full of boiled sweets. But really, it’s not about emulating grannies, but more about utilising classic styles from the past.
Granny chic is a great way to make sure your wedding possesses a timeless elegance, so you won’t cringe at your photos in 20 years’ time. It also means you can incorporate family heirlooms in your wedding to connect this special day to your family’s past. Plus, with all the reusing, it’s both eco and budget friendly!
What are Grandmillennials?
Grandmillennials is a term used to describe a trend that’s currently taking the Instagram world by storm. It refers to young(ish) people who embrace retro fashions and décor styles.
We’re not talking 70s and 80s though – think more ladylike tailored suits, pearl necklaces, floral prints, and cute knit sets, all in pastel colours.
But there is great variation within that, with some grandmillennials favouring opulent, baroque décor, and others merging a little with cottagecore in their enthusiasm for artisanal crafts like knitting and cross-stitch.
What they all have in common is their appreciation of the elegant femininity of times gone by. And while granny chic may not be for everyone, if you like the aesthetic, it’s time to raid your gran’s house and start digging in her trunks!
A granny chic wedding is a great choice because it marries homeliness with opulence and elegance. The colour theme is generally pastel, and the main décor should centre around a few timeless statement pieces, and lots of flowers.
Roses are popular because of their enduring association with romance, but dried wildflowers, carnations, and baby’s breath are also beautiful. For the statement pieces, a few items of vintage furniture, such as a velvet armchair, a thick vintage trunk, a luxurious carpet and some retro tables go a long way.
A good rule of thumb is that vintage = yes and floral = yes.
Floral prints can pop up almost anywhere, from tablecloths to bridesmaids’ dresses, to wallpaper and chinaware. Serving food and drinks in delicately patterned vintage cups and plates evokes a retro glamour and will make guests want to lift their little finger while sipping their tea. Serving cocktails and champagne in crystal glassware will add to the aesthetic too.
Another grandmillennial trend you can slip in is crafty elements like needlepoint, crocheted doilies, and woven baskets. Your grandmother will be thrilled if you want to use some of her old needlework pieces in your wedding.
And this brings us to the real value of granny chic weddings.
By incorporating things like your grandmother’s own wedding china and family heirlooms passed down across the generations, you can connect your wedding to those of your family’s past, and honour family members both alive and deceased.
For a truly grandmillennial-approved dress, you could opt for a vintage dress, or get your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dress repurposed for the occasion.
Alternatively, you could go for something more granny inspired, like a folk style dress or a lacy gown that evokes vintage glamour with a modern twist.
When it comes to the details, a blusher veil, which covers only the face, is a fun and chic way to have a veil without the fuss. Top off your look with classic jewellery such as pearls or vintage stone pieces or go big and accessorise with gloves or even 1950s style sunglasses.
Grooms can dress in proper three-piece suits complete with bow tie, and maybe even a bowler hat (if you dare!)
When you are planning your wedding menu, think classic, retro dishes and homemade artisanal products.
You could serve elegant canapes, or more down-to-earth classics like Scotch eggs or roast beef. If it’s a daytime wedding, you’ve got a great opportunity to have a decadent afternoon tea. Go to town on girly cakes, scones, biscuits and delicate meringues, though these can work for dessert or a midnight snack too!
For the wedding cake, a floral, pastel theme works brilliantly. Consider a bas relief wedding cake for something that’s both exquisitely unique, yet understated.
If you’re serving alcohol, keep it simple with wine and champagne served in beautiful glasses. Or hire a professional mixologist to rustle up a few vintage cocktails, complete with maraschino cherries.
It’s All in the Details
What gives a wedding aesthetic that extra oomph are all the little details you can incorporate into the décor, table setting, or even ceremony.
For example, use vintage botanical stamps in your table setting or wedding favours. A vintage trinket box for the rings adds an adorably granny chic touch, and napkins monogrammed with needlepoint will delight your guests. You could even hand out vintage handkerchiefs to mop up the inevitable happy tears shed at weddings.
The nifty thing about adding details in granny chic weddings is that the objects are often easy to come by at junk shops. When you clear the dust away, you will see their classic beauty. Feel free to raid your parents’ and grandparents’ houses for genuine and unique pieces – just ask for permission first!
Is there a beautiful, never-been-used tea set at the back of your grandmother’s cupboard? Get it out! Does someone have an old set of silverware? Start polishing! It doesn’t matter if the details are mismatched, as this can often add to the charm.
Add Your Unique Touch
As you can see, granny chic doesn’t mean “do it like your granny would”, but rather adopting a timeless elegance and honouring family history with heirlooms and treasured pieces.
Instead of simply copying the past, take inspiration from it and add your own dash of flavour. Mismatched furniture, and a few contemporary colour combinations or clashing patterns can give the retro-style wedding a quirky, modern twist.
It’s totally up to you how much of the grandmillennial trend you decide to incorporate into your wedding but have fun with it! And remember, it’s all about classic beauty, reusing, and honouring your family’s history.
Images from the English Wedding archives: see Heirloom and heritage wedding style inspiration for more
Wedding Gown www.MiaBridal.co.uk
Vintage Fashion and Styling www.goodbyenormajean.co.uk
Make Up www.danimua.com
Decorative ribbons www.vvrouleaux.com
Sugared almonds www.ukweddingfavours.co.uk