There are very few exquisite formal events most people have the opportunity to experience in their lifetime – if any at all. Grand special occasions are often reserved for rites of passage such as religious milestones, graduations, and of course, weddings. While some brides and grooms opt for trendy destination weddings or fun rustic-chic nuptials, there are also couples who would prefer to mark their vow exchange with grandeur. While there are a few whom might refer to this as being “over the top,” we truly believe in the elegance and sophistication that accompanies an opulent wedding.
Big, beautiful, and often black-tie optional, opulent “I dos” are essentially classic weddings that have been kicked up a notch with the finest in décor and additional details. Expect five-star fare, a top-shelf bar, and incredible aesthetic touches throughout the event. For those looking to create an unforgettable formal affair, it can be difficult to achieve the exact design and air of elegance they desire. Before you begin looking for a planner – a person we highly recommend including on your wedding team – start gaining ideas by scrolling through the photos below, taken at real weddings and styled shoots, to catalyze your journey to the altar.
Ali & Jeremy's Wedding in Florida
Upon a mutual “swipe right” on a popular dating app, Ali and Jeremy began a relationship – one year later, Jeremy popped the question on vacation in St. Maarten. The New York natives chose to host destination nuptials in Palm Beach, and designed the grand ballroom with a color palette of ivory, lilac, pink, and cobalt blue in mind. The high, ornate ceilings of the venue perfectly accentuated the motif of the event. Photos by Christian Oth Studio; Venue: The Breakers
A Parisian-Inspired Styled Shoot
This upscale inspirational wedding shoot featuring a predominantly ivory color scheme was designed by some of Chicago’s most prominent wedding professionals. With cascading floral arrangements suspended over delicate gilt-rimmed chargers and a floral textured linen, the styled shoot exudes a sense of regality in the eclectic nature of its tablescape. Additionally – what’s a reception table without a chandelier featuring suspended vines overhead? Photos by Carasco Photography; Floral & Event Design by Kesh Designs; Rentals by Nüage Designs
Darcey & Clark's Wedding in Illinois
For their traditional Jewish ceremony, Darcey and Clark began their ceremony after the sun had set – a notion the couple kept in mind as they styled their romantically red soirée. Dusted with gold and silver details, the reception space felt fit for royalty with ornate chairs, metallic linens, and vibrant floral runners. Bridesmaids dressed in formal ebony gowns and each carried a cluster of scarlet blooms to complement the concept. Photos by KingenSmith
Lauren & Walker's Wedding in Illinois
College sweethearts Lauren and Walker began planning their special day after five years of dating, but the bride had been dreaming of the day since she was young. The Southern pair, who reside in Chicago, desired an outdoor garden wedding, but had to design an indoor affair due to their big-city locale. After the church ceremony, guests retreated to a beautiful greenhouse-inspired cocktail hour and a regal reception featuring high ceilings, pastel florals, and an expansive dance floor. Photos by Carasco Photography; Floral & Event Design by HMR Designs; Planning & Design by Birch Design Studio, Ltd.
Alyssa & Jasmine's Wedding in California
First connecting in their early teen years, longtime couple Alyssa and Jasmine began planning a wedding in secret not long after the birth of their twins. Under the pretense that they were gathering for Alyssa’s birthday celebration, guests arrived at their elegant rooftop event to a big surprise – it was a wedding! Both brides walked through a luscious floral tunnel and said “I do” underneath a stunning, bloom-covered arch, all while being painted in real time by a professional artist. Photos by Simone Photography; Planning & Design by International Event Company; Rentals by Revelry Event Designers