Photo: Layered Vintage
From the wedding gown to the venue to the flowers, brides and grooms are always searching for wedding inspiration that will make their big day truly unique.
Sometimes, all it takes is a simple Pinterest pic or a single Instagram post to totally inspire you and help you figure out what your unique bridal style should be.
Plenty of couples are still throwing laidback beach weddings and natural, rustic weddings in the woods. But lately, we’ve noticed that a lot of couples are taking a different route for 2023 … a charming, Pinterest-perfect, and, shall we say, more scenic route known as “cottagecore.”
Ready to learn what it’s all about?
Here’s everything you need to know about the cottagecore aesthetic, plus five ideas for pulling off the perfect cottagecore wedding in 2023!
What Is Cottagecore?
Cottagecore blends a few familiar notions into one aesthetic.
It’s laidback and carefree, but it isn’t boho. It’s natural and organic, but it isn’t rustic. It sometimes feels like a fairytale, but not like Cinderella at the ball (i.e., no diamonds or tiaras or horse-drawn carriages required).
It’s more like the vibe of that little home where Belle lives before she moves into the Beast’s castle.
Cottagecore evokes the feeling of the English countryside. It’s garden parties with wildflowers, rustic breads, and handmade desserts. It’s easy and effortless, with dresses adorned with lace embellishments, floral patterns, and puffed sleeves.
Cottagecore is a bit of a mash-up between rural farm style, boho comfort, and fairytale whimsy. It’s not defined by one single element but rather by a mix of elements, and you can combine those elements in a way that feels upscale or casual, depending on the type of wedding celebration you want to have.
A Cottagecore Wedding Calls for a Cottagecore Dress!
To pull off the perfect cottagecore wedding, you’ll need a cottagecore wedding dress.
Depending on your personal style, that might be a long-sleeved wedding dress with a romantic, off-the-shoulder neckline. It may be a lace wedding dress with ruffles and tiers. It could be an A-line wedding dress with billowing puff sleeves.
Cottagecore dresses can be almost any silhouette and any fabric, as long as they err on the side of romantic and chic rather than opulent and ornate.
Opt for ethereal, flowing looks rather than beaded ball gowns and satin mermaid dresses. Look for handcrafted details, such as delicate embroidery, as opposed to crystal embellishments, sequins, or beaded appliques.
If you’re a bold bride with a bit of a rebellious streak, you might even want to ditch the idea of a white dress in favor of a bold floral print!
Cottagecore is an increasingly popular wedding dress trend, so finding one that suits your mood and style is easy to do.
Cottagecore Bridesmaid Dresses
To be a true cottagecore bride, you’ll need some cottagecore bridesmaids.
When shopping for bridesmaid dresses, look for romantic maxi dresses in floral lace. Look for flowing chiffon gowns with ruffles or draping in A-line or empire waist silhouettes. Opt for floral prints or select pastel or neutral hues instead of brights or metallics.
Mixing soft hues and pretty prints is the perfect way to give your wedding party that whimsical cottagecore vibe. Your wedding party will look oh-so-inspired if you mix and match your bridesmaids in a combination of colors, styles, and floral prints.
Check out our floral print bridesmaid dresses from Jenny Yoo now!
A Garden Is the Perfect Cottagecore Venue
Photo: Jenny Quicksall
So where should you throw your cottagecore wedding?
In a garden with wildflowers and lush greenery, of course!
A garden wedding is the perfect choice for the cottagecore couple. But if a lush garden wedding venue isn’t an option, there are some easy ways to fake it. With a few simple tricks, you can transform almost any outdoor wedding venue with a natural, green backdrop into a gorgeous cottagecore space.
Because the cottagecore vibe is all about flowers and natural beauty, this is the perfect chance to show off your DIY skills with a one-of-a-kind wedding arch.
If building an arch on your own isn’t your thing, don’t worry; you can rent a plain wooden wedding arch and decorate it with wildflowers and baby’s breath to give it a romantic, English garden look.
Planning to say “I do” in the evening or have your wedding reception outdoors?
If so, string lights are a must! Twinkling lights strung from the trees can instantly turn a bare outdoor space into an inspired, fairytale setting.
Cottagecore Wedding Table Décor
Photo: Elias Kordelakos
If the idea of a spectacular tablescape gets your creative juices flowing, you’re in luck. There are endless ways to translate your cottagecore style into stunning tables with Pinterest-worthy place settings.
Combine colorful glassware with patterned dishes. Cover rustic wooden tables with colorful table runners in contrasting floral prints. Put the finishing touches on your place setting by adding embroidered napkins or mixing in elements of crocheted lace.
Add depth, color, and contrast to your tables by mixing in taper candles in different colors and metal candle holders in different metallic tones. As for centerpieces, opt for potted flowers instead of tall, towering vases. The more the flowers look like they came from your backyard garden, the better!
More Tips for a Gorgeous Cottagecore Wedding
Want to make your wedding day one that your guests will remember forever? Here are a few more wedding ideas that might help to inspire your cottagecore celebration.
Nothing screams “fairytale cottage in the woods” quite like the smell of fresh, rustic bread. To play up the notion of handmade baked goods, consider adding a rustic bread cart or bread station at your cocktail hour. Or, set your dinner tables with bread loaves tucked into paper bags that double as menus.
To give your tables, chairs, DJ station, or bar more of that natural, cottage-inspired vibe, decorate with greenery garlands. Fresh green garlands can make a big impact, and they’re super easy to drape over all sorts of surfaces.
Every cottagecore bride needs a wildflower bouquet, and you can make yours even more unique by adding a series of streaming ribbons. From slender grosgrain ribbons to thick velvet ones, a few soft ribbons blowing in the breeze as you walk down the aisle will only make your bouquet that much more beautiful.
A cottagecore wedding can be incredibly casual or oh-so-elegant … it all depends on the individual elements you choose and how you put them together.
The main trick to pulling off this wedding style is to keep it soft, romantic, and natural. So, do a natural makeup look, add a flower crown or thread some floral blooms in your hair, and walk down the aisle barefoot if you wish!
Whether you decide to throw a cottagecore wedding or choose some other style or theme, just remember this:
The only rule to planning a wedding is to choose what you love. Whether that be cottagecore, boho, rustic, or beachy, your wedding will be a success as long as it captures the special type of love that you and your soon-to-be beloved are so lucky to share!