Oct 23

Simple: Defined

Bloom the Workshop | The Day's Design | Jenn Anibal Photography

What makes a wedding simple?  I find myself circling around this term again as yet another bride has used this word as a description of her ideal wedding.

I spent almost 15 minutes fluffing and re-fluffing, and making sure a tablecloth at last Saturday’s wedding fell with the perfect drape.  I wanted it to look as though it had just been thrown in place with such grace and ease.  But the fact is that simple and effortless look took a lot of time and care.

As an adjective, Dictionary.com offers 7 different definitions for the word simple.  Seven!!  That doesn’t seem “simple” to me.  Let’s narrow this down a bit, let’s focus on just a couple of those definitions.

Easy to understand, deal with, use

Weddings for the most part are easy to understand.  Most people have a general understanding of what is to happen during the wedding – there’s a bride, a groom and at the end of the day they became a united couple, usually with some sort of celebration or reception after.

Easy to deal with?  Well, that point could be argued a bit.  That can depend on family dynamics, individual desires, as well as multiple other factors.  Some find planning a wedding stressful, some find it fun but I can almost guarantee that at some point during the process, even if just for a fleeting moment, the person planning is not finding their day easy to deal with.

Not elaborate or artificial, plain

I would wager this is the definition that most people think of when they tell me that they’re looking for a simple wedding. Think back to that perfectly flowing linen and how much time it actual took to perfect.  Sometimes a plain wedding might mean a simple flower crown rather than a stuffy, traditional veil.  Perhaps you’re thinking of a table overflowing with candles rather than packed floral arrangements.  However consider how “unsimple” this really is.  For the floral designer, you wearing a veil is much easier.  Likewise, placing one flower arrangement on a table can be much easier than washing dozens of candle holders, hauling them to the reception site, keeping the flames lit and then taking them down and packing them up again at the end of the night.  Consider who you want the wedding to be simple for.

Not ornate or luxurious, unadorned

Luxurious is a word that can have many definitions in itself.   But I think one of the main misconceptions here is that if a wedding isn’t luxurious, filled with sky high floral arrangements and oodles of draping, it doesn’t feel stuffy and over the top, then it is simple and possibly lower budget.  However, luxury comes in all shapes and forms.  Sometimes it can be earthy and rustic.  Sometimes it can be natural and easygoing.  A luxury is really just something that isn’t one of life’s basic necessities, meaning that a wedding reception itself is really a luxury.

So what is it about your celebration that you really want to keep simple?  Hiring awesome vendors to help you will simplify the day for you.  Choosing an open, outdoor venue keeps the mood casual and unassuming.  However, please remember that expensive blooms can be arranged in a causal way.  Extra details, while “simple” are still extra work.  Keeping your style informal does not mean it going to be any easier planning.  Fussy doesn’t always mean expensive and inexpensive doesn’t mean carefree.

The tablescape pictured above seems unpretentious, informal and yet chic.  It took lots of planning and was not easy dragging it into the countryside setting.  Yet some might consider this a “simple” set-up. 

Check back tomorrow and I’ll share more of this shoot.  Photo by {Jenn Anibal}.


  1. Christina Ebbers says:

    Interesting reading your perspective on this! I don’t think I’ve ever used the word simple to describe what I want for my wedding, haha. But the illusion of simplicity can be beautiful. 🙂

Join our list

Receive our weekly updates, travel tips, and of course stories of couples in love!