We’re taking a closer look at Wedding Trends for 2021 and what’s behind these wedding inspirations. If you haven’t heard of this trend by name, you’ve definitely seen parts of it before. Grandmillennial Style — or Granny Chic is one of the hottest trends for 2021, even though it has technically been around a while.
What’s old is new again — or at least newly appreciated again with grandmillennial style. It’s a style that celebrates eclectic antiques, floral patterns, bold colors, and unexpected texture blends that marry a millennial’s modern spin with their grandmother’s style. This trend was born on Instagram, where it first gained popularity as millennials took up hobbies like knitting, needlepoint, cross-stitch, and a myriad of other artisan-type lifestyle crafts. Grandmillenial is most commonly associated with interior design and decor elements. Ultimately, this style permeates every part of a person’s life — including their wedding day.
What is grandmilliennial style? To appreciate what this trending style is and isn’t as well as how it got its name — let’s look back at its origins.
THE ORIGINS OF GRANDMILLENNIAL STYLE — OR GRANNY CHIC
Millennials are famous — or should we say infamous — for their desire to be unique and authentic, their penchant for old-fashioned ways, and their eco-friendly, sustainability-conscious mindset. All these elements have worked together to create a growing group of grandmillennial influencers who appreciate things that their grandparents valued with a uniquely millennial twist. Good examples of this are — a needlepoint pillow (grandparents) with a funny saying like — “I prefer not to” (millennial). Or large floral pattern wallpaper (grandparents) with a minimalist-style vegan leather chair (millennial).
The author, who identifies as a grandmillennial, first started to see these images pop up on her Instagram feed of charmingly excessive floral interiors from Sister Parish, pictures of fluffy hydrangeas in thrifted vases, knitting projects, and vintage Laura Ashley. She realized there were a lot of people who shared her love for granny chic style — and thus the term grandmillenial was born.
Photo Courtesy of Sister Parish
According to Bazilian, the grandmillenial ranges in ages from the early ’20s to the late ’30s, and they “have an affinity for design trends considered by mainstream culture to be ‘stuffy’ or ‘outdated’ — Laura Ashley prints, ruffles, embroidered linens.”
To clarify, she explains that the grandmillennial is less Lilly Pulitzer and more like a faded D. Porthault.
Photo Courtesy of D. Porthault
Manhattan-based interior designer, Ariel Okin describes grandmillennial style like this —
“I think a ‘grandmillennial’ is really a ‘New Traditionalist’ — someone who has an appreciation for the past.” She further explains that it’s a person who references legendary designers of yore, understands the staying power of good design and quality materials — all while giving it their unique spin on it to make it feel updated.
This trend has naturally moved into the wedding arena and affects everything from wedding attire to design.
One great example of how gradmillennial style is being reflected in wedding design is in the recent royal wedding of Princess Beatrice. The bride wore her grandmother’s coronation dress with modernized tweaks and a family tiara that multiple relatives have worn at weddings and special occasions. It connects her to a handful of her older relatives and makes her another link in that chain of family history.
Photo by Benjamin Wheeler
It’s a modern take on her grandmother’s style — the very definition of grandmillennial.
THE DEFINITION OF GRANDMILLENNIAL
Now that you know about its origins, let’s do a quick summary.
They are typically in their early ’20s through the late ’30s with an appreciation for their grandmother’s style with a modern twist. They aren’t afraid to break the “rules” in how they blend textures, patterns, and more. They love things that last and like to showcase their personality through the items that surround them. (This includes their wedding style.)
Grandmillennial Style —
- Blends old-school design trends (Skirted tables, floral wallpaper, stained woods) with a 21st-century twist — a modern spin on things. The result — nostalgic and comfortable without looking kitschy. (Think, your grandmother’s aesthetic with a modern twist.)
- Mixes patterns and textures (Granny Chic)
- It is a space or a design that shows off the person’s individuality with unique touches that tell the person’s story and reflects their personality.
- Is a juxtaposition of minimalism and maximalism.
- Often features wicker, lace, handkerchiefs, mixed metallics, and mixed woods as well as chintz, among other things.
Grandmillennial style is NOT necessarily stuffy or formal — even though certain elements that they like have been considered formal in the past. The opposite is true in their case. They prefer to make things comfortable as well as beautiful.
Here’s an example of how some stylists are helping grandmillennial couples bring Granny Chic wedding or Cottage Core wedding styles with a modern twist (all while appreciating the past).
THE GRANDMILLENNIAL STYLE WEDDING
Working with a grandmillennial couple provides exciting opportunities to mix things up with non-traditional approaches to traditional elements like big patterns and unique texture blends. This is true in everything from florals and beauty to styling and design.
Photo Courtesy of The Copper Quail
One expert identified the heart of a grandmillennial this way — “while their style tends to the past, their focus is aimed at the future.” They want to use things that will last, they want to create future heirlooms, and they want to surround themselves with meaningful elements that tell their unique story.
This style is often described as feminine, and its effect is seen in current wedding gown design trends. From Oscar de la Renta’s wedding gowns featuring oversized bows to Monique Lhuillier’s luminous embroideries and traditional lace designs — feminine romance reigns supreme for 2021.
Grandmillennial isn’t about having only old designs or items. Instead, the style is more about having a bold blend of elements, an appreciation for lasting things, and quality design, focusing on what is meaningful.
Grandmillennial Couples —
- Want timeless trinkets and family heirlooms incorporated into the design and function of the day itself.
This could be vintage, family furniture, china or table decor, etc., among many ideas. Or it could be a new piece that is meant to become a family heirloom. Meaning that they purchased it with the future in mind.
- Want to find a unique venue that reflects their personality as well as honors their family history.
This is part of another growing trend of having weddings in significant locations like childhood homes, family churches, favorite parks, or outdoor spaces. Wedding planners and vendors working with couples in this area have an opportunity to help couples think outside of the box here.
- Love all things nostalgic — even fragrances.
Scentful florals that create an immersive experience and build treasured memories with family and friends are high on the priority list. Some couples are even selecting flowers that they can then plant in their own gardens afterward.
- Want to engage their wedding guests in a meaningful way.
Grandmillennials are doing activities such as a community candle service where everyone gets a candle as they arrive. At the end of the ceremony, everyone passes the candlelight along until everyone’s candle is lit. It’s simply about finding authentic ways for everyone to participate.
HOW WEDDING PROS CAN WORK WITH GRANDMILLENNIALS
It’s important to keep in mind why the grandmillennial likes what they like. Remember what we’ve talked about. Grandmillennials have an appreciation for the past and an eye for the future. They appreciate things that last and longevity. This is part of who they are, and it speaks to both their nostalgic nature and their eco-conscious side that wants to steward the world for future generations.
Photo Courtesy of Pacific Weddings
Keep these motivations in mind as you help these couples build a meaningful and unique day. The exciting part of this trend is that it opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to design as well as creating new traditions because these grandmillennials aren’t afraid to mix things up and get a fresh perspective — in fact, they prefer it that way.
For more information on wedding trends, check out how the trend of smaller weddings doesn’t mean couples are scaling back on what they spend.
Written by Corrie McGee