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Shabby chic wedding theme is popular for many reasons. It gives relaxed and homey feeling, which helps to set the mood among guests, which may come from many different backgrounds and may have initial problems to fit in the reception.


While a shabby chic is really hot right now, its eclectic style with ability to incorporate so many practically unrealted elements to achieve so different and personalized results, makes us believe it is very likely here to stay. Shabby chic is also a great excuse to use a piece of furniture which was almost forgotten due few stains or holes and is budget friendly too!


What Exactly Is Shabby Chic Style?


The term is often interchangeably used with vintage, rustic, country, ranch, cottage, western and other styles, sometimes differing in nuances only and sometimes not at all. The main requirement of shabby chic style is usage of elements with the worn out, yet pretty and homey feel, being vintage, retro, renovated, up-cycled or simply made with the right combination of materials, textures, colors and patterns.




Shabby chic term was coined in 1980s by designer Rachel Ashwell who used this words to describe her own style in an interview for World of Interiors. Eventually the name became so popular, she registered it as brand name for her business in 1889.


First success for the style came in California, slowly moved to Europe and is today popular all over the world. With awakening awareness of our impact on environment, this style, where the most appreciated pieces come from basements or flea markets, got new energy.


There is no exact definition of a shabby chic style, because it is not a style with fixed rules, but rather a mix of different combinations of modern and vintage things aiming to create comfortable, soft and informal environment for laid back living. Of course this style inspired many people who wanted to decorate different places for special occasions as birthdays or wedding parties as well.


The Elements


Items fitting in shabby chic style come from different locations and eras, are different colors and styles, but they have one thing in common. They have character or, if you like, a personality. This means an old scratched table or ragged floor-length curtains may serve the same purpose as a pale pink wallpapers with large nostalgically portrayed flowers.




Furniture is definitely the most important part of every shabby chic styled project (we are dealing with interiors in vast majority of cases, although starting with an old cottage can help too).


Vintage pieces from attics or antique stores can now shine in their full beauty again. If knobs on the drawers are scratched or you can see different color and maybe a bit of wood under the top layer, even better. Think about old refrigerator as a provisional stand for buffet, linen napkins on the wedding table, bouquets of wild flowers in painted jars and massive scented candles for decoration of the wedding venue.


Used and aged stuff is not enough, it has to possess some kind of warmth and romantic feel, and this is where a personal approach enters. To transform shabby into chic (which is closely related with feminine, just perfect for weddings, the single most important event where a woman is in the center of attention), you have to find a story behind the used item. It doesn't matter, if it's plain old, found, recycled, upcycled or faux finished and distressed at the local store, it has to fit in the overall experience of your wedding and suit you as a couple.


Shabby Chic Colors


When we try to execute a certain theme at one's wedding, colors and their combination are always on the top of the list of the questions to consider. In case of shabby chic instead of clear and bold colors with striking combinations we have to think about pastels, muted, soft an pale hues of pink, green, yellow and blue work great with cream and eggshell tones of white.


So in general we are looking for pale, washed out colors, maybe even with stains (old trick with 'tea ageing' is still very present at DIY shabby chic projects) which work best in this style, but can also cooperate with another, more prominent wedding theme to create unique and personalized effects. We can use them this way on decor and accessories, like chandeliers, mirrors, boxes and other elements at wedding venue, or wreath, scarf, bridesmaids' bouquets and so on in relation with a wedding dress.




It is entirely up to you, how much do you want to invest in time and money into the theme, because sometimes a set of paper hearts, hanged down the wall can work better than an expensive furniture from the trendy shop. Due to its openness, we can also get a lot of inspiration from related themes, like Boho or French country.


Ideas For Your Wedding in Shabby Chic Style


There are many ways to create lovely shabby chic experience at your wedding, no matter if you use it as a leading theme or only for one of wedding related events, starting with your invitations. There is no single part of the wedding plan, where the charm of this style can't be used.


Let's brain storm few ideas:


  • Decor: apart from already mentioned chandeliers, curtains, jars and mirrors, think about huge antique frames, stone vases, brass lamps, wooden ladders, ceramic potter, rustic tea bowls, straw chairs, vintage candlesticks, decorative bird cages, rocking chairs, metal flower stands, old chalkboards, ...


  • Flowers: everything wild can go, a mix of different colors and shapes is a must, but you should slso consider artificial flowers, made of chiffon, silk or other fabrics, just as decorative wreaths (for bridesmaids and the walls) and bouquets in braided baskets.


  • Fabric: cotton, flax, linen, velvet, damask and other 'classic' materials are all welcome, but the real beauty lies in their design, patchwork, patterns, prints, ..., we are talking about lace, burlap, canvas, ... so if a bit of polyester comes into play, it's still allowed.


  • Stationary: apart from the obvious use of creamy and pale colors it's worth considering the extras like ribbons, bows, additions of other materials, like dried flowers, or unique ways of folding, special envelopes, anything with a vintage feel and personalization.




We hope you found enough inspiration for your very own tone of a shabby chic wedding.




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