Taupe cashmere knits, herringbone blazers, salon-styled blowouts, pearlescent manicures, and handbags devoid of logos. You just read a list of bona fide quiet luxury hallmarks.
Despite being “quiet” by name, the style has made quite the commotion across TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest. In an age where everything is a new micro-niche—whether that be the fuchsia maximalism of Barbiecore or the wholesome beauty of the “clean girl” aesthetic—the core tenets of quiet luxury are actually nothing novel. The “old money” uniform of pared-down classics never goes out of fashion. High-quality pieces that withstand the test of time are always a wise investment.
But recent events demanded a more substantive—and quite frankly, expensive—term than “understated elegance” for Succession scion Shiv Roy’s tailored boardroom-to-private jet pantsuits and Gwyneth Paltrow’s stealth wealth courtroom style. “Quiet luxury” Google searches have increased by 614 percent in the last year alone. (We’ll save you one more Google search right now. Paltrow wears neutrals from The Row below.)
The phrase “quiet luxury” became such a buzzword in the zeitgeist that when Sofia Richie married Elliott Grainge in a spectacular—with an eye-watering price tag to boot—ceremony in the South of France, some were quick to label it as the “quiet luxury” wedding of the century, while others were downright offended by this assertion, saying it was actually anything but.
With this top of mind and the season finale of Succession on the horizon this weekend, we went to the world’s top planners to get their thoughts on what makes a “quiet luxury wedding”? And, first and foremost: what is quiet luxury actually?
Quiet Luxury Defined
Quiet luxury is a well-tailored capsule wardrobe filled with the finest raiment money can buy, but it’s more than a fashion statement—it’s a lifestyle, a mindset. Quiet luxury is the epitome of “IYKYK.” (And if you don’t know, that acronym is internet-speak for “If You Know, You Know.” Now you know!) It radiates confidence and doesn’t seek validation. It’s minimalist without ever sacrificing sophistication. It’s logo-less but distinguished. Jung Lee of Fête NY compares quiet luxury to the “no makeup makeup look.” Both only appear effortless. In reality, they are scrupulously planned and meticulously coiffed.
Was Sofia Richie’s Wedding “Quiet Luxury?”
We asked every planner for a definitive answer that would put an end to the discourse surrounding Sofia Richie’s wedding. The verdict: No. “But it was beautiful!” Jung Lee says. The highly visible brand names throughout the weekend—like Chanel and Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc—were loudly luxurious, not at all quiet. Easton Events would classify the wedding in the “ultra-luxury” bracket instead.
How to Have A Quiet Luxury Wedding
So, now that we’ve established that Sofia Richie dressing in three different Chanel outfits doesn’t necessarily equate “quiet luxury.” What does? A quiet luxury wedding can be distilled into a few hallmarks.
1. Prioritize Guest Experience
“[Quiet luxury] is not defined by showy objects but more by the guest experience,” Lynn East of Easton Events clarifies. “It’s not the napkin. It’s the way the napkin is passed out to you at your seat by a well-dressed server.”
Jung Lee even cites good hosting as a prerequisite, “To me, quiet luxury from a wedding standpoint is about taking care of your guests. Be a gracious host and never go over the top in a way that makes people uncomfortable.” The invitation, for example, is the first impression guests receive of your wedding. Lee advises couples to refrain from using pedantic language or even commands when it comes to attire. “People need directions, but only to make it easy for the guest,” she explains. “Don’t demand something from the guest.”
2. Pay Careful Attention to the Small Details
It’s the small details that beget a big impact. Easton Events listed a few components that at any other wedding might be overlooked or dismissed—but not at a quiet luxury affair, “Things like the band’s wardrobe coordinating with the decor, the band’s backdrop complementing your dinner bars, surround sound that envelopes the whole tent, residential carpeting underfoot, a signature scent wafting, signature amenity trays in the restrooms, custom linens, and signature printed pieces that ‘brand’ the event.”
3. Use An Understated Color Palette
A bright color motif might be tempting, but not necessarily for anyone seeking a true quiet luxury fête. “No royal wedding to date has featured bright pinks or purples, so draw inspiration from classic sources,” Michelle Norwood of Michelle Norwood Events and the planner behind Alexandra Daddario’s laidback elegant wedding in New Orleans notes. Keep your pop of color to pastel hues and subtle shades.
4. Low-Key Decor
Don’t get it twisted: We love the dripping florals of a Bridgerton-inspired wedding. But Michelle Norwood points out that while classic, a themed event goes against the essence of quiet luxury. If you’re looking for subtle sophistication, she recommends avoiding any over-the-top decor.
7 Things That Scream “Quiet Luxury” at a Wedding
Sofia Richie’s wedding may have confused the masses when it comes to whether it was or wasn’t quiet luxury. If you’re looking for telltale signs that the wedding you’re planning or attending falls in the “quiet luxury” category, consider the following:
1. High-End Skincare
A quiet luxury bride might cite her facialist as her bridal beauty hero before even mentioning her makeup artist. Again, the quiet luxury aesthetic is a lifestyle. Splurging on skincare might seem high maintenance, but consider it an investment that will result in a low-maintenance makeup routine.
2. No Logos in Sight
And the bride wore. . . Something tasteful and exquisite. Don’t lean into brand names, whether that be for the bridal gown designer or the party favors. On that note. . .
3. Cherished Heirlooms
“I am pleased to see couples incorporating timeless vintage jewelry passed down from their beloved grandparents,” Michelle Norwood mentions about recent wedding trends. Brides and grooms who wear family heirlooms exude luxury money cannot buy.
4. No Phone Policy
If you want to fully immerse guests in the moment, Marcy Blum suggests requiring everyone to check their phones at the beginning of the event. A quiet luxury wedding is neither show nor spectacle. It should definitely not be live-streamed or broadcast online. Trust in the photographer and videographer to capture the day’s highlights. Plus, their footage will likely be far superior to any of your guests’ cells.
5. Quality Libations
This is an occasion for the best bubbly and family-favorite vintages. Pour guests your favorite top-shelf liquors, but, celebrity planner Marcy Blum clarifies, “Nothing flashy like Casamigos.” Name-brand recognition is decidedly not quiet luxury.
6. The Band
In addition to a fully stocked custom 360 bar, Easton Events advises clients to invest in a statement-making band that plays throughout the entirety of the evening. DJs are definitely fun, but few things compare to actual live music. Go big with a swinging twelve-piece band.
7. Experiential Party Favors
There’s something incredibly thoughtful about these quiet luxury weddings, right down to the party favors. Consider what gifts your guests will actually use and keep. Do you think custom-printed koozies will stand the test of time? While you may not believe it, some party favors go straight in the trash after the wedding weekend, so . . .
One of Jung Lee’s favorite finishing touches at a wedding is the send-off for the guests. “Everyone got their own car to take them home [at the end of the night],” she recalls. “No one needs another trinket when you’re leaving the venue at three in the morning. But when there’s a car already waiting for you. That’s quiet luxury.”