Coquette or Dark Academia: Which One Suits Your Wedding Aesthetic More?

If you’re often on #WeddingTok like we are, then you’ve probably come across two trendy and distinct aesthetics–Coquette and Dark Academia. Both of which are captivating in their own right, and have become increasingly popular choices for modern couples. Coquette, with its emphasis on playful elegance and romantic charm, offers a whimsical and enchanting atmosphere that feels straight out of a fairy tale. On the other hand, Dark Academia exudes a more solemn yet deeply romantic ambiance, drawing inspiration from history, literature, and intellectual pursuits to create a setting that is both mysterious and alluring. But how can you make one or the other your wedding theme? We’ll get into that.

Coquette or Dark Academia: Which One Suits Your Wedding Aesthetic More?

For context’s sake, let’s compare and contrast both.

Image Source: Petal Swing via Instagram

Coquette is a style and aesthetic that draws inspiration from the flirtatiousness and charm of historical French fashion and culture. It focuses on femininity, softness, and a playful yet sophisticated allure. Often, it includes elements such as pastel colors, floral patterns, lace, ruffles, and delicate accessories. A Coquette-themed wedding could feature a romantic and light-hearted ambiance, as well as a dress code that encourages kittenish, vintage-inspired fashion.

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Dark Academia, on the other hand, is inspired by a deep appreciation for knowledge, literature, and the arts, particularly those of the classical and medieval periods. It embraces a moody, gothic aesthetic characterized by dark colors, vintage books, and classical art, all with a sense of mystery. A wedding theme based on Dark Academia could include decorations that feature dark, rich colors like deep greens, burgundy, and black, vintage or antique items, book stacks, candlelight, and attire that reflects a vintage academic look.


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For couples who like classy yet unique styles, both Coquette and Dark Academia themes offer exciting options. While they have different vibes and colors, they both have rich styles that can make a wedding day special and charming.

The Wedding Fits

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Bridal wear that embodies the Coquette design is all about celebrating femininity and whimsical elegance. Such wedding and bridesmaids dresses often feature dainty details like ruffles, bows, and delicate lace, adhering to a softer color palette of pastels and light, airy fabrics.

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Photo by: ProudRad / Real Weddings: This Bride’s Oversized Lace Hair Bow Makes Her Standout!

This girlycore approach, combined with sultry Old English elegance, results in outfits that are both romantic and flirtatiously sophisticated. Men’s clothing may tend toward more casual suits, maybe in pastel or neutral hues, accentuated with whimsical boutonnieres or ties that play on the Coquette’s appreciation of subtle charm.

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Dark Academia clothing, on the other hand, has a more serious and intellectual style with influences from vintage pieces, gothic overtones, and academic dress. Brides may select gowns with elaborate lace, rich, deep colors, and classic shapes, while grooms and groomsmen may choose custom-tailored dark-hued suits evoking Ivy League or conventional prep school looks. Accessories like neckties, pocket squares, and even cloaks or capes can add to the theme’s moody, intellectual vibe.

Image Source: Vania Romoff Bridal via Instagram


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Accessories in a Coquette-themed wedding are all about enhancing the playful, flirtatious elegance of the attire. Think pearl or floral hairpieces, delicate jewelry, and pastel or floral-patterned clutches for the bridal party. Footwear tends towards the charming and dainty, with embellished flats or heels in soft colors complementing the overall look.

Photo by: Nice Print Photo / Real Weddings: Delight in the Pastel Colors and Vintage Style of This Chic Garden Wedding!

For Dark Academia, accessories should add to the mysterious and scholarly atmosphere. Leather-bound journals as groomsmen gifts, vintage-inspired jewelry for the bridal party, and dark, richly colored ties or flowers are ideal. Footwear is more likely to be classic and refined, with polished oxfords for men and vintage-style boots or heels for women.

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Photo by: The Backyard Studios / Real Weddings: This Couple Went for a Casual and Moody Vibe

Event Styling

Photo by: ProudRad / Real Weddings: This Fashionista Bride Had a Total of Five Outfit Changes Throughout Her Wedding Day!

The Coquette theme makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a dreamy and romantic storybook setting. This style aims to create a light and sophisticated atmosphere that welcomes guests into a space where love and romance are celebrated at every turn. It’s all about creating a whimsical, love-filled environment that feels straight out of a romantic novel!

Image Source: Bel & Co. Event Styling via Instagram

Soft, pastel-colored drapes adorn the venue, creating a warm, romantic glow and enhancing the overall atmosphere. Complementing this, floral arrangements featuring peonies, roses, and ranunculus in shades of pink, lavender, and cream add to the Coquette theme’s innocent romance and natural beauty.

The tableware selection is carefully curated to match the theme’s delicate charm and elegance. This may include fine bone china plates with soft pastel borders or floral patterns, sparkling crystal stemware, and intricate silver or gold cutlery. Centerpieces could also feature low, lush floral arrangements in coordinating colors, displayed in delicate glass vases or vintage-inspired containers, surrounded by flickering tealight candles for added romance and whimsy.

Image Source: K by Cunanan via Instagram
Photo by: The Backyard Studios / Real Weddings: This Couple Went for a Casual and Moody Vibe

A Dark Academia-themed wedding offers couples and their guests an immersive experience in gothic elegance. Venue decorations typically include antique books, gothic candle holders, and rich, dark linens, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of an old-world scholarly retreat.

Ambient lighting, particularly candlelight, plays a crucial role in enhancing the venue’s gothic elements, casting soft, intimate glows and intriguing shadows that add depth and mystery to the overall ambiance.

Image Source: Ginger Event Styling via Instagram

Table settings reflect the theme’s celebration of classic literature and intellectual pursuit, often featuring gold-rimmed china, handmade stationery with calligraphy, and centerpieces that blend rich, dark florals with stacks of vintage books, inviting guests to seemingly dine amidst the romance and intrigue of bygone eras.

So there you go! While both distinctly different, Coquette and Dark Academia aesthetics come with their own charms and unique personalities. Ultimately, by embracing these themes, couples can create a wedding day that not only dazzles their guests but also serves as a true reflection of their unique bond and shared passions. We’re curious, which one are you leaning more to? Let us know below!

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