Our Favorite Urban Chic Wedding Ideas

Starting with the perfect downtown venue

Photo courtesy of First Comes Love Photography

Urban-chic and industrial-chic wedding ideas are trending, but speaking as a downtown venue, we like to believe they’re classic themes that will stand the test of time. 

The event planning professionals at Zingerman’s Greyline love to see urban-chic wedding ideas incorporated into an event, from decor to dessert and beyond. ​​From iconic city landmarks to show-stopping chic cakes, these ideas are sure to inspire you, whether you have big-city dreams of all-out downtown decor or want to add just a touch of metropolitan flair.

The Venue

Urban-chic wedding ideas start with a unique urban location. These city venues could have either a more modern feel or a more historical one. Zingerman’s Greyline happens to have the best of both modern and historic elements, and as Terra Brock, event manager adds, “a fantastic central location in downtown Ann Arbor,” too.

Greyline’s beautifully appointed space has modern amenities and an open floor plan that can be customized for your wedding and reception needs. Urban-chic wedding venues are often blank canvases; Greyline’s understated classic elegance leaves room for you to make the space truly unique with customized decor, floral arrangements, and lighting (more on that in a minute!). Modern upgrades mean that our space already has the infrastructure in place to allow florists and designers to more easily create the perfect backdrop for your event.  

Although Greyline is Zingerman’s newest event space, the history of the space is imbued inside and out. Our interior decor highlights the building’s Art Deco history and the exterior preserves the original historic limestone facade and neon sign from the Ann Arbor Bus Depot, which was built in 1940 and is the last surviving example in Ann Arbor of the Streamline Moderne style of architecture. Urban-chic photo ops don’t get much more dramatic than on the city sidewalk with a landmark backdrop of our neon bus sign!

Decor & Personal Touches

Once you have the urban setting, next comes the chic decor. Urban chic wedding ideas can be expressed in a number of different ways, all highlighting a contrasting mix of understated glamor and industrial minimalism while paying homage to your urban location. Use your decor to highlight your favorite aspects of urban chic and put your personal touch on your event. 

Urban chic wedding themes often incorporate things like mixed materials and metallic accents (think pewter or copper accents for an industrial feel), geometric shapes (like a unique arch for a ceremony backdrop), greenery and monochromatic florals (for table decor or perhaps an overhead installation), and dramatic lighting. Greyline has much of this lighting built-in, like the glowing orbs dropping from the ceiling of our rotunda (and it’s hard to beat the city lights out the window either), but additional lighting can be added to complement the urban-chic theme, like marquee lights, votives, or twinkly “fairy” lights. 

Your urban chic decor themes can also be incorporated with personal touches that extend beyond the physical space. Repeating the design elements on accessories like invitations, a welcome poster, menu and table numbers. For instance, play up your urban locale with an Ann Arbor skyline on your invitations, assign tables as Ann Arbor locations rather than numbers, and work with us to create a custom cocktail named after one of your favorite spots around town. 


Dessert provides another great opportunity to highlight urban-chic wedding ideas. Consider using your cake as a way to continue carrying your design elements through your event in a delicious way.

If you’re using a lot of greenery and monochromatic florals, consider a simple, rustically iced cake that picks up those elements. If you’re going for understated glamor, consider a geode cake, which often has simple white frosting offsetting a metallic-edged, “crystal”-laden cutout that strikingly mimics the rock formation. If you’re leaning into highlighting the cityscape, they can repeat on the cake, too! Imagine a cake highlighting special buildings from the city you’re getting married in, other significant buildings from your lives together, or a mix of both. This is often done with a ring of edible fondant buildings or they can be “painted” on the cake in a watercolor color style. We work with the Cake Studio at Zingerman’s Bakehouse, and they have created  stunning examples of all of these themes and more (though we admit we’re a little partial to the ones sporting Ann Arbor landmarks, like our historic facade!). 

We look forward to helping you incorporate these urban chic wedding ideas into your special day. Come see how our space can fit your vision (if you’d like a little help with your vision, we have several experienced designers that we work with and recommend!) and for more event inspiration, visit the Zingerman’s Greyline photo gallery