What Is A Classic Style Wedding?

couple kissing beside trees · free stock photo g

We're here to help you ace this elegant aesthetic with our handy guide, which breaks down everything you need to know about classic wedding styles from start to finish.

Choosing a wedding theme or style is one of the best ways to personalise your big day. A defined aesthetic will help you make important wedding planning decisions, like what colour scheme to follow, how you decorate your ceremony and reception, and what the overall vibe of your day feels like. But, with so many wedding theme ideas, narrowing down your favourite might feel nearly impossible. So whether you've been curating your wedding Pinterest board for years or you're not quite sure where to start, we've got you covered. We tapped industry experts to share everything you need to know about picking a wedding theme or style and possible ways to make it feel unique to you and your S.O.

If you're on the fence about whether or not to go classic for your big day, first compare your likes and dislikes to that popular nuptial styles and themes, such as bohemian, modern, and rustic. If these beloved, popular themes are not your tea, then a classic wedding is probably the ideal choice for you and your big day. Often a more formal celebration, a classic wedding frequently features beautiful green and white florals, refined colour schemes, plenty of clean lines, and sophisticated elegance.

If you're looking to create a luxurious, chic, and timeless event, then a classic wedding theme is the way to go. Forget the latest wedding decor trends — this style is all about using elements that will stand the test of time, from soft colour palettes to monogrammed stationery, formal attire, and lots of bubbly natch. We're here to help you ace this elegant aesthetic with our handy guide, which breaks down everything you need to know about classic wedding styles from start to finish.

A classic wedding theme doesn't mean boring — it means creating an event that stands the test of time. You want to be able to look back on your classic wedding decades from now and still love your dress, flowers, and decor just as much as the day you got married. So skip the flash-in-the-pan trends and opt for these 12 Classic Wedding Theme Ideas you'll never regret.

Classic wedding style is ideal if you're looking to evoke timeless elegance and the utmost sophistication on your wedding day. This style steers away from over-the-top trends and vivid details, opting for a perfectly-coordinated aesthetic with chic and refined decor.

Rustic. Typically more relaxed, natural and full of local, homespun touches (like handmade wooden tables and chairs in a barn venue), rustic weddings have been number one on this list for a few years now.

Delicate white florals, plenty of lush greenery, light linens, and minimal decor: These tried and true wedding details will never go out of style. And if you're a couple that prefers timelessness over trends, we suggest planning your ceremony and reception in a classic wedding style.

Bohemian weddings are all about channelling effortless, elegant style. The elegance of this gown—paired with a soft, loose updo and a delicate flower crown—evokes a free-spirited nature.

Intimate weddings (also called micro-weddings) are intentionally small celebrations with only a handful of guests in attendance. It might surprise those who've been following our photography for a while, but HALF of Adventure Instead, couples bring their family along on their wedding day.

 

A Soft Colour Scheme

white table cloth with plates and glasses photo –

Reserve bold, bright hues for the bachelorette party and bridal shower — using soft colours like blush, cream, and white help keep your classic wedding theme to all elements of the event.

No-Frills Stationery

Invitations are generally the first clue your guests receive about what kind of celebration you're having. Set the tone for a classic wedding with elegant fonts on high-quality white paper. Calligraphy can help capture the essence of your classic theme — here's what you need to know before diving in.

A Timeless Dress

Raise your hand if you can look at old wedding photos and identify the decade based on the bride's dress. Think of The high-neck, flowy dresses of the '70s and the poofy sleeves of the '80s. Now lower your hands, and don't let yourself fall victim to the wedding trends du jour. Instead, opt for a dress that captures your personality and stands the test of time.

A Pretty Updo With Veil And Natural Makeup

Classic wedding hair and makeup mean looking like the best version of yourself — not someone completely different! Opt for an elegant updo that will stay put through the last dance and makeup that gives you that bridal glow without looking costume-y. We also love the addition of a traditional, flowy veil to tie everything together.

Basic Bridesmaid Dresses

As with the rest of your wedding, you don't want the bridesmaid dresses to steal the show or become quickly dated in photos. Opt for a plain fabric in a subdued hue (and give your maids pretty hangers to store them on).

Adorable Flower Girls And Ring Bearers

Many modern brides and grooms forego flower girls and ring bearers altogether. But these sweet little helpers are an indispensable element of a classic wedding — it's OK if they don't make it down the aisle! It only amplifies the cuteness factor.

A Traditional Ceremony

If you're thinking of a classic wedding, chances are your ceremony won't involve reading poetry to each other on a beach. Instead, opt for a church setting or other location in line with your overall themes, such as a mansion or well-maintained park.

A Jaw-Dropping Ballroom Or Country Club Venue

For a classic wedding theme, steer clear of chic urban lofts or outdoor venues (although they could be perfect rehearsal dinner locations!). Instead, wow guests with a beautiful ballroom steeped in history or an elegant country club overlooking a lush golf course to keep a classic vibe.

Tightly Arranged Florals

Even though loose bouquets of wildflowers and greenery look gorgeous in their own right, they'll feel out of place with your classic wedding theme. So instead, opt for spherical centrepieces that maintain order and symmetry, using traditional wedding flowers like roses, peonies, and hydrangeas. 

An Elegant Cake

In a world where crazy cupcake flavours are all the rage, stick with the white wedding cake we all grew up eating. Keep the colour pallet simple, and use it as a place to mirror the lace in your dress or incorporate fresh flowers. Make sure you have a keepsake cake knife and a server set for when to cut.

A Champagne Toast

The champagne toast seems easy to cut when looking at your overall budget, but it's a classic wedding element we'd like to see more of. Weave in fun flavours like lavender (check out this delicious recipe by Jessica Bishop from the Budget-Savvy Bride) and let the drink double as your signature cocktail. Don't forget to stock up on champagne glasses, too.

A Sweet Treat To End The Night

Favours are another traditional wedding element that seems to be phasing out — but thanking guests for attending with a small token of appreciation is the perfect way to cap your classic wedding. There are countless budget-savvy ways to meaningful favours, such as candy and mints tied with custom ribbons or personalised votives. Shop all things wedding!

Venue

With the right decor, you can make a classic wedding theme work for almost any type of venue, but the most suitable types are country clubs, hotels, estates, ballrooms, and banquet halls. These venues are generally traditional and sophisticated, ultimately eliminating the need for you to transform the space. 

If you prefer an outdoor venue, consider a European-style garden, formal courtyard, or a fancy estate (a castle, perhaps?). Try to avoid anything that's overly rustic or rugged. For a unique spin on classic wedding style, host your nuptials at a museum, conservatory, or other space that features elegant decor. 

Season

The great thing about a classic wedding theme is that it's always in style — and in season. As long as you stick to the basic concept of classic style, this aesthetic is versatile enough to work year-round. In addition, you can incorporate seasonal accents through your floral arrangements, stationery, and attire if you'd like.

Colour Palette

unrecognizable newlyweds and guests standing in ch

For this style, you'll want to choose wedding colours that are cohesive and refined. Typically, this means staying away from anything too vibrant or neon, but that doesn't mean your colour palette has to be boring! 

First, look at your venue's existing decor (the wallpaper, carpet, lighting fixtures, etc.). If there are any prominent colours, try to incorporate them into your palette for a look that won't clash with your surroundings on the big day. 

Neutrals are always a great starting point for a classic wedding theme. You can pair grey, black, white, ivory and beige with other colours to create an eye-catching combination — or you can skip the accent hues and go for an all-neutral wedding colour palette instead. Incorporate depth by using a variety of textures and metallics, or add drama with colours such as red, blue, coral, emerald, or burgundy. 

You can also switch up your colour palette based on your wedding season. Opt for metallics and darker colours in the winter, like gold, silver, navy blue, and black. During the spring and summer, pastels are always a fresh option. We love blush, French blue, sage green, lavender, butter yellow, and peach.

Stationery

In general, stationery for classic weddings should be traditional and formal. You can personalise your invitation suite by adding your wedding monogram (a must-have for any classic wedding), stripes, foil, letterpress script, or laser-cut filigrees. Finish the invitation suite with custom hand-calligraphed addresses for a regal touch.

Decor

While it can be fun to include all the latest trends on your big day, the last thing you want is to look back at your wedding photos in a few decades and wonder what you were thinking. So when it comes to choosing classic wedding decor, ask yourself first, "Will this still look relevant in 20, 30, or 40 years?" If you're not sure, then you might want to pass.

Look for inherently classic pieces, such as fine china, candelabras, votives, chair sashes, and luxe table linens. You should also keep the decor relatively understated and skip anything too flashy or extravagant. That being said, classic wedding decor doesn't have to be dull. Spruce up ordinary banquet tables with sequined runners, swap traditional Chiavari chairs for an upholstered style, or drape fabric swags throughout your venue. Ultimately, it would help if you aimed to achieve a chic, elegant, and sophisticated vibe.

Avoid mix-and-match elements, which will look too eclectic for a classic wedding. Instead, stick with two or three colours and use the same accents (pearl strands, lace, rhinestones, etc.) throughout the wedding to create a cohesive, well-planned effect.

Flowers

You can't get more classic than roses (learn all about the types of roses here). We love roses for their timeless, romantic appeal, and they are available year-round. Not only do they smell oh-so-pretty, but roses come in dozens of different sizes, colours, and varieties. Peonies are also quintessentially classic, although they're only in season for a short time each year, so you can expect them to be more expensive than roses and most other wedding flowers. Hydrangeas, phalaenopsis orchids, stephanotis, ranunculuses, and anemones are great floral options for classic weddings.

If you're carrying a bouquet, avoid anything too trendy, like oversized arrangements or an abundance of loose greenery. Instead, have your florist design a more symmetrical bouquet that sticks with a few types of flowers and accents. Finish the bouquet with satin ribbons, lace, or a sparkling brooch for a personal touch. 

Don't forget about your ceremony space! Floral arches look beautiful at the altar, or you can line the aisle with flower petals for a romantic effect. Just be sure you don't go overboard with the floral decor—too much will take the focus away from you and your S.O.

Reception centrepieces should be relatively uniform, although you can add visual interest by alternating between tall and short arrangements on each table. It's also important to choose the proper centrepiece vessels. Anything too informal or distracting can take away from the actual flowers and change the look of your centrepieces. A few of our favourite options for classic weddings are glass cylinder vases, rose bowls, and candelabras.

Attire

Depending on the formality of your venue, you should expect the dress code to be on the fancier side. For example, ballrooms and country clubs are more likely to require black-tie, while you might have the option to be more information at a garden, museum or vineyard wedding.

A ball gown is a perfect option for brides who want that traditional classic look. Choose a minimal satin gown, or go for something more glamorous with tulle, beaded embroidery or intricate lace details. If a ball gown silhouette isn't for you, fitted gowns and sheath gowns are equally classic alternatives. Accessorise with pearl jewellery (so timeless!), understated shoes, and a polished hairstyle. Finish your bridal look with a sash tied in a neat bow around your waist.

If the venue requires a black-tie dress code, men will need to wear tuxedos. For more casual attire, stick with a suit in a darker colour, don't feel limited to the standard black. Navy blue and charcoal grey are both classics with a twist.

Cake And Dessert

It wouldn't be a classic wedding without a traditional wedding cake. You can keep it simple with just the frosting and a topper, or ask your baker to add subtle decorative accents. Hand-piped icing, Swiss dots, monograms, and fresh flowers are just a few of our favourites. Fondant icing will give your wedding cake the cleanest look, but buttercream icing is oh-so-chic when paired with a few subtle flowers. 

It wouldn't be a classic wedding without a traditional wedding cake. You can keep it simple with just the frosting and a topper, or ask your baker to add subtle decorative accents. Hand-piped icing, Swiss dots, monograms, and fresh flowers are just a few of our favourites. Fondant icing will give your wedding cake the cleanest look, but buttercream icing is oh-so-chic when paired with a few subtle flowers. 

If the venue requires a black-tie dress code, men will need to wear tuxedos. For more casual attire, stick with a suit in a darker colour, don't feel limited to the standard black. Navy blue and charcoal grey are both classics with a twist.

Classic Romance wedding styles, if done well, will create a timeless wedding that won't look dated 50 years from now. A classic romantic wedding has plenty of flowers and a soft colour palette. Elegant touches of gold and plenty of candlelight will also add to this particular wedding style. A beautiful bride in a gorgeous gown and a sophisticated white wedding cake will set the right mood.

This style has lots of white draping and touches of colour with high-end pieces, which will create the overall feel of elegance. Couples always want to take the theme one step further and add more personal pieces that make the day special for them. Items like ornate mirrors with custom decals for seating plans, welcome signs and beverage lists, and white dance floors with custom decals, to name a few.

Conclusion

Classic weddings are timeless and elegant and provide the perfect opportunity for couples to celebrate their love with family and friends. If you're thinking of planning a classic wedding, our team can help make the process easy and stress-free. We have tons of resources to help you get started, from tips on choosing your colour palette to advice on finding the perfect venue. 

 

A Soft Colour Scheme

white table cloth with plates and glasses photo –

Reserve bold, bright hues for the bachelorette party and bridal shower — using soft colours like blush, cream, and white help keep your classic wedding theme to all elements of the event.

No-Frills Stationery

Invitations are generally the first clue your guests receive about what kind of celebration you're having. Set the tone for a classic wedding with elegant fonts on high-quality white paper. Calligraphy can help capture the essence of your classic theme — here's what you need to know before diving in.

A Timeless Dress

Raise your hand if you can look at old wedding photos and identify the decade based on the bride's dress. Think of The high-neck, flowy dresses of the '70s and the poofy sleeves of the '80s. Now lower your hands, and don't let yourself fall victim to the wedding trends du jour. Instead, opt for a dress that captures your personality and stands the test of time.

A Pretty Updo With Veil And Natural Makeup

Classic wedding hair and makeup mean looking like the best version of yourself — not someone completely different! Opt for an elegant updo that will stay put through the last dance and makeup that gives you that bridal glow without looking costume-y. We also love the addition of a traditional, flowy veil to tie everything together.

Basic Bridesmaid Dresses

As with the rest of your wedding, you don't want the bridesmaid dresses to steal the show or become quickly dated in photos. Opt for a plain fabric in a subdued hue (and give your maids pretty hangers to store them on).

Adorable Flower Girls And Ring Bearers

Many modern brides and grooms forego flower girls and ring bearers altogether. But these sweet little helpers are an indispensable element of a classic wedding — it's OK if they don't make it down the aisle! It only amplifies the cuteness factor.

A Traditional Ceremony

If you're thinking of a classic wedding, chances are your ceremony won't involve reading poetry to each other on a beach. Instead, opt for a church setting or other location in line with your overall themes, such as a mansion or well-maintained park.

A Jaw-Dropping Ballroom Or Country Club Venue

For a classic wedding theme, steer clear of chic urban lofts or outdoor venues (although they could be perfect rehearsal dinner locations!). Instead, wow guests with a beautiful ballroom steeped in history or an elegant country club overlooking a lush golf course to keep a classic vibe.

Tightly Arranged Florals

Even though loose bouquets of wildflowers and greenery look gorgeous in their own right, they'll feel out of place with your classic wedding theme. So instead, opt for spherical centrepieces that maintain order and symmetry, using traditional wedding flowers like roses, peonies, and hydrangeas. 

An Elegant Cake

In a world where crazy cupcake flavours are all the rage, stick with the white wedding cake we all grew up eating. Keep the colour pallet simple, and use it as a place to mirror the lace in your dress or incorporate fresh flowers. Make sure you have a keepsake cake knife and a server set for when to cut.

A Champagne Toast

The champagne toast seems easy to cut when looking at your overall budget, but it's a classic wedding element we'd like to see more of. Weave in fun flavours like lavender (check out this delicious recipe by Jessica Bishop from the Budget-Savvy Bride) and let the drink double as your signature cocktail. Don't forget to stock up on champagne glasses, too.

A Sweet Treat To End The Night

Favours are another traditional wedding element that seems to be phasing out — but thanking guests for attending with a small token of appreciation is the perfect way to cap your classic wedding. There are countless budget-savvy ways to meaningful favours, such as candy and mints tied with custom ribbons or personalised votives. Shop all things wedding!

Venue

With the right decor, you can make a classic wedding theme work for almost any type of venue, but the most suitable types are country clubs, hotels, estates, ballrooms, and banquet halls. These venues are generally traditional and sophisticated, ultimately eliminating the need for you to transform the space. 

If you prefer an outdoor venue, consider a European-style garden, formal courtyard, or a fancy estate (a castle, perhaps?). Try to avoid anything that's overly rustic or rugged. For a unique spin on classic wedding style, host your nuptials at a museum, conservatory, or other space that features elegant decor. 

Season

unrecognizable newlyweds and guests standing in ch

The great thing about a classic wedding theme is that it's always in style — and in season. As long as you stick to the basic concept of classic style, this aesthetic is versatile enough to work year-round. In addition, you can incorporate seasonal accents through your floral arrangements, stationery, and attire if you'd like.

Colour Palette

For this style, you'll want to choose wedding colours that are cohesive and refined. Typically, this means staying away from anything too vibrant or neon, but that doesn't mean your colour palette has to be boring! 

First, look at your venue's existing decor (the wallpaper, carpet, lighting fixtures, etc.). If there are any prominent colours, try to incorporate them into your palette for a look that won't clash with your surroundings on the big day. 

Neutrals are always a great starting point for a classic wedding theme. You can pair grey, black, white, ivory and beige with other colours to create an eye-catching combination — or you can skip the accent hues and go for an all-neutral wedding colour palette instead. Incorporate depth by using a variety of textures and metallics, or add drama with colours such as red, blue, coral, emerald, or burgundy. 

You can also switch up your colour palette based on your wedding season. Opt for metallics and darker colours in the winter, like gold, silver, navy blue, and black. During the spring and summer, pastels are always a fresh option. We love blush, French blue, sage green, lavender, butter yellow, and peach.

Stationery

In general, stationery for classic weddings should be traditional and formal. You can personalise your invitation suite by adding your wedding monogram (a must-have for any classic wedding), stripes, foil, letterpress script, or laser-cut filigrees. Finish the invitation suite with custom hand-calligraphed addresses for a regal touch.

Decor

While it can be fun to include all the latest trends on your big day, the last thing you want is to look back at your wedding photos in a few decades and wonder what you were thinking. So when it comes to choosing classic wedding decor, ask yourself first, "Will this still look relevant in 20, 30, or 40 years?" If you're not sure, then you might want to pass.

Look for inherently classic pieces, such as fine china, candelabras, votives, chair sashes, and luxe table linens. You should also keep the decor relatively understated and skip anything too flashy or extravagant. That being said, classic wedding decor doesn't have to be dull. Spruce up ordinary banquet tables with sequined runners, swap traditional Chiavari chairs for an upholstered style, or drape fabric swags throughout your venue. Ultimately, it would help if you aimed to achieve a chic, elegant, and sophisticated vibe.

Avoid mix-and-match elements, which will look too eclectic for a classic wedding. Instead, stick with two or three colours and use the same accents (pearl strands, lace, rhinestones, etc.) throughout the wedding to create a cohesive, well-planned effect.

Flowers

You can't get more classic than roses (learn all about the types of roses here). We love roses for their timeless, romantic appeal, and they are available year-round. Not only do they smell oh-so-pretty, but roses come in dozens of different sizes, colours, and varieties. Peonies are also quintessentially classic, although they're only in season for a short time each year, so you can expect them to be more expensive than roses and most other wedding flowers. Hydrangeas, phalaenopsis orchids, stephanotis, ranunculuses, and anemones are great floral options for classic weddings.

If you're carrying a bouquet, avoid anything too trendy, like oversized arrangements or an abundance of loose greenery. Instead, have your florist design a more symmetrical bouquet that sticks with a few types of flowers and accents. Finish the bouquet with satin ribbons, lace, or a sparkling brooch for a personal touch. 

Don't forget about your ceremony space! Floral arches look beautiful at the altar, or you can line the aisle with flower petals for a romantic effect. Just be sure you don't go overboard with the floral decor—too much will take the focus away from you and your S.O.

Reception centrepieces should be relatively uniform, although you can add visual interest by alternating between tall and short arrangements on each table. It's also important to choose the proper centrepiece vessels. Anything too informal or distracting can take away from the actual flowers and change the look of your centrepieces. A few of our favourite options for classic weddings are glass cylinder vases, rose bowls, and candelabras.

Attire

Depending on the formality of your venue, you should expect the dress code to be on the fancier side. For example, ballrooms and country clubs are more likely to require black-tie, while you might have the option to be more information at a garden, museum or vineyard wedding.

A ball gown is a perfect option for brides who want that traditional classic look. Choose a minimal satin gown, or go for something more glamorous with tulle, beaded embroidery or intricate lace details. If a ball gown silhouette isn't for you, fitted gowns and sheath gowns are equally classic alternatives. Accessorise with pearl jewellery (so timeless!), understated shoes, and a polished hairstyle. Finish your bridal look with a sash tied in a neat bow around your waist.

If the venue requires a black-tie dress code, men will need to wear tuxedos. For more casual attire, stick with a suit in a darker colour, don't feel limited to the standard black. Navy blue and charcoal grey are both classics with a twist.

Cake And Dessert

It wouldn't be a classic wedding without a traditional wedding cake. You can keep it simple with just the frosting and a topper, or ask your baker to add subtle decorative accents. Hand-piped icing, Swiss dots, monograms, and fresh flowers are just a few of our favourites. Fondant icing will give your wedding cake the cleanest look, but buttercream icing is oh-so-chic when paired with a few subtle flowers. 

It wouldn't be a classic wedding without a traditional wedding cake. You can keep it simple with just the frosting and a topper, or ask your baker to add subtle decorative accents. Hand-piped icing, Swiss dots, monograms, and fresh flowers are just a few of our favourites. Fondant icing will give your wedding cake the cleanest look, but buttercream icing is oh-so-chic when paired with a few subtle flowers. 

If the venue requires a black-tie dress code, men will need to wear tuxedos. For more casual attire, stick with a suit in a darker colour, don't feel limited to the standard black. Navy blue and charcoal grey are both classics with a twist.

Classic Romance wedding styles, if done well, will create a timeless wedding that won't look dated 50 years from now. A classic romantic wedding has plenty of flowers and a soft colour palette. Elegant touches of gold and plenty of candlelight will also add to this particular wedding style. A beautiful bride in a gorgeous gown and a sophisticated white wedding cake will set the right mood.

This style has lots of white draping and touches of colour with high-end pieces, which will create the overall feel of elegance. Couples always want to take the theme one step further and add more personal pieces that make the day special for them. Items like ornate mirrors with custom decals for seating plans, welcome signs and beverage lists, and white dance floors with custom decals, to name a few.

Conclusion

Classic weddings are timeless and elegant and provide the perfect opportunity for couples to celebrate their love with family and friends. If you're thinking of planning a classic wedding, our team can help make the process easy and stress-free. We have tons of resources to help you get started, from tips on choosing your colour palette to advice on finding the perfect venue. 

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