Everything You Need to Know
Trends come and go, but you can’t go wrong with hosting a classic wedding. With an emphasis on timelessness, oh-so-chic classic weddings are designed to never go out of style. Taking a look at perennially-adored color palettes, themes, and more, you and your partner can easily craft the classic wedding you’ve always wanted.
For starters, it’s always best to look at what you’re seeing year after year—and sometimes even decade after decade. Classic weddings keep it somewhat simple with the design, which in turn highlights the beauty and uniqueness of your relationship and love. While modern weddings might include more twists (think a pink wedding dress or dried floral bouquet), classic weddings are bound to feature gorgeous white floral arrangements, jaw-dropping white bridal gowns, and tuxedos.
To make all of this come to life, you need to consider the venue and vendor team needed for your special day. You can learn more about these places and people by looking through our directory of real classic weddings. These can serve as the ultimate inspiration for your special, super classic wedding day.
What are the benefits of classic weddings?
Long story short, you simply can’t go wrong with a classic wedding theme. By giving a nod to tradition and elegance, classic weddings are perfect couples who want to host an ultra-chic affair. Below, check out the other reasons people love this theme:
Easy Access to Inspiration:
Because of the popularity of classic weddings, there’s no shortage of real weddings (not to mention, celebrity celebrations) that can provide examples and ideas for your special event. You likely have friends and family who had a similarly chic wedding, and celebs ranging from the forever-iconic Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy to real-life princess Ciara, the classic wedding theme is everywhere. Not only were those celebrities’ classic wedding dresses noteworthy, but they offered timeless inspiration with every aspect of their wedding. Afterall, who doesn’t want to get married in a castle?
Works With Almost Any Venue:
Another perk is that there really isn’t a clear “classic wedding venue.” From country club ceremonies in California to tented receptions in the Northeast, you can host your classic wedding anywhere. Some couples who love tradition and history might opt to host theirs in a museum or estate, while others could feel the classic comfort of an intimate backyard ceremony. Classic weddings typically focus on elements of decor, attire, and other somewhat smaller elements.
With so many trends being introduced to the world, it’s easy to worry about your wedding feeling dated or out of style. But with tried-and-true aspects galore, classic weddings guarantee that you’ll love everything about your big day for years to come. You can show your uniqueness in a variety of ways, but keeping the overall design simple will have a dramatic effect for you and your guests. Plus, it will take the stress out of thinking about how to envision your day from start to finish.
Similar to the design of your event space, the chic and timeless ideas can extend to your jewelry and attire. Classic wedding dresses, classic wedding ring styles, and more are other major decisions you can make in the lead-up to your big day.
How much do classic weddings cost?
Because of the wide range of venues and vendors available to bring your classic wedding ideas to life, the overall cost will vary. That being said, the idea of it being “classic” can also translate to the average or typical price associated with something. For example, the average cost of a wedding in 2020 was $20,300. Plus, due to the high demand for venues and vendors and inflation, that number is likely higher for couples getting married in 2022 and beyond.
On top of that, there are other elements that will factor into your celebration: the average cost of a classic wedding dress was $1,631 in 2018, and wedding cakes were $528. While you’ll need to consult with your desired venues and vendors for your classic wedding, these are good starting points as you prepare for these important conversations.
While you have a lot of freedom when it comes to choosing your classic wedding venue and even the vendors who are known to make these celebrations come to life, classic weddings may also come with additional fees. Because it’s such a widely popular style, some factors (especially flowers and classic wedding dresses) could be pricier because of the always-high demand.
It’s important to talk with your partner, and anyone else who might be helping pay for your wedding, before you reach out to venues and vendors. Typically, your venue cost will account for about 45% of your budget, so it’s the most expensive “item” and one of the first things to confirm during your planning process.
Other “small” details will factor into your budget too. A classic wedding invitation, for example, will come with an invitation suite that involves a lot of gorgeous stationery. This is recommended for a cohesive look from your ceremony program to reception menus. Plus, hiring a popular band for your classic wedding music will be among the more expensive vendors on your list of must-haves. On top of that, many classic weddings include a spirited getaway. To accomplish this, finding classic wedding cars for rent is an excellent, albeit expensive, addition to your planning process.
What vendors and décor will you need for your classic wedding ideas?
Truth be told, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what constitutes classic wedding décor. Most of the time, it will always depend on the venue itself. Some spaces will require more additions than others, so speak with your wedding planner or coordinator about what is possible and needed to make it as special as possible. Venues within the classic wedding theme typically include ballrooms, country clubs, and outdoor options with tents (just to name a few!).
Classic Wedding Theme:
Your ideal classic wedding theme is all about understated elegance and finding a style that will have staying power. That basically means anything that isn’t a fad or something you imagine will become less popular over the years. Even more, you can use this more overarching classic wedding theme to get creative and think about the necessary elements for your event.
Classic Wedding Colors:
The more classic wedding colors are the chic black and white look, plus grays and other neutrals. But that doesn’t mean you have to limit your color scheme. Classic wedding colors should basically appear more muted and understated, so it’s best to avoid bright, saturated options. It’s also recommended that you scope out your venue and see which colors are already popping. If there are a lot of light blue hydrangeas, for example, you can weave that throughout your classic wedding décor.
As we mentioned, your floral design is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to incorporate your classic wedding colors. A particularly popular option is to have all-white florals and hints of greenery, but again, there are a variety of colors you can include. Stick to just a few (maximum) to achieve the perfect classic wedding theme.
Classic Wedding Cake Bakers:
Your classic wedding cake should be as delicious as it is on-theme. With your classic wedding ideas in mind, you can keep it simple with a white cake with texture or floral accents. Seek out bakers who have designed similar classic wedding cake styles that you and your partner really love. From there, you can connect with a trusted pro who can get started on creating the classic wedding cake of your dreams.
Classic Wedding Cars for Rent:
You really can’t go wrong with a classic…car. One popular option for your getaway or arrival is to check out classic wedding cars for rent in your area. You can make a statement you and your guests absolutely love with this vintage touch. Keep in mind that this may require a driver and extra planning.
Popular examples of classic wedding cars for rent include: Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, Beauford Classic, and Austin Princess. This is an especially cohesive option if you’re on the hunt for vintage-inspired, classic wedding dresses that would look perfect in or next to one of these cars.
Other Classic Wedding Décor:
When it comes to a classic wedding theme, there are key additions that you want to remember. Stationery, like menus that match your classic wedding invitation, tableware, and signage can tie your overall look together.
What else should you consider for classic wedding planning?
Aside from decorating your venue, elevating your classic wedding theme will require thoughtful touches to your ensembles, stationery, and more. To break down these important aspects, here’s what you should consider when it comes to designing your classic wedding invitation, finding a timeless and classic wedding dress, and more.
Classic Wedding Dresses:
If you’re planning to wear a dress on your big day, you can draw inspiration from Old Hollywood actresses and modern-day influencers alike. The classic wedding dress spans decades and generations, but there are two simple standards: white and floor-length. Classic wedding dresses could be strapless, sleeveless, long-sleeved…the list goes on.
Lace, delicate beading, tulle, and anything that looks elegant is what you’re looking for in a classic wedding dress. Ballgowns are also typically classified as classic wedding gowns, and by contrast, gowns with colorful accents, more structured shape, or even shorter options are considered more modern.
One of the major pros of preferring classic wedding dresses is that most designers and sellers should have plenty to choose from. All you need to do is tell the experts at the store that you’re interested in classic wedding dresses, and they’ll be able to assist you immediately.
Classic Wedding Ring Styles:
While you likely have an engagement ring already, finding classic wedding ring styles that are complementary is crucial. You want to make sure the design is cohesive, but you also need to be careful that it physically fits. Some classic wedding ring options might not sit properly next to the engagement ring, especially if the setting is lower. Some perennial-favorite designs include a pave band or a simple metal band. You can work with a trusted jewelry designer who can help provide you with options to try on and determine which classic wedding ring will work best for you. The decisions you make here could also help inform your decision about other style-related items, like your choice of classic wedding dresses and tuxedos or suits.
Classic Wedding Invitations:
The classic wedding theme can exist throughout the lead-up to your big day. And as your guests prepare, the first glimpse of your event will come through in the form of your invites. Classic wedding invitations might feature embossed text, some sort of script, and all the necessary details (think who is hosting, the couple’s names, and when and where it’s happening). You can also build a wedding website that has a similar look and feel to your classic wedding invitations.
With delicate designs and helpful information, finding the best classic wedding invitation style for you will give your guests the ideal primer for your special day. In our directory, you can see flat-lays of different classic wedding invitations and connect with the stationery expects who created them.
There are a few different ways to write your classic wedding invitations too. Depending on who is hosting the event, your classic wedding invitation would mention the hosts names, followed by the couple’s names. And if both families are contributing, it’s becoming more common to write, “Together with their families” and then the guests of honors’ names.
Classic Wedding Vows:
Another way to make your wedding day as smooth as possible is to keep it simple and traditional with classic wedding vows. Some couples might opt for personal vows, but there are quite a few reasons you could want to stick with tradition here. If you’re not comfortable sharing personal vows in front of everyone, classic wedding vows can help you feel more at ease. You also don’t need to have a religious or formal ceremony to use more popular vows or ceremony outlines in general. Talk it through with your partner and officiant and determine whether classic wedding vows are a good call for your ceremony.
Classic Wedding Music:
Whether you go for a talented DJ or noteworthy band, classic wedding songs are essential for your ceremony and reception. To get the event started, some classic wedding songs for your ceremony include: “Bridal Chorus” by Richard Wagner, “The Wedding March” by Felix Mendelssohn, and “Canon in D” by Johann Pachelbel. And during your cocktail hour and the dinner portion of your reception, you can prepare your guests to hit the dance floor with some slow, romantic, and classic wedding music from the epic stylings of Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, and Diana Ross (to name a few). You’ll also need to think about which of the many songs out there are a good fit for your first dance, and your special moment with your parents. Think through the classic wedding songs, some of which were made more recently, but have become instantly popular (John Legend’s “All of Me” and Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” come to mind).
There are so many classic wedding songs that have transcended over the years, and they’ve become staples at all events. For example, some couples couldn’t imagine their celebration without The Isley Brothers’ “Shout.” Meanwhile, others could consider this and similar classic wedding music part of their “Do not play!” list. The songs played or performed at your wedding can set the tone, so make sure you talk with your classic wedding music pros before the big day.
To get you even more ready to dance, here are a few more classic wedding songs you’ll love:
- “At Last” by Etta James
- “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire
- “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whiteney Houston
- “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley
And then there are the more modern ones that have become mainstays in classic wedding music history:
- “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
- “No One” by Alicia Keys
- “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors
- “Better Together” by Jack Johnson
How do you start planning classic weddings?
Now that you’ve learned about what goes into classic weddings, you’re even closer to exchanging your vows and dancing the night away. Right now, the best first step is to check out the real weddings in our directory and jot down the best ideas. Take note of the most eye-catching classic wedding dresses, décor, and anything else that stands out to you and your partner. Once you’ve done that, you can access the venue and vendor information and start the necessary conversations to map out and plan the best day of your life.