7 Tips for a Traditional Wedding That Feels Elegant, Not Dated

traditional wedding

Tradition doesn’t have to mean sameness. You can have a traditional wedding that feels elegant without being old-fashioned— a wedding that speaks to your personality as a couple. It can retain the traditional vows, feature a medium-sized bridal party, and take place at a traditional venue, while still showing off the classy individuality that represents the two of you. Get some tips for planning a traditional wedding that feels elegant, not dated.  

Tip #1. Embrace Minimalism 

An elegant wedding doesn’t have to be extravagant. Sometimes, simplicity is actually the key to elegance. As you select the decor, centerpieces, and other options for your wedding, choose modern options that emphasize quality over quantity. Your guests will notice and appreciate your good taste.  

Tip #2. Wear Any Dress You Like 

Gone are the days when brides had to wear long white dresses. Today, you can wear any fancy dress you like, white or not. Many women still opt for white, silver, or ivory, but add colorful elements like patterns, sashes, ribbons, and dyed lace. Other brides play with length and style to add a modern twist to their traditional wedding.  Any dress that makes you feel beautiful and elegant is the right choice for your wedding.  

Tip #3. Choose a Fresh Color Scheme 

Your wedding colors can be elegant without being boring. Try plum, sage, and nude with white; or opt for rose gold, rich wine red, taupe, and champagne hues. White and black, along with violet and winter white, is a truly sophisticated choice, while the combination of peach, silver, coral, and strawberry works well for a fall or winter wedding. Experiment with raspberry, blush, blue, and classic gray. Keep exploring the color options until you find one that speaks to you; just be sure it includes at least one rich, vivid color that you can play up when you need to modernize an element of the wedding.  

Tip #4. Include New Music 

When you select the pieces for your band or DJ to play at the reception, make sure that you mix the oldies with some fresh, fun music. Your music choices for the ceremony could also be new songs from this year or the year before, rather than the expected selections such as Pachelbel’s Canon in D or the traditional wedding march. You don’t necessarily have to choose hip-hop, air pop, or electro rock, but you can find fresh pieces that fit the atmosphere you want to create. Keeping the music current is one way to make sure that your traditional wedding feels elegant, not dated.  

Tip #5. Use Modern Lighting Techniques 

Most wedding venues, even smaller traditional ones, have a number of different lighting options. Experiment with lighting patterns, intensities, and colors until you find one that strikes the right blend of modernity and elegance.  

Tip #6. Slip in Some Classic Embellishments 

You can use traditional accessories like crystals, lace, glassware, and pearls, but incorporate them in an unusual way. Keep your embellishments sparse and streamlined rather than fussy, and you’ll find that these old-fashioned decor items can become just as of-the-moment as the rustic farmhouse-style pieces that modern decorators love.  

Tip #7. Ask for Advice and Clarify Your Vision 

Rely on the advice of friends who share your style aesthetic, and get some advice from your wedding coordinator as well. With their help, and with your own sense of style as a guide, you’ll be able to design a traditional wedding that feels elegant, not dated.