So, Classic. What IS a classic style? Surely that's every wedding you've ever been to, because, like weddings, right?!
Kind of. Mostly because most weddings have a touch of something that would be defined a classic style somewhere within them, but today I'm going to break it down for you bit by bit so that if you are decided that you'd like a classic style for your day, then you can have picture in your head of how you'd like to achieve it!
Wait a minute, classic just means traditional, right?
Yes, and no. You can be classic without feeling stuck by tradition. Classic encompasses a quiet elegance and there's plenty of space for making it personal, or even just taking elements. Let's have a look.
Flowers: This is quite an easy place to start. A classic bouquet will feature quite round flowers, typically roses of some sort, but you could branch out and have peonies for a softer look, or something like hydrangeas or dahlias. The bouquet itself usually has quite a structured round shape, but with a few small spray for some added elegance, and to break up the rigidity of the structure itself - the key is to keep it feeling romantic. You can do this spray with some slim greenery, or sweet peas, g
ypsophila, freesia... The colour palette for a classic style is usually quite simple: one or two tones, with a very pale base. You might see cream and red in the winter, or white and blush in the spring and summer as common examples. When choosing your flowers, a big tip is to consider the colours in the venue to make sure that they complement each other to get that balanced and cohesive look throughout your day.
Table Centrepieces: A classic wedding will typically bring in that round shape of flowers from the bouquet to the tables, and depending on the vibe of the wedding and how it suits the room, the flowers can be low to the table or high up in the air. You'll often find some aspect of drapery, to give that soft romantic flow, and sense of elegance. You might instinctively think of chair sashes or table runners, but you don't have to use these - why not use extra large napkins folded long and draped off the edges of each place setting? Or ribbons hanging from high flower displays? Any fabric that is used either on chairs, tables, centrepieces or around the room should hang well, and maintain any shape that has been given to it (e.g. bows), and should crucially complement the colour scheme of the room and the flowers. You can also bring light and height to your decor with a candelabra or a variety of height candles (but do check what your venue allows first!). But also don't overload your table with too many things - there is power in space, and knowing when to stop is a key ingredient when keeping things refined!
Font: As the atmosphere is all about elegance, scripting for place names and table numbers is typically in a calligraphy style, but obviously how you approach this is up to you - you can have traditional card place names, or you might want to bring in your own style here and use laser cut wooden name plaques, or embroidered personal napkins, or anything else you can think of! And you can certainly get creative with how to display the table numbers both on the tables themselves and on the table plan - the key is the font and the cohesiveness with the rest of your styling. If you can use this same font and colour scheme on your invites and thank you cards (and any other stationery), well, that'd be just dapper!
Outfits: Flow, folks, FLOW. Elegant lines, outfits that flow. Typically A-line cut dresses offer this, but you can find subtle fishtail cuts that do this, and even jumpsuits. In terms of suits, clean cut lines, a style that suits the venue and your personality to everything complements, and you're away to go! Think clean line structure for elegance, with some softer elements for romance, and that's basically your formula. A classic style suit doesn't need to have waistcoat and tie or bow tie or braces or whatnot if you don't want them, it's more about the elements of the atmosphere. See, I said classic doesn't have to be traditional!
Cake: Cos who doesn't love cake? That traditional white royal iced 3 tier fruit cake? A bit rigid for some people. You can have whatever cake you like! If you're wondering what makes a cake classic, then it would be a pale colour, but it can be a softer buttercream icing if you want, maybe worked into a pattern across the cake, dressed with some of your flowers, or some beaded icing, or decoration travelling up the cake, or a calligraphy cake topper... go wild and make it your own! Again the key features are light, cohesive with the rest of your styling, a clear structure with softer elements and height (or the illusion of!). To create the appearance fo height, you can place flowers between the tiers, use a cake topper, have a high set cake stand, place of a pedestal rather than a lower table, or even have some "dummy" tiers - there are lots of techniques you can think of.
Hair and Makeup: A clearly defined eye (but not too heavy), and a bold red lip (or variation of red that suits your skin tone, such as a pink or coral hue). The key is to still look like yourself. Hair is traditionally up, but a classic style can be up or down. Waves or curls of some description would usually be found in a classic style, but less beach waves and slightly more defined - think texture, but sleek, not messy. A chignon or a bun is an example of a defined shape, but you can work texture into it to soften it - and it's not necessary to have curls or waves! A hairpiece of some sort might help with either adding structure or texture, or romance - find something that suits you and your personality.
Venue: A classic wedding does NOT have to be in a country house. It can be, by all means, but hosting your wedding elsewhere does not make it not classic. The venue could be outdoors on a veranda, it could be in a barn, it could be in a greenhouse or a library - it doesn't matter. It simply needs to be a space that you love and that fits your requirements for accessibility, space, catering etc. It requires the potential to be elegant. This means you can have an industrial backdrop (those hard lines, clear structure) with some casual draping in suitable places (that soft, romantic element, and accentuation of height). Essentially, get married wherever you like, and let your styling do the talking.
So, here are a few images from a classic bridal winter styling, a little bit vintage, a little bit Snow White - styled by the lovely Mehwish Saquib HMUA. The shoot featured a focus on red roses and a red lip. If you'd like to see a real summer wedding with a green and neutral palette featuring classic elements in the outfits and flowers, have a look at Kate and Will's wedding - you can find it here.
If you're thinking of a classic wedding style, how would you do it? What colours would you think of, or what kind of venue? And if you're doing something different, are you keeping any classic elements? Every wedding is different, and I just love to hear about your plans! If you'd like to chat about your plans for your day, and would maybe like to grab a coffee together, you can reach me via the contact form here. I look forward to seeing you soon!
Hair and Make Up: Mehwish Saqib
Model: Carolina Martins
Florist: Esthetique Events
Stationer: Lorna Boyer Design
Photographer: Claire Bemister Photography
Videographer: Instinct Wedding
Dress: Elaine's Formals and Fancies
Venue: Robert Denholm House
#wedding #weddingphotographer #howto #classicwedding #surreywedding #styledshoot