Many couples about to be married want to follow the latest trend or create their own version of a wedding style taken from something they’ve seen before. Finding ways to make your big day unique is definitely accepted, and for some brides and grooms, expected.
But what if you and your partner have never been the “trendy” type? You’re not the couple who wants to take the plunge by yelling “I do,” as you bungee jump from a bridge or recite your vows barefoot on the beach. What appeals to your taste is an elegant traditional wedding. The good news is, traditional weddings never go out of style, and it’s easy to find traditional wedding decorations that will allow you to add your special touches and make it all your own.
When we think of traditional weddings, we associate the word, “sentimental” as well. Brides and grooms who favor the traditional style, also tend to have family or cultural traditions that they like to weave into their “once in a lifetime” event. As you begin your planning process, take note of anything that has been passed down in your family or in your fiancé’s that you would also like to incorporate.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…
What a perfect expression to remember when preparing for a traditional wedding!
Think of what you may want to borrow for the big day. – Perhaps pearl earrings, necklace or bracelet from a cherished woman in your family or circle of friends. Are you considering wearing the bridal gown handed down from your mother, mother-in-law or grandmother? You can always alter and update it if desired and make it fit just right.
How do you integrate something blue if blue is not in your color palette? Some suggest including a blue garter. That way, you’re following tradition, but this particular accessory is hidden until the time to have the groom remove it at the reception.
As for the “old”, one bride shared with us that her grandmother’s health was failing at the time of her wedding and could not be present, so they borrowed her Bible, adorned it with a corsage, and had one of the children in the wedding carry her Bible down the aisle as part of the procession at the ceremony. Her mother was pleased because it showed that her grandmother was not forgotten, and the bride felt it was a way to keep her grandmother close in spirit. Two of her bride’s maids, who were also engaged at the time, liked the idea so much that they decided to make this a new tradition in their own weddings to honor those who were missing from the celebration.
Traditional Wedding Decorations for the Ceremony
When it comes to selecting colors, you could consider keeping it more classic with black and white, soft with pastels, or focus on the colors of the season. You’ll probably want to stick with the more traditional, full length, white wedding gown and veil; we picture layers of tulle, taffeta, silk or lace. The groom and groomsmen will look polished in full suits or tuxedos and bow ties.
You may wonder why we mention the bridal party attire when focusing on traditional wedding decorations. The answer is that you, your groom, and your attendants, are the main feature in the scene that will be on view by your guests throughout the entire event. You’ll want everything that fills the space to coordinate, to complement each other – including you. From the invitation you send out to request the participation of your guests, to the wedding favors they take home with them, you’ll want to set the stage for your charming, traditional wedding day.
Key items of décor in a classic or traditional wedding style are flowers, lots of flowers. During the ceremony, you’ll want to include bouquets of roses, carnations, large hydrangeas or flowers in season for the bride and her maidens, wrapped in satin. And single flower boutonnieres for the gents.
For outdoor weddings, consider a big white tent; flank the entrance with large floral bouquets, and decorate the ends of each row of chairs with giant bows in your chosen colors or attach exquisite floral arrangements. Lead the way to your officiant with an elegant runner matching the décor and consider draping shiny fabric or tulle across the ceiling adds softness and elegance. If you’ll be using the tent for the evening, lights strings that sparkle above, crisscrossing the dancefloor, enhance the romantic ambiance as well.
Traditional Wedding Decorations for the Reception
You and your bridal party are probably going to need the extra time with the photographer between the ceremony and reception, so make sure your guests are greeted warmly as they make their way to “the party” area. Many venues offer a wonderful space for a traditional wedding reception, and an elegant ballroom with hanging crystal chandeliers is a brilliant option. Display attractive signs or provide a little program to give them an idea of what to expect. Choose to guide them to their tables with a seating chart you planned in advance. While they mingle, get something to drink or a plate of hors d’oeuvres, they can sign your guest book and get a glimpse of the two of you as children with a photo display, or you can choose to share photos of you and your fiancé that tell the story of your journey together instead.
Of course, table décor is a main concern for the reception. It’s where guests will be spending most of their time; therefore, you want to set the mood for the celebration with traditional wedding decorations such as simple bouquets of similar flowers to those in the bridal bouquets or candles. Keeping the arrangement at a lower height allows your guests to see each other across the table, making conversation easier.
Guests will also want to be able to see you. If you have a head table, make sure to arrange centerpieces in such a way as to leave you in view. Offer champagne in dainty flutes for the traditional toasts, and showcase a simply stated wedding cake as the “piece de resistance.”
Planning a traditional wedding can be a real joy. There are so many decorative options available to you. A local wedding boutique will likely sell some traditional decorations, but if there aren’t any shops with wedding décor near you, look to the World Wide Web, and you’ll be amazed at what you can find. Sites such as Pinterest and Etsy offer plenty of ideas to either make decorations on your own or buy them from creative professionals. If you hire a wedding coordinator, he or she will work on all of these important details for you, but having a clear vision of your day will definitely help you get started. Good luck, and have fun.