17 Classic Wedding Ideas You'll Still Love 20 Years From Now

couple in front of getaway car

Photo by Erich McVey Photography

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. You won't have to worry about photos looking dated. When you and your partner look back on your wedding photos decades from now, you'll still be madly in love with these enduring ideas.

For examples of this elegant aesthetic, we asked wedding planners. Read on for 17 classic wedding ideas that'll never go out of style.

01 of 17

A Timeless Wedding Dress

bride in timeless dress

Photo by Michelle Beller

“Cari wanted a wedding that was timeless, elegant, sophisticated, and free of trends,” says Lisa Gorjestani, founder and principal event product of Details Event Planning, "The very definition of a classic wedding." When finalizing your day-of look, stick with a wedding dress design that’s seamlessly understated and stylish.

02 of 17

Classic Invitations

elegant modern wedding invitation suite

Courtesy of Blonde & Brindle

Start at the very beginning with your invitations to let your guests know your wedding theme. Choosing invitations that don't go too over the top will certainly lend a nod to a timeless celebration, and a simple color palette, font, and design can still go a long way.

03 of 17

A Simple Altar

ceremony with minimal details

Photo by Ashlyn Cathey Photography

A simple setting is sometimes the best background for a ceremony site, says Jeanann Wilkinson, owner of J Wilkinson Co. “This way, you’re able to focus on the nuptials of the couple,” she explains. Minimal draping and a beautiful green and white altar are all you need to achieve a classic wedding ceremony setting.

04 of 17

A Historic Venue

Couple kissing in front of Providence Public Library

Photo by JENNY FU

A historical venue will give off an entirely timeless vibe. Options such as a stately library or beautiful museum may be the perfect fit. Plus, the architecture will serve as the ideal photo backdrop.

05 of 17

Plenty of White Florals

bride with white flowers

Photo by Alixann Loosle

“Nothing says timeless and traditional like a white floral!” says Vanessa Vierra, owner of Vanessa Noel Events. “Combining soft whites with natural hints of green keeps the overall style classic and refined but still organic—the perfect combination of elegance and romance!” Add crisp white flowers to your bouquet to create a stunning and elegant complement to your classic bridal style.

06 of 17

A Classic Tent

tented wedding

Photo by Norman & Blake

Having a dreamy outdoor tent wedding can be a great experience. “It presents the opportunity to curate the most classic and romantic setting for your ceremony,” says Mary Wright Shah, owner of Diamond Affairs Weddings & Special Events. A clear top structure for either your ceremony or reception space will allow for your design to take center stage.

07 of 17

Monogram Napkins

monogram napkins

Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

Consider investing in custom napkins with your new monogram for the head table of your reception space. “This instantly elevates any place setting, and the best part is that they become a keepsake!” says Lynn Easton, founder of Easton Events. If you’re looking for more of an old world–inspired dining experience, consider incorporating family heirloom pieces into your tabletop design as well.

08 of 17

Calligraphed Details

calligraphed escort cards

Photo by Jose Villa

Plenty of couples today are having fun with their escort displays, but tasteful calligraphed escort cards (as well as invitations and other stationery) will always be in style. “Choose a traditional style like Copperplate or Spencerian, and be sure to follow etiquette guidelines in addressing them properly,” advises Laurie Arons, founder of Laurie Arons Special Events. Present your calligraphed escort cards on a gold tray or antique piece to help them stand out.

09 of 17

Clean, Streamlined Design

tablescape with white flowers

Photo by Norman & Blake

“Everything about this wedding was classic,” says Britt Cole and Francie Dorman, founders of 42 North Weddings. Streamlined and elegant, the table settings were kept simple with a clean, contemporary feel. “I love how in this photo you just see a peek of their hanging floral installation."

10 of 17

A Neutral Color Palette

neutral color palette tablescape

Photo by Larissa Cleveland Photography

Utilizing a neutral wedding color palette is an easy way to enhance both your venue and wedding design, no matter where you're saying your "I dos." “For this wedding, we brought the indoors outside and transformed the Lommel Lawn to a sophisticated yet rustic dinner party setting with long statement dinner tables, plush seating, and outdoor lantern lights to set the mood,” says Janina Pineiro, weddings and events sales manager at Calistoga Ranch. The couple chose a neutral color palette, which paired well with both the site and aesthetic.

11 of 17

Pops of Blue on White

blue and white table number

Photo by Liz Banfield

Want something with just a bit more pop than a totally neutral color palette? “Blue and white is the ultimate classic wedding palette,” says Liz Banfield. Not only will a classic color scheme elegantly translate throughout your wedding photos, but pairing elements of your day with a timeless color scheme can inspire everything from your bridal party gowns to your reception tablescape details.

12 of 17

Classic Photos

bride walking down staircase

Photo by Sean Gallery

“Our bride paid tribute to her mom with a wedding portrait, recreating the photo on the same staircase where her parents took their own wedding portraits 32 years earlier,” says Leslie Mastin, president of Leslie Mastin Events. “A moment unknown to guests but treasured in the family.”

13 of 17

A Refined Menu

Refined dinner entree

Photo by Isabelle Selby Photography

To accompany a classic wedding style, a sit-down dinner complete with an elegant menu will help highlight the sophistication of your event. “A visionary plate with vibrant colors followed by an elevated entree of local ingredients is a stunning take on a classic menu,” says Carla Ruben, owner and creative director at Creative Edge Parties.

14 of 17

An All-White Wedding Cake

white wedding cake

Photo by Lauren Fair Photography

Carry out your classic reception style with a cake that exemplifies elegance. A multi-tiered white cake can be adorned with florals to elevate the look, and you can still achieve an opulent display without overdoing it on overtly trendy decorations.

15 of 17

A White and Green Color Scheme

white and green tablescape

Photo by Jose Villa

“What makes this wedding classic is the combination of the white and green color palette and the nostalgic floral ingredients,” explains Kathleen Deery, owner of Kathleen Deery Design, in describing how every component of this stunning tablescape works together to achieve a timeless presentation.

16 of 17

An Antique Car Exit

just married car

Photo by Amrit Photography

We love the addition of a classic car to give a wedding an extra wow factor. “Classic cars can be used to deliver the bride to the ceremony or as an unforgettable sendoff for the bride and groom at the end of the evening,” says Cassidy Rae Rios, lead creative director and associate planner at Event of the Season. No matter how it is used, this addition is timeless and always makes for a great photo op.

17 of 17

Classic Wedding Songs

first dance

Photo by Sarah Joy Photo

“A letterpress invitation, crisp white cotton linens with candlelight and simple florals, and a band playing refined favorites all work to keep your concept simple [and] will ensure you have a gorgeous classic wedding,” says Christine Viola, director of events at Exquisite Affairs Productions. Spin classic wedding songs, such as Frank Sinatra's version of "The Way You Look Tonight," "Something," by the Beatles, and "The Very Thought Of You" by Billie Holiday—or better yet, opt for a formal wedding band.

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