The wedding industry is chockfull of trends and fads. Just take a scroll through Pinterest and you’ll see all manners of color palettes, floral arrangements, décor elements, and other design themes that are oh-so-lovely, but not quite so timeless.
Since weddings are captured on film for generations to come, we know you would prefer something more timeless — one that will live on for decades without their grandchildren poking fun at the design choices of years past.
Planning a wedding that stands the test of time is actually rather simple; it’s a matter of sticking to tried-and-true elements that are eternal. We spoke to wedding experts about the colors, flowers, fashion styles, and other details that are truly timeless and how to create a day that will be as beautiful in 20 years as it is today.
Opt for soft color palettes
Nora Sheils, founder of Bridal Bliss and co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, encourages couples to tone down their color scheme: “Bold tones are difficult as trends change over time; although you loved fuchsia and lime green in the 2000s, it is certainly no longer a trend in the 2020s! Neutrality never dies, and neither do clean, sophisticated elements from fashion to décor. Think whites, ivories, and light blush tones with or without very simple greenery.”
Choose forever in-style blooms
“Florals such as roses and greenery never go out of style and always remain on-trend and on-point,” assures JoAnn Gregoli, owner of Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli, who recommends pairing the two for a stunning, sophisticated look. “Greenery also never goes out of trend. The green leaves and foliage can help create a timeless look that, when you look back in 10 years or even 30 years, it will still look as great. You could go for elegance in the form of a classic white garden party with roses and peonies that are truly timeless.”
Play with fashion
If there’s one industry that is never afraid to try new things, it’s the fashion world. Yet, with weddings, simple may be better. “Wedding trends change quite a bit from year to year, especially in wedding gown fashion,” says Sarah Blessinger, designer and owner of Kindred Weddings and Events. “When picking a timeless wedding gown, you should avoid anything too stylized. For example, puffy sleeves, capelets, shortened length, dramatic or exaggerated accents or appliqués, and colors other than white. Your own personal wedding day attire and style can reflect something timeless, but leaning into simple and traditional forms. Long cathedral veils, dresses without busy patterns or appliqués, natural makeup and hairstyles allow the couple to be seen in any decade.”
Keep stationery simple and sweet
Beyond photography, there are few physical things that live on for years of memories. Jordan Kentris, founder and creative director of A Good Day, speaks to the value of timeless stationery that looks flawless at any time: “For day-of paper goods, look to design styles that are simple and complement the overall aesthetic of the event. White, cream and more neutral papers can be worked into menus, programs and escort cards utilizing styles like calligraphy or gold foiling for an elegant touch.”
Say yes to cake
Lynne Reznick, owner of Lynne Reznick Photography, suggests skipping the trendy desserts in favor of the ever-popular, picture-perfect cake: “Avoid non-traditional desserts like donut walls. These may be fun and tasty, but they’re the quintessential example of trendy, not timeless. You can never go wrong with a stunning wedding cake! It may not feel like this is a timeless piece because the design can be super modern. However, opting for a statement wedding cake instead of a trendy dessert alternative is absolutely a way to embrace a tradition that is sure to stand the test of time.”
Make it your own
Timeless doesn’t have to mean stuffy and boring, as Samantha Leenheer, principal planner and designer for Samantha Joy Events, explains: “Don’t be afraid to take a personal spin on some of your favorites. You can have your wedding design be highly personal and still very timeless. Your wedding is just the beginning of a magical journey and is the foundation for your family. It is something you will look back on with your children for generations to come.”
Ultimately, your wedding belongs to you and you should design it however you love — whether that means a simple neutral palette with timeless details or a bold, trendy celebration filled with color and enthusiasm. It will be your day to remember for years to come, so plan it to your heart’s desire!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.
We’ve partnered with OFD Consulting to bring you this great advice from their collective of wedding professionals.