I happen to be a sucker for tradition. I’m the 30-something-girl who still watches White Christmas every year for the last 20+ years, just because if I don’t, it won’t feel like Christmas! So, naturally, I have the making of a traditional bride inside of me. When it comes to weddings, I want a long walk down an aisle, I want guests to throw rice, I want to cut cake and I want to hear “Celebrate” somewhere in the DJ’s lineup! To me, those elements make it feel like a wedding to me. However, the creative, trend-appreciating, and style-loving other half of me, didn’t want a wedding so laden with tradition it became boring, or worse, irrelevant.
So how to capture the timelessness of a traditional wedding and make it modern enough that it’s fresh and vibrant for you and your guests?
First off, personal style. The fashion you choose, the way you make yourself up, accessorize and style yourself can be traditional and modern at the same time. You’ll see in this beautiful wedding featured today, the bride and groom go for a very classic look. Tux, veil, train, buttons-down-the-back: very traditional and classy. Yet the bride adds a braid, the bridesmaids have a modern trend of mixing necklines of their matching dresses, and the flowers highlight texture and variety, all modern choices applied to her traditional style. Your attire choices set the tone for the style of your wedding day.
Second, location. Here we have a gorgeous Cathedral. Complete with an iconic celebratory exit from the church. Then, you’ll see, the reception takes a grand ballroom and brings to life a classic, yet modern, design. Modernizing also has to do with the atmosphere you create.
If you have a love for traditional weddings and hope to have one yourself, I encourage you to write down what traditions you have to keep and why. Knowing why you love the traditions will help you keep them pure, or give you allowance to modernize them. There are so many creative ways to bring traditions to life. I have five ways to share with you today, featuring this amazing wedding, to hopefully they’ll get your wheels turning and your excitement level climbing for your wedding day!
Choose a Photographer & Photo Locations with a Modern Edge
These lovely ladies, with a classic look, take a modern approach with the variety of neckline accents. Yet instead of a more traditional location, say the steps of the church, the photographer chose a modern, urban location to take this portrait. The way your photographer styles, positions and shoots your day can make your wedding look more or less traditional. Make sure to look at lots of their wedding samples, find a wedding or couple with similar style to you, and see what the outcome is! It will give you good insight into what your day will be like too!
You also want to make sure, as a traditional bride, your images are timeless as well. An ultra-modern photographer may not have a matching aesthetic to your day, in which case, keep searching for the right fit for you and your wedding photography.
Floral Design can embrace both Traditional and Modern characteristics.
This floral design is a perfect example of blending styles to achieve a modernized traditional wedding! The high head table pieces are classic, paired with the low full centerpieces, together they give a traditional elegance gracing the space. Still graceful, but clearly modern, are the chic centerpieces pictured directly above. With the addition of the lighting (expounded on here momentarily), their modern presence is perfectly represented without being overbearing. Choose a florist that can master both looks and blend them well for you. It takes talent and an eye to bring these two looks together so well.
Dynamic Event Lighting
Lighting makes a huge statement for your day! It's another element that can form to whatever style you have established for your reception. In this case, with this modernized traditional feel, they went quite modern in color, while still highlighting the classic architecture of the ballroom.
Lighting also uses modern technology. You can absolutely use old lighting to give a less-modern look. But with today's event lighting, the LED family has a monopoly on the industry, giving event lighting an automatic modern appearance.
Lighting is one of the best ways to transform a space. It helps direct the eye to where you want your guests to look, and gently assumes by not lighting something, you'd prefer it not to get attention! Let's take this photo above as an example, what do you see? The cake? The flowers? The beautiful linen? The awesome Art Deco lighting features and epic high ceilings? What don't you see? Maybe the likely-dated or contrasting carpet design? And who knows what else we don't see, because we can't see it!
To me, lighting is one of the very best ways to modernize a traditional wedding.
Do a traditional thing in a modern way!
Here's a great example of taking traditional elements, like a charger, place card and a menu, but in a modern way. This starburst charger adds a funky, yet glamorous element to the table setting, while the sweetly designed menu and place card combo, have a traditional feel in an unexpected shape.
There are so many amazing rentals, products and options out there. Look to your talented vendors to help educate you of the options. They will help you make savvy decisions blending together your styles, to make an effortless and unique design.
Take a modern trend and put your classic spin on it!
Signature drinks, while not a new trend, are still a modern wedding accessory. This is the perfect way to make modern traditional! White-gloved butler service of dirty martinis?! I don't even like martinis and I'd take one!
Another great modern element to make your own is event furniture! Having lounge areas for your guests is a modern event function. I love the Victorian-esque lounge area between the head table and the dance floor pictured below. It's a great way for guests to have a fun experience and adds a unique element to your reception design.
Lastly, my favorite piece of advice to modernize a traditional wedding is to make it your own. Find creative ways to surprise and delight your guests! I am IN LOVE with this puppy peaking out of the bottom of the cake! What a darling way to include your beloved pup into your big day.
What makes you two the relevant, modern, classic and charming couple you are? Highlight yourselves and your favorite things in creative and imaginative ways. Traditional weddings get a bad rep because they went through a major cookie-cutter phase. If you allow your personalities to come through in your wedding design, you'll find there's no way your wedding will be like anyone else's. Modernizing your traditional wedding in ways that are special to you will make a memorable wedding experience for your guests and timeless memories for you.