Don’t let the latest trend for ‘stand-out’ detract from the timelessly traditional and classically elegant, quintessential British white wedding.
Speaking with our beautiful brides, there remains one essential and recurring theme that unites them all: they want their big day to be classically elegant. Whatever else the day includes, it must, at its core, be elegant. Now, we love the ‘next big thing’ as much as you do – and we’ll forever remain unashamedly excited by unique and intriguing twists and turns on a classic theme – but it’s still the classic theme that we return to, ever faithful and as lovestruck as ever, time and time again. And as we all know… true love lasts a lifetime.
Because it is beautiful isn’t it? Words like ‘traditional’, ‘classic’, and ‘elegant’, in the wonderful context of weddings, need celebrating and honouring – and just maybe we have taken this theme for granted. We need to remind ourselves just how beautiful these weddings are, not as staples but as ‘stand-outs’ in their own right. As a theme, the traditional British white wedding deserves its moment in the sun. And so here it is… our fabulous guide to achieving the ultimate traditional and elegant, classic white wedding…
Escape city chaos for country chic and you’re halfway there already. A classic wedding positively cries out for a sensational stately house backdrop. I can promise you the wedding photos won’t disappoint and you’ll never regret it, plus, many wedding venues can accommodate guests and give great deals for the bride and groom on their wedding night too (four-poster bed anyone?!).
Top Tip: Make sure you make lots of visits beforehand with your photographer to scout out the best sites for unforgettable shots of you and your new husband, as well as the best places for group shots.
Candid, informal shots can be truly joyful but don’t dismiss more conventional wedding photography out of hand (back in vogue in recent months). Give a little nod to tradition on your big day and consider asking your photographer for long-established shots, the perfect mementos and keepsakes of your big day and guaranteed to make you smile for years to come. We love shots of the dress, the car and a troupe of little ones.
Top tip: Don’t forget to ask your photographer to capture the groom and best man waiting (patiently!) for the bride before she makes her grand entrance… we love the sense of nervous excitement and there are always some crackers of the guests too!
You have two rather wonderful options here. Keep your look quintessentially British and elegant and let the magnificence of your stately backdrop do all the talking for sensational, stunningly simplicity, or view the backdrop as a blank canvas to tailor to your individual taste. As seen here, both effects are striking; keeping the dining area predominantly cream and using neutral tones will let the beautiful cornicing and ornaments speak for themselves, and dressing up what’s already there can be a fabulous way to personalise the whole look for a memorable, holistic ‘feel’.
Top tip: The Union Jack instantly brightens up any stately home, and this injection of primary colours keep things fun as well as classy. Make sure you ask the venue in advance whether you can start dressing up their antique, stuffed polar bear!
The Finishing Touches
From the cake to your bouquet to your veil and tiara, it’s in these final flourishes that the theme ‘classically elegant’ finds full expression. Nothing ties a theme together like these little details. We love a hand-tied bouquet in contrasting white blooms and green foliage, and a traditionally tiered wedding cake always looks big-day ready (we love how simple yet effective this blush-rose icing works with deliberately messy gold).
Top tip: Proper lighting is a must for any stately venue. Picture your venue at dusk and ensure the cake, in particular, has effective lighting. Consider using gilded mirrors or a backdrop of fairy lights to ensure your cake gets the attention it deserves. Adopt the mantra: ‘Use more fairy lights’ and you can’t go wrong!
Of course, the most effective way to convey elegance, classic style, timeless tradition and quintessential ‘white wedding’ is through your choice of dress! Pearls and lace additions will always speak the language of love, as will a fuller skirt and a floor-length veil. We are head over heels for this sumptuous creation from Enzoani, perfectly teamed with full-length, lemon-sorbet bridesmaids’ dresses.
Top tip: Break with tradition and be a bride who gives a speech… because some rules are meant to be broken!