Planning a Wedding with Classic & Contemporary Designs

Beautifully balance the best of both worlds in the style of your wedding.

Planning a Wedding with Classic & Contemporary Designs

Photo: Tine Hoffman for TM Photography

Reception tablescape by Viva Bella Events that combines classic and contemporary

Timeless. Sophisticated. Couples commonly use these two words as directives when planning their nuptials. However, they also want unique details, over-the-top surprises, and outrageous fun incorporated into their event. How can brides and grooms seamlessly blend classic and trendy? The pendulum swing may seem severe, but the right wedding professional can create and execute a memorable celebration with a cohesive aesthetic incorporating both elegance and the latest craze.

When meeting with couples, wedding planners will often talk about “must-haves” in terms of budget; but they should also be discussing “must-haves” in terms of design. Brides and grooms are looking for ways to incorporate unique personal details throughout the event. They also hope to implement an unconventional idea they heard about at another wedding or saw on an image-sharing site. Defining which components are best left to simple, classic styles and which can be taken in an unexpected direction is sometimes difficult to navigate. Carefully selected items can be in vogue without being kitschy, but there is a quite a fine line in between. Design elements, whether time-honored or the latest thing, must be unified to create a cohesive experience guests will remember.

One way to integrate trendy features into a classic design is to punch up the details. For example, if your vision is an all-white wedding, instead of using traditional crisp cotton tablecloths, mix it up by adding different textures to each table – ivory square sequins, metallic leather, or voluminous ruffles. Gorgeous textured linens are an excellent way to keep the colors understated, yet amp up the glam.

When considering florals, don’t be afraid to veer from traditional centerpieces. Having a florist construct a huge focal point with a flower wall behind the head table or a massive “runner” made of thousands of blooms down a long family-style table really makes a statement. Recently, one of our clients elected tall black vases filled with a variety of simple white blossoms. These arrangements looked beautiful and timeless; however, the reception really started rocking when fireworks erupted simultaneously from the tops of centerpieces. Talk about wow factor!

Consider all the little details, too. Couples who want their guests to leave with a fun favor should look beyond the traditional and go for a hip treat! Macarons, s’mores bars, and cake pops are very popular right now. Let your loved ones fill their own little pastry box with a variety of specialty snacks. This is sure to put smiles on their faces!

Often a bride will want a timeless, sophisticated look for the ceremony; however, she will opt for creative photos with the wedding party – adding chic hair accessories or shoes. Choose a photographer who will think outside the norm for both elegant and fanciful pictures. A trend we are seeing more and more of is formal portraits taken in decidedly informal settings – think antique cars or busy downtown streets. In other words, engagement-style photos for the actual wedding day.

Another way to spice up a wedding is to add surprises to the experience. Turn up the heat following a formal, romantic ceremony with a glamorous reception dripping with drama and luxury. Better yet, surprise friends and family with a totally separate after-party. This is a great way to depart from the classic and incorporate all of those fun trendy details to really impress your guests.

For a tented event, this can be created at a completely different tent. Other venues can have a cloaked area that attendees don’t even notice – then drop the drape to reveal a new space. Change the décor, music, furniture, and don’t forget the lighting. The décor can be anything chic and in vogue – all those elements that didn’t quite fit into your classic reception. The furniture can go from traditional tables and chairs to hip lounge furniture. Awesome lighting really adds to the nightlife vibe, and an amazing DJ is a must to keep the energy up and partygoers dancing into the early morning. Have a build-your-own dessert bar or a great food truck provide a late-night snack. A killer after-party can take a celebration from a luxurious and sophisticated affair to a rocking fête no one will soon forget.

Choosing the right vendors ensures your design will be seamlessly traditional and trendy. Wedding planners with the right connections know the perfect partners to handpick in order to execute the event of your dreams. Collaborating with those who can conceptualize, as well as expertly execute your vision, is paramount to maintaining the look, tone, and feel of the celebration. The bottom line: Be sure to select a group of professionals who are unafraid to take an innovative approach with your ideas and inspirations to create a design that is truly unique to you.

See more of the MacFarland-Crawford wedding (pictured above) here.

Opening photo by Tine Hoffman for TM Photography