Suitable wedding preparation typically requires months. When the event comes around, you want it to be something both you and your guests will remember with fondness.

The recipe for such a memory should generate a timeless wedding. Here are 15 key ingredients you won’t want to neglect.

1. A Classic Engagement Ring 

When you’re selecting the ring, you can never go wrong with vintage engagement ring styles. These pieces will never go out of fashion, whether you purchase an authentic old ring or a contemporary replica.

2. Guest Book

Some contemporary brides and grooms are opting out of including a guestbook, but if you’re a traditionalist, you’ll probably want one. You could put a modern spin on it, however, by framing a photo with large matting around it, on which the guests may sign their name and write well wishes. Then you can display it in your home as a piece of memorable décor.

3. Timeless Colors

Trending colors should be avoided, because they will date your photos when you look at them a decade from now. Classic wedding colors consist of black, white, blush, pastel combos, orange accents, earth tones, and gold. Jewel tones may also be regarded as classic if done tastefully.

4. Print Invitations

It’s cheaper and more convenient to send e-vites or social media invitations to your guests, but a classic wedding planner wouldn’t dream of it. Paper notes that are hand-addressed and mailed put the classic finishing touch on your wedding plans.

5. Bridal White Gown 

Although a white gown and veil don’t mean the same thing they once did, the combination is still a staple of a traditional wedding. No one but the bride (and maybe the groom) should be wearing white on this day.

If you want a truly classic gown, stick with materials such as lace or satin. Chiffon and silk are also popular since they create clean lines and express the importance of the ensemble. 

6. Matching Bridesmaid Dresses

They don’t have to be ugly, but they should match. Choose matching, complementary colors for your bridesmaids in styles that are flattering but won’t upstage the bride. 

7. Tux with a Bowtie

Tuxedos look fantastic with a trendy skinny tie in the colors of your choice, but you can never go wrong with a bowtie. It speaks of old-time sophistication that hasn’t lost its charm into the 21st century.

8. Church Venue

Whether you’re religious or not, church weddings remain ideal for a classic event. They call for little decoration because the architecture, stained glass, high ceilings, and murals already speak of the grandness of the day. 

Timeless weddings can be set in other venues, but something about a church makes the ceremony feel inherently special.

9. Natural-Light Photography

Styles in lighting and backgrounds at weddings have evolved substantially in recent years, but you’ll never have cause to regret using natural lighting in your photos. It creates a sense of realism that can’t be achieved with filters, and makes looking back on your special day so much clearer.

10. Carefully Planned Place Settings 

Free-for-all seating is common in contemporary weddings, but a carefully planned seating chart will make the reception a classic affair. Think about the tastes, interests, and personalities of each individual and assign them seats accordingly.

Try to come up with fun, personalized place settings to go with your theme. It’s also customary to provide a small gift near the place setting for the guests to take home. 

11. Greenery Galore 

Flowers and foliage are a standard item for pretty much every wedding, from the bouquet to the church pew aisle markers. Outdoor weddings and receptions are also popular when they’re situated in garden or park settings that have lush greenery in the background. 

12. An Open Bar and Menu 

Don’t make your guests pay for their food and drink. Host an open bar and menu that are available all night long, with multiple options for cuisine and beverages to meet various guests’ diets and tastes.

13. Simple Makeup and a Chignon 

The bride’s hair and makeup styles will vary according to her personal taste, but the classic chignon updo -- whether tight and simple or loose and elaborate -- will always look beautiful. 

Makeup should be flashier than your everyday face, but it should also be simple to accentuate the your natural beauty.

14. Limited Accessories 

Less is more in classic weddings. Don’t get too caught up with hair ornaments, dress embellishments, venue ornamentation, and other details. The simplest decoration is often the most effective.

15. Thrown Rice or Petals 

Once, rice was always thrown at weddings as a symbol of rain as well as fertility, prosperity, and good fortune. It’s much less popular now, because of environmental concerns and the risk of someone getting hit in the eye with a piece of rice.

For a more modern yet classic move, have the guests throw petals as you leave the altar instead.

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