Creating a timeless wedding style… and does DIY date your wedding?

Published by Claire Gould on

Timeless wedding style is worth its weight in diamonds. Creating a wedding day look which is timeless means you can look back on your day in 2 years, in 10 years and in 50 years – and you will still love everything about it. Your dress and suit will be elegant, flattering and simple. Your flowers will be breathtaking. You’ll dream of revisiting that amazing venue – and your wedding album will become a beautiful heirloom for generations to admire.

Timeless wedding photography by Fiona Kelly, London wedding photographer

Imagine the opposite scenario: looking back on your wedding in 5 years time and feeling embarrassed about the fashions you see in your album: a dodgy perm, or dated make up, even your venue might make you cringe. Such is the way with anything uber fashionable: if it’s not been popular for long, is there a risk of the theme and style you love becoming hideously unfashionable in a few years time? A case in point: does anyone remember wedding photos with spot colour or dresses like meringues? We loved them, once!

Vintage – 1950s Hollywood glam nailed it

Audrey Hepburn has timeless appeal. So does Marilyn Monroe… in fact a handful of women knew many, many years ago that style was so much more than fashion. We idolise them even now. They chose elegance over trends; they knew that less was more. Recreating their particular ‘vintage’ era is easier than we made the 1920s… and so it works.

But 1920s inspired hessian & lace had to move on to stay relevant

Our 1920s inspired weddings were much trickier to style. We embraced vintage lace, tea-stained papers and eventually kraft and hessian in our vintage wedding styles. The prettier details – the china teasets and lace tablecloths – worked like a charm. But somehow they didn’t have the timeless appeal of Hollywood’s golden age. Perhaps because in recreating this vintage era we tried to save money. Perhaps because the affordability of our modern take on vintage made it such a big trend that it boomed, and became the ‘everywedding’, and then we lost interest. Who knows… but the end result is that hessian, lace and mason jars are looking a little tired in 2016.

Much DIY is ‘vintage’ – & those weddings from 3 years ago starting to look dated

The thing with Google, and Pinterest, is that every wedding idea we shared on the internet three years ago is still there. A search for wedding DIY ideas is as likely to bring up old results as new. Reading wedding blogs – and following their Pinterest activities and instagram feeds – is the best clue to finding wedding style ideas you can make at home without making your reception look dated. Styled shoots and supplier features on blogs will always keep it current: it’s our job to bring you a beautiful curation of wedding ideas which won’t date.

Can you still DIY without your wedding looking ‘shabby’?

Yes you can! The good news is that wedding DIY isn’t only about hessian and lace. Neither are blogs all about mason jars or glitter. Take inspiration from blogs to give your wedding a modern Scandi look, or urban chic style.

The good news is, you can still craft ‘chic’ at home!

Create boho florals or succulent favours; build a backdrop with lights or get really into things with a hammer and saw and your very own light up letters. DIY moves on; the homemade weddings I’m falling in love with this year are all about these kinds of statement projects, rather than little collections of jam jars with straws and pink lemonade! There’s nothing shabby about modern wedding DIY!

5 tips for wedding DIY that won’t date

1. Be good at it. Take a course, practice over and over, don’t challenge yourself to do something which is out of your comfort zone. Wedding DIY in 2016 will be clean, neat and seamless – which makes it timeless too – and practice makes perfect!

2. Be minimal. Less is more, for timeless style. A statement bouquet doesn’t have to have every single flower from your garden; a huge bunch of eucalyptus alone tied with silk ribbon has tons of wow factor. Making stationery doesn’t mean you need ribbons, pearls, lace, overlays, belly bands, stamps and wax seals: use simple, luxury card instead.

3. Don’t wear it (unless (a)~ you’re an expert!). Dressmaking isn’t for amateurs – especially on your wedding day. Likewise hair accessories… jewellery isn’t easy and unless you WANT your hairpiece to look like you knocked it together on the cheap, avoid handmade beading on your head at all costs! How about a single statement flower in your hair instead?

4. Have a place for it. Don’t overwhelm your venue with DIY projects. Craft something awesome, then give it a display area. Your wedding album will include it, but it won’t be on every single image. Quirky table names have had their day. Signage on a guest book / cake table won’t be as in-your-face in your wedding album. If your DIY dates, it won’t date everything around it or ruin your wedding album ten years on.

5. Make it personal – if it reflects the two of you more than it reflects what’s fashionable, it’s fine! We all have our own individual style, and sticking with what you know and love will make your wedding day more authentic. Don’t do vintage if your home isn’t that way inclined; if you’re urbanites avoid a country, bohoesque celebration. Avoid what’s fashionable, and stick with what’s YOU. If that means craft, design and crochet – do it!

A final word… ignore what the wedding blogs tell you (even this)!

If fashion is your thing, feel free to ignore me! I hear too many photographers slating tinted, filtered images without a caveat. Maybe the instagram generation want to remember our weddings in the same way we live our lives!

So this is for the fashionistas: if you’ve grown up leading the pack with everything you wear and do, if every single image of the two of you is about staying ahead of the crowd – and if you’re willing to grow old disgracefully and giggle delightedly at all the photos of you both back in the day because they were just so you – then ignore all of the above. DIY your hearts out, make it oh-so-2016 and be proud!


All images used above are by Fiona Kelly, whose timeless wedding photography wins every time.

Contact & Bookings: Fiona Kelly Photography

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

1 Comment

Jules Bridal Jewellery · February 4, 2016 at 10:00 am

Very valuable advice.

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