A wedding theme can be almost anything, and it’s likely that you have a wedding theme even if you don’t think you do—even a specific colour palette is something of a theme, like glamorous black and silver or classic white and gold. Vintage, bohemian, and rustic are especially popular wedding themes, but your theme can be anything you want—e.g. a homage to your favourite book, or a motif like a romantic red rose. Here’s our guide on to how to theme your wedding.
Choosing Your Wedding Theme
When choosing your wedding theme it’s very important that you think about why you want it. Wedding themes are usually of a subject close to the couple’s heart: does your theme have a special significance to you and your partner as a couple, such as a look back to a holiday you’ve had together? Is it part of a family heritage, such as a Scottish wedding theme? Or is it simply an interest you share, like travelling, or a season you love? Either way, try and build your wedding around a subject to make a statement about who you and your partner are. Just make sure it’s practical!
Wedding Decor and Wedding Flowers
Your wedding decor is perhaps the easiest thing to plan—all you need to do is identify what makes your chosen subject what it is and spread it across most if not all of the elements of your wedding. For example, a vintage wedding is often popular for antique-effect objects, pearls, and lace; a garden wedding can be anything from picnic baskets to cute little birds and colourful parasols.
Wedding decor spans into wedding flowers (and, by extension, the bouquet(s) and buttonholes); flowers are an oft-used method of decorating a wedding because they add colour and beauty. They can add a beautiful touch to the atmosphere for your wedding, and can really complete the look. A winter wedding, for instance, can include sprigs of mistletoe, holly, red berries and pinecones, while a beach wedding might use big colourful flowers with decorative shells.
Your wedding stationery will be the first your guests see of your wedding (via your invitations or save the date cards), so it’s the perfect time to give them a taste of your wedding theme. Be creative and try to mirror your theme in your stationery in some way—if you were to have a Scottish-themed wedding you could trim your invites with tartan; if your wedding was to be held on Valentine’s Day, you might consider heart-shaped or rose-themed invites. Whatever you do, you can even use the same idea across the rest of your stationery, including your place cards, menus, guest book, etc.
The wedding invitations are the ideal place to give your guests all the information they might need about your wedding—a themed wedding might mean you’d like your guests to dress up in some way, so make sure you mention this.
Wedding Cake and Wedding Catering
Carrying your wedding theme through to your cake and catering is a very good idea, for it may end up ruining the whole feel of your wedding if it doesn’t look like a cohesive whole. With your cake it’s a good idea to hint at your theme through icing, cake toppers, and trimmings like ribbon, etc, to avoid something that’s too complex for a cake designer or too expensive for you. (For novelty cakes, you may have to look out for specialist cake designers). For an even more unique cake, you could forgo the cake altogether and use an alternative: a croquembouche for a French style wedding, tieres of cupcakes in teacups for an Alice in Wonderland themed wedding, etc.
The rest of your catering should reflect your theme too, if you want to keep the theme running—consider picnic hampers for an outdoor wedding, a buffet for a rustic wedding, a full three-course meal for a classic wedding. Also think of signature dishes, and how they might be presented: mince pies sprinkled with frosting with a side of hot chocolate for a winter wedding, pumpkin pies decorated with red-gold leaves and a side of spiced apple cider for an autumn wedding, etc. Consider the colour and style of the china and crockery you use as well, the glasses and flutes, the table linens, and even the shape and colour of the food and drink itself.
Make the music count in your themed wedding, for it sets the atmosphere. You can really have some fun with this, and it adds a special finishing touch to the day. For an art deco wedding you can hire a jazz band for the reception; for a vintage wedding you can hire a string quartet or a harpist.
What you (and maybe even your guests) wear on the big day can make or break your wedding theme. Many couples are happy with dressing up themselves, and that’s as far as they’ll go. Other couples might ask others to join in—after all, some themes are fairly easy to extend to the wedding party and the wedding guests. If you want your theme to encompass all of your attendees, make sure you give everyone all of the information they need in good time—for a Scottish-themed wedding, do you want all of the male guests to wear a kilt? Be careful, and consider everything before making a decision. Does your dad actually want to be decked out like a medieval knight or a Russian Cossack when he walks you down the aisle? Will your guests appreciate having to make, rent, or buy a costume in order to attend?
When choosing a costume, there are a few avenues to explore—for a fully-fledged costume (you might want to dress up as Cinderella and Prince Charming?) you can look at tailored costumes, but if you only want a subtle flair of a wedding theme you can look into something that’s a little more toned down. For example, Alfred Angelo’s Disney Wedding Dresses collection is a stunning collection for the Disney lover, offering a beautiful modern take on favourite characters. For a vintage wedding you can use an actual vintage dress, such as a family heirloom, or simply look for a lace wedding dress in a traditional vintage silhouette. If you’d like your guests to dress up, make the search a little easier for them by recommending shops or rental stores—they’ll be far more likely to join in the fun. You might even decide that your guests dressing up will be all the wedding gift you need, if your guests are planning on purchasing a wedding gift for you.
Finally, remember that you don’t have to spread your theme across every single aspect of your wedding. Sometimes less is more, and it’s better to keep it to the areas you have most control, like table decorations and music. Simplicity often leaves the biggest impact. Whatever you choose, have fun theming your wedding!
For more help in planning your themed wedding, see our Top Tips For Themed Weddings!