With the endless choices available, your head can start to spin when you begin planning your wedding. There are so many details to consider: What dress should I choose? What can I serve at the reception that will leave everyone satiated but ready to dance? What floral arrangements are going pop without breaking the bank? Choosing a theme for your wedding can help to narrow down these choices while at the same time allowing you to express yourself. But themeing your wedding can also be a slippery slope. Here, find some pointers to help you find a theme that will accommodate your desires without putting too much extra pressure on your guests.
Basic Theme Guidelines
Before you start planning an extravagant, one-of-a-kind, or daring theme, remember to take your guests into consideration. You may be committed to the idea of a Caribbean-themed wedding, where your guests travel to a remote island wearing silk sarongs and flowers in their hair, but don’t be surprised if your guests may have a few reservations.
There are three important things to consider before you select your theme: location, date, and attire.
The Right Location
Location can be a hindrance for some guests if you choose an expensive wedding destination. Guests will likely have to pay for their own travel expenses, and they may not be able to afford the fare to a distant location.
If you still have your heart set on a Caribbean theme, consider choosing a local destination and use decorations, foods, and creative touches to infuse it with a tropical feel. Get creative by making your theme more easily accessible and you’ll likely not have to sacrifice your carefully crafted guest list for that perfect island mood.
Save the Date
Some couples often choose a holiday-themed wedding. And while it may seem creative and sentimental to have a Christmas wedding, some guests may find it hard to fit your wedding into a month that’s already jam-packed with events.
Try picking a day that’s practical, but at the same time meaningful for you. Wouldn’t it be romantic to plan your wedding on the anniversary of your first date, on your great-grandparents’ anniversary, or on the day you shared your first kiss together?
You want the date to be significant and special, but try to avoid certain no-no dates like Super Bowl Sunday or Tax Day. You don’t want your guests to attend begrudgingly, or have their minds somewhere else on such a special day.
It’s traditional for wedding attendees to purchase their own clothing. So you may have to practice a bit of restraint when thinking about the bridesmaid gowns. You shouldn’t feel obligated to choose a tasteful sleeveless dress that will become your bridal party’s go-to LBD after the event, but you also want to be wary of asking your friends and family to spring for a pricey “costume” that will otherwise never again see the light of day.
You want your bridesmaids and groomsmen to be comfortable and excited at your wedding as their body language during the ceremony is going to be easily read by the crowd. Consider what themes they'll be most enthusiastic to embrace. Are they the tropical vacation type, or would they be more at home with top hats and slow jazz?
This doesn’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice your joy or fun by any means. Choose your theme to suit your and your fiancé’s personalities, but keep your guests’ concerns in the back of your mind. If you’re unsure, put out feelers ahead of time to see how receptive people would be to the idea of going outside of the box.
The Beauty of Simplicity
Some of the best wedding themes are quite simple: a seasonal theme, a color-based theme, or a hobby-based theme can all be creative, easy to plan, and memorable for everyone.
For example, if gardening is your favorite hobby, why not create a spring or summer garden theme where you can share your love of nature’s beauty with your guests and husband-to-be? It can be held in any outdoor location, such as a local botanical garden, an estate home, or even your own backyard. Traditional gowns in pastels work well for garden themes, but feel free to add a little flair, perhaps with a little fuchsia or lime green to give it a slightly brazen, feel while still remaining elegant. Elegant touches, like living flowers in beautiful enamel pots as the centerpiece, would really drive your garden theme home.
Any subject or element that strikes you can be used as a motif for your wedding. Autumn, Tiffany blue, Southwestern, beach, gothic, or African culture–they can all be used as a theme, provided you have a passion for it. The more vast the theme, the more flexibility and freedom of design you’ll have, which will make planning that much simpler.
Brainstorm with your fiancé and jot down ideas that may work well for your special day. With a little planning and creativity, you can settle on a theme that inspires you and one that your guests will be eager to attend and not soon to forget.