Hosting a themed wedding provides the perfect opportunity to design your big day around your unique style, personality or culture as well as deliver a wedding experience that will leave guests buzzing. On top of being a lot of fun for everyone involved, a theme can act as a great guide for your event planning process, lending inspiration to venue, décor and detail choices. But, it is essential that a theme be well thought-out and consistent down to the last detail. Over the years, we have seen many wedding themes that were delivered impressively and without a hitch, and some that didn’t go so well. If a theme is a part of your wedding planning dreams, we have prepared some useful tips and ideas to consider throughout your event planning process.
Decision Making for Your Themed Wedding
If you have decided on a themed wedding, selecting your theme of choice should be done as early as possible. Your choice should ultimately express your (and your fiancé’s) personality and taste. At the same time, it is hugely important to consider your guests. You can choose to involve guests in your wedding theme as much or as little as you wish. We have seen themes executed through subtle décor and food selection and as all encompassing as asking guests to dress according to the theme. Avoid choosing a theme that asks too much from guests, or one that is so over-the-top that some may feel uncomfortable. To spark ideas, consider themes that are easy to visualize, such as ‘rustic-country’, ‘winter wonderland’ or ‘diamonds and pearls’. If your theme is based on culture, such as an Indian wedding or Persian wedding, it is likely that guests will be honoured and excited to fully embrace the cultural aspects it offers. Your ultimate goal with a culturally themed wedding may not be to become an Indian wedding planner extraordinaire for example, but the reality is that many guests will be looking to you for guidance on what will be appropriate the day of, so be sure you give guests the information they need to understand your expectations (ex. wear white on Friday and a sari or jewel coloured dress with shawl on Saturday).
Big Decisions Matter for a Themed Wedding
Planning a themed wedding begins with considering every opportunity to integrate your theme and then pairing down to what suits you. There are a few big decisions that should be made with theme in mind, however. Décor and food specifically, are likely your largest opportunity to ensure that guests feel immersed in your chosen theme. Even with a blank-canvas style venue, décor that includes vibrant colours, patterns and exotic blooms will help convey an Indian wedding, while mason jars, paisley and wildflowers will scream rustic-country style. Select a caterer who can match your theme or better yet, specializes in it. Themed food provides so much opportunity, from cocktails, appetizers and main courses to dessert, for your guests to taste, smell and see your theme to come life. And of course, don’t forget the ceremony. Incorporating cultural traditions such as the Persian Sofreh Aghd or the groom’s procession at a Punjabi ceremony can make your wedding truly unique.
Small Decisions Matter Even More for a Themed Wedding
When it comes to themed weddings, details matter, A LOT. In making decisions on items such as invitation design, table decorations or bridal party attire, it can be easy to sway towards tried and tested templates and easily available standard items. As you check items off of your list, ask yourself if an opportunity to illustrate your theme exists. Could you select a font for your invitations that conveys ‘royal wedding’ or dresses for your bridesmaids that fit a ‘winter wonderland’ theme? Look for small and seemingly simple ways to incorporate your theme – a jewelled corsage and boutonnière in place of florals for a ‘diamonds and pearls’ theme or kitchen symbols or utensils instead of table numbers for a ‘grand feast’.
Surprise and Delight
Guests will appreciate and likely expect a themed menu and décor choices, but might be delightfully surprised with themed wedding favours or entertainment. Hire a piper or rockabilly band or distribute seedlings or donation certificates to enchant your guests and reinforce your theme. Look for opportunities to provide something unexpected such as a dual language ceremony, a live performance during cocktail hour, or a themed DIY ice cream sundae station for dessert.
Themed Wedding Planning Faux Pas
Whatever you do, try to avoid these themed wedding pitfalls. Firstly, although we advocate for being detail oriented, it is possible, to reach the point of overload when it comes to themed weddings. Your theme should be clear and impactful, but not cheesy or pushy. While many people love Disney movies, trying to mimic a scene from Beauty and the Beast might feel a bit over the top to some. Secondly, avoid choosing a theme that requires a strict a dress code for your guests – having to go out and buy a 60’s inspired outfit may sour the experience for some. Lastly, ask yourself if you really want or need a theme. A theme is not compulsory, and it is perfectly possible to plan a beautiful and memorable day without one! Rather than a theme, use the small details as an opportunity to inform guests about your and your fiancé’s hobbies and tastes. Raw wood centrepieces for couples who love the outdoors, comic book figurine cake toppers for the Marvel obsessed, and boat rope linen sashes for the couple who can’t spend enough time on the water, are all examples of ways to incorporate your unique preferences without relying on an overarching theme.
Planning a themed wedding can help to narrow down choices and make the wedding planning process even more fun, but it can also be challenging. Selecting a defined theme and sticking to it might not resonate with every single guest or member of your family. Resist the urge to make exceptions to your theme to meet the needs or requests of your mother-in-law, helpful aunt or best friend with an idea you just simply “have to” incorporate. Distraction is the enemy. If a themed wedding is in your future, we’re here to support you. With Eventsage, you plan and we help.