One of the first questions that friends and family will ask you about your upcoming wedding is “what’s your theme?” But if you’re like many newly engaged couples, you probably won’t have a clue just yet. There are so many different wedding themes to choose from, so how could you possibly decide?
Choosing a wedding theme is difficult, but it’s an important decision to make. Your wedding theme will set the tone and aesthetic of your entire celebration, from start to finish. It will dictate what sorts of decorations you’ll have, what colour scheme you use, what kind of food and even what sort of entertainment you’ll offer.
A theme done correctly can really make a wedding day shine, but some themes are more difficult to pull off than others. Today, we’ll discuss how to select a wedding theme, and suggest 9 questions you can ask yourself to help make your decision.
Does a Wedding Need a Theme?
The term ‘wedding theme’ refers to a specific idea, style, subject, or aesthetic that your celebration is based around. It could be a very general idea, such as ‘nature’, or something very specific, such as ‘1920s art deco’.
A wedding doesn’t technically need a theme. Many weddings, especially smaller and simpler celebrations, aren’t themed at all. If you’d prefer, you can opt for simple elegance.
Some people feel that not having a wedding theme is more freeing, and less restrictive. But on the other hand, having a theme can be a blessing if you’re an indecisive sort of person. If you’re struggling to choose your colours, your décor or even your bridesmaids’ dresses, having a theme to work around can be helpful.
Is There a Difference Between Theme and Colour Scheme?
Your theme is not the same as your colour scheme. A colour scheme, as the name suggests, is purely based around shades and hues. But a theme, while it may lend itself to certain colours, is not entirely colour-based.
If you’re having a beach-themed wedding, you may look for decorations and dresses that are sandy-coloured or blue. But there’s so much more to a theme than just the colour. For example, seashell-shaped decorations, pebbles, and anchors would suit the beach theme, no matter what colour they are.
How to Choose Your Wedding Theme: Questions to Ask Yourself
The first thing you should do is familiarise yourself with potential themes. Start by looking in wedding magazines, or on the internet. Pinterest has some wonderful wedding ideas, and there are also wedding forums and Facebook groups that can offer inspiration.
Of course, you don’t want to choose a wedding theme based purely around what’s on-trend. Your wedding theme should be personal to you. To help find the right theme for you, ask yourself the following questions.
What Are Your Interests and Hobbies?
What makes you and your partner ‘tick’? Are you interested in fantasy novels and movies? Perhaps a fantastical, magical fairy-tale themed wedding would suit you.
Maybe you’re a big fan of glamorous celebrities, and love seeing everyone all dressed up at the Oscars. In that case, you might enjoy a formal glitz-and-glam wedding, with plenty of sparkle and sophistication. Or perhaps you’re a lover of everything old-fashioned, and would prefer a 50s theme wedding, complete with a jukebox in the dance hall.
What Is Your Wedding Venue Like?
If you’ve already decided upon your wedding venue, you can use this as inspiration for your theme. For example, if you’re getting married in a grand old stone castle, this would be the perfect setting for a medieval-themed wedding.
If you’re tying the knot in a coastal town by the sea, maybe a nautical themed wedding would be more appropriate. Getting married outdoors in a beautiful barn? Then you might enjoy a rustic-themed wedding inspired by nature, flowers and wood.
When Are You Getting Married?
The season in which you’re getting married can help to determine what sort of theme would suit your wedding. In fact, the seasons can even act as themes in themselves.
Imagine a spring-themed wedding in April: bridesmaids dressed in sweet pastel shades, and beautiful spring flowers adorning the ceremony room.
If you’re getting married in winter, you have lots of great options. How about a Christmas-themed wedding with lots of red, green and gold, holly and mistletoe, and a multi-tiered Christmas cake? Or consider a frosty ‘winter wonderland wedding’, with fake snow, icicle fairy lights and glittery ice-blue bridesmaids’ dresses.
What Are Your Favourite Colours?
Perhaps you have a favourite colour that you’ve always imagined featuring in your bridal bouquet, or a particular shade that you’d love your bridesmaids to wear. If you’ve already decided on colour scheme, this can be a big help in deciding on your theme.
For example, let’s say you’ve decided on sage green and dusky rose as your wedding colours. This is a very nature-inspired colour palette that would really suit a rustic, romantic garden or woodland themed wedding. Add some natural, stone or wooden accessories and you’re good to go.
What Is Your Budget?
Though you might not realise it at first, not all wedding themes are equal when it comes to the subject of money. Some themes are much easier to do on a smaller budget, while others are almost impossible.
If you’ve got a smaller budget, consider a genuine vintage-themed wedding. You can source almost all of your décor and even your wedding dress second hand – if it’s old-fashioned, it’ll suit your theme perfectly. But a romantic garden themed wedding will be costly – fresh flower arches, garlands and wreaths don’t come cheap.
How Formal Is Your Dream Wedding?
The formality level of a wedding can be used as a jumping-off point when exploring themes. For example, if you have your heart set on having a very formal, glamorous, black-tie wedding, then a woodland, bohemian or beach theme would probably not be the best idea.
But on the other hand, those themes would tie in perfectly with a more casual dress code. If you’re not opposed to the idea of getting married outdoors and your guests wearing sundresses, shirts and chinos, then go right ahead.
What Kind of Food Will You Serve?
If you’re a food-minded sort of person, you might consider the ideal grub that you’d like to serve at your wedding. The type of refreshments that you choose might help to inspire you when it comes to choosing your wedding theme.
For example: are you a fan of fine dining? If so, go all-out and have a ‘luxury’ themed wedding, dripping in elegance and sophistication. If the idea of having a candyfloss stall, a burger van and a pick ‘n’ mix station excites you, perhaps you’d love a carnival or fairground themed wedding (you can even hire rides)!
What Do Your Friends and Family Think?
Your wedding day is all about you and your partner, and of course you should go with a theme that really speaks to you personally. But if you’re looking for a second opinion, asking some of your close friends and family for their suggestions can be a real help.
You could perhaps make a shortlist of three or four themes that you’re considering. Float the idea with your bridesmaids, and see what they think – after all, your theme will likely influence the sorts of dresses they’ll be wearing.
You don’t have to take anyone’s advice, but your loved ones may come up with some great ideas.