It can’t be denied that a theme adds that extra level of interest for guests at any party. After opening the invitation questions will start running through their heads - what should they wear? What will the decorations be like? Will there be themed food and drink? Such speculation adds to their sense of anticipation and provides a great ice-breaker at the event.
Having a theme to your wedding will not only have the same effect on your guests, but will help you narrow down your choices and make decisions, as well as allowing you to put a personal stamp on your big day. Here’s some suggestions for successful themes and the ways in which they can be worked into the preparations.
Choosing a ThemeIt sounds like an intimidating prospect, but actually, a theme can be as simple as deciding on a colour scheme to use for the wedding. Don’t limit your chosen colours to flowers, dresses and groom’s accessories – ask the guests to dress in the same colours, get matching table linen and crockery, and even let off coloured fireworks in the evening. Two or three colours are your best bet if you’re asking the guests to dress up – only one and those who don’t suit pink or yellow will complain, while more than three will ruin the visual effect you’re trying to achieve.
Look to the natural world for inspiration as well. If you’re getting married outside, continue the ‘garden’ look with posies of wild flowers, water features and statues in your reception room, and decorate with greenery rather than formal bouquets. For beach brides, keep things going with marine-themed decorations and favours. Seasonal themes are a nice idea – use spring, summer, autumn or winter flowers and colours for a look that blends in perfectly with your wedding date.
If you want a more specific theme, make sure whatever you pick will have an immediate visual impact on your guests. Recognisable shapes like stars, moons, angels, animals and birds work brilliantly as decorations, so a theme like Heaven or The Animal Kingdom will look great. Musical styles like punk, country and western or classical all have paraphernalia you can incorporate. Try recreating places – a medieval castle or Moroccan boudoir - or go for a style of design like Art Deco.
Applying the ThemeMake things obvious to your guests from the outset by incorporating your theme into the invitations. Colour or decorative symbols will do the job – add a starfish for beach weddings or dried flowers for a garden do, for example.
With a colour- or flower-based theme, it’s easy to incorporate it in to your wedding outfits. For themes heavily reliant on symbols, it’s better to add them as accessories – look for jewellery, tiaras, cufflinks and the like with your chosen emblems. You can also consider having bespoke pieces made, or getting plain ones engraved.
Obviously the decoration should include several elements of your theme. Make sure there are some reminders in the ceremony venue – place them at the ends of rows of seating, around the officiant’s area or line the aisle with them. At the reception venue, incorporate your motifs into table centrepieces, crockery, glassware and napkins.
It’s obvious your cake should be decorated to match the theme, but try extending the embellishment to other items of food as well. Pick fruit and veg in co-ordinating colours, cut things like mousses or tian into appropriate shapes, and supplement dessert with decorated biscuits or cupcakes.
Themed wedding favours make a great memento of the day for guests. Countless websites offer help with appropriate favours, from individual chocolates to boxed sweets, personalised gifts or even miniature pot plants. Browse around the Internet until you find something that suits your needs.
If your entertainment can fit in with your theme, so much the better. Complement a harvest-themed autumn wedding with a barn dance, hire belly dancers for a decadent boudoir-themed bash, or grab a band in the appropriate musical style!
A great theme not only serves the practical purpose of interesting your guests – it’s the perfect way to express your own interests. So whether you’re an Elvis fan, a collector of Pop Art paintings or a devotee of old-fashioned musicals, start thinking about ways to showcase these at your wedding. After all, a wedding’s all about celebrating love and passion – and who’s to say that should start and end with your new spouse?