Planning your wedding can be one of the hardest, most time-consuming and even frustrating experiences of a couple’s life together. However, once you pinpoint a theme, you can move forward with the wedding of your dreams! Seriously, everything after that just seems to fall into place. The theme of your wedding determines all the aesthetic elements, attire (both for the wedding party and the guests), food choices, and even the inclusion of traditional, societal or religious features in your wedding. There are many components that contribute to the overall theme of your wedding. Also, keep in mind that you can balance various aesthetic elements across the listed themes by making one theme your primary focus and another one as your secondary focus. If you’re still on the fence regarding the style(s) or theme(s) of your wedding, keep reading for how you can incorporate various components into the theme of your dreams!
Components to think about when planning your wedding theme:
- Color palette
- Cake & dessert
- Traditional, societal & religious features
#1 Classic/Traditional: An Elegant White Wedding
A classic wedding theme means that you are creating an event that will remain valued throughout time: a traditional wedding will rival any trend that comes and goes. Though a classic wedding theme can incorporate just about any venue, the most common venues for this theme are country clubs, estates, hotels, ballrooms and banquet halls. Outdoor traditional venues include vineyards, gardens or formal courtyards. Regarding the season, a classic wedding theme is always in style and can work all year round! For the color palette, try to incorporate the venue’s preexisting color scheme (wallpaper, carpeting and lighting) with the classic wedding theme color palette (white, ivory, beige, gray or black). Avoid mix-and-match decor elements, as these will be too eclectic for a traditional wedding theme. When it comes to traditional wedding flowers, you can’t get more traditional than red roses. That attire should be black-tie required for the gentlemen, and a large, extravagant ball gown for the bride. And finally, it wouldn’t be a traditional wedding without a traditional, multi-tiered wedding cake.
#2 Destination Wedding
Why have your wedding at home when you can explore somewhere new? And seriously, how romantic would it be to fly to a country you’ve never been to before with the love of your life? A destination wedding is a great secondary focus for a wedding theme idea because the focus of this wedding theme is not necessarily on the various components that compose a wedding, but on the location. Whether you fancy the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Australia, Europe, South America, Africa or somewhere else, you will find that picturesque mountaintop, vineyard or white-sand beach you’ve been dreaming about. A destination wedding will never go out of style simply because the world we live in is a beautiful place, and transforming your celebration day into a celebration weekend (or week!) is completely irresistible. Additionally, with coordinates jewelry from Sincerely Silver, you can keep that special place and destination with you even after the ceremony comes to a close.
#3 Vintage Wedding
If you like the classic wedding theme idea but want to mix it up a bit, go vintage! The vintage wedding theme has some serious style with inspiration drawn from decades past. Inspired by the rolling hills and fresh flavors of Tuscany, the vintage theme captures the elegance of an older era. For a vintage wedding, think handmade lace, muted colors and chic decor to make your wedding extra special. The bride’s gown can be made of lace, a matching bolero and sheer sleeves. A muted, vintage-inspired color palette could include ivory, slate gray, rose and gold. Vintage decor could include unusually-shaped chandeliers, billowy fabrics to create a faux canopy held back with twine, or covered chairs with a floral detail. For the ceremony and reception, rely on antique-looking decor, like weathered doors and old, wooden seats. The vintage theme could extend to dinner and various serving elements, as well: consider including French baguettes, freshly made lemonade, a spread of produce and a five-tier, all-white cake with a vintage cake figurine placed on top. To finish off the vintage theme, you and your new spouse could drive away in a classic getaway car, like a Porsche or a Volkswagen.
#4 Rustic, Country Chic Wedding
Dreaming of a rustic, country chic wedding? Go all out and create a wedding composed entirely of rustic flair! Though the country wedding theme doesn’t have to take place in a barn, it definitely doesn’t hurt! Some common decor elements of a rustic, country wedding theme include hay bales, horseshoes, cowboy boots, burlap, lace, homemade pies and mason jars! For attire, consider going with cowboy hats, jeans and blazers for the guys, and printed dresses with pockets for the bridesmaids! A rustic, country bouquet is one that is intentionally imperfect — pick an arrangement that looks like it could have come straight from the garden! Host your ceremony in front of an outdoor chapel and incorporate a burlap-trimmed banner to introduce the bride. For the reception, greet your guests with a chalkboard menu propped up by bales of hay. For a country-style getaway, paint a vintage style truck to match the color palette of your wedding.
#5 Casual, Garden Party
A garden party wedding incorporates some of the elements of the traditional wedding theme. For instance, a garden party-themed wedding often appreciates an all-white attire, traditional features (such as the father walking the bride down the aisle, traditional vows and the cutting of the cake), a cocktail hour accompanied by light wood lounge furniture, and dinner on a ceremony lawn with either long banquet hall tables or smaller, circular white tablecloth-clad tables. The main features of an outdoor-themed garden party are the focus on an intimate guest list and a casual ceremony. This laidback style is perfect for a secondary focus of a wedding theme, backyard weddings or if you have the summer or spring seasons in mind!
#6 Whimsical & Alternative
The whimsical, alternative wedding theme incorporates elements from both the modern, luxe wedding theme (#7) and the bohemian wedding theme (#8). In general, the idea here is to just completely go wild. An off-beat bride does need to take a normal, traditional route: with a whimsical or alternative wedding theme, you can do what you’re told you shouldn’t do and have your dream wedding. Push the boundaries with either a moody color palette (think black and gray) or one with bright splashes of color! Whether black or rainbow describes you best (or a combination of both), what’s important for this wedding theme is that it is completely out of the norm. Incorporate design elements like multicolored balloons, streamers, wild and outrageous floral arrangements or mismatched rainbow chairs. Or, if you’re tired of the been-there-done-that wedding decor, nix traditional elements (like flowers) altogether: for the centerpiece for your reception dinner, go with black candles, art deco luminaries, or a black and gold geometric sculpture. This wedding theme works well as a primary wedding theme with a specific location (such as a beach or a vineyard) as the secondary focus.
#7 Modern & Luxe Wedding
Modern wedding themes are becoming increasingly more popular as a way for couples to break with the traditional mold and create a wow factor for their special day. Also known as luxe weddings, contemporary and glamorous elements are being incorporated into wedding design features more frequently, since they tend to give the guests something to remember the day by. A modern wedding theme includes glam elements and aesthetics, such as large floral installations, pyrotechnics on the dancefloor, minimal design, a structural backdrop for your ceremony or a bold color scheme. The intention of the modern wedding theme is to break the mold of the traditional, classic wedding theme, so the sky’s the limit! For attire, go against the grain of the traditional wedding dress and wear a pink dress, have your bridesmaids choose their own color dress, or go with non-traditional bouquets, like orchids, calla lilies or sunflowers. Incorporate modern decor elements like a candle, crystal or fruit centerpiece for your reception dinner, a lounge area with modern furniture for your reception, or a fog machine for the dance floor! Have your ceremony at an unconventional venue, like at an aquarium, a National Park, or on a boat! Though similar to the whimsical and alternative wedding theme, the modern, luxe wedding theme focuses specifically on modern aesthetic design elements, whereas the alternative wedding style is completely out-of-the-box wild.
#8 Bohemian Wedding
A bohemian wedding theme is cool, carefree and beautiful. For this wedding theme, keep your venue decorations elegant and simple, with oriental rugs lining the aisles and altar, decorative pillows for your guests or on display at the ceremony, or hanging macramé decorations. For your color palette, boho weddings definitely aren’t complete without a touch of gold or brass. Incorporate gold personalized wine glasses to add sparkle to your open bar and that your guests can take home as a parting gift. Your bohemian wedding reception should include cozy centerpieces, such as mercury glass or brass candle holders and sprigs of greenery. Use jewel-toned green accents, feathers and ribbons in your chandeliers, as garlands over doorways and in your bouquets. Large, wooden triangles draped with green garlands create the ultimate bohemian display. For your bohemian wedding dress, go with a strapless or halter design. To stay warm, choose a lace sweater to wear over your gown. The color palette of your bohemian wedding often includes white lace, gorgeous greens, deep reds and burnt oranges mixed with your gold and brass details.
#9 Beach & Nautical Wedding
Let’s face it: a ceremony on the beach is ultra-romantic! A beach wedding is primarily centered on the location: at the beach. Beach weddings still make the top 10 list for most popular wedding themes and are a lot more popular along the coasts of the US than they are elsewhere around the world. However, you can also incorporate beachy and nautical elements into your reception and ceremony for a truly beach-themed wedding. Arbours, greenery and bare feet pair well with a beach wedding, so kick off your shoes and dig your toes into the sands of marriage. Whether you’re tying the knot at a destination beach wedding or your hometown along the coast, a nautical theme pairs nicely with a seaside ceremony. Incorporate beach motifs in your reception, like seashells, anchors, ropes or miniature sailboats as part of the centerpieces! Utilize a white, blue, and sand color palette for your tablecloths, napkins and attire.
#10 Vineyard Wedding
Like a beach wedding, garden wedding or destination wedding, the focus of a vineyard wedding is on its location, not necessarily its design elements, making it a great secondary feature for your wedding. Though vineyard weddings may have gone down in popularity recently, winery weddings still make up about 19% of all wedding venues as the second most popular venue location. Most couples use the vineyard as the setting for their ceremony, but do not necessarily incorporate the location into their theme. Instead, they might utilize a rustic, country wedding theme or a vintage, romantic wedding theme as their primary wedding theme feature while they get married at a vineyard.
#11 DIY Wedding
This wedding theme is growing in popularity in modern times and has only just recently taken hold of the wedding industry. A lot of couples are utilizing the DIY wedding theme as a secondary theme, while their primary theme remains vintage, country or bohemian, for instance. Essentially, a DIY wedding as a secondary focus of a wedding entails a lot of decorations and styling as heavily influenced by Pinterest or Instagram. This way, young couples can incorporate expensive-looking design features without the weight of a heavy price tag. However, if this sounds appealing to you, keep in mind that some elements can actually end up being more expensive if you do them yourselves, so always look into your purchase, hire and DIY options before you make a decision. Regardless of which wedding theme you go with, you will feel so much better once you’ve found a style that speaks to you and you finally cross this major decision off of your wedding planning checklist!
This post was written by Kara Roberts, blogger and content writer for Sincerely Silver. We specialize in creating custom made jewelry in sterling silver, gold and rose gold and have been featured in a number of publications, including Glamour. For gift ideas and personalized jewelry creations, check out our blog!