I wasn’t aware that so many weddings have “themes” until we started planning our own. Perusing the bookstore wedding racks one day, I found an article about developing your theme, with some examples – movies, sports, travel, birds.
Wait – BIRDS? Like, as a THEME?
Oh MAH God. Totally perfect, I thought. One, I love birds. Like seriously obsessed. And we both love music – which ties in with birds, I think, right? Songbirds, sure. My one and only tattoo, which I got just two year ago, is a music note with wings. So… yeah. And birds could signify so much. Freedom, lovebirds… um, cute stuff. So I decided that our theme would be BIRDS. We’d use a birdcage as a card box, and do lovebirds on our invitations, and stencil little white birds on glass jars and bottles for our centerpieces.
And then, as I so often do, I drifted away from that idea, partially because Mr. Ladyfingers kept screwing up his face when I would talk about it and making sideways comments about how our theme was birds because *I* love birds.
So I kinda struggled for a bit on the theme tip. I saw lots of lovely examples – for instance, a movie theme where the programs listed the bridal party as members of a cast, and movie posters dotted the décor.
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Image via Weddingbee/TennisChick30
Or a music theme, with signage done in “gig poster” style and mix CDs as favors – or even as invitations!
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Then there were the general “season” themes – a fall theme for a fall wedding, a winter theme for a winter wedding.
See, I thought it was kind of unnecessary to have a theme – but it turns out it’s really not at all. It helps us tie everything together and make decisions when we find something we love. “Will that fit into your theme?” I have to ask myself before buying anything. “No. But I want it anyway.” “Too bad.”
Having a theme most recently helped me narrow down my fabric selection when purchasing yards for my bunting project (stay tuned for that one!). It’s helped tremendously in communicating with vendors, especially the florist and the caterer, who will be in large part responsible for executing all the décor from all the pieces of DIY I give them a few days pre-wedding.
So what’s our theme? Vintage-modern. (MOH Ginger calls it “vintage whimsical,” and that’s why I love her.) What does that mean? It means some lace, but not lace all over. It means soft gray as the main color and yellow and hot pink as the accent colors. It means roses and lisianthus in the bouquets, along with yellow button pompoms. It means countless other things that only I can define, but which totally work for us.
Struggling to develop a theme?
- I’m sure you’re gathering tons of inspiration pictures and links. Print them all out or cut and paste them into a digital collage board, and try to identify the things that tie all your lovely ideas together. Is there a common color? A style? An era? If all your ideas are totally glamorous, perhaps an Old Hollywood theme would suit you well. If you love the Victorian look, there’s a theme right there for ya.
- Talk about what the two of you most love. For some couples, there’s one big thing that sort of defines them. If you love to cross the globe, then a travel theme would be awesome – maps, compasses, geographically-coordinated table numbers. If you’re both musicians or otherwise involved with music, refer to the music themed ideas above. I’ve seen photography themed weddings for photographer couples, and nature themed weddings for ecologically oriented couples.
- Do one or both of you have a strong cultural background? Weddings based on tradition have built-in themes. If you both hail from different cultures, mix and match for something that’s so you (as in both of you). This is both highly personal and a shoo-in for great décor and attire ideas.
- When in doubt, pick a simple one. If your inspirations are all over, you like a ton of styles, and you both love everything so much that you can’t pick just one defining theme, never fear: Try the seasons. Or use your colors as a theme – seriously, it’s super easy and it counts, because colors inherently have “feels” to them. If your colors are turquoise and red, your theme is bold and fun. If your colors are blush and bashful, then your theme is soft and romantic.
Now that you have your theme, love it and flaunt it! Stick with it (especially after you begin buying things to go with it) and give it your all. I love our theme. Already have one? What’s yours? How did you land upon it? How are you illustrating it throughout the wedding?