Theme weddings have been occurring more frequently lately, a fact that we simultaneously love and dislike. Before choosing to have a theme wedding, we recommend that our couples think long and hard about what, exactly, throwing a theme wedding means.
Before going further, it’s necessary to explain what a theme wedding is not. A theme wedding is not one in which a color scheme, pattern, or other decorative element is carried throughout the event. That scroll work you love and have put on your invitations, menus, and the ribbon on your bouquets? That’s not a theme, that’s a décor element.
A theme wedding is one in which a main idea covers the entire event. We like to define it as a “noun that decorates your wedding.” If you remember back to elementary school English class, a noun is a “person, place, thing, quality, or idea” (at its most basic definition). “Circus” is a noun because it identifies a thing; therefore, a “circus” can be a theme. Scrollwork does not fit within any of the definitions of a noun, so therefore it’s not a theme.
Okay, enough English lessons (it’s still early in the day, I know). What I hope you take away from that mini-lesson is that throwing a theme wedding means having a noun dominate every aspect of your planning. Does that sound like a lot of work? It most certainly can be!
There are two general rules for planning a theme wedding:
The theme must dominate and be pervasive. The theme you select must be apparent and present in every aspect of your décor – from main elements (tents) to small items (glassware or escort cards). Subtle hints, décor, or other indications of a theme almost always fall short of and leave guests confused: “Why was there a circus billboard as our table number when everything else was pastel colored?”
The theme must be apparent. Remember the noun rule – any theme must be easily identifiable.
Now, for what it means, exactly, to throw a theme wedding:
You will have to always keep that theme in mind. Not only in terms of whether something you want will fit the theme in terms of color, size, or function, but whether it will look right doing so.
You will have to put the theme first in everything. This means that your theme will have to dominate your choices. For example, you probably shouldn’t pick a circus theme if you don’t want your bridesmaids to wear bright colors.
Everyone else will have to be on board. You and your fiancé must be on the same page regarding the theme, otherwise it just won’t work. If your fiancé hates clowns, you can’t have a circus-themed wedding because he won’t want to pick anything that matches the theme.
You will likely get sick of the theme. We’re sorry to admit it, but the all-out dominance of the theme often means that couples never want to see anything having to do with that theme ever again, or at least not for a few months after the wedding.
If you’re debating whether to have a theme wedding, consider:
Whether you really like your chosen noun enough to have it be the focus of your wedding. We hate to admit it, but a theme wedding can somewhat overshadow the couple.
Whether you really like your noun enough to have it appear in your photos. Photographs of your wedding are permanent and can’t be redone. It’s also impossible to have your photos NOT show your theme (remember the pervasiveness of your theme). Make sure you want to always remember that theme for the rest of your life.
Whether you really like your noun enough to have it be your main thought throughout the entire planning process.
Whether everyone involved in wedding planning is on board with your chosen noun.
Uncertain about a theme wedding? Let the idea ruminate in your mind for a few days or weeks. If you’re still unsure whether a “night in the clouds” theme is right for you after thoroughly thinking it through, it most likely isn’t.