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Do You Need a Wedding Theme? 3 Reasons Why You Do!

Last night I had an email from a bride, feeling stressed that she didn’t have a theme yet, and wondering if she needed one. This question comes up often: “Do we need a wedding theme?”

Strictly speaking, you don’t need one – there’s no box on the marriage license that you fill out “theme: rustic woodland” or “theme: enchanted garden”! But when couples ask me, I say yes – you do need one. Today’s post will explain why having one is useful, and how to figure out what your theme is going to be.

Amazing wedding ceremony with a lot of fresh flowers in Rustic style. Happy newlyweds kissing

Why do you need a wedding theme?

Technically you don’t need one but having one gives you a starting point. When planning your own wedding, you can literally do anything you want to which gets overwhelming! So coming up with a theme gives you somewhere to begin looking.

Today’s post will show why having a theme is useful, and how to figure out what yours is going to be.

Wedding Theme vs Motif

You’ll hear that both wedding theme and wedding motif terms are thrown around when covering wedding planning, which leads to the question – ‘What’s the difference between a wedding theme and a wedding motif?’

To put it simply, a wedding theme is centered around a subject or idea. A motif on the other hand refers to recurring colours or symbols used in the wedding.

Photo Credit: Sinead Jenkins Photography

So, do you need a theme for your wedding?

Here are 3 reasons why it’s super helpful to have one.

1. It gives you somewhere to start

It gives you a starting point. You can literally do anything you want to but that can be very overwhelming! So coming up with a theme gives you somewhere to begin looking.

2. It gives your wedding a cohesive feel

A subtle theme done right won’t necessarily be apparent to your guests. But what it will do is allow your décor and details to “make sense”. Each element of your day works together to tell a story and set the scene, and having details that clash against each other causes confusion.

3. It helps you make decisions

Having an overarching theme for your wedding day certainly helps with making decisions on the details.  You are able to run your options through the filter of “does it fit my theme” and quickly make a call on whether the flowers are a good fit, the bridesmaid dresses are the right colour or the invitations are perfect.

Here’s an example: you may find four or five invitations that you like – they fit your style, you like the colour, whatever. If you have a specific feel to your special day in mind (say – rustic), and perhaps a particular colour or two, you can ignore the invites that don’t suit you. This leaves you with only a couple of options to choose from, and you are less overwhelmed by decisions. Instead of presenting your partner with half a dozen options and saying “what do you think?” you can present two and say “which one?”.

You’ll also find this filter useful when you stumble across something and think “that’s a great idea”! Just because something is a great idea doesn’t mean you should do it. Perfect situation for this – before you embark on an ambitious DIY project, ask yourself, is it something that actually fits with your theme?

Autumn decorations for the wedding ceremony. Wedding arch for off-site wedding ceremony, decorated in autumn theme.

Bonus reason

I chatted to Brittany from The Wedding Coach NZ who says a wedding theme should reflect the couple’s personal style. This will create an atmosphere that looks and feels like them.

This allows the couple to feel truly like themselves in a very special moment that they will share together with their loved ones.


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