Do we need a wedding theme?

Last night I had an email from a bride, feeling stressed that she didn’t have a wedding theme yet, and wondering how she could find one. The night before, I was talking to a couple on Skype who hadn’t figured one out and were a bit overwhelmed by the thought of pinning their dream wedding down into an idea. 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 a wedding theme. Today’s post will explain why a wedding theme is useful, and how to figure out what your wedding theme is going to be.

A wedding theme gives you somewhere to start

Having a theme gives you a starting point. You can literally do anything you want to – but -that’s overwhelming! So coming up with a theme gives you somewhere to begin looking. As a designer I LOVE hearing that people have a theme. Instead of presenting a couple with a hundred different options (totally possible, by the way), I can straight away present them with 5 or 10 invites that have the right sort of feel about them. Much less overwhelming.

A wedding theme helps you make decisions

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

Here’s an example: you may find four or five wedding invitations that you like – they fit your style, you like the colour, whatever. If you have a specific feel to your wedding in mind (say – rustic), and perhaps a particular colour or two, you can ignore the invites that don’t suit. This leaves you with only a couple of options to chose 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 wedding theme?

A wedding theme doesn’t mean your wedding guests have to wear fancy dress…

I remember helping organise my besties wedding. Her husband-to-be was horrified to hear there was such a thing as a “wedding style” or “wedding theme”. “I’m not having a bloody costume party” was word for word what he said.

The occasional wedding will be themed in that way, with guests wearing costumes – but for the vast majority of weddings, the style or theme of the day doesn’t dictate what people wear.

A theme 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 wedding décor and details to “make sense”. Each element of your wedding day works together to tell a story and set the scene, and having details that clash against each other causes confusion.

Did you struggle to come up with an overarching idea or theme for your wedding day? What did you end up settling on?

The next step is to create a wedding theme board. Here’s some instructions for how to put one together.

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