Updated: Oct 29, 2021
Wedding themes are a real people-divider. Some love them, others wouldn’t theme their wedding if someone paid them for it. Here at Jae Brilliant, we adore themed weddings. So, we’ve put together a list of 4 potential themes and how to bring your A-game for the most magical day of your lives.
The theme of your wedding is the perfect way to show people who you are as a couple. It conveys what makes you, as a partnership, thrive. Whether that’s an unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter or a very clear Gatsby addiction, choosing a theme should come from the pair of you.
That said, picking a theme out of potentially thousands of interests can be tricky. So, we’ve put together a list of 12 wedding themes and how to make the most out of them. This week, we’ll be going through our first 4.
Let us know which of our 4 is your favorite in the comments section below.
1. Tropical Wedding Theme
Ah, to be at the beach. Can’t you just picture it now? Sipping on a cocktail from a coconut as the sun belts down, your toes dipped in the cool water of your hotel pool.
If you and your partner are totally tropical obsessed, then a tropical wedding theme may be the perfect fit for you.
You don’t necessarily need to have the white sand and crystal clear water at your disposal for a tropical themed wedding. As long as you’ve got clear vision and you’re ready to dive deep into theme-town, then you’ve got all you need.
You can totally pick a beach as a venue. However, if this isn’t to your taste but you still want to capture the tropical, Hawaii feels: we’ve got you.
You’re going to want to pick a venue with a botanical vibe or with orangeries. And, don’t skimp on the natural light. It’s absolutely crucial for a tropical wedding. It could be raining cats and dogs outside, but if you have the right amount of sunlight entering the room, you’ll still get that vacation-esque sense. If the room entices natural light like a magnet, it’ll feel far more sunny than it actually is.
Tropical wedding themed decor is always a hoot. You should aim to get wooden beams and chairs, making them easy to ‘dress up’. Go for some brightly colored ribbon to wrap around your chairs - pink, blue or green lend themselves beautifully to this theme. You’ll also want to invest in some tropical garlands, because the tropical foliage is what gets our vacation-meter spinning in the right direction.
Whenever you see a palm tree, your initial reaction is ‘vacation’. So, use this to develop the theme. Grab palm tree leaves and a sharpie to create your name cards. Use the same palm tree leaves as centerpieces.
It’s important that you use either clear or brightly colored vases. If you go for a pastel color, it’ll ruin the ‘vibe’.
When it comes to catering your guests appetite and thirst, the tropical theme is a sure winner. Who doesn’t like tooty-fruity cocktails with a straw and umbrella in them? Use traditional cocktail glasses or coconuts and embrace the utter relaxation that comes from that very first sip.
And, if you’re hosting a wedding where you know your guests will be underage, fruit juices make perfect mocktails. The kiddos could even get their own umbrella and twirly straw with a strawberry stuck on top. They’ll feel like real grown ups and getting them to eat fruit will be a fantastic gift to their parents!
(That’s a bonus, of course. But it is a great way to say ‘thank you’ for their gifts in advance.)
Dish out fresh fruit on kebab sticks for that extra tropical feel. Or, freeze some tropical, fruity ice-pops at home the day before the big day.
On the alcohol front, you don’t get much more tropical than rum. So, deliver it in buckets.
(Perhaps not buckets. Wait. Perhaps in buckets. How cool would that be?)
When you select a themed wedding, it’s important that your clothing reflects that theme, which includes the wedding dress. I’m not saying swap the dress out for a Hawaiin Hula outfit.
But, you are going to want to select a floaty dress. Choosing something too tight leans toward a different theme and the wedding photos will pick up on this.
Bridesmaid dresses are a perfect way to nod toward the theme, too. You’re not too restricted when it comes to the color choices.
Bajan Wed’s post shows some great color combos for bridesmaids dresses which suit tropical weddings. They’ve even suggested going for multiple colors, which is perfect if you have a fair few bridesmaids.
If you like the concept of your bridesmaids having different styles but think too many colors clash, consider using varying shades. While the overall color scheme could be tropical blue, you can then vary the intensity for each bridesmaid.
The tropical wedding theme is a firm favorite in 2020, and we totally understand why.
If you and your partner had a special vacation that you want to recreate or you’re a lover of all things tropical - from the food to the natural spectacularities, a tropical theme is a truly stunning way to go.
Beach weddings are beautiful, but they’re limiting with the amount of guests you can have. So, if this puts a damper on your sunny day, fear not: bring the beach to you, (and as many guests as you’d like), by opting for a tropical theme.
2. Festival Wedding Theme
Festivals are so much fun. There’s no dressing that up. But, you know what you can dress up? Your special day!
Festival wedding themes are perfect for couples who have an infectious, fun energy. If you want to stand out and have a genuinely unforgettable wedding, the festival theme is a great choice.
The festival wedding theme is not for a ‘classic’ bride and groom. If you’re a lover of glitz and glam and have been dreaming about the traditional wedding since you were a kid, this is not for you.
If you’re a little quirky for all the right reasons and you embrace parties, laughter and music, though - this very well could be for you.
This theme is all about being loud. Loud in color, loud in volume and loud in lasting memory.
That said, it’s perfectly suited to couples who are laid back and enjoy the outdoors. With that in mind, this theme works brilliantly in the summer. If you’re dying for a festival themed wedding but are planning to host your special day in the fall or winter, there are ways around it. So, don’t lose faith.
The festival themed wedding is all about fun, intricate details. And, the beautiful thing about this theme is that you can stretch one amazing day into an unforgettable weekend!
And why have one day when you can have two, right?
It starts with your invitations. Here’s a chance for you to introduce the theme in style. Either design them like concert tickets or get personalized wristbands like a real festival.
Check out Wristband Resources for personalized wristbands from as little as $0.3 per wristband!
You’ll want to select a venue with a lot - and I mean a lot - of outdoor space. Your whole wedding is going to be taking place outside and you’re replicating a festival, so the outdoor space is one of the most important factors.
You also need a marquee or tipi. These little babies are fantastic as it gives you a completely blank canvas to work from. By the time you’ve finished decorating, they will not look like blank, massive tents. Trust me.
And, what’s a festival without live music? (Hint: it’s not).
Make sure you pick a band that flatters the type of music you want playing at your wedding. Whether you go for a hard rock band or a slow, Indie band, be sure to pick something family-friendly that speaks to you as a couple.
If you’re turning your one special day into a weekend, you will probably need more than one band. Bear that in mind and create a timetable for who is playing and when.
Before you start enquiring about bands, write down a list of the songs you are fixed on. Then, you can add suggestions once your band(s) has been selected.
Wedding signs are super popular with this theme. Check out Wedfest for all things wedding festivals.
And don’t forget to feed and water, (we say ‘water’. We mean ‘beer’), your guests. Set up food and drink stands. Street food really makes this theme come to life. And, when it comes to booze: beer, cider and pimms seem to work best.
(Make sure you provide soft drinks for the little ones or people who don’t drink alcohol! Sodas work just fine).
With the festival wedding theme, you need to bear in mind that you are going to be outdoors for 90% of the time. As such, dress accordingly. You don’t need to swap a ballgown for a pair of dungarees, but your wedding dress should be non-restrictive. Take a peek at boho wedding dresses and floral crowns.
And, while we’re on the topic of clothing, it might be worth asking your guests to bring some waterproof wear just in case. Even in August, the weather can be unpredictable.
The festival wedding theme is perfect for couples who embrace music and love living in the moment.
They want to host the perfect wedding, not just for themselves, but for everybody else, too. This couple doesn’t do things by the book and their wedding will go down in history for the most epically fun wedding weekend.
3. Fairytale Wedding Theme
The fairytale wedding theme has always been popular and it’s likely that it always will be. The whole expression is to have a ‘fairytale wedding’ and it’s likely due to Disney that we’re all for it.
Fairytale weddings are not for the faint hearted. They’re totally and utterly extra, but in the most magically glorious way possible.
For a true fairytale wedding, you’re going to want to pull out all the stops and more. I’m talking a 3-course, sit down dinner with elaborate floral arrangements, glitter and a top table worthy of a Princess.
You’re going to want to stress to your guests that the dress code is black tie and glamor. With that, your decor should complement the elegance of your wedding party.
Bridesmaids look beautiful in blushing shades of rose, topped off by rose-gold accessories. This also works as a perfect accent for the bride’s wedding dress.
Fairytale wedding dresses are usually grand, sparkly and stunning. It’s unlikely that the bride will wear anything other than white and will usually have a Cinderella ‘poof’ in the skirt.
(Otherwise known as crinoline).
No fairytale wedding is complete without the perfect, fairytale cake. With this delicious piece of art, you’re going to want to have as many tiers as possible. The more tiers you have, the closer you are to being a true Princess.
Or, that’s what I’ve been told.
Transport is key. Turning up to your fairytale wedding in a van doesn’t align. But, you know what does? A horse and carriage. And what better to meet you when you take your first step out of your glass carriage than a string quartet?
To feel like true royalty, spend a large chunk of your budget on your bridal suite. You’re a princess, after all. Embrace it.
The fairytale wedding theme will remain popular because of the way we view it in movies. As children, we’re all mesmerized and entranced by our favorite Disney princesses and princes tying the knot. And, as adults, it’s truly no different.
This theme is perfect for couples who are hopeless romantics. They want everyone to remember their wedding for being the most elegant, beautiful day. You don’t get much more extra than a fairytale wedding, but it’s a theme fit for royalty.
And if there was ever a day where you felt like a real princess, your wedding day is it.
4. Nautical Wedding Theme
There’s nothing quite as romantic as the ocean. While a tropical theme includes crystal clear waves and white sand, the nautical theme is centered on the ocean and ships.
If you are both true sailing enthusiasts or you adore the sea, the nautical theme could be the perfect choice. And, if you do select this theme, it might be worth hiring a ship for your venue. Failing that, a beach venue will do the trick.
Your wedding photos will be fantastic should you select the nautical wedding theme. Think about the props you can use, the background setting and the color scheme. I’m getting excited just thinking about it.
And, talking about color schemes, with the nautical wedding theme, it’s generally best to select a blue and white scheme. If you want to be a little different to those who have used this theme before, it may be worth using varying shades of blue rather than block navy. That way, you’re able to show all the colors of the ocean.
Nautical decor is beautifully evocative. Beach motifs like shells, anchors and ropes do brilliantly. Combine that with centerpieces which involve beach pebbles, hard candy and beach hut table numbers and you’re onto a winner fit for a captain.
Plus, if you’ve got little ones in your family - whether you have kids yourself, a niece or nephew, godchildren, grandchildren - you could take a trip to the beach for them to collect suitable shells and pebbles.
A fun filled day out for the family and free decor. What could be better?
If you’re investing in a photo booth, you can bring the theme to life by incorporating props. Go for snorkel sets, captain hats, beach balls and starfishes to capture the essence of the ocean.
Like many of the themes on our list so far, brides should select a dress with some real float to it. Just like the ships upon the sea, you want the skirt of your dress to float as you dance the night away.
There really is nothing more spectacular than the sea. It’s truly beautiful. So, what better inspiration for your wedding day?
The perfect theme for couples who adore the beach, have close ties to the ocean or simply love the colors of the nautical theme.
I don’t like any of these themed weddings.
Don’t panic! We’re only 1 third into the themes on our list. Stay tuned for part 2 which is published on [insert date here].
Out of our first 4 themes, which was your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below.