The theme of any wedding is you, the couple – getting married. Many couples very much have elements of a decor theme, meaning something important to their relationship, or something inspired by the venue, or the season the wedding will be taking place in.
It’s actually rare that a decor “theme” isn’t part of what inspires your wedding design. We’ve had weddings on the coast with sand, rocks, and sea shells working their way in to the decor without smacking guests in the face with seaweed and beachwear. Or weddings in Spring in a garden setting, with bright bold blooming peonies and other spring florals without informing guests – this wedding brought to you by Mother Nature and Spring. The key in design is to incorporate elements in to your wedding without deep diving in to a fundraiser style over-the-top full blown theme party, unless such things really appeal to you.
This year, The 4th of July, and Halloween fall on a Saturday, Roaring 20s full Gatsby is in for any Saturday, here are some tips on how to design a themed wedding without making it weird for your guests.
Decide if this is a mild theme, or central to your big day
A mild theme is – we are getting married in an old building, we want it to feel like a speak easy with hints of vintage Gatsby, but we don’t need everyone dressed as a gangster or a flapper.
A Central Focused Theme means everything from your invites to the password to get in to the feather tree centerpieces, coup martini glasses and fringed assed bridesmaids dresses with groomsmen in Zoot Suits – are going to be part of your wedding.
Having a 4th of July wedding? Respect the reality that your guests love you and America. Choose a venue, and a timeline, that will balance the traditions of the day and your celebration. Example, see if you and the bridal party can be in your hometown parade that morning if you are marrying near home. Allow time to get your hair and makeup done after but before the wedding. Don’t wear your wedding gear, wear patriotic attire fit for a bridal party. Don’t forget to buy and prepare candy to toss to the kids watching. Make sure your reception venue and budget either afford you the opportunity for fireworks at the end, or that your venue is near a big fireworks display you can incorporate in to your wedding events, with appropriate viewing opportunities for you and your guests.
Don’t surprise your guests in a way that will make them feel left out
If you are having a Halloween themed wedding, don’t make that ambiguous. Spell it out in your wedding invite, on your wedding website, and directly to your guests. Wouldn’t you feel awkward being the only guest to show up as a traditional wedding guest, surrounded by zombies, bunnies, and devils? Conversely, if your wedding is on Halloween, and you’ll have fall colors, some cute pumpkins in the decor, tables named after haunted places, some fun named custom His & Hers cocktails, but otherwise a classy traditional wedding, don’t send Corpse Bride themed invites with ambiguous wording. Nobody wants to be the weirdo who shows up as a sexy clown, while everyone else is in cocktail dresses.
Tacky is always tacky, too much is always too much – except when it’s totally not
Nobody wants to eat eyeball soup or brains, at your wedding feast. A cute fun name for an appetizing meal is fine, but don’t gross people out while they’re trying to eat. Have fun naming your tables! But don’t be icky. “Shanghai Tunnels” – good name of a local haunted place. “Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum” – your guests may be offended you sat them here, or you may put your bridal party here and they will find it freakin awesome! Know your audience.
Have a fun photo booth with boas, feathers and old prohibition props, that’s cool, but don’t put MAGA hats in there – even if Uncle Dan would love it. Keep politics out of your 4th of July (or any) wedding day, unless politics are a key part of who you are, or if you are actual politicians. Also, funny is always funny – for example, we had a client name a table “Trump & Twitter” last year that’s just perfectly funny.
Don’t have your DJ play all swing and The Charleston. A little bit goes a long way! Trust your DJ, they know the right balance of what’s fun and what fits the theme and crowd.
On that note, consider instead of doing The Time Warp down the aisle, have your bridal party do it as your grand reception entrance. Timing is everything at a wedding.
Here’s a perfect example of designing with a theme, while not turning your wedding in to a Mad Hatter Tea Party, IRL
Our couple collected vintage books, teapots, milk glass, tea cups, plates, and glass pieces from thrift stores. We painted all of the clear glass gold, stacked salad plates and dinner plates using glue and dollar tree candlesticks and created these designs for the guest tables.
We have only July 4 available still in July, and October 31, in October. We’d actually love to plan either so we are offering $200 off any Day Of, Partial or Full Service bookings for either of those dates only. You don’t have to have the date as a theme, but we’d love it if you let us help you do so!