After determining your priorities and budget and establishing a planning timeline, the next step in wedding planning is determining a theme. How should your wedding feel and look?
A “theme” is the main idea driving such details as decorations, attire and flowers. While sometimes very specific — such as a Victorian wedding — a theme may be more general, like capturing a certain feeling. Brainstorm with your future spouse about adjectives you’d like associated with the wedding, such as “tropical,” “artistic” or “classic.” Then see what ideas those words generate.
Based on interviews conducted while researching an upcoming wedding planning book, I determined time of year is a popular thematic consideration. A seasonal theme, however, doesn’t always mean snowflakes in December and seashells in July. Rather, many couples find a subtle way to connect their wedding to the season.
For example, winter weddings may incorporate darker colors, contrasted with white, while those with spring or summer weddings may flirt with brighter colors and pastels.
If a holiday speaks to you, like Halloween or Christmas, use it for inspiration. Consider ways to play out a holiday theme less overtly — such as using the colors associated with the holiday — and search for related images on wedding sites or on Flickr.
Sometimes, the wedding site lends itself easily to a theme. Other times, people pick a site based on a preset theme.
A public garden, for example, lends itself to a “nature,” “spring” or even “fairytale” theme. But if you’re planning a “Gothic” or a “regal” theme, you’d be better off finding a site that evokes your vision, such as renting an historic estate.
Since weddings are so personal, themes often revolve around interests. One couple put together a fun and detailed wedding based on ” Babylon 5. ” My sister, who’s always loved bright colors and the natural world, evoked a tropical theme by bringing in potted plants and brightly colored paper lanterns to her ski resort wedding location.
When considering a theme, factor in your priorities. My husband, for example, didn’t want to wear an uncomfortable tie. While researching potential wedding attire, we discovered formal jackets with banded collars, which reminded me of the futuristic fashions of the 1960s.
I spent months looking through books and web pages for inspiration. In addition to using those ideas to select the elements of our wedding, I put together a slide show of related images, which we projected on a wall. The end result was our own, exclusive Space Age lounge.