From fairytale nuptials, complete with tiaras and horse-drawn carriages to a Las Vegas themed wedding complete with tuxedoed croupiers and roulette tables, whatever your passion or style, there’s no reason why your big day can’t reflect the true you.
Aussie bush theme
If you’re after a more casual wedding, what about a good old bush barbeque? From simple plaid table cloths and a well-stocked Eski to bouquets and boutonnieres peppered with sprays of wattle, the atmosphere can be as laid-back (or formal) as you wish and the key to pulling it off successfully is keeping it simple.
Timber benches and bales of hay can be used for seating (or even tables) and they look wonderfully down-to-eart when they’re set up around a square dancing area. Gum leaves and gum nuts make for gorgeously patriotic placeholders (write each guest’s name on a leaf) and, for lighting,think candles in coloured glass jars strung on twine around the venue, or tasteful fairy lights in just one or two colours.
Of course, there’s no reason why the Aussie theme has to be so casual. You’d be surprised at just how elegant a three-tiered cake decorated with sprigs of sugar wattles can look, or or beautifully green and gold can be incorporated into even the most traditional wedding colour-scheme.
The sky’s the limit
For one Australian groom, the sky really was the limit when it came to showing his bride how much he loved her. Matt Caffey, a native of Newport, Australia, made headlines in 2009 when he parachuted onto the beach for his wedding – following a daring sky-dive. According to reports, his in-laws were so awe struck, they pledged to do one themselves for charity just a few months later! It’s certainly a feat that won’t be for the faint-hearted, but the theme does have potential. If you can’t quite bring yourself to free-fall from a plane whilst exchanging vows, how about arriving to your reception in a helicopter, glider or hot air balloon?
A woodland wonderland
If you’re planning to exchange vows beneath the boughs of old trees, a few scattered logs will provide ample seating for guests. Tree trunks covered with pristine white linens and pretty woven grass place mats make for versatile eating areas. You could even have grass woven centrepieces with dainty sprays of spring daffodils. Depending on your taste, a harpist or violinist could be called upon to provide ambient background music, and as night falls, clusters of candles, tea-lights or fairy lights will add a touch of the ethereal to your party! Think light and laughter! Think A Midsummer Night’s Dream!
Fancy yourself as a courtier performing the Pavane as your first dance? History is choc full of inspiration when it comes to wedding planning, and you don’t have to go to great lengths to pull it off. The Elizabethan era was known for refined elegance, mirrored in the elaborate feasts of spit-roast hog, grouse and peacock, as well as smoked meats and pasties. It was around this time the early violin was invented, an accompaniment to the court lute and harpsichord. Receptions were extravagant drawn out parties; think long, linen covered tables adorned with tall candelabras, miniature copies of old paintings as place cards and court jesters performing poetry and magic as entertainment!
Have you ever dreamed of swimming with dolphins or diving with sharks? If you haven’t quite got the pluck to make your fantasy a reality, an aquarium themed wedding could be the next best thing. Obviously the real thing is dependent upon getting permission (and a suitable date) at an aquarium not too far from your home town, but it is possible. Alternatively, you could charter a glass-bottomed boat for a day; exchange vows on the rolling waves, and let your guests have fun spotting marine life until the sun goes down!
It’s generally a day associated with hearts, flowers and impromptu proposals over a candlelit dinner, but February 14th is also fast becoming a popular day for weddings. True romantics can’t fail to be inspired by all that Valentine’s Day brings. From cherubic cupids as table adornments, to scattered rose petals on the dance-floor, your imagination is probably in overdrive at the possibilities. Harnessing the symbolism of Valentines Day is romantic, but it’s also a theme that can cause many brides to get carried away. Red, gold and white is a tasteful colour combination, and the odd few sprays of red roses are acceptable, but avoid going nuts with too much pink! There’s a fine line between fabulous and faux pas.
Did you lock eyes with your intended whilst admiring his Spock ears at a Star Trek convention? Perhaps you think of yourselves as Zidane and Garnet from Final Fantasy? Whether you’re die-hard Trekkies or prefer battling zombies as a twosome on Call of Duty, a novelty-themed wedding could be the perfect expression of your shared passion. Relive the historic moment the world aww-ed at Hans and Leia with Star Wars inspired wedding vows; hire a “Dumbledore” doppelganger to host proceedings, or opt for a woodland ceremony in the spirit of Lord of the Rings. You don’t have to have a huge budget to push the boundaries of your imagination. A simple colour theme, complimented by quirky features such as a Hogwarts wedding cake or light sabers adorning the main table will instantly transform a fantasy into the nerdy wedding of your dreams!
A Celtic knees-up
Guinness anyone? You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy a good Celtic knees-up, and as wedding themes go, it’s probably the most flexible in terms of creative interpretation. Green should obviously feature heavily in the planning – perhaps subtly limited to the table napkins and chair covers, along with a hint of Irish Lace. Horseshoes also make delightfully rustic placeholders. In terms of music, anything from Henry Purcell to the Pogues is acceptable, but if you really want to add authenticity, a Bagpiper or folksy Irish four-piece will go down a treat with your guests!
The rustic barnyard banquet
If you’re not the type of gal who gets excited by disco balls and chandeliers, you could always opt to keep things simple with a farm ‘n’ barnyard wedding. Rustic weddings have long been a popular choice amongst eco-conscious and bohemian brides, but they’re fast transpiring to be an affordable alternative for those constrained by budget. Think hay bales as pews, checkered table cloths, chalkboard signs and colourful bunting, complimented by a strict Country and Western dress code (ie. cowboy hats and neckerchiefs). There are many old country house owners now hiring out their outbuildings for special events. How about a mechanical rodeo, five-piece accordion band and line-dancing lessons for your guests? You could even hire one of those party pet zoos to add to the authenticity! Yeehaa!
Bahaman beach soiree
The Bahamas are an idyllic destination for those with an accommodating budget, but you don’t necessarily have to travel thousands of miles to experience such wonderful ambience, or even live close to a beach! Set the stage colourful bunting snaking between trees and scooped pineapples as the centrepiece for each table. Cocktails are a prerequisite, along with Mama rum punch and a seafood buffet to set the mood. You could also think about organising some child-friendly beach games for guests, such as limbo and thong (flip-flop) throwing, whilst the adults are entertained by fire-eaters and a live reggae band.
Wedding themes are a brilliant way of transforming your big day into something memorable, but the main point of consideration should be your own ideas and tastes. Choose a theme that reflects your personalities, passions and fantasies, rather than just adding wow-factor for the benefit of guests.
Ok, here’s a bonus eleventh out-of-the-box wedding theme, a circus/carnival them. Our blogger Monica is having a circus-themed wedding, starting with her carnival engagement in February 2013.
What theme are you having (or did you have) for your big day? What’s the most fantastic theme you’ve ever seen, heard of or dreamed of?