Considering a theme for your wedding day celebrations, but not sure where to start… or where to finish? If you’re wondering how to incorporate a motif into your festivities without going too over the top, check out this advice from Nicole Abrahams at Tribute Act Management.
Soon-to-be-married couples are understandably eager to find ways to make their upcoming ceremony stand out from others that they (and, hopefully, their guests) have attended. This is driving many to spend more money on their special day than ever before. However, it takes more than money to set a wedding ceremony apart.
One of the most effective ways to make your special day stand out is to introduce a theme or motif that will remind people of you and even cause them to think of you again in the future. Just be warned that themed weddings can easily get out of hand and go way over the top. With that in mind, here are a few tips for reining in your wedding theme to ensure that it remains an understated, memorable affair:
Choose one theme and stick to it
Marriage requires compromise – that’s for sure. But when it comes to selecting a theme, resist the urge to incorporate elements from two (or more) different themes in an effort to appease both the bride and groom. If you can’t happily settle on a mutual theme that you’re both comfortable with, then you may be better off abandoning the notion of a theme altogether.
Juggling two or more themes creates a disjointed event that ultimately puzzles guests rather than entertain them. Suppose you are trying to decide between vintage and Hawaiian themes for your celebration. Rather than choosing one, you decide to incorporate both. The ceremony begins with classic attire for the wedding party, photographs in antique frames and a few old-fashioned furnishings here or there. Then, rather inexplicably, you add floral leis for the ring bearers along with pineapple centrepieces and Hawaiian music at the reception. The entire affair becomes muddled and the impact of either theme on its own diminishes. Instead, settle on an idea that you’re both passionate about and leave it at that.
Look for ways to personalise the theme
Most couples who have their hearts set on a themed wedding have a specific theme in mind – and it usually relates to them on a personal level. Maybe the groom is a James Bond fan and sees this black tie affair as a chance to showcase some 007 fun. Perhaps the bride was born on St Patrick’s Day, or the couple originally met (or fell in love) in Las Vegas. Any of these ideas easily lend themselves to a themed celebration.
Regardless of what the theme for your nuptials is, it’s important that the personal connection to the couple be obvious for everyone to see. When a wedding theme goes overboard, it risks overshadowing the real purpose of your event – that is, the union of two people who love and care for each other. Instead, the theme should underscore (or at least complement) the day’s purpose.
Never do something ‘just because it goes with the theme’
Once they have settled on a theme for their wedding, couples typically start looking for ways to incorporate the theme into the wedding. This is a natural part of the planning progression, but it has a few inherent risks. Most importantly, including an activity, exhibition or song in the wedding simply because it goes with the theme (and not because it positively contributes to the ceremony) is always a mistake.
Here’s the problem: activities that draw attention to the theme rather than to the couple or the significance of the day can be distracting. Take Halloween-themed weddings as an example. A few Gothic touches – such as burgundy flower arrangements, trick-or-treat bags as party favours or even playing Michael Jackson’s Thriller for the first dance of the reception – could all go over nicely. However, dressing the bride and black and orange or the groomsmen as vampires is probably overdoing it. At minimum, you run the risk of disengaging attendees. At worst, you may end up boring people, irritating them or even making them uncomfortable.
Do everything in moderation
It’s far too easy to go over the top in wedding planning, especially when a theme is involved. You and your wedding planning team could spend hours brainstorming potential ways to express the theme, but that doesn’t mean that you seize on to every single idea that comes to mind. In some cases, a desire to celebrate the theme leads couples to do too much.
Suppose the couple are big Elvis fans and would like to incorporate some music by The King into their ceremony and reception (rather than going all out and getting married in Las Vegas with an Elvis impersonator officiating). Playing one, two – even three – songs could be an excellent way to highlight a mutual love affair with the music. However, play too many of his songs, and the reception will start feeling more like a ‘Greatest Hits’ session and less like the most important day of the couple’s life.
Above all – let the professionals assist you
When it comes to organising a successful themed wedding, the best way to proceed is to seek professional assistance. Deciding which service to charter depends largely on how the theme will be incorporated into the day. If the theme is limited strictly to the wedding reception, then an event planner that specialises in themed celebrations may be the best option. If, on the other hand, you want the ceremony to reflect elements of the theme as well, then you’ll need to coordinate this through your wedding planner first.