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Wedding “Themes”: What’s The Deal?

January 11, 2010

Okay, so I am guilty of this myself. I am having old-hollywood-glamour-1930s-and-1940s-vintage wedding. That is a mouthful. And so hypocritical of me. But in my defense, I will have to say that my wedding “theme” evolved naturally from my love of all things vintage and glamourous. My friends joke I came out of the womb with my high heels on and red lipstick. Makes for a disturbing image but I digress.

It makes me cringe when girls ask “help me figure out what my wedding theme should be!”

Honey, if you don’t know immediately, by yourself, then you are up the you-know-what creek without a paddle. Your wedding should be a reflection of you and him as a couple. If you happen to both love traveling and travel the world together then by all means, have a travel themed wedding. If you need strangers to help you figure that out then: “Houston, we have a problem”. But if you have never been to Paris, please don’t have a Parisian wedding. It’s like girls (mostly girls have this problem not boys) who have never been to France or they visited Paris for like a week, and all of a sudden they have Eiffel Towers every where in their homes and pillows with French phrases they wouldn’t be able to understand without Google Translator. Do real Parisians have the Eiffel Tower stamped on every surface area of their home? No. Actually, would Parisians have a Paris themed wedding? Probably not.

Since when did weddings had to have themes? Like a park? Why people can’t people just have a wedding anymore? Nothing to do with Anthropologie, shabby chic, rustic barn, garden tea party? Me thinks something too theme-y tend to come off as extraordinarily contrived. Here is the problem with themes, especially if they espouse the bride and groom: they tend to eclipse the couple entirely. People leaving the wedding leave the wedding thinking, “Man, their Storm Trooper outfits were so realistic!” or “Wow that was a lot of mason jars!” etc and not “Steve and Jenny are such a great couple”.

I get it. Themes are a great way to encompass what you want your wedding “vision” to be (I am really trying not to write so condensendingly but it is really hard). So your wedding will have some “cohesion”, I think is the industry word. I like cohesion, I even sometimes love matchy-matchy but it is okay for things to not match. Or your wedding to not be cohesive at all. I think even the craziest colorful, I-cannot-figure-out-what-I-want-to-be weddings can’t be an eyesore. It is a wedding after all. Weddings need not suffer from identity crisis.

I suggest, then, to all brides (and the occasional groom) who wants to figure out their “theme” sit down and write down what people think of when they think of you (and I can bet you it ain’t going to be “Winter Wonderland!”). What parts of you you want reflected in your wedding? What do you want your nearest and dearest to come away from your wedding with (besides the hokey favors they are going to throw away anyway)?

1. What I want you to come away with is not that themes in themselves are bad. But rather if they don’t reflect you, they are just another fabrication of the commercialized wedding industry for more “stuff”.

2. It is okay to not have a theme

3. A traditional white wedding where the groom and his men are not wearing Converses and you don’t have pink dyed tulle under your dress does not mean you have no personality.

4. If you want to have a ginormous circus themed wedding because well, you and him like the circus dang it and you fully intend to runaway and walk the highwire one day then by all means have a insane blowout circus theme wedding

Let’s have a “you” theme how about that?

Pictures are credited to Lifetime Images (if you are wondering, yes, the couple up top is part of a real Disney themed wedding) and OnceWed

14 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2010 4:12 pm

    Fo sheezy.

    I am not having a theme. My brain is too cluttered with all my eclectic tastes.

    The worst is the Marie Antoinette weddings. Revolution is not a good theme.

  2. January 11, 2010 7:00 pm

    Bravo on this post! My problem is I’ve got so many ideas and themes, I’ve got to edit. I just color outside the lines.

  3. January 11, 2010 8:04 pm

    Yes, a thousands yesses!

    My brain is also so very cluttered. Must stop readings blogs I fear but one could never really do that!!

  4. barbride permalink
    January 11, 2010 11:20 pm

    Hahahaha this is perfect. Love it.

  5. Jesselyn permalink*
    January 12, 2010 1:52 am

    @ cupcake …D0 they have a guillotine at this Marie Antoinette weddings? It would be a flipping awesome prop at those photo book things

    @anna … whyever would we want to stop reading blogs? 😉

  6. January 12, 2010 6:24 pm

    I might have a theme, but I don’t have colors. But I reserve the right to find some.

    By the way can you write more about your Asian family? My Asian grandmother just called and is like “What are these things? [Save the dates]” And then talked my ear off about all of her intense Asian ideas.

  7. January 12, 2010 6:26 pm

    PS I was going to get a cannoli a couple of years ago and I saw that EXACT coach (in your Disney post) drive up at our neighborhood church and deposit a bride. It was nuts.

  8. January 13, 2010 12:19 am

    I absolutely deplore matchy-matchy anything.

    My mother LOVES it.

    I quote her “This is sounding less and less like a wedding every time I hear about it.”

    You know what? GOOD.

  9. Jesselyn permalink*
    January 13, 2010 3:43 am

    @ Claire – I will see what I can do. lol. Any special requests?

    @ Miss C – I know! My mother is always like why do you want to get married in a box [art gallery]? People get married in churches and hotels! But not me!

  10. January 13, 2010 9:07 pm

    Who knows why people have theme weddings? Society tells people what to do and they (we) just do it. 🙂 Why do women wear high heels? Same weirdness.

    We all just sort of wander around trying our best.

    Maybe people have theme weddings because they really love Halloween and get a kick out of dressing up in costume?

    Or….maybe they have to pretend to be someone else in order to go through with a wedding to someone they aren’t really that excited about?

    I’m glad I stumbled across this blog. TIt’s interesting!

  11. February 11, 2010 11:52 pm


    it makes me oh so sad when people down the marie antoinette weddings 😦

    unfortunately, my FH would never allow me to have such a wedding, but it has been my dream for a while now 😉

    but i also have just cause, i am a history major and marie is by far my favorite woman in history 🙂

    however i don’t want what many would consider the “traditional” (funny word to use here) marie antoinette wedding theme…. i want mine to be more outdoor-sy and to encompass her life at the petite trianon. 😀

    • Jesselyn permalink*
      February 13, 2010 12:34 am

      lol. As long as it relates to you *shrug*. Personally Elizabeth the I is my favorite woman in history. Though most of the Tudor women are indeed fascinating.

  12. Crissy Pines permalink
    March 14, 2011 6:49 am

    I want to do a glamour hollywood theme for my little divas 1st b-day, any ideas or resources would be very appreciated. Thank You.


  1. Wedding “Themes”: What's The Deal? « Bride On A Shoestring < What US wants to See !

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