If you want your celebration to feel as one-of-a-kind as your love story, we’ve found the best wedding themes and ideas for the job! While wedding themes were once seen as tacky and even outdated, we’re seeing more and more couples revolutionize the tradition with truly unique and rad style ideas. From groovy retro styles to nature-inspire soirées, these are wedding themes that your guests will be gushing over for years to come!!
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Is Having a Wedding Theme Tacky?
It’s a common fear that having a wedding theme will seem tacky, but with the right planning, intention, and execution, it can actually be the opposite! With a well-thought-out theme, your wedding will feel cohesive, unique, and, most importantly, FUN. It’s the perfect way to elevate your big day — and make wedding planning a breeze!
But, like with anything in life, moderation is key. It’s easy to slip into tacky territory with wedding themes and ideas that go overboard or feel forced. Instead, find the right balance by incorporating elements of your theme in a tasteful and meaningful way. This can be as simple as sticking to one color palette or using your favorite vacation spot as inspiration! Which brings us to our next FAQ….
How to Incorporate a Wedding Theme Without Entering Tacky Territory
To incorporate a wedding theme in a way that’s tasteful versus tacky, it’s all about subtlety and creativity. Think of it as adding hints and nods to your theme rather than going all-out with every detail — you want to whisper your style, not shout it! Here are a few ideas for bringing wedding themes to life in the most tasteful ways possible:
- Use your theme as inspiration: Incorporating wedding themes in a super literal way can come across as tacky, so instead think of your theme as a source of inspiration. For example, rather than having your bridal party dress up as flappers for a 1920s themed wedding, opt for glitzy sequin gowns instead!
- Focus on color: Your color scheme is the perfect way to incorporate your wedding theme, without going overboard. Choose a color palette that reflects your theme, like soft blues for an oceanside wedding or rich oranges for a ’70s-inspired soirée.
- Pay attention to details: For wedding themes that are tasteful rather than tacky, focus on small details versus large props. This could be as simple as naming a signature cocktail after your favorite song for a rock ‘n’ roll celebration. When it comes to wedding theme ideas, less is more!
- Stick to a few key elements: Instead of trying to make every aspect of your wedding on-theme, just focus on a few special elements. A great option is your wedding stationery — infuse your invitations, menus, place cards, and other signs with motifs that reflect your wedding theme for a subtle vibe that instantly sets the tone for the big day.
What is the difference between a wedding style and a wedding theme?
While a wedding style is the overall aesthetic and vibe of your big day, wedding themes are a specific concept or idea that ties all the small details together. All “I do’s” have a wedding style, but not every celebration has a wedding theme. Here’s a more in-depth breakdown to help you understand the difference!
Wedding style: Think of your wedding style as your personal fashion sense. Maybe you’re drawn to a classic and timeless look, a bohemian + free-spirited vibe, or something modern and sleek. The same goes for your wedding style! It’s the overall aesthetic that reflects your tastes and preferences as a couple. For example, a traditional wedding style would be filled with elegant decor, pastel hues, and a formal vibe!
Wedding theme: A wedding theme is like a thread that weaves all the little details of your big day together, creating a unique and unforgettable experience. It can be inspired by almost anything, from a favorite movie to a specific era to a shared passion. Ultimately, wedding themes are a fun and creative way to infuse your personality into your wedding day! For instance, if you both love to hike, you could incorporate a national park theme into your big day, with themed stationery and nature-inspired details.
How to Choose a Wedding Theme and Style
To choose a wedding theme and style, think about what makes you and your S.O. unique. What are the experiences, memories, and shared interests that define your love story? Do you have a place that holds a special meaning to both of you? Are you avid travelers, music enthusiasts, or bookworms? Infusing these elements into your big day can add a personal and meaningful touch that sets your celebration apart.
If you’re having trouble narrowing it down, you may also want to consider the season and location of your wedding when brainstorming wedding themes and style ideas. For example, if you’re tying the knot in Austin, why not pay homage to the region with a Western-themed wedding? Or, if your “I do’s” are in spring, a whimsical secret garden-style celebration may be more your vibe.
For more inspo, we’ve rounded up our favorite wedding themes and styles down below, plus some unique and creative ideas to bring them to life. Keep scrolling for our faves!
1. Groovy 1970s Wedding Themes
Take a trip back in time with this groovy wedding theme! If you feel like you were born in the wrong era, then 1970s wedding themes are the perfect way to celebrate your love for all things retro, psychedelic, and disco — AND your love for each other!
As such an iconic decade, the 1970s is packed full of rad ideas to reimagine for your big day. The easiest place to start is with your color palette: earthy hues exude a free-spirited vibe, while bright pops of yellow, orange, and pink bring the fun.
In addition to the color scheme, retro decor ideas are a great way to bring 70s wedding themes and styles to life. Think: disco balls, macrame accents, and vinyl records (these make for cute guestbooks!).
To get an authentic feel, you can even thrift some of your decor, like your glassware or your lounge furniture. And don’t forget to include this must-have groovy font for your signange!
When it comes to your attire, boho gowns are a no-brainer for 1970s wedding themes — bonus points if they feature Stevie Nicks-inspired sleeves! For suits, we love earthy colors, luxe velvet, or retro patterns like paisley. Finish off the night with a sparkly jumpsuit, and you’re pretty much golden!
2. Romantic Renaissance Inspired Wedding Themes
Have you ever dreamed about what it would be like to live inside of a Renaissance painting? With this vintage wedding theme, now you can! Inspired by the iconic era of fine art, literature, and philosophy, Renaissance wedding themes are all about opulent details, elegant decor styles, and truly great feasts.
Remember: you don’t want to lean so far into this theme that your wedding resembles a Renaissance fair. Instead, keep it classy with vintage-inspired decor like velvet tablecloths and tapered candles, and old world details like blossoming flower crowns and fairytale corset gowns.
To make Renaissance wedding themes really stand out, you can even incorporate cute medieval ideas like a romantic handfasting ceremony. Or, for a rad reception activity, why not hire a tarot reader? With such a unique style, your guests will be talking about this wedding theme for YEARS to come.
3. Dreamy Celestial Wedding Themes and Ideas
If your love was written in the stars, then a celestial wedding theme may just be your perfect compatibility match! There’s something so magical about looking to the skies for inspiration as you tie the knot — talk about feeling on cloud 9!
For celestial wedding themes that are out of this world, embrace the style of the sun, stars, moon, and clouds. We love this couple’s sunburst-inspired details, from the statement crown to the sparkly golden gown. Pure magic!!
Style the rest of your starry night with plenty of hanging stars, twinkle lights, glowing neon photo ops, and an astrology reference (or two). This is also your chance to dazzle with sparkly bridal makeup, so don’t hold back!
One of the best ways to bring unique wedding themes to life? A stand-out backdrop! We’ve rounded up a few of our all-time faves.
4. Harry Potter Inspired Wedding Themes
Calling all Potterheads! If you and your S.O. first bonded over your House Gryffindor placement, then why not carry that magic into your big day with Harry Potter wedding themes?! No, we’re not talking about cheesy costumes or wand duels — with this theme, small touches are all you need to spellbind your guests.
For Harry Potter wedding themes and ideas that are cool instead of cliche, an iconic location is key. Channel Hogwarts with a romantic castle or estate. Or go for something moodier with a ceremony in the (forbidden) forest.
From there, achieve Great Hall vibes with hundreds of glowing candles, chic goblets, and accents from your House colors. And don’t forget the potions station — aka your bar signage! We even found chocolate frog containers for your dessert table, and this on-theme chart for your table assignments. Dumbledore would definitely approve.
5. Bright Rainbow Wedding Themes and Ideas
Forget classic neutrals — one of our favorite 2023 wedding trends is bright colors, and rainbow wedding themes definitely understood the assignment! While traditional wedding styles stick to soft and subtle color palettes, we LOVE the bold, fun, and unforgettable vibe of this theme.
For rainbow wedding themes that wow (without looking like a bag of skittles), keep your ideas intentional. Small details like wildflower place cards, a rainbow confetti throw, and a colorful mismatched bridal party can make a big impression on the overall vibe of your celebration.
And don’t forget your wow moment! A bright rainbow flower arch is an instant serotonin boost, and the perfect centerpiece to your fun, colorful day.
P.S. We especially love rainbow wedding themes for LGBTQ+ couples — such a joyful way to celebrate your love story!!
6. Outdoor Summer Camp Wedding Themes
Pretend you’re kids again with summer camp wedding themes! For nature-loving couples, this is such a cute way to embrace your adventurous side and have some fun in the great outdoors with your nearest and dearest.
To make your celebration feel like a true escape, plan your summer camp themed wedding in an outdoor location off the beaten track. Some states even have campsites or national parks that you can book for a true wedding camp weekend. Bonus points if there are cabins or glamping tents for your guests to stay in!
When it comes to summer camp wedding theme decor ideas, you can’t go wrong with a custom national park sign or a cute trail map. And don’t forget the mandatory camp activities, like canoeing on a lake, playing lawn games, and making s’mores by the campfire!
7. Boho Wedding Themes and Styles
You’re laid-back, free-spirited, and a bit unconventional, and you want your wedding to be the same. That’s where boho wedding themes come in!
While this is more of a wedding style than a theme, boho weddings are all about nature-inspired details, earthy colors, and carefree vibes. For that authentic bohemian feel, go au natural with an outdoor venue (like the oceanside or a mountaintop), seasonal food, and mandatory flower crowns.
We truly love everything about boho wedding themes, and they’re SO easy to make it your own. Mix and match between boho decor like pampas grass bouquets, macrame details, vintage rugs, a geometric arch…..we could go on!
You can even add a nature-inspired ritual to take your big day to the next level, like a rad tree planting ceremony!
8. Romantic Secret Garden Wedding Themes
Tying the knot in the spring? Up the romance with secret garden wedding themes! One of the most swoon-worthy springtime wedding themes, a secret garden style brings the season to life with blossoming florals, pops of pastels, and botanical-inspired EVERYTHING.
The goal with this wedding theme is to make your guests feel like they’ve just been transported to a whimsical garden party. While the basis of your decor will be flowers, flowers, and more flowers, you can also add extra whimsy with outdoor chandeliers, vintage-inspired busts, and plenty of candles.
We’re also big fans of secret garden wedding ideas that incorporate the theme in a creative way, such as botanical signature cocktails (a lavender G&T? Yes, please!!), unique floral bridesmaid gowns, and an embroidered wildflower veil. Swoon!
9. Edgy Rock’n’Roll Wedding Themes and Ideas
You’re not a typical couple. You’re a ~rock ‘n’ roll~ couple. And this is THE wedding theme for you!
When traditional wedding themes won’t cut it, this alternative wedding style is here to make your big day feel as one-of-a-kind as your love story. Whether you’re musicians or just music lovers, a rock themed wedding is a cool way to showcase your shared passion for a great guitar riff.
Channel this musical wedding theme with unique ideas like vinyl record stationery, ticket stub escort cards, or a guitar guestbook. We also love the idea of naming each of your tables after one of your favorite songs or artists!
And don’t forget the rockstar ‘fits — this leather jacket is a MUST.
10. Stylish Parisian Wedding Themes and Styles
Don’t worry — there’s no long haul flight required for this wedding theme! The best Parisian wedding themes and ideas capture the romance of the city of love, without requiring you to make the trek overseas.
To take your guests on a trip to Paris, it all starts with the food. Do as the Parisians do, with fresh bread and cheese hors d’oeuvres, a macaron-centric dessert table, and even French fries (ok, this one’s maybe not so French) for a late-night snack. And don’t forget the champagne tower!
And second only to French food is French style. Opt for a garden-inspired cocktail dress code, and channel your inner Marie Antoinette with a statement gown. This level of glamour also applies to your smaller details — nothing says ~French~ like elegant calligraphy and gilded decor!
11. Chic Cottagecore Wedding Themes
If you’re anything like us, then you were head over heels for the cottagecore aesthetic when it first hit your screens — and nothing has changed since then! So much more than just a wedding style, cottagecore themes are about embracing nature and appreciating the simple things in life.
To add a modern, updated touch to this wedding theme, opt for ideas that are based on those timeless, sustainable values. While a countryside locale and tons of wildflowers are non-negotiable, the rest should feel personal!
Maybe you want to bake your cakes and desserts from scratch, or wear your grandmother’s vintage gown. We also love ideas like throwing dried flower petals instead of confetti and opting for picnic-inspired table settings.
And if you’re looking for the perfect color palette for cottagecore wedding themes, we only have two words: sage green!
12. Modern Tropical Wedding Themes and Ideas
Is there anything better than a tropical getaway? We think not! And with tropical wedding themes, your entire celebration will feel like the ultimate vacation to paradise.
To bring tropical wedding themes to life, think about what makes your destination unique. Choose bright native flowers for your bouquet, and base your menu on local dishes and tropical ingredients like coconut, hibiscus, and pineapple.
Tiki cocktails are also a must, as are dried palms and leafy motifs — you can even use real leaves for unique place cards or table numbers!
P.S. While these wedding themes and ideas go best with destination weddings, it’s not necessarily a requirement! Maybe you’re originally from a tropical island and now live somewhere else, or perhaps you and your partner got engaged on a vacation in paradise. Having a special meaning will make this theme THAT much more special.
13. Moody Halloween Wedding Themes
Embrace all things dark and spoOoOoOoky with Halloween wedding themes! If you’re getting hitched in October, this is your sign to skip the traditional pomp and circumstance and go for something a bit edgier instead. And no, costumes are not a requirement!
While Halloween themes and ideas may feel like a throwback to childhood, there are so many ways to make an October 31st wedding feel elevated, elegant, and totally rad. Instead of jack-o-lanterns and skeletons, set the tone with witchy stationery, tarot place cards, and plenty of ‘Til Death Do Us Part motifs!
For a modern Halloween color palette, keep things dark and moody with black, maroon, and muted oranges. Make a statement with a black wedding gown, dark maroon bouquets, or a burnt orange bridal party. And don’t forget the black candles — preferably in gothic candelabras!
When it comes to wedding themes, sometimes the smallest details make the biggest impressions. Make a statement with these unique seating chart and escort card ideas!
14. Vintage Wedding Themes and Ideas
Some of the most popular wedding themes take their inspiration from decades past. And it’s no wonder — there’s something soooo romantic about love before phones and social media. Plus, the fashion was simply TO DIE FOR!
To narrow down your favorite vintage wedding themes and ideas, think about the decade that speaks to you. Maybe it’s The Great Gatsby vibes of the 1920s, the Old Hollywood glamour of the 1950s, or the bright maximalism of the 1980s.
Once you’ve settled on the perfect time era for your wedding theme, do some research on the main color palettes, styles, attire, and ideas that defined that decade. For example, vintage 1920s wedding themes call for a champagne tower, gold Art Deco signage, and a live jazz band that gets everyone dancing!
15. Travel Inspired Wedding Themes
If you’ve spent more time dreaming about your honeymoon than your wedding, then travel wedding themes are for YOU. Whether you’re planning a destination wedding or you’re both jet-setters at heart, travel wedding themes are the perfect way to celebrate all those stamps in your passport.
First things first: get your guests prepped for the trip of a lifetime with cute passport or plane ticket invitations! You can also include luggage tag or postcard escort cards (which double as cute favors), and name your tables after your favorite destinations — complete with photos from your trips there!
If you’re focusing on one specific locale for your travel wedding theme, look for ideas that are unique to that place, like limoncello cocktails for Italy or taco entreés for Mexico.
Complete the celebration with a Honeymoon fund versus a gift registry, and enjoy your first adventures together as a married couple!!
16. Unique Florals-All-Over Wedding Themes and Ideas
What would a wedding be without flowers? We don’t even want to imagine. And with floral wedding themes, those budding blooms take center stage!
To make flowers a wedding theme versus just another part of your decor, opt for creative ideas that use your favorite florals in new ways. This could be rocking a floral embroidered gown, like the bride above, or choosing one special type of flower to highlight, like a romantic rose themed wedding.
There are also ways to incorporate flowers into every. single. detail. of your celebration. Give your guests a single flower as their place cards. Add edible blooms on top of your cocktails and appetizers. Choose seed paper for your invites. Cover your cake in wildflowers (and opt for a floral flavor like rose!).
And to bring all these ideas together, you can’t go wrong with a botanical garden location when incorporating floral wedding themes. Utter perfection.
17. Fun Festival Wedding Themes and Ideas
Ready to get this party started?! If you want your big day to feel like the celebration of the century, then forget the classic wedding styles and opt for festival wedding themes instead!
Perfect for unconventional couples who just want to let loose and have fun on their wedding day, festival themes are all about music, dancing, and good vibes. We love the idea of planning events for the entire weekend, including “headliners” for each day (maybe a live band one day and a DJ the other!).
You can also go all out with designated areas for unique activities, like a spa tent, a flower crown station, and, of course, a cocktail area.
To finish the aesthetic, trade a sit-down meal for food trucks, hang bright banners everywhere, and set the dress code as festival chic. Now all that’s left to do is party!!
18. Maximalist + Whimsically Bold Wedding Styles
If you’ve never met a color you didn’t like, then maximalist + whimsical wedding themes may be right up your alley. For maximalist wedding themes and ideas, more is always more — more colors, more flowers, more decorations, the list goes on!
While there are SO many ways to incorporate a maximalist themes into your wedding, we love this couple’s whimsical approach. Fill your celebration with colorful baby’s breath for an affordable take on maximalist floral arrangements, and swap your classic white + black attire for something bright + bold.
Even if this whimsical aesthetic isn’t for you, there are tons of other maximalist wedding themes and ideas to suit your style. Light up the night with hundreds of candles, have fun with over-the-top entertainment, or make a statement with an oversized cake. There are no wrong answers here!
19. Minimalist Modern Wedding Styles
On the other end of the spectrum, minimalist wedding themes are perfect for couples who find beauty in simplicity. If traditional wedding themes filled with over-the-top flowers, oversized ball gowns, and opulent decor isn’t your jam, then prepare to fall in love with this effortlessly cool style!
To nail the minimalist wedding theme and style, opt for clean and understated ideas. This could be a simple color palette like black and white, clear acrylic signage and decor, or lush greenery instead of flowers.
You can also pare back your attire for minimalist wedding themes — Reformation has some gorgeous modern gowns for the occasion!
20. Country Western Wedding Themes and Ideas
One of our FAVE wedding themes at the moment? Country western! We’ll take any excuse to rock our fave western boots, and a wedding is no exception. So if you’re saying “I do” on a ranch, in a barn, or in a state like Texas, then embrace the outlaw vibes with western wedding themes!
We all know the basic western wedding themes and ideas: western boots, cowboy hats, a laid back dress code, and some country music for the hoe-down portion of the evening. To take country wedding themes one step further, opt for western style stationery, horseshoe place cards, and a BBQ reception!
We also love the idea of taking your portraits outside with horses or cattle — or better yet, going on a romantic horse ride to celebrate your newly married status!
21. Modern Fairytale Inspired Wedding Themes
A fairytale wedding theme fit for a fairytale love story!! If your relationship feels straight out of a storybook, this is the cutest way to ring in your “Happily Ever After.”
While fairytale wedding themes and ideas can easily slip into tacky territory, a touch of luxury will instantly take it from Disney to decadent. Vintage book decor is a sweet nod to the storybook style, and vintage gold mirrors and candlesticks conjure up elegant castle vibes.
If you can’t find an actual castle, a historic estate, formal ballroom, or even a romantic garden will set the fairytale-esque tone. And for finishing touches, don’t forget your bridal tiara and glass slippers!
Make Your Wedding The Best of the Season With Our Most Popular Resources
Ready to bring your wedding themes and ideas to life? We have just the guides for the job!
Every unforgettable celebration starts with an equally unforgettable location, and we’ve rounded up the coolest venues in the US that are guaranteed to wow. Some of these are perfect for the wedding themes up above!
The next most important detail of your big day? Your ‘fit. Find your dream style with our ultimate wedding gown guide, as well as our complete wedding shoes guide to complete the look. And don’t forget about your dream team — we’ve rounded up the best places to find bridesmaid gowns that your gals are guaranteed to love!
Which of these wedding themes and styles were your fave? Let us know in the comments below!