10 Tips on How to Choose the Right Wedding Theme

Choosing a wedding theme can be tricky, but these 10 tips will help you narrow down the choices. Here’s everything you need to know about making your wedding day your own.

By Rachel Varina

How to Choose the Right Wedding Theme
Photo by Parker J Photography

The First Look ✨

Selecting a wedding theme is not only a major component of wedding planning, but it will help determine pretty much every decision you make, both big and small for your wedding day. While there’s a lot to consider, once you know what to look for, it’s easy to figure out exactly what you want your big day to look like. These 10 tips on how to choose the right wedding theme will help guide you to create a cohesive event that feels uniquely “you.”

1. Daydream

The first, and perhaps the most fun, the step of picking your wedding style theme is the daydreaming phase. This involves pulling out those bridal magazines that you’ve been collecting, taking a peek at your old Pinterest boards (and maybe starting a new one), and scrolling social media for inspiration. Chances are that you’ve dreamed of the moment where you’d be engaged and would finally get to plan your big day. Before diving into the logistics, soak up the magic and let your mind wander. You’ll have plenty of time to be real soon. For now, save photos of elements that you love, even if they don’t mesh or they seem pricey, and follow ideas and accounts that inspire you.

2. Consider the Season

Many couples have an idea of what season they want to get married in, whether it’s because of the weather, a special date, or venue availability. Luckily, the season you get married in can help guide you to a fitting theme. A spring wedding might call for a garden celebration with pops of pastels and a gourmet lemonade stand, whereas a wedding in autumn might be full of harvest foods and moody hues. While you don’t need to adhere to “seasonal” elements, it can be a guiding light as you pull your theme together.

3. Pick Your Formality

10 Tips on How to Choose the Right Wedding Theme Photo Credit // Jason Comerford Photography

Once you have your season and a few special ideas, consider what formality you want your wedding to be, regarding the dress code. Some couples want a casual affair with guests rocking comfy clothes and serving themselves at the bar, whereas others picture tuxedos and passed hors-d'oeuvres.

4. Lean into Your Venue

If you already have a wedding venue, take note of its distinguishing characteristics to determine your wedding style. Does it have gothic architecture? A spectacular rose garden? Brightly colored floors or a glass atrium? Lean into those elements to help form your theme. A spectacular garden is perfect for a dreamy, romantic event, whereas a historic-looking manor would be wonderful for a gold drenched, Gatsby-style party. That doesn’t mean that your venue has to exactly match the vibe you had in mind, but since it’s such a huge element of the day, leaning into your venue’s qualities will make forming the rest of the theme much more manageable.

5. Think About Your Colors

Oftentimes, brides or grooms have a specific color palette in mind, whether it’s derived from bridesmaid dresses, a favorite flower, or your venue. If you know what colors you want to include or have a specific shade that you love, build from there. “Hot” colors (such as yellows and oranges) are great for warm-weather events or in outdoor spaces, whereas cooler hues (such as purple or blue) look spectacular at evening events or in colder environments. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t utilize yellow at a winter wedding in the mountains, but pulling from your colors (such as signature drinks, florals, and your wedding party’s looks) will help form your theme.

6. Mix Your Themes

Maybe you always wanted a casual barn wedding, but are suddenly in love with the idea of passed apps, or perhaps you want a formal, holiday affair but feel it’s important to also tie in your love of nature. When it comes to planning your wedding, don’t be afraid to mix themes we encourage it. This is how you’ll come up with a truly unique event. While you’ll want some linear elements to tie it all in (such as the level of formality and colors), pulling from different themes will set you apart. Aim for two to four so that the festivities feel cohesive, but one-of-a-kind.

7. Define Your Budget

One of the most difficult aspects of wedding planning comes in the form of making (and sticking to) your wedding budget. While it’s not always the most fun, it’s crucial. Not only does it inform most of your decisions, but it can help you narrow down a theme, too. If you know you’ll be DIYing most of your decor, or you’re looking for extra bang for your bunk, it might help you narrow down some of the more elaborate themes and give your celebration a clearer focus.

8. Brainstorm Together

While you might be the one taking the reins on wedding planning, coordinating a large-scale celebration is not only much easier with the help of your partner, but it provides learning lessons, too. Figuring out how to communicate wants and needs, how to compromise, and how to delegate/learn to let go is crucial to a marriage, so why not get started? Not only will it make planning easier, but it will help ensure that the day highlights each of you as individuals, as well as a couple. Figure out what elements you both feel passionate about, what you’re both neutral about, and any visions you each had for the day. This will not only propel your theme but will give you a more well-rounded, fully represented ceremony that honors each of you.

9. Don’t Worry About Trends

While some couples prefer to rely on the current trends when planning their celebration, we encourage you to not get so caught up with what’s “in” at the moment. Not only do trends change as the years go by, but whatever is du jour might not suit your venue, your personality, or how you’d like to be married. Instead of focusing on what everyone else is doing, think about what would make you and you're SO happy. That might mean pulling from popular elements or gravitating toward past faves to create a theme that feels right.

10. Make It Personal

10 Tips on How to Choose the Right Wedding Theme Photo Credit // Beyond The Shutter

The best weddings are the ones that feel like the couple. You don’t need your celebration to be picture perfect or on-trend to make it special. Think about what you love and find a way to include it in your themed wedding. Whether that means you’ll have a giant Halloween celebration where guests dress in costume, an understated garden party on the anniversary of the day you met, or a formal reception where you serve pizza and hotdogs, do what you love to create the perfect theme.

While choosing the perfect wedding theme might seem daunting, once you break it down and think through each step, it’s quite simple to make a cohesive theme. As long as it represents your relationship and feels like the right environment to say “I do,” we guarantee that it’ll be the celebration of a lifetime.

Simplify Your Wedding Planning at Zola