When it comes to figuring what kind of wedding you want, there are a lot of factors to consider. Before you delve into what kind of wedding dress, cake, wedding party attire, and even food you want, you have to decide what kind of wedding ceremony you want to have.
A big part of this depends on what vision you and your partner have—and also your personalities. Do you want a big wedding or a small wedding? Thinking about these kinds of questions will help get you closer to the kind of wedding you want to plan. Here are six tips to help you find the perfect type of wedding for you and your partner.
When you first start to think about the type of wedding you want, the sky's the limit. In the preliminary stages, try to put things like what your partner wants or how much it will cost out of your mind. In the beginning stages of wedding planning, you can dream big and think about all the details you want to include. From there, you can start to nail down exactly the type of wedding you want.
Here are a few questions to consider that can help you hone in on your dream wedding:
As you start to plan your dream wedding and are deciding what style you want, odds are you will be looking at everything bridal-related that you can get your hands on. From bridal magazines, blogs, social media accounts, books, photos, and more, looking at all the wedding inspo you can will help you get clear on what you want and don't want. As you’re browsing through all these materials, don’t limit yourself to just wedding-related things. Inspiration can come from anywhere––a painting at a museum, a flower you see on a walk, or a meal you had at your favorite restaurant. Even wallpaper patterns, souvenirs from a trip, a piece of jewelry, color swatches, and other items can help you really get a clearer idea of what you want your wedding to look like.
Once you've collected all the things you’ve been looking at, you'll now have to organize it. Using a vision board format or another kind of visual aid and putting it on a posterboard can be a great way for you to see all the things you’re trying to bring together. Looking at it all laid out can also potentially help you notice some larger themes and give you another jumping off point in trying to help you dig into what your wedding style is.
Are you and your partner thinking about having a full-on fancy affair with a sit-down dinner and passed hors 'd'oeuvres? Or are you thinking about a more casual event with no assigned seating and a buffet? The vibe of how casual or upscale you want to make your wedding can also help you narrow down your choices.
If you’re thinking a more low-key approach is right for you, then getting married at a winery, or park, or another outdoor setting may be the right spot for you. Or, if you want to go all out and have your marriage ceremony at a more formal wedding setting, a country club, hotel, or banquet hall may be the right place.
Your personal style as a couple and your overall approach to hosting in general will also play a part here. If you tend to host large dinner parties for your friends with elaborate meals, you may want to go fancier. But, on the other hand, if a backyard barbecue by the pool is more your speed, you might want to plan a more casual affair.
Whatever you decide on, just remember to be consistent throughout—from the seating arrangements all the way down to your wedding invitation and flowers.
The more you can hone in on the kind of wedding you want, the clearer you can get on the specifics. From here you can start to give your florists, carters, and other wedding vendors the information they need to help make your dream wedding a reality. Try to get as detailed as possible and think about what the style of wedding is and its theme. Deciding you just want a vintage kind of wedding is not enough—think about what era, such as the 1940s or 1920s for example, and really hone in on what makes it special.
Maybe you want to have a wedding inspired by your cultural heritage instead. Doing research on all the elements that are usually incorporated into this kind of wedding can also be another way to go. Or maybe you want to celebrate a specific place you and your partner have a special relationship with and want to work in elements of that destination into your theme.
Whatever you decide on, try to bring in elements that are special to both you and your partner. Compromise is key, but also try not to be haphazard. If you’re trying to combine a few different ideas, such as a destination wedding, your love of hunting, and 1920s flappers, it may start to feel disjointed. Try to be realistic, think about the bigger picture, and bring in only the most important elements.
Another element that will tie your wedding together are the colors you choose. They will be used in all aspects of it, from the tiniest detail like the color of the napkins to the outfits for the bridal party. Try to draw inspiration from the larger theme you’re going with and pick a color that embodies you and your partner's bigger sense of style.
One way to tie it all together is to try and stick with one main color and an accent color. Remember a color wheel can be a great tool. For a bold statement, pick two colors contrasting colors like red and green or yellow and purple. If you’re looking for something more subtle, that works, too. The important thing is to have fun and pick colors that represent you and your big day.
As you’re putting all the pieces together, remember they’re all working together to convey your larger style and theme. Each of these elements will also set the tone of the wedding. Do what feels right for you and your partner. Whether it's a destination wedding, like a beach wedding with leis and only a few close friends and family, or a big traditional wedding in a ballroom and a church, it has to feel like you.
Like people, no two weddings are the same, so coming together and having a celebration of who you are is what’s most important. Try to pick a style and a theme that allows both of your personalities to shine through. Highlighting things that make you and your partner different is what is going to set your wedding apart and make it a memorable experience for you and your guests.