Going into 2022, engaged couples are being more intentional with their weddings than ever. Desires are shifting, decisions are being given more consideration, and the details are more personalized. It’s clear that couples want a celebration that truly represents them. This is perhaps most evident in the themes they’re picking.
In fact, a fifth of those surveyed for Zola’s First Look Report wrote in to share their unique 2022 wedding theme. If you’re one of many looking for a theme that showcases your personalities and interests, we’ve laid out an easy, step-by-step process just for you. Find helpful questions, tips, and inspiration below.
A wedding theme is a visual guide that connects all different aspects of your wedding, from decor to attire and even your paper suite and wedding website. Oftentimes a wedding theme can be executed with a simple color palette and small nods to the source of inspiration. Other times, however, it can be incredibly specific and immersive. Neither is better than the other—it all comes down to what ambiance you and your partner want to create.
Whether it’s extremely apparent or all in the details, having a theme can do you wonders throughout the wedding planning process. For starters, it can help guide you towards the look and feel that you want both your ceremony and reception to have. The more specific, the better.
For example, searching for ’nature themed wedding inspiration’ will likely leave you with countless interpretations, providing little help. ‘Luxury Italian garden party’ (a real Zola couple’s own wedding theme), on the other hand, will give you more specific elements, like historic architecture, tons of greenery, luxurious fountains, and vintage glassware. It paints a clearer picture. Once you have the language to describe what you’re going for, it’s much easier to seek it out. Planning is then much more efficient, since you can narrow down which location, venue, and vendors are best suited to realize your vision.
Having a theme is also a big help to your vendors. Providing one (and some additional description) allows them to accurately picture and execute what you want—and even suggest new ideas and alternatives. For smooth communication with potential vendors, we recommend having a clear theme already in mind. In many cases, a mood board that displays how you imagine your theme can also be very helpful.
Because the opportunities are basically endless, picking your own wedding theme can be a bit overwhelming. You may feel additional pressure, due to the desire to choose one that highlights your relationship and individual personalities in a special way.
Fear not. Before you jump to search engines and Pinterest boards, take a step back and reflect on your relationship. Odds are there’s much more to work with and get excited about than you think. Having trouble getting started? Grab a pen (or open your phone notes), and take yourselves through the following easy steps.
We mean this literally—take some time to brainstorm your favorite places. These could be significant to your relationship, such as where you met, had your first date, or proposed, or something as simple as your favorite library, museum, or hiking spot. Of course, you can also go big and discuss your favorite vacation locales and travel spots.
Think of the places that hold your favorite memories or excite you both. The locations where you feel most in love or at home together. Do any have an aesthetic you particularly love? Do a series of these places share similar visual qualities? If so, these are great things to draw upon when considering wedding themes. Referencing a much loved spot speaks to your likes and history as a couple.
Your wedding is an opportune time to showcase your shared interests and hobbies. If referencing a location seems too broad or isn’t sparking any inspiration, begin to think of the things you love to do together. Couples who enjoy the arts can lean into A Night at the Theatre, with formal attire, wedding programs reminiscent of theatre playbills or programs, and music from some of your favorite musicals.
The couple who loves reading together may opt for Vintage and Literature (another Zola couple’s own theme), with stacked book centerpieces, your favorite quotes featured on signage,a typewriter guestbook, or even a library or bookstore venue. Known for taking camping trips? Infuse the nature and lifestyle aspects into your florals, decor, food, and activities. Whatever your interest, it can be featured here and there, if not totally tapped into.
Take to your bookshelves, Letterboxd accounts, and Netflix catalogues. We’re seeing more and more wedding themes based off of beloved books, movies, and TV shows. From Little Women meets cottagecore, to hints of Game of Thrones, to full-force Star Wars. If there’s a series, franchise, or standalone that you both go back to time and time again, it can be fun and heartwarming to center your theme on it. Just consider how it’ll translate visually on your wedding day and if you’re both on board with that (and how much).
Put plainly, look at your things. Your wedding theme doesn’t need to be tied to a super specific memory or location to showcase your personalities. It can, instead, capture a look and vibe that feels like you. Take a good look at your living spaces, wardrobes, and treasured items. Take note of the aesthetic qualities you’re already naturally drawn to. This could be plaids, natural materials, and scenic photographs that can translate to a cozy cabin-style theme. Elegant florals, crisp lines, and soft neutrals that harken back to that Italian garden party theme we mentioned.
It’s easy to get caught up in the individual items we add to our everyday lives. Take a wider look and see if there are any patterns or themes you’d like to work with and emphasize on your special day.
Once you’ve landed on a theme, it’s never too early to incorporate it into wedding planning. In fact, it’s in your best interest to include it in your save the dates and wedding website. Doing so gives your guests an idea of what to expect, which will not only get them excited for the day, but aid them in knowing how to dress. For easy-to-customize options with a wide range of themes, look no further than your Zola wedding planning tools. Once you’ve signed up (if you haven’t already), navigate to Invites + Paper or Website to browse a variety of user-friendly templates suitable for every couple’s needs.