Whimsical and Romantic Wedding Theme Ideas

Are you looking for a wedding theme that can spark your imaginative side? We put together a list of romantic and unique wedding themes.

By The Zola Team

couple kissing on balcony
Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography

The rule with a whimsical and romantic wedding theme is that there are no rules. Whimsical wedding themes mean that you can tap into your quirky, imaginative side, and that just about anything is on the table. It’s an opportunity for you to unleash the child within, and allow yourself to be creative and fun as you plan your perfect day.

What Is Whimsical and Romantic?

The dictionary defines whimsical as “playfully quaint or fanciful.” When planning a wedding, just about everything is romantic. When you shirk what’s known as traditional and throw in fun, off-beat details, with bright, bold colors, you’re creeping into whimsical, and, before you know it, you’re planning a beautiful, fun, whimsical wedding like no other. Keep reading for some of the best whimsical wedding theme ideas that we could find to help you get those creative juices flowing.

Comic Book Wedding

If you’re a die-hard comic book fan, why not theme your wedding around your favorite comic book? If you prefer not to get specific, you could even just go with comic book style elements and colors. For instance, your wedding invites could be designed to look like a page ripped from a comic book, or you could use fonts that are typically seen in comic books.

You could add little pops of comic book color and pizzaz to your wedding reception and wedding decor. You could even add a single element to your attire that is comic book themed, such as a comic book tie, hair ribbon, waistcoat, or even shoes designed to reflect your favorite comic. The options are endless, it just depends on how far you want to take the idea.

Circus Wedding

Some couples love the circus and all of the strange and weird things that come with it. A circus theme is a perfect idea for a whimsical, fantastical wedding theme, and it works well for an outdoor wedding. Your invitations could be created to look like a vintage circus advert or entry ticket, and you could center your wedding color scheme around black, red, and cream.

Create fun signage for the tables, use candy cane straws for everyone’s drinks, and tie raffle tickets to your party favors for cute touches that help bring this whimsical theme to life. One of your desserts could be candy-coated apples, and your wedding cake could be designed like a circus ring, with you and your groom as the ringmasters wedding cake topper. The sky's the limit when planning a circus-themed wedding—there are so many fun directions you could take it.

Mad Hatter Wedding

If you and your love fancy yourselves a bit on the mad side, why not go all-in with an eclectic mad hatter vibe? Think bold, colored linens, mismatched porcelain, quirky clocks, and cages of all shapes and sizes. This whimsical wedding theme can work well indoors or outdoors, so you aren’t limited by your chosen venue.

Send out colorful invitations with Mad Hatter tea party characters, and provide a riddle to be answered by your guests. You could provide little top hats or clocks as your wedding favors, and, of course, be sure to serve plenty of tea.

Wedding attire might be a mix of bright colors, or even the classic white dress paired with something funky, such as striped stockings or combat boots. You could create a wedding cake in the shape of a top hat, and offer cake alongside tea and crumpets for dessert hour.

A Fairytale Wedding

It’s always fun to recreate your favorite fairy tale from your youth. Whether that fairy tale is “Rapunzel,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Cinderella,” “Snow White,” or “Beauty in the Beast” is all up to you. You might even like more obscure fairy tales, and decide to theme your wedding around them. Whatever tale you choose, it makes for an off-beat, slightly left of a traditional wedding. In other words, the very definition of whimsical.

To pull the theme together, consider all aspects of the wedding. Pick out whimsical wedding invitations, play music featured in the fairy tale, and tie in the dominant colors of the fairy tale to your wedding attire and wedding decor.

Consider adding little elements, such as table centerpieces and favors, that reflect the fairy tale in some way. For instance, in “Sleeping Beauty,” the prince awakens the princess with a kiss. So, why not have little lips as part of your theme and decor? Shot glass favors filled with candy kisses, and decorated with a red pucker might be one option. You could also have table linens with red or black lips on them as a nod to the theme. Fairy tales are the perfect avenue for unleashing your creativity and making your wedding unforgettable.

Whimsical & Romantic Wedding Theme Ideas Photo Credit // Piper Elizabeth Studio

Your Favorite Movie Wedding

If your favorite movie is a horror movie, you’re veering across the line of whimsical and romantic into the gothic territory, so you might have to be a little careful with this one. However, if your favorite movie is an action flick, such as “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” we can work with that.

Even better, romantic movies, such as “P.S. I Love You,” make great whimsical themes for a wedding. Really, you can theme a wedding around almost any movie, but it should definitely be a favorite and have meaning for both of you in some way. If you don’t have a particular movie that you both love, but you love the idea of a Hollywood wedding, you could center the theme around movies and Hollywood itself.

Think sleek, chic wedding attire, black and white decor, a red carpet, and Hollywood movie reels as part of your wedding day accents. However you choose to do it, movie weddings are exciting, interesting, and definitely not traditional.

Outdoor Picnic Wedding

If you love the outdoors, an outdoor picnic wedding theme and reception are different from the norm and still add romance and whimsy. You could have picnic areas laid out for your guests to serve as “tables,” with wicker picnic baskets placed as centerpieces. Just don’t forget to provide cushions for those that need them.

Alternatively, you could cover picnic tables with linens so that people who can’t sit on the ground can still be comfortable. For food, consider offering finger foods and picnic fare, such as cheeses, wine, fruits, mini hot dogs, and even punch (for the younger guests). When choosing your colors, you could go with blue and white checkers or red and white checkers, à la old-school picnic style, or go with any pastel colors to amp up the air of romance.

Rustic or Vintage Wedding

If you don’t have anything specific in mind when planning your wedding, you could always come up with a theme and style that’s all your own, using romantic, whimsical elements in your decor. Many couples love a rustic vibe or a vintage feel for their wedding ceremony and reception, both of which practically shout romance and whimsy.

Whimsical & Romantic Wedding Theme Ideas Photo Credit // Tessa Tadlock Photography.

It can be as fancy or as laid-back as you want—the key is to pull in little elements that tie together in a cohesive way. An outdoor garden venue is lovely for rustic or vintage weddings, as is an old barn converted into a reception hall, or a lakeside wedding venue with plenty of surrounding trees.

If you’re into a laid-back feel, you could go with simple wedding attire, such as sundresses for the ladies, and pants with suspenders for the guys. You could also plan outdoor games for the reception, and offer casual, yet delicious food, such as BBQ sliders and coleslaw.

For a fancier vibe, your attire could be more formal, with an emphasis on florals, while your decor could feature an explosion of flowers, with vintage chalkboards used as signage, small, wrought iron tables used for seating, and lantern lights strung through the trees used for mood lighting.

Favors might be small Mason jars filled with deliciously scented potpourri, pastel-colored candy, or even a sweet love note penned by the bride and groom on vintage paper. You could even tie in a vintage Polaroid theme, and have fun Polaroid engagement pictures of the happy couple scattered on the guest tables for everyone to look at during the reception.

Outdoor weddings allow you to go in so many different directions, as it’s easy to find one that suits your own personal style. Just make sure that you plan it during cooler months. While there’s obviously no way to predict the weather, you can certainly give your wedding the best chance for success by aiming for a beautiful, not-too-hot, sunny day.

As you can see, there are so many whimsical, romantic wedding theme ideas that you can run with that can make your wedding celebration equal parts fun, sweet, and quirky—creating a perfect reflection of you and your love on your big day.