How Do You Choose a Wedding Theme?

Updated August 23, 2023

The wedding theme choice is a tough one. The selection of wedding themes is so broad many couples don’t even know where to start.

But in reality, the answer is always close – you may already know it.

Let’s start with the fact that not everyone needs a wedding theme. If you choose it just for the sake of fun, you may regret it afterward. You may also look for a wedding color scheme rather than a theme.

You should love something strong enough to make it your wedding theme. Furthermore, this “something” should express the personalities of both of you and tell your story as a couple.

The list of things both of you genuinely admire is likely limited. So, choosing a theme isn’t all that difficult when you think of it that way.

There’s no need to go for a traditional or trendy wedding theme. Your wedding is a very personal day, no matter how many guests you’ve invited. And your choice of a theme should also be unique.

Of course, there are also practical considerations, such as suitable venue availability, budget, or guest dress code.

But any issue can be resolved with a bit of creativity if you sincerely wish to dedicate your wedding to something you adore.

What You Love the Most

Anything can be a wedding theme. But it must be something you love enough to dedicate your wedding to it. So think of what you love the most in this world.

Your wedding theme shouldn’t be something you just like or are okay with. If you think, “I suppose rustic weddings are nice,” don’t make it your theme.

Instead, you should be genuinely excited about it and have zero ambiguity about your choice.

Specific questions may help you determine what could be your perfect wedding theme.

For example, what did you like as a child? What activities do you enjoy together with your partner? What’s your daily style, and how is your house decorated?

Answers to these questions may not only help you choose a wedding theme but also understand yourself and your relationship better.

Think of it as online personality tests. For example, you may have not even noticed that all your style revolves around retro or forget how much you loved Cinderella as a kid.

It’s About the Both of You

A wedding isn’t your personal celebration, even though the bride often steals all the attention from the groom. This day is about the both of you, and your wedding theme should suit you as a couple.

None of you should compromise your interests and preferences to make another happy. Such a sacrifice may seem romantic at first but may lead to regret in the future.

Even if you’re crazy about the 1950s style, don’t make it your wedding theme unless your partner shares this passion.

And if he really likes Tim Burton, but you aren’t a fan of his work, don’t agree on dressing like a Corpse Bride just to please him.

Your wedding theme is a perfect way to showcase to others your personalities and what brings you together.

Think of how you met and of your common hobbies or favorite things. Are you both bikers? Choose a biker-themed wedding. Did you meet while traveling? Opt for a travel-themed event.


Nowadays, weddings are becoming less formal. Instead, couples can choose pretty much any wedding theme they wish, from traditional to unconventional such as Halloween or industrial. After all, it’s your day, and only you decide how you want to spend it.

Still, it would help if you didn’t forget about basic etiquette and how your guests will feel. You’ll likely invite elderly relatives and remote acquaintances who may have more conventional views.

In other words, no matter how creative your wedding theme is, it should be appropriate to the occasion.

Leave bizarre costume parties and everything overly provocative for your hen party or bridal shower. Instead, for a wedding, choose more elegant themes that won’t make your guests feel uncomfortable.

Most importantly, your wedding theme shouldn’t be offensive to anyone. For example, don’t revolve your wedding around anything race, religion, or nationality-related, such as a native American theme, especially if you don’t belong to this community.

Keep Season in Mind

Season plays a role in many wedding-related decisions, from your menu to attire, and theme I no exception. Some themes are suitable for any season, but others are limited to a specific time of the year.

For instance, rustic weddings are typically held outdoors, so winter isn’t the best time for such a theme. Likewise, a Halloween-themed wedding will look odd in spring, just like a winter fairytale wedding in summer.

Sure, you may still host a themed wedding inappropriate to the season. If the event is hosted indoors, the weather doesn’t matter, right? But it isn’t only about the air temperature and humidity level.

Each season has a unique atmosphere that helps to create the vibe of your wedding.

When going to your wedding venue through an alley covered in golden leaves, your guests already have certain expectations from the décor and menu. Seeing North Pole-stylized décor when they arrive will inevitably lead to cognitive dissonance.

Consider the Location

The venue location is one of the most critical factors in creating the right atmosphere. The venue must be large enough, conveniently located, and fit the style of your wedding.

For instance, an industrial-themed wedding requires a “raw” venue, such as an abandoned warehouse or a factory.

For a rustic wedding, you’ll need an outdoor location. A venue for an Art Deco-themed wedding certainly shouldn’t be hi-tech.

The issue is, venues for some wedding themes may be very hard to find, especially if you don’t live in a megapolis. So, it’s worth researching options available in your region before you decide on the theme.

The venue should be one of your starting points in choosing your wedding theme.

Do you live on a farm? A rustic wedding hosted in a large barn would be stylish and appropriate. Do you host a destination wedding on a tropical island? A travel-themed wedding is a perfect choice.


Music can either make your wedding theme feel complete or ruin the vibe. No matter how much you like 90s rap, it isn’t suitable for a royal-themed wedding.

This point should be considered in advance. If you like everything about Art Deco Era but can’t stand jazz, this theme is not the right choice for you.

If you like 1950s fashion but don’t like rock’n’roll, leave a pin-up style outfit for a costume party.

Just like the venue or season, music can be your starting point in choosing the most suitable for your theme. Some brides love a specific music style so much they revolve the entire wedding around it.

But even if you aren’t head over heels about any music, you should at least ensure you and your guests will enjoy it.

Dress Code

Themed weddings are great because you can make everyone wear attires of the same style, which results in beautiful pictures. But it’s also one of the main cons of themed weddings.

The dress code should be appropriate to the occasion, and all guests should understand it. Guests also shouldn’t have to buy anything too rare or expensive to fit your wedding style.

If you host a wedding in an excessively odd or extravagant theme, your guests may not manage to fit the dress code.

In this case, you can either make the dress code mandatory only for your bridesmaids and groomsmen or choose a different theme.

Don’t Choose a Theme Just for Fun

This point may seem counterintuitive. Themes are meant to make weddings more fun, so why not chose one for fun?

But an improved mood is only an additional advantage of a wedding theme. It shouldn’t be your main objective in deciding which theme to choose.

Couples choose their wedding theme because it showcases their personalities, interests as a couple, and tells their love story.

Also, if you have fun hobbies, the wedding theme will likely add fun to an already happy event. But it isn’t the point.

For instance, a wedding in rustic or royal style isn’t much more fun than a traditional wedding without a theme.

A wedding in the 1980s style, in turn, sounds like a very entertaining event. Does this mean you should choose the latter even though you’re sincerely interested in royal weddings? Of course not.

By choosing a theme just for the sake of fun, you risk regretting it years after. To avoid this feeling, you should make sure the theme is close to both of you, even if it’s doomy and dark.

Wedding Theme vs Color Scheme

Many couples looking for a wedding theme are actually looking for a wedding color scheme. These concepts are often mixed up, but the difference I very straightforward.

A color scheme is a combination of colors a wedding follows in every detail, from save-the-dates to venue decoration. It also often includes the desired materials and fonts. In other words, a color scheme is a style.

A theme is a much, much broader concept. Every aspect of the event, including music, menu, decoration, entertainment, and guest attires, should follow the theme.

Let’s take an example. If you like purple and want to go for venue decoration and wedding dress in lavender and beige combination, that’s a color scheme.

But if you host a reception in a lavender field, make everyone wear lavender color, choose French music and menu, it’s a wedding in Provence theme.

Image credit: Pexels

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