Style & Trend
Our inspirational guide to wedding themes
The world really is your oyster when it comes to wedding themes, so how do you choose? Remember, this is your chance as a couple to show who you are, what makes you smile or laugh and what you truly love. So, think of your wedding celebration as the perfect opportunity to let your personalities shine through. And, with so many wedding themes to choose from, the most important thing is to be yourself and make your wedding day all you want it to be.
Be inspired by others
In our latest survey we asked our brides-to-be about their wedding themes. 21% told us they were going for a relaxed rustic style, while 18% were keeping it traditional and simple. 16% were having no theme at all, while themes like vintage, floral, sparkle and beach were also popular.
You’ll find all these styles and more in our real brides’ stories. For example, fans of rustic romance will love Annie and George’s beautiful barn wedding or Grace and Anthony’s laid-back vibe. If you’re heading abroad, you’ll adore the stunning scenery in this last-minute Maldives wedding. Love elegant simplicity? Then you’ll like Meg and Alex’s big day look. Whatever your style, we have a real wedding to match!
The look of love
Remember, your theme sets the tone for your whole day. So, create a scrapbook, start a Pinterest board or invest in a beautiful notebook. Then jot down your thoughts on everything from how you want the day to feel to colour schemes, photography styles and favourite flowers. Magazines, wedding blogs, Pinterest and Instagram are all great for ideas and inspiring images. It’s also fun to do this with your other half, as sharing your thoughts and ideas will help bring them to life.
A style to suit your venue & season
Thinking about where you’re marrying and at what time of year is a good place to start. When we asked our brides-to-be what what kind of venue they had booked, nearly 25% were marrying in a hotel, 13% in a country manor house and 12% in a barn. Other popular venues included restaurants, marquees, castles and beaches.
The time of year will also play a big part and each different season offers something magical. For example, at a spring wedding you can make the most of the soft pastels and pretty flowers, while in summer you can go for sunny brights. Autumn offers a beautiful back drop of soft light and changing leaves and in winter you can use the chilly weather to your advantage with rich jewel tones, a roaring log fire and glasses of mulled wine.
Find your dream theme
Understandably, you probably still have a million ideas and questions, so below we’ve picked the top six most popular wedding themes to help you narrow it down to the one for you…
As our recent survey shows, rustic is one of the most popular wedding themes this season. Think rural venues, floral wreaths, naked cakes, soft muted colours and flower arrangements with that ‘just-picked’ feel.
Katie and Ben did the look beautifully with this stylish barn venue and a light white and sage green colour scheme with splashes of pink. Gemma and Owen chose a mix of dove greys and pale pinks to accessorise their pretty barn, along with displays made of pallets, wooden boards, pegs and trailing greenery.
When it comes to accessories, rustic is a great choice for keen DIY brides, as homemade is the look to go for. String up fairy lights, fill mason jars with flowers or candles, create table plans with twine and pegs and display your cake or centrepieces on chunky wooden boards.
Wrapping your stationery in a neat twine bow is a simple but effect way to get the look too, as you can see by this lovely invite by Lottie Louise Designs.
For the dress, the choice really is yours. Understated and floaty boho styles look great in a rustic setting, as the unstructured relaxed look is the perfect match for the decor. However, it’s also a theme that works beautifully with something more traditional or even a low-key modern style, which perhaps explains why this theme is so popular!
Classic and elegant is a look that just won’t date, and was the second most popular of our wedding themes. This is a look best suited to a sophisticated manor house or perhaps a smart country hotel, like Carla and Tolu’s white themed wedding. Jennifer and Adam mixed whites with the lightest greens and blues for a timeless look that was stylish and elegantly understated.
White with touches of gold works beautifully with this theme and we also love quietly luxurious tones, such as navy, burgundy or deep purple, for a classic celebration. These stunning white and gold wedding images from The Event Stylists, capture the look perfectly.
A tiered white cake is ideal too, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add an up-to-date twist. This stylish cake by Fays Cakes beautifully combines glitter and ruffles with a classic silhouette.
When it comes to the outfits, this happy couple paired the groom’s black tie outfit with a fitted sheath-style dress that really will stand the test of time. Our classic dresses include everything from ballgowns and sheaths to mermaid and tea-length styles, but they all have that sense of timeless sophistication that will look good in your photographs for years to come.
Mixing elements of nature, along with plenty of romanticism and individuality, bohemian is a beautiful and versatile theme. The words ‘boho chic’ conjure up images of loosely arranged wildflowers and gorgeously relaxed decor. Get the look with pretty tea lights, paper lanterns and floral garlands, alongside quirky touches, such as feathers, ribbons, flower hoops or bunches of dried grasses.
Your dress should be suitably soft and unstructured too, to match the decor. Our Heidi Hudson collection is a great choice, as it blends elements of modern, informal styling with vintage romance. Perfect for free-spirited, bohemian brides. Its lightweight skirts, floaty sleeves and soft detailing, look amazing with tumbling hair, styled with braids, flower bands or floral headpieces. This look is all about freedom and creativity, so set your artistic spirit free!
Our real brides love boho, too. Nicola and Lucy married in a beautiful woodland and decorated their reception with handmade macrame details and dream catchers. Meanwhile, Samantha and Nathan went for a sunny festival vibe, complete with flower crowns, teepees and colourful lanterns.
A contemporary wedding theme can be anything from minimalist whites and greens in an urban warehouse to funky modern styling with bold accent colours and eccentric decor. The venue here is key, and it’s the perfect look for a glamorous city hotel, an art gallery, a plain white studio or something that feels a bit more industrial.
However, modern doesn’t need to mean lacking in colour. Newlyweds Georgina and Toby held their wedding at a photography studio in London. It gave them the perfect white backdrop for vibrant pink and berry-coloured flowers, large balloons and stylish gold signage.
Alternatively, Fenchi and Darmesh gave their big day a contemporary feel with a modern venue and a striking round floral display that added real wow-factor.
Mix it up with your cake and stationary too. A tiered cake with modern grey marbling and ruffles, like this delight from Pretty Cake Creations, feels very contemporary.
As does this smart stationary, featuring simple eucalyptus leaves and a chic font by Make Me Digital.
When it comes to your dress, our more contemporary designs often feature fitted silhouettes, on-trend oversized appliqués and catwalk-inspired details, such as draped beading or sexy, cut-out panels. Key-hole backs and off-the-shoulder straps are also big this season and are perfect for modern, fashion-conscious brides.
Magical fairy tale
Full of romance, this is one for the princess brides. Think overflowing floral displays in every kind of pink, from soft pastels to vibrant brights, garlands of fairy lights, candles, silk ribbons, the prettiest stationery and, of course, plenty of sparkle.
It’s a theme that works beautifully with a storybook setting, such as a historical manor house or dramatic castle. The right stationery, like this luxurious design from The Bridal Paperie, with its elegant rose gold monogram and swirling font, will set the tone perfectly.
And we love this amazing cake from The Little Sugar Box, with its tumbling flowers and woodland feel. It’s almost too pretty to eat!
Abbie and Josh had the woodland fairy tale theme that Abbie had always dreamed of, complete with floral headdress, wooden lanterns, diamond-encrusted candles and photos in front of a nearby castle.
Jenna and Matt went for rose gold, dusty pink and ivory colours with a stunning ballgown dress. Then a classic horse and carriage completed the romantic feel.
The quintessential princess dress is undoubtedly a dramatic ball gown or a flattering A-line with plenty of bouncy underskirts. Then, for the embellishment, there’s detailed lace, beautiful bows and dreamy tulle in the perfect shade of soft blush. And, when its comes to glitter, more is more with this wedding theme! Dresses with glitter tulle, sequin-embellished lace and sparkling beading are ideal, all topped off with the perfect princess tiara and a cathedral-length veil fit for royalty.
A vintage love affair
Finally, we have a touch of retro romance for you. Vintage wedding themes are ones that hark back to a mid-century, golden era, with old fashioned crockery, retro items, such as jugs, books and vases sourced from Ebay or charity shops, and plenty of floral bunting and homemade decor.
It’s also a great choice for eco-conscious brides. If you have the time to scour the internet for real vintage items, rather than buying brand new, vintage-look decor, it’ll help save both your pennies and the planet. There are also companies like Nanny Nellies Attic, where you can hire a selection of fabulous vintage crockery, postboxes, cake stands, vases and more. These sweet chair sashes from the The Vintage Sash Company are the perfect addition to a vintage-look celebration.
Claire and Nick created an old-style English tea room for their big day, decorated with tons of homemade bunting, and served afternoon tea for all their guests. Anna Jayne Designs has also got the look nailed with this fabulously floral stationery, complete with matching bunting and bow ties.
A tower of pretty cupcakes is a great idea for a retro wedding and, of course, the look wouldn’t be complete without suitably old-fashioned transport, like Ciaran and Sami‘s stylish VW camper van!
When it comes to flowers, a neat posy looks fab with a vintage dress. This pretty pink bouquet from Paper Bouquets is perfect and will also be a lasting memento of the big day. For centrepieces, consider sourcing mismatched jam jars and vintage vases and incorporating things like secondhand books or old photo frames into the mix.
Our vintage-style wedding dresses are often decorated with beautiful lace for a retro feel and silhouettes include sheath, mermaid and A-line styles. However, for a real 1950s’ feel try a tea-length with a pair of fabulous shoes, like real bride Maria. Then finish the look with a sparkling hairband and a shorter, elbow-length veil.
So, we hope we’ve given you somewhere to start when it comes to choosing your big day look. For more inspiration, ideas and wedding themes check out our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as our WED2B blog. Lastly, don’t forget to read our latest real bride stories too, for tons of great ideas from the people who’ve been there and done it!
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