The simple answer is ‘no’ you don’t need to have a wedding theme – but there are many good reasons why you might consider having one.
But before we start, let’s get a little niggle of mine out of the way. Wedding themes and styling have gotten a little out of hand. That’s just my opinion but I’m sticking to it.
Instagram and Pinterest are great references for inspiration but can also make you feel detached from the wedding you want and the wedding you can afford.
Real weddings, on the whole, are nothing like the photo shoots you see online so please don’t be disheartened or think you can’t compete because you’re not competing with something ‘real’ when you’re looking at a shoot. Think of shoots like a catwalk. Fashion on the catwalk is the concept. Fashion on the rail is what people actually buy. Most of us could never afford those enormous floral displays and towering cakes seen in shoots and you don’t need Egyptian cotton napkins, hand stitched with gold thread and a fairy dust monogram to have the best day of your life. None of that fluff and fancy really matters in the overall scheme of things.
Now before anyone gets cross, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have all that if you want it. It’s your wedding after all! I’m just saying it’s okay not to want to want it too. It’s okay to want a wedding that’s all about the love and less about the stuff.
Planning a wedding can be overwhelming to say the least. Things can easily get too much and before you know it everything has run away with you and you’re in a financial mess. It’s really important you don’t start off married life in debt up to your eyeballs just for one day, no matter how important that day is. But don’t worry. I’ve got you and you’ll find on my blog over the coming weeks, wedding planning tips and advice you need to make your wedding extra special without breaking the bank.
So what’s our motto? – “Be in love, not debt!”
Having said all that, getting married, at least if you want the traditional trimmings, is still expensive. It’s all relative I know, but putting on a bash is going to need at the very, very, VERY least a four figure budget and that would be a really cut back wedding with a handful of people. If you want most of the traditional things and for instance 50 guests, we are talking five figures. Furthermore, whatever amount you think you’re going to spend, however thrifty you think you can be, my advice would be to add 25%. If this end figure is too high, lower your original spend amount. We’ll discuss budget management in a different post.
all from Inviting Writing, Leicestershire – mention insposa when you email Vicky
What’s the most important part of our wedding day?
The two of you. That’s it really. And I don’t mean ‘it’s all about us so no one else matters’. I mean this is your special day and you deserve to celebrate it the way you want to. There will always be other people’s feelings to consider – a wedding shouldn’t be about causing rifts and upset but there is also a line that others shouldn’t cross if it means forcing you both to celebrate in a way that you’re not comfortable with.
My starting point for couples has always been, if you can imagine standing together on your wedding day, each wearing what you’d wear to the supermarket, saying your vows, exchanging rings, with tears in your eyes and love in your heart, nipping to the pub with your loved ones, eating fish and chips, popping a bottle or two and dancing on the table – if the idea of this simple wedding still makes your heart flutter with love and romance then anything else you do is just the cherry on an already perfect cake.
But getting married, your wedding day, is a BIG BIG occasion and cause for celebration so the chances are you want to do things with a bit of extra special. How mad you go is down to you. But promise me you won’t ever think that any of the ideas or inspiration on this blog are must haves. They’re not. They are pure and simple ideas of ‘extra special’ to give you some inspiration. Take what you love. Ditch what you don’t. Have your day, your way. Big, small and everywhere in between.
What’s the benefit of having a theme for our wedding?
Okay so let me get back to the point of this post. Without a focal point for the feel/vibe/style/theme, whatever you want to call it, you run the risk of going off track which often leads to unnecessary overspending. Not good. Furthermore you end up with a mish-mash of ideas that cancel each other out. This means you won’t create an atmosphere.
The reason why I suggest choosing a feel/vibe/style/theme (take your pick) is because it should help you stay focussed. You should more easily resist impulse buys that conflict with your chosen style. I emphasise should because you do have to be strict with yourself and apply a level of discipline
Reality Check Yourself Do we need this? How will this enhance the day? What difference will it make if we don’t have it? Would I prefer to save the money for our honeymoon or home!
I can’t really help you with this bit because it’s a purely personal thing but if a theme doesn’t come naturally to you then your focal point can be anything – a colour, a book, an era, your favourite flower or film, a holiday you took or something more meaningful; a hobby you share, where you first met, your song, even the dog! I always think personal themes are more fun because those who know you best will get it. It doesn’t hurt to emphasise your differences as well as what you have in common. But simply choosing your favourite colour works just as well. Just have fun with it.
Your biggest spend will usually be your venue. This will, and to be honest, should, dictate the atmosphere you’re trying to create.
Choosing a venue means finding a space that works for you, your guest numbers and your budget, but wherever possible, choose one which compliments your vibe. This will make it easier, and in most cases less arduous on your budget, if you pick a venue that works hand in hand with the style of wedding you’re after.
My one rule of thumb is, don’t fight the room. If you want a crisp, clean, contemporary style don’t choose a grand stately home. You’ll be fighting for position with the antiques. If on the other hand you’re looking for a classic country house atmosphere then a square soulless conference room off the motorway isn’t going to help you either!
Visit as many venues as you can. You’ll soon identify what you like and what you don’t like and be prepared to change your mind several times. You may even find yourself falling in love with a venue which inspires you to go in a totally different direction with your theme. This is reason enough not to start buying the details before you’ve settled on your location.
Photography by insposa list member Karen Catchpole Photography | #karencatchpole
When you’ve narrowed down your search take a good look at the space. Identify the key features already in place and visualise how you can work with what’s already there. Don’t choose clashing colours that fight the room. Use the focal points and make them work for you. Sympathetically work in your personal touches. S&J’s woodland wedding (above) works because, well, they’re in a wood! The trees tell the story without any other props or hire required. Let Mother Nature give you a free helping hand where possible! She’s the very best stylist after all.
Choose a great florist and/or stylist with a style similar to your own and they will help you create the ambience you’re looking for. You don’t have to go mad. Very often less is more. Be guided by your space and what’s already in situ and wherever possible, reuse your flowers from ceremony to reception. This will save money in your flower budget too.
BUDGET SAVVY TIP A plainly iced or buttercream cake will pop in your photos when you encircle it with the bride and bridesmaids’ bouquets. It’s a less expensive option to decorating it with sugar flowers and makes your bouquet budget work that little bit harder.
What’s the downside to having a theme?
It can take over your life! And your budget. You could find yourself buying anything and everything that goes with your theme. Stop that. Don’t waste your money on trinkets and tat. Yes, I said tat because you can easily fall into that trap of buying nonsense things purely because they go with your theme.
Consider very carefully any decor you buy because you’ll have to find somewhere to put it after the wedding – unless you want it scattered about your home of course. And don’t ‘over style’ either. Once again, less is more. This is a wedding not a pantomime so keep it real. You and your partner are the centre of everyone’s attention. Too much styling means you run the risk of getting lost amongst the props.
If you’re on a strict budget keep the theme elements for a few of the key pieces you’re buying anyway – your cake, flowers and centrepieces and maybe add a few touches to your guest book display. One statement piece can work better than lots if itty-bitty things no one will notice.
Try and be true to you
I guess the point of this post is to give you the confidence to go your own way, whatever that looks like. I speak with many brides who are concerned their weddings don’t have enough styling or theming and this fear comes from scouring Instagram and Pinterest and comparing what they’ve planned to styled shoots they’ve seen. If you want something and you’re happy spending the money on it then have it, but not because you think you should or someone will criticise your wedding if you don’t. I always say if someone tells you you MUST have a certain ‘thing’ else your wedding won’t be the same, but you’re not particularly bothered about having it, then let them pay for it if it matters that much to them! Otherwise go your own way.
Above all, wether you choose a wedding theme or not have fun with planning the details!
Are you having a wedding theme? If so what is it? I’d love to hear your plans.