Wedding Styles and Themes

Planning Your Unique Wedding

When a couple thinks of their dream wedding, it's really the wedding's style or theme they're envisioning. To help set the wedding style consider when you'd like to get married (season), where you'd like to get married, the possible number of guests and of course, your personal tastes and interests.

First, decide if you'd like a formal or more casual wedding style. A formal wedding theme is your classic "fairy tale" wedding; traditional church ceremony, lavishly decorated reception at a country club, three-course dinner, four-tier wedding cake and a breathtaking bride clad in a snow white wedding dress. A formal wedding theme almost always takes place in the afternoon, with dinner held in the early evening and dancing long into the night. The music is provided by a band or small orchestra. As for the guest attire, think men in black tie and women in sophisticated dresses. The guest list for a formal wedding usually numbers in the hundreds; therefore this wedding style can be quite expensive. There are also more details to worry about. However, when it's all said and done a formal wedding style has an enchanting, magical quality you're not likely to experience again, except in your fondest memories!

At the opposite end, there is the more casual or simple wedding style... simple perhaps, but never plain. What a casual wedding theme lacks in extravagance or number of guests it makes up in elegance, intimacy and a lighthearted atmosphere. Whether it's a morning ceremony in the garden followed by brunch in a gazebo, or a sunset cruise ceremony followed by cocktails on the lake, a casual wedding allows for easy conversation and the enjoyment of good company. The advantages of a more intimate wedding theme are the endless possibilities of where to host it: at the beach or in your backyard, in a wildflower-filled meadow or at a local National Park.

A themed wedding is also better suited to a casual wedding; think costumed guests and spooky decorations during a Halloween wedding and a backyard barbeque and fireworks during a wedding on the Fourth of July. Another theme to consider is a green wedding, with environmentally friendly decorations.

Further to the level of formality, the time of year contributes significantly to the wedding's style. Most couples wed during the spring or summer to take advantage of the warm weather and the peak of nature's beauty. However, don't be so quick to rule out an autumn or winter wedding; the spectacular glory of autumn and the crystalline purity of winter have a stunning beauty all their own. Plus, there are many holidays during the colder months that make popular wedding themes: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve and the most romantic day of the year, Valentine's Day.

Overall, your wedding style and theme should be a reflection of your tastes and interests. If you're a country girl at heart who has wonderful childhood memories of your grandparents' farm, a casual country-themed wedding may be your dream come true. And if nothing else, your wedding style should be something close to your heart.

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