Jeffrey yesterday spoke to his cousin, Nana, for the first time since the engagement. Nana got married to her husband Ray a few years ago after just a six-month engagement. Nana had seven bridesmaids and Ray five groomsmen – well, as far as I can tell from the Facebook photos. Guests numbered 300 and the theme looks like it was purple. So Nana knows all about weddings and planning.
When Jeffrey passed the phone over to me, our conversation went something along the lines of:
Nana: What is the theme?
Me: We don’t have a theme.
Nana: But you must have an idea of colour?
Nana: And you haven’t started a mood board?
In my previous post I spoke briefly about themes when discussing venue options, as it seems many venues already provide some theme or other,which consequently tends to be step back in time 100 years to sit in a stuffy, fussy room with seat covers and over the top table settings. Jeffrey and I aren’t ones for themes, but if we were then we would probably say we are aiming for our wedding to be a reflection of us.
This got me thinking. What would our ‘us’ theme be? And what themes do other people go for?
According to wedding website Confetti, a wedding theme is:
A certain style choice for your day that you then reflect in your choice of invitations, dress code, decorations, music, you name it! Whether you choose something like a particular subject as a theme, (such as football, butterflies or chocolate), or a colour theme, (like pink, black and white or rainbow colours for example), a wedding theme will create a unique style and mood for your celebrations and the choice of theme is entirely up to you.
Now I’m not going to answer the question about our ‘us’ theme (if you can call that a theme?). That will come with time. But I have had a look at some wedding themes floating about in cyberspace. And my word some of them are themes and a half!
In general I’ve found themes which can be filed into three categories:
- of the moment
The most common theme choice seems to be colour. Be it red, purple, brown, gold, etc. The possibilities are (almost) endless. Here’s a pink and brown theme for you to feast your eyes over. Delightful, no?
It seems that when you opt for a colour theme everything has to adhere to the theme – invitations, orders of service, the bridal party (bridesmaid dresses, parents of the bride outfits/corsages, etc), the groom’s party, flowers, table decorations, favours, cake, chair cover ribbons, etc. The only exception I can see in many themes is the bride’s gown. But even this doesn’t get off scott free – often the gown will be finished off with a colour coordinated sash. And, of course, the bride will be decked out with colour coordinated bouquet and, often, hairpiece. Luckily, ladies, Wedding magazine advised me today (yes yes, I have succumbed to the wedding magazines) that if you can’t decide on your colour theme but want to get your invitations out you should send opt for “neutral shades of ivory, silver or gold and then you can add splashes of colour later on with the table stationery. That way you can relax knowing that the important invites are posted before deciding on the colours for your big day”. Phew, now we can breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Colour theming to this extent certainly isn’t for us.
The ‘of the moment’ theme
Now as far as I can tell, there are a number of themes that appear in vogue at any one time. In recent years eco, homemade, vintage, burlesque and 50s weddings seem to have become popular. Of course, these aren’t mutually exclusive and often go hand-in-hand with a colour theme. Let’s take a look at eco weddings as an example.
Typically, to be ecological the bride and groom-to-be should be thinking of wearing dresses and suits by designers who use organic, fairtrade or natural materials and dyes. Alternatively the happy couple could choose to have second-hand outfits re-styled or altered to suit, or opt for hired outfits.
Other eco aspects to consider for the wedding day include: using recycled card and vegetable inks for invitations, place cards and orders of service; hiring environmentally-conscious venues; using locally-sourced free range meat and eggs for the meal and cake; using local and/or fairtrade flowers for bouquets, table decorations and as confetti; or hiring environmentally friendly transport – coach, bicycles, horse and cart, etc. And it certainly looks like there are all sorts of suppliers claiming to meet these requirements.
However, I can’t help but feel that many of the ‘eco’ weddings I have come across for this blog are half-heartedly environmentally friendly, and more style over substance. For example, the wedding of Chad and Christine in California USA, though beautiful, was described as an ‘eco wedding’. The blog on which it features, which happens to have so many beautiful looking weddings, doesn’t delve deeply into the particulars of the environmentally friendly aspects of their day, but this Barefoot and Beautiful wedding seems to be similar to many other ‘eco weddings’ I’m aware of, whereby the inclusion of just one or two semi-eco elements equals a fully fledged ‘eco wedding’. Chad and Christine’s eco elements were apparently homemade invitations and napkins, wooden rings (such as those below) and a barefoot bridal party. They certainly weren’t her beautiful Sue Wong designer beaded dress, the groom party’s suits or the lovely vintage car.
The novelty theme
It appears, rather sadly, that novelty themes are on the increase. I went to a wedding several years ago which had the theme ‘cartoon characters’. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos to share so my short forthcoming explanation will have to suffice. The bride was dressed as Princess Fiona from Shrek (alas not when she’s green and, for reasons I cannot fathom, in a red rather than green dress). The groom was dressed as DangerMouse complete with white body paint, swimming cap, eye patch and ears. The best man was dressed as Penfold, DangerMouse’s sidekick. He was a mess and the whole thing was rather comical.
So what other options are there for those wanting a ‘different’ or ‘memorable’ wedding? Well, it seems that when it comes to novelty themed weddings anything goes. Be it football, Cadbury’s purple (left, which mixes both theme and colour – clever, no?), fairytale, cartoon, 80s, burlesque, James Bond, Star Wars, 1940s, Gothic, rainbow hippytastic, or Parisian punk rock Marie Antoinette, it seems there’s no stopping the novelty theme and it’s popularity.
Now I know it’s each to their own and all that. But I promise you, Jeffrey Boakye and I will not be subjecting ourselves, nor our guests, to some lame excuse of a ‘theme’.