Virginia wedding

Thinking About Wedding Themes

Wedding themes are important.  Here are many top choices!

When you see a wedding that is perfectly coordinated with all these layers of details, it is more than a color palette at work. And once you pick your theme, you instantly narrow down your choices of dresses, flowers, invitations, venues, and place settings.

The Vintage Wedding

Vintage can mean many things, but it is dominated by shades of white, fading pastels, and lace.
Anything over 50 years old is oftentimes referred to as vintage.  However, a vintage themed wedding has come to mean lace, pearls, white-on-white colors accented with light pinks, blues, greens, or yellows.  It also means cut glass or pressed glass that will catch the lights on patterned surfaces.  For a vintage wedding, it isn’t necessary to pick an era, just sample them.

Relive a Decade

The 20s is a fun decade full of short skirts, headbands with feathers, and long pearls.
When you start investigating vintage weddings, you might become attracted to particular decades.  Popular decades include the Roaring 20s, the Mod 60s, the Chic 50s, and so on.
The 20s had iconic sleek, satin dresses, headbands, feathers, long pearl necklaces, champagne fountains, teacups on great china, and white walled tires on Chryslers. The 30s and 40s had long sleek dresses with shoulder pads, hats with short, lace or fishnet-like veils, and big bands.  The 50s and 60s you see sleek, smooth hair, heavy eyeliner, short simple dresses, and not-in-nature patterns and colors.
The 40s was wartime chic and pin-up sexy.
Yeah, baby! Yeah! You have to be pretty cool to pull off a Mod Wedding theme, but standing out was always your bag.

Relive an Era

Another way to hone your vintage wedding into something more focused is to pick an era that has long passed. A popular and recognizable era is the Victorian era.  Another beautiful time to hark back to is the Medieval period.

Fit for a maiden, Medieval weddings give you the royal treatment.
The Victorian era is particularly popular, and in Virginia, there are plenty of wonderful venues that can give you that 18th century appeal.

Popular Style Themes

If going back in time isn’t appealing, there are themes that are just about style, not history.

Rustic Chic Weddings

Rustic doesn’t have to be in a barn, but natural,raw, exposed wood contrasted with elegant refinement is a must.

Rustic Chic can mean renting out a barn, but not necessarily.  Most rustic weddings include natural, unfinished wood props strung with lights and rose garland.  People employ copper and galvanized metal containers to hold bouquets of flower, or a galvanized tub to hold ice and beverages.  But it isn’t all raw wood and metal and rain barrels.  Oftentimes vintage or antique chandeliers are hung outdoors, so you have cut, sparkling glass to contrast with the distressed, naked wood.  This is a theme I can’t get enough of.

The Multicultural Wedding

Multicultural wedding theme oftentimes has passionate colors like oriental red or royal pink on purple, and you don’t have to settle for one tradition from one continent. Be a world traveler.

Another theme I’m in love with is the multicultural theme.  This doesn’t have to be for someone who wants to celebrate their particular heritage, but for someone who loves world travel and exotic locations.

There is a great use of hot pink and velvety purple with swaths of gold.  Radiant red, especially used as lace, also makes an appearance.  Headdresses are employed in lieu of veils and crowns of flowers.  Henna painting can beautify the ladies’ hands.  There are big shows of  tropical, summertime flowers and large, glossy leaved greenery.  There are brightly colored fabric or paper lanterns, but the most attractive quality to these weddings is  their use of colors and exotic traditions.

Could you imagine sending off invitations that look like passports?  What a wonderful introduction for some of your home grown relatives to a theme that you would like to be swept away by.  If you are really fortunate, maybe your honeymoon can be abroad.

The Seaside Wedding

A seaside wedding theme has many well known touches, from seashells and starfishes to glittering white sand. Don’t shy away from using swaths of fishing nets and hand blown glass fishing floats.

The Seaside Wedding has to be the second most notable wedding style of all wedding themes.  This theme does not have to be only for those being married at or on the seaside.   You just have to love the seaside.  Hurricane lamps, fish netting, seashells, and glittering sand are just a few of the notable pieces to this wedding.

So whether you get inspired to travel the world or visit the seaside or relive a decade or a century, your wedding can be any transporting theme you wish it to be.  Love making it your own no matter what you are basing it on!  Once you pick a theme, all your decisions will fall into place.

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The author: Dawn Van Ness

Dawn Dickson Van Ness grew up at the beach and has published her work in print and online. With a BA in English and a MS in Mass Communications, she has used writing and multimedia to promote artists, art shows, writers, small businesses, and other self-employed individuals by building websites and maintaining social media pages. She feels most fulfilled when she is helping others achieve their dreams, which includes writing self-help and steps-to-success articles for various websites. It seems a natural fit for this wife and mother of two to write features that help soon-to-be wed couples. For more about Dawn, go to

1 Comment

  • Oh my gosh I love love love love loveeee this! Some of these ideas and themeings are just simply brilliant! I may possibly have to steal some of these ideas for my own wedding! Literally can’t get enough of this! So perfect, some of these settings are simply divine too – this is where I really wish I had the ability to teleport to different locations around the UK/world – there’s so many gorgeous places to get married! The thing is though, even though I love the idea of a rural barn in scotland or a castle in devon, I live in Oxfordshire in england – and I really want to get married in the area so all my family and friends can come, so alas I will have to find something a little closer to home. Me and my fiancee (well I say my fiancee, more like me and my sister!) have been looking at different potential wedding locations – I really want somewhere exclusive and luxurious, but slightly quirky? Not OTT quirky but just a few unique little quirks to make it feel extra special if you know what I mean! We did come across a place called Aynhoe Park (here’s the site: ) has anyone had a wedding there before? Or has anyone been to one? If so I would literally love you forever if you could tell me what it was like and give some reviews? Obviously the photos look beautiful but I’d really love to know what actual guests thought of the venue! Thanks everyone (and apologies for the long comment – just call me Bride Zilla!) x

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