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Weddings

8 unique wedding themes for every taste

Make your nuptials memorable and fun without veering into kitsch

1) Cowboy boots with flower bouquets stuck inside them. 2) Close up of a dog's face with wedding rings on snout. 3) Close up of a Christmas-themed wedding cake. Credit: Getty Images / AmyKerk / mictian / Giedre Narkeviciute

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Planning a unique wedding takes a lot of thought: you want something that’ll be memorable and fun—but you don’t want something that could cross the line into the kitsch territory. It should reflect your interests as a couple—but narrowing it down to something that suits the both of you is no small feat.

Interestingly, according to a recent study from wedding planning site Zola, weddings this year are going to be more unique than ever before as more and more couples begin to view their weddings as true reflections of their personalities and interests—in fact, the study found that 36 percent of couples are opting for ultra-specific and personal wedding themes.

Looking for inspiration to help you plan out your own unique wedding theme? Below, we spoke to a handful of wedding planners and event specialists to get their insights on the most unique wedding themes they’ve seen over the past few months—and how you can achieve the theme yourself.

1. A modern take on classic Western

Cowhide monogrammed artwork sits outside.
Credit: Etsy / HDRanchCreations

This'll make your guests say "Yee-Haw!" upon arrival.

“One popular wedding theme right now is the Western wedding—and no, a Western theme doesn’t mean that your venue has to be plastered in cowboy hats and horse tack,” says Gita Parekh, wedding trend expert & event specialist. “With the right touches, you can have a Western-themed wedding that stands the test of time.”

Parekh recommends going for a more natural look with dried tree branches, pampas grass, and dried florals. You can also lean into textures like wood and cowhide or leather, from your charger plates to your photo opportunities and beyond.

2. Make furry family members the stars of the ceremony

Close up of a bag of dog treats.
Credit: Etsy / thatbagladycreations

Even your fluffy friends deserve a personalized treat.

“One of the wedding themes I currently love is incorporating pets,” shares Jennifer Prince, founder of Hill City Bride. “In the past, pets have served the role as ring bearers or even best pups, but today’s couples are getting extra creative and putting pets at the forefront. It’s a sweet, playful theme that I hope to see around for a long time.”

According to Prince, pets are attending the big day from start to finish, and their likenesses appear on everything from custom made wedding favors to cake toppers featuring their furry friends.

Many couples commission artists to make stylized pet portraits to be used in wedding branding from the invitations to signage—and some couples are even naming their signature drinks after their furry, feathered, or scaly friends.

3. A retro-inspired take on the sporty wedding

Two sports-themed wedding signs.
Credit: Etsy / LilRusticSignShoppe

Make subtle sport references.

“An extra-creative way to build on a theme is to incorporate the hobbies of both partners, even if they don’t seem to blend,” says Prince. “If one likes books and the other enjoys sports, for example, there are plenty of ways to blend two seemingly different themes.”

Prince suggests decorating with vintage sporting books, having a calligrapher write quotes from famous athletes in personalized typeface for the invitations and wedding day signage, or adding framed sporting quotes throughout the venue, which will go together beautifully.

“Going beyond one to blend two is what the wedding day is all about, and it’s also a way to make both partners happy and allow their personalities to shine through in a unique way,” she adds.

4. Vivid boho-inspired coziness

1) Close up of four colorful stemmed glasses. 2) A colorful patched pillow.
Credit: Taganov / Juxami

Keep guests dazzled with pops of color.

“Boho style weddings are all the rage right now, but I’ve started seeing variants on the theme that take it to a different level, one that I call vivid boho,” says Emma Thurgood, wedding planner, and photographer in New England.

“It incorporates the elements typically seen at boho-inspired weddings (rattan furniture, pouf lounges, dried flowers, and pampas grass), but utilizes an unconventional color palette. Boho weddings are usually full of neutral shades, but in this example we see tons of pastels and brights, putting a fun, whimsical spin on the boho aesthetic.”

This style can be pulled off fairly simply by utilizing neutral tones, the key elements of a boho style and then pulling in a vivid color scheme of three to four related colors for pop accents, like colorful florals or pampas, glassware, pillows, braided poufs, and other accessories.

5. A subtle taste of pop culture

1) Close up of a Harry Potter-themed wedding invitation. 2) A branch cake topper.
Credit: Etsy / MaraudersSudio / RelaxingRecoveries

Show your fandom with subtle nods to your pop culture obsessions.

Parekh also suggests getting inspired by the pop culture trends that you and your partner enjoy, such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or even Star Wars. “This doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to flood your wedding with merch or make guests dress up in costume —though that can be fun,” she explains. “A pop-culture-themed wedding is about finding the balance between sophistication and the media that you and your partner love!”

You can add some symbolism from your favorite franchise to your wedding invitations, your place cards, or even your wedding cake. You can even find a dress that invokes the feel of your favorite fantasy setting. Mix these elements in with trending decor and timeless classic pieces, and you’ll have a wedding that people will be talking about for years to come.

6. A romantic night on the lake

A canoe wedding topper.
Credit: Etsy / sugarplumcottage

Add rustic and outdoorsy touches like this canoe cake topper.

“Working with a couple whose passion was kayaking together on Colorado mountain rivers, streams, and lakes, their wedding celebration had a ‘river-kayak’ theme,” shares JoAnn Moore, wedding and event planner.

“Their ceremony had various kayak-related decor by the creek. The tables were adorned with various shades of blue linens and for their centerpieces, they had fish bowls complete with live goldfish. The guests were invited to take the fish bowls home following the reception.”

7. Christmas Eve

A mistletoe sign for people to kiss.
Credit: Etsy / ExpressionsNmoreVer2

Add some Christmas cheer to you nuptials.

“I planned a wedding for a very special couple, who embraced the Christmas Holiday theme,” says Moore. “The couple were married at the local chapel, complete with poinsettias throughout the chapel, evergreen garland, and a very tall Christmas tree.”

“The reception was also in the holiday colors, with bright red flowers and white berry centerpieces, place-card-holders were of small clear ornaments filled with snow, and a guest appearance from Santa Claus, himself.”

According to Moore, a Christmas-themed wedding can be easily replicated for holiday lovers at any time of year with the right decor. She suggests considering a kissing booth with hanging mistletoe and selfie-sticks for the photo-op, props for dancing—like tinsel garland and Santa hats, and North Pole-inspired centerpieces.

8. A whimsical period drama romance

Croquet equipment lays in the grass.
Credit: Ropoda

Class up the reception with some activities that harken to your favorite costume dramas.

“Currently, I'm working on a themed Bridgerton meets Alice in Wonderland wedding, for late June,” explains Moore. “This will look like tea and croquet on the lawn pre-wedding ceremony; a set is to be built for a photo-op area that looks like a set from the Bridgerton series; the entrance to the ballroom for the reception will be a rabbit hole, complete with artificial moss and teacups scattered about. The ballroom will be filled with stunning installations of greenery and vines around the room; black and white checked floors for dancing, and more.”

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