The online journal of my photoshoots, travels, and more.

the blog

 head due north

Popular Wedding Theme Ideas to Inspire You

March 16, 2023

Choosing a wedding theme is your time to let your personality shine! Settling on a wedding theme isn’t necessarily essential to your wedding planning, but it can help bring everything together and make your decisions easier. Once you’ve chosen a theme, it’ll narrow down your choice of venue, selecting the wedding cake, your wedding dress and your bridesmaid’s dresses, and even the music you choose to play at the reception.  

When it comes to choosing a theme, there are so many creative options to choose from. And the best part is because it’s your special day, you get to keep or add any element you want. Pretty neat, huh? 

But where do you even begin to choose a wedding theme? That’s what I’m here for! If you aren’t sure which wedding theme ideas would work for you, I’ve put together a list of some of the more popular themes to help get you started, from glamorous to relaxed and everything in between.

Rustic Wedding

Rustic Wedding | Brit Rader Photography | Destination Wedding and Elopement Photography

Rustic weddings create a down-to-earth feel that really brings out the countryside charm. Inspired by the simplicity of country life and references to the outdoors, rustic weddings typically have a laid-back and relaxed feel, rather than feeling overly formal.

Common elements of a rustic wedding include rugged and rustic elements, such as mason jars, hand-tied bouquets, cowboy boots, hay bales, burlap, natural textures such as wood and metal, mismatched vases, and florals with lots of greenery. 

Great venue choices for a rustic wedding include barns, ranches, farms, sheds, vineyards, or even just outside under a tree. Brides will often choose to hold the ceremony and reception at the same location, or at least on the same property. The reception typically consists of a family-style buffet dinner.

Vintage Wedding

Vintage Wedding | Brit Rader Photography | Destination Wedding and Elopement Photography

Vintage weddings are one of the most popular wedding themes, although there are a lot of different interpretations of what that could be. 

Although not always tied to one specific decade, vintage weddings have a style that is reminiscent of an earlier era. Common vintage wedding theme ideas include

  • Victorian Era
  • 1920’s or 1940’s
  • Old Hollywood Glamour
  • 1970 Bohemian

The era you choose can come expressed through many elements, such as clothing, hairstyle, makeup, venue style, floral arrangements, and decoration choices. No matter the era you choose, some common elements that tie vintage weddings together include weathered elements, lace wedding gowns, and loose bundles of flowers. 

Vintage weddings are typically formal occasions, although they may not include all the formalities of a traditional wedding. It may or may not include a sit-down dinner, but often has a cocktail bar. 

If you’re interested in a vintage-style wedding, check out this post for more ideas and inspiration. 

Classic or Traditional Wedding

Classic or Traditional Wedding | Brit Rader Photography | Destination Wedding and Elopement Photography

Classic or traditional weddings are timeless. They are elegant and classy occasions that often include a reception and a formal dress code, sometimes as formal as tuxedoes and ballgown dresses. Wedding ceremonies are often performed at a church, although that’s not exclusive. 

A hallmark of this wedding theme is the formal celebrations enjoyed, including

  • A bridal party
  • Cutting of the cake
  • Speeches
  • First dance
  • Father-daughter and mother-son dances
  • Garter and bouquet toss
  • Send off

I talk much more about classic or traditional weddings here in this blog post.

Bohemian Romance Weddings

Bohemian Wedding | Brit Rader Photography | Destination Wedding and Elopement Photography

This wedding theme is for the free-spirited at heart! Bohemian-style weddings are generally relaxed yet elegant, conveying an airy feeling and usually incorporating elements of nature. They have a very warm and inviting feel to them. 

Often held outside, bohemian weddings are best known for their flower crowns, oversized bouquets, mismatched bridesmaids’ dresses, and unexpected decor pieces. They are very adaptable though, and can easily be held indoors in places like a barn, greenhouse, or art gallery by incorporating greenery and floral decorations. 

Other popular bohemian elements include dream catchers, macrame elements, boho-chic vintage rugs, fringe, and floral table runners. 

Glamorous Weddings

Glamorous Wedding | Brit Rader Photography | Destination Wedding and Elopement Photography

Glamorous weddings make a bold statement. They are elegant, luxurious, and extravagantly decorated. Glamorous weddings are often held in churches and charming reception venues. They are formal, sit-down occasions that generally include all the formalities of a classic or traditional wedding. 

Create a glamorous wedding theme by using sparkly elements like table runners, long strands of crystals, sequined attire, and metallic colors such as gold and silver. Other common elements include hanging lights (think big chandeliers), calligraphy-written invitations, and lavish centerpieces. 

Visit here for more glamorous wedding-style ideas!

Beach Weddings

Beach Wedding | Brit Rader Photography | Destination Wedding and Elopement Photography

On the other side of the spectrum, beach weddings are quite opposite. They have a laid-back, casual, easy-going aesthetic. Think seaside vacation. Calm, relaxed, and carefree. Guests aren’t often required to wear clothing that is too formal. Some brides even choose to wear sandals or no shoes at all. 

Beach weddings are nature-inspired, incorporating elements such as seashells, driftwood, and tropical flowers. They often include a ceremony on the beach with a reception to follow at a nearby venue. A beach wedding is a great theme for a more intimate ceremony for just a handful of family and close friends.

Garden Wedding

Garden Wedding | Brit Rader Photography | Destination Wedding and Elopement Photography

Personally, I love garden weddings! I love all the greenery and foliage. Like beach weddings, garden weddings are generally relaxed, although they can range from a casual to a formal dress code. 

For a more casual feel, garden weddings can be held outdoors in a festival-inspired setting with food trucks and outdoor games to entertain guests. Formal garden weddings can include a formal sit-down dinner with formalities and traditions or a classic wedding. 

Indoors or outdoors, garden weddings can include floral wedding invitations, greenery centerpieces, breezy bridesmaid dresses, a flower-adorned cake, and other botanical-inspired details.

Narrowing Down Your Theme

It can feel overwhelming to try and choose a theme for your wedding, but I’ve got a few tips for you before we wrap up. 

  • Think BIG. When you’re in the initial stages of planning your wedding, don’t get too caught up in the logistics and minor details. Don’t worry about what others want, the cost, or how you’re going to pull it off. Start with your dreams, and go from there. 
  • Visualize. Start collecting ideas from everywhere. Magazines, blogs, books, and even unlikely places like perfume bottles or picture frames can provide good inspiration. Collect these ideas in a notebook or on a Pinterest board. It can be helpful to see your personal preferences gathered in one spot. 

Remember, any of these ideas are great, as long as it feels right to you. Use these ideas as a springboard. Add or take away anything you want. You want your personality and interests to shine through! This is what will ultimately make your wedding stand out and feel special. 

For help making your wedding stand out and feel special, contact me to schedule a free wedding photography consultation call! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





navigate the latest

let your mind wander


Let's start your adventure.

If you want to have a wedding experience that speaks to the soul of your relationship then...