Home    |    About    |    wedding photography    |    INFORMATION    |    blog    |    Contact

To Theme Or Not To Theme?

One way that many people try to make their weddings a big hit is by using a theme as a part of the ceremony. While this can make organizing the wedding easier, it is not always a perfect solution. The only way to know if a theme will be a good choice for you is by looking at the pros and cons of a themed wedding and considering your own personal situation.


A themed wedding offers couples many benefits. Some of these benefits may not be the first ones that spring to mind, however. Let’s look at the major advantages below, and see if they are what you were expecting!

Time Savings

While you may be thinking of things like “fun” and “cool look” as an advantage of a themed wedding, you should also be thinking about time. Having a themed wedding can shave hours off of the amount of time needed to pick invitations, reception halls, cake styles, bridal party outfits, and so on. While this may seem counterintuitive, just looking down a store aisle at a pile of wedding stuff can be overwhelming, so it helps to have your parameters narrowed in advance.

Cost Savings

While theme weddings can be pricey, they can also help couples limit their wedding expenditures. You will be able to give clear guidelines to caterers, florists and photographers in keeping with your theme that should also help keep them on task and on budget. Your guests will also appreciate the guidance about what they should get to wear and/or to bring to the wedding.

Stress Savings

When you start planning a wedding, everyone will be asking “What are you doing for . . .” and it can be really stressful. When you have a theme, it is easier to have answers for what you are doing for music, the reception, the meal, invitations and so on. You will be able to be more clear and decisive with family and friends, reducing your overall stress level greatly.

Boredom Savings

Okay, this is the savings you were thinking of! Having a themed wedding helps your ceremony stand out from the crowd. It will make your day more special and memorable for your guests, and keep people from being bored by more of the same old, same old. You can be really creative and interesting, ensuring that everyone has a great time and an experience they can treasure.


On the other hand, themed weddings are not always everything they’re cracked up to be. Instead of being a dream, they can be a complete nightmare from start to finish! If you are really debating between a theme and a traditional wedding, here are a few cons to keep in mind.

Money, Money, Money

Themed wedding can be super expensive, even if they start off as simple. By the time you get the specialty napkins, the funky centerpieces, and the unique invitations ordered you may have spent your entire budget. Add in expensive outfits, non-standard menus, special requests to photographers, venue costs, hair, make-up, set-up, clean-up and every other detail you can imagine, and .

. . well . . . .you may find yourself deeply in debt just for this one element of your special occasion. Thus, if you don’t think you can control your spending, you may want to shy away from any elaborate themes.

Hassle and Complications

If you want a scuba theme complete with underwater “I do’s”, you may think it is fairly straightforward. However, you may need to arrange for equipment rental, special zoning permissions, training classes for the bridal party or officiator, water proof photography, and/or environmental impact assessment. Yikes!

This is just one example of the ways that a themed wedding can be a real hassle to pull together. You may find that the details are difficult to arrange and the whole project becomes a massive undertaking that would overwhelm even a professional planner, much less a do-it-yourselfer! The complexities of a themed wedding can make the whole thing more trouble than it’s worth.

Wacky, Tacky, and Weird

Sometimes, what sounds like a good idea on paper looks like something truly bizarre when it is actually executed in real life. One major drawback of themed weddings is that they can get a little strange despite the best intentions of the couple. (You can watch the romantic comedy 27 Dresses to see examples of how things can go wrong!) You will want to put some real thought into whether or not your theme is tasteful and appropriate before committing your time and wedding budget to it.


As we’ve discussed, themed weddings give you a lot of different options to think about as you do your wedding planning. However, sometimes the hardest part about it is deciding on a theme! To help you get some ideas of themes you could use at your wedding, here is an overview of some of the most popular themes currently making their way through the wedding world.

Princess/Fairytale Wedding

Now, some will argue that this isn’t a theme, but rather the heart of every wedding fantasy. However, while a traditional wedding may be based around the idea of meeting “your prince” or “my princess”, when you formally theme your wedding in this way you need to make that much more blatant. Expect to see things like tiaras, horse drawn carriages, and heavy-handed use of Cinderella style imagery.

Variations on the theme:

▪ Disney-style Princess, such as Cinderella, Beauty & The Beast, or Snow White. These themes can sometimes be purchased as a kit, making planning and execution of the wedding easier on the couple.

▪ Fantasy/Fairytale, with wizards, castles, dragons and/or knights. Camelot, Romeo & Juliet, and Lord of the Rings style weddings are often in this camp, along with Princess Bride themes.

Goth Wedding

This wedding theme style may have originated to be the antithesis of the fairytale wedding tradition. Your typical goth themed wedding features lots and lots of black, with dark and brooding accents. Expect to see pancake make-up, retrofitted hearse transport, and heavy-handed use of stereotypical Halloween themed imagery.

Variations on the theme:

▪ Vampire stuff is hot, hot, hot right now. This has been helped in no small part by the smash success of the Twilight novels and movies, which have reignited the vamp-love among many young brides. Also, this can be done in a serious or kitschy way, giving couple more flexibility.

▪ Tim Burton style. From Edward Scissorhands to Beetlejuice, Nightmare Before Christmas to Corpse Bride, there are some very iconic bits of imagery that can be incorporated into this kind of themed wedding.

▪ Punk Rock, which can be done as a David Bowie / Joan Jett kind of thing, or as more of a modern punk look too.

Western Wedding

Western styled weddings can focus on a couple different areas of Western heritage. You can keep it light or go to extremes. Some couples go for a cowboy boots and saddles look, while others dress from tip to toe in pioneer gear and use covered wagon decorations. Expect to see weathered wagon wheels, saddled ponies or trucks for transportation, and heavy-handed use of spaghetti western imagery.

Variations on the theme:

▪ Western Movie themes, using films like Maverick or anything from Clint Eastwood’s career. This can also be extended to be a satirical take on the Western theme, using films like Blazing Saddles as an inspiration.

Beach Wedding

Beach themed weddings can be true destination weddings, or they can bring island flair to your indoor event. Sand is optional, of course! Some couples adopt a kitschy Hawaiian theme, while others simply include palm trees and sunset motifs in their décor. Expect to see coral colors, sailing away themed transportation, and heavy-handed use of tiki torches, pastels, and oceanic imagery.

Variations on the theme:

▪ The scuba wedding can be considered to be a variation on the overall beach theme. These can be all underwater affairs or split between an above and below ceremony. In some instances this will be dictated by the jurisdiction.

▪ Beach movies and musicals, such as South Pacific or Castaway, can also be used for thematic cues as you plan a beach wedding.

Green or Eco-Friendly Wedding

This wedding is less about a design theme than about a conscious decision to minimize the environmental impact of the wedding and ensure that everything used is biodegradable or recyclable. You can choose to have this extend to the clothing as well as the favors, using thrift purchases or vintage dresses and tuxes. For this, expect to see recycled paper invitations, carbon- neutral transportation, and heavy-handed use of eco-friendly labeled everything.

Variations on the theme:

▪ Vegan, Vegetarian, and Animal-Cruelty Free style weddings adopt these tenets as the guiding principles of everything about the wedding, from the outfits to the food to the decorations. While this can be limiting in terms of product availability in mainstream brick-and-mortar stores, there are many online outlets that cater specifically to this niche.

▪ Earth Child or Hippie kinds of themes also incorporate many of the green and eco-friendly tenets. You can go retro or modern with this and still find great products for all of your needs.

Adrian Mata Fort Myers Wedding Photographer

(239) 895-6953


For more info visit 


For wedding planning visit 


Leave a Reply

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

Meet Adrian

Fort Myers Florida based wedding photographer - "and the truth is - I've been married a ton of times! Well, not... literally."

"I have met with many couples in love, gone through weeks of planning, guided my couples on how to get the most amazing wedding photography, and tackled the day flawlessly over and over and over."


4538 Winkler Ave. 33966
 Adrian Mata Wedding Photography   


Fort Myers Wedding Photographer, Adrian Mata is committed to making sure couples have the best wedding photographs. He always makes use of the highest-end equipment, experience, and artistic abilities to create wedding photography. "With my concepts, I am able to capture every moment in detail, thereby leaving a lasting impression couples wont soon forget."