How to Find the Perfect Wedding Theme

And Create Invitations That Match!

Have you ever been to a wedding that leaves you thinking, “wow, that was SO them!”?

Whether it’s a rustic wedding in the middle of the forest or a GOT-inspired winter wedding, creating a day that’s true to you and celebrates all the reasons you and your partner are tying the knot is the goal of your big day!

So how do you make sure your wedding totally you-nique?

By choosing the perfect theme, of course!

Are you two total Avengers fans? Do you love the 20’s? Do you spend every weekend hiking in the mountains? At the beach?

These are all the start of great themes for your big day so if something just popped into your head –WRITE IT DOWN! 99% of the time your first idea will be the right one so go with your gut, even if it feels too easy!

Now, if you haven’t got the first clue what your theme should be or where to start – don’t worry! By the end of this post you’ll have found the perfect theme for your wedding and know how to create invitations that match! 

What is a wedding theme?

Isn't it so much easier to build a coordinated outfit with pieces you've bought from the same store?  

That’s because most clothing stores have a “look” they’re going for - a theme if you will - which means all the pieces you choose are already designed to go together!

This is exactly what a wedding theme is designed to do.

Brought to life using things like color and décor, choosing your wedding theme will help you make coordinated decisions on everything from:  

  • Venue
  • Décor 
  • Stationery
  • Flowers
  • Music
  • Wardrobe
  • Lighting
  • Menu
  • Activities
  • Colors
  • and more!

Why do I need a theme?  Isn't "wedding" enough of one?

Now, it might feel like you’ve already got a theme – after all, isn’t “wedding” enough of one?

Yes! But what do you want your wedding to look like? Feel like?

Having a clear vision in your head of what your wedding will look like (aka your theme) will help you:  

     1.  Stay Focused

  • Having an end goal will help you stay focused and committed to the most important planning priorities without getting distracted on other “what-if's”.

     2.  Make Faster Decisions

  • The minute you and your partner set a theme you’ll have instantly removed all the other “non-theme” options you would’ve previously had to consider. This means fewer options to choose from, faster decisions and TONS of time saved!

     3.  Save Money!

  • Weddings are expensive, so any way to save money is a total win! Having a theme will help you decide early on where to put your budget and prevent excess money from being spent on trial and error, samples, and those last-minute impulse buys that never go well with anything! AMIRIGHT?

Oh, and did we mention that having a wedding theme will make your day look a million times better than not having one? Just one more bonus in case the other three reasons weren’t enough! 😉 

Harvest Farm to Table Themed Wedding captured by Something Minted Photography

Ok, so how do I choose the right wedding theme?

With a million and one different options out there – choosing a theme is easy, but choosing the right one that’ll leave your guests saying, “that was so them!” can be a little trickier!

There are 3 things that will impact your theme more than anything else:  

     1. Your Venue

  • Your venue will have the biggest impact on your theme because it naturally creates a look and feel of its own – so if you’ve already booked your venue, you’ve already set a direction for your theme!
  • You can always bring more theme to a venue, but you it’s very hard to take it away. If you’re getting married in an urban loft in the middle of NYC – you might want to choose a more contemporary theme vs. a farmhouse wedding which might not work as well with the space. At the end of the day, you want your theme to compliment your venue and vice versa – not confuse or detract from it!
  • Artisaire Quick Tip: If your wedding is out-of-town or a destination wedding, we recommend setting your theme based on the style of venue vs. something topic-based like Game of Thrones – after all, that’s the whole point of a destination wedding, isn’t it?

Photo by Something Minted Photography

     2. Your Wedding Date
     
Choosing a theme that fits the season you’re getting married in is helpful for several reasons: 

  • You’ll have easy access to seasonal flowers, décor, attire, etc. that might be harder to find during non-peak of the year
  • Your guests will be more comfortable – a beach themed wedding probably won’t go over as well if you’re getting married on December 9th vs. July 9th!
  • It’ll cost less to celebrate in season than out of season – especially if you have to order any special items. 

Photo by Something Minted Photography

     3. Your Budget

  • Nobody likes the B-word, but it is SO important to think about your budget when choosing a theme! Beautiful weddings come in all shapes, sizes and budgets and there are SO many ways to get creative – but some themes will just naturally cost more!

Where do I start?

If you’re visual creatures like we are, you’re probably tempted to head straight to Pinterest – but TRY to resist the urge!

Instead of scrolling, start with this quick exercise:  

  • First, sit down with your partner and download your free copy of The Artisaire Theme Guide and a pen; 
  • Next, close your eyes and think about your wedding day. What do you see? Hear? Feel? Smell? What words come to mind?   
  • Following the prompts on the worksheet, give yourselves 3 minutes to write down as many of those things as you can without editing!
  • Once you’ve brain dumped everything you can think of (without peeking at your partner’s list), bring your papers together and check off everything you wrote down in common! 

Meet the building blocks of your theme!

If you both wrote down: church, tents, outdoors, summer – having a traditional garden party wedding might be the perfect theme for your big day!

Once you have your big wins written down, the next step is to figure out what that’s going to look like! 

How do I figure out what my theme should look like?

Once you’ve decided on a theme – it’s time to start brainstorming what exactly you want it to look and feel like.

But, what if you're still not 100% what your "theme" should look like?  What better place to look for things that look and feel authentically you than inside your own home? 

Here are 3 fabulous (and unexpected) places to look for inspiration:  

1.  Your Home Décor

We are total creatures of comfort and are naturally drawn to and create spaces that reflect our personality. If you and your partner live together – you’ve likely created a space that you’re both comfortable in. Whether that is a clearly defined style (hygge, traditional, rustic) or a mix-mash of everything, looking at the pieces in your home is a great place to find clues for your theme.  

  • If you and your partner are happiest living your Hygge life surrounded by clean lines, lots of neutrals, simple details done right - why wouldn't your wedding theme have the same aesthetic?
  • Or maybe boho chic is your vibe - pampass grass, macrame wall hangings and plants... ALL the plants!  Incorporating pieces like this into your theme is a great way to create a vibe that's totally authentic for your big day!
  • If you live in the mountains surrounded by natural stone and wooden beams - adding those textures and elements into your wedding is a great way to create a theme that's authentically you!

Photo by  Silent Living

Photo by Artiese

Photo by Naz K

Photo by Pablo Laguia

2.  Your Closet

Your closet is another great place to look for inspiration – especially when it comes to choosing color (a big part of any theme)!  Clothing is the biggest way we express color on a daily basis. You’ve heard people say (or maybe even said yourself), “oh I can’t wear that, it’s [color name here]”, right? We all have colors that we’re most comfortable in – and while we’re ALL about experimenting with color, choosing a palette that you’re comfortable with for your wedding will likely feel the most “authentically you”! 

  • If you only wear black – going with a neon wedding or hot pink bridesmaid dresses (that you loved on Pinterest) will look amazing – but might not feel the most like you!
  • For tips on how to style your stationery and get creative with color, click here:

3.  Your Photos

The third place to search for theme inspiration are your favorite pictures of the two of you! Where were you? What were you doing? What do you love most about the picture? What do those pictures have in common?

  • If all your favorite photos are of the two of you kayaking, that’s a great starting point for your theme! Whether you choose to have a beach theme, a kayaking theme, or simply use blue as part of your color palette – little details like this will help connect your story to your theme.

What are the most popular wedding themes?

1.  Classic/Traditional

PHoto by Michele Beckwith

There's a reason traditions stick around year after year - and yes, the same holds true for weddings!  Going with a timeless, class style for your wedding is a gorgeous choice, especially if you're hosting a more formal event.

2.  Romantic/Fine Art

Photo by Vasia Photography |  Venue: Villa Cimbrone  |  Planning by Joy Proctor

If you've ever dreamed of living in a fairy tale, this is the wedding theme for you!  Romantic, ethereal, and everything you could wish your wedding to be - this gorgeous scene has us swooning, and we don't plan to stop! 

3.  Rustic

Photo by Larissa Clevland | Planning by Habitat Events

Whether it's full-on country (think outdoor ranch wedding) or a modern interpretation of the two like this beautiful wedding at Foster Creek Farm - rustic is a beautiful, earthy choice for any outdoorsy couple! 

4.  Modern/Contemporary

Photo + Stationery by Plume Calligraphy

Geometric shapes, floral installations, balloon walls, you name it - choosing a modern theme for your wedding opens you up to TONS of different options for venues, florals, wardrobe and décor! 

5.  Minimalist

Photo by Artiese

Inspired by clean and modern interior design and architectural simplicity - minimalist is a beautiful way to keep your décor simple yet incredibly beautiful!

6.  Wanderlust

Photo by Amilia Photography

With a venue as picturesque as this one - it's no wonder more and more couples are using Wanderlust as their theme!  Focusing more on the place vs. the pieces added to it - this is a great way to showcase any destination wedding or special spot for you and your partner!

7.  Beach

Photo by Luna de Mare Photography |  Planning by Grit & Gold Event Co.

Perfect for destination and coastal weddings alike, it's no wonder that Beach-themed weddings are still one of the top trending options!  If you are your hubby live and love life at the beach - this is a gorgeous choice for your big day!

8.  Tropical

Photo by Casey Rose Photography |  Florals by Eclectic Sage  |  Planning by C and D Events

If your heart is in the tropics, there's nothing more perfect than the vibrant florals, cheerful décor and colorful palette of a tropical themed weddingg!

9.  Boho Chic

Photo by Brooke Taelor 

Boho chic was made for maximalism - from dried pampass grass to earthy rust tones and pops of black and burgundy, this theme is warm, earthy, dramatic and trending in a major way!

10.  Wild Card (Star Wars, 90's, GOT, Avengers)

Photo by Lauren Kinsey  |  Planning by Amorology  | Signage by Back Up Backdrops

More and more couples are getting fun and festive with their wedding theme by adding their personality to the big day!  Love the 90's as much as we do?  You're welcome for this one! ;)

I've found the right theme, now what?

Three cheers for you, girl!

Now that you’ve found your theme – it’s time to set the stage! Yes, we’re talking about those invitations!

Your invites will give your guests the first sneak peek of the big day – so let’s make sure they’re a perfect match!

Here’s how to take your theme and turn it into beautiful invitations:  

1.  Style

Just like décor – you can find stationery in any style! From fine art to modern and everything in between, the key to finding the right style of invitation is knowing where to look!

If you’re working with a stationer to create custom invites, look for one who has a similar style to your wedding theme for best results! If you’re hosting a Palm Desert wedding, find a stationer who loves that look as much as you do! You’ll totally be able to feel it in the finished piece!

If you’re creating your own invites through big retailers, here’s a list of the most popular invitation styles to look for:   

2.  Paper & Print

Paper and print come into play most often for fine art, vintage and traditional weddings – as those styles are typically paired with invitations made from handmade paper, calligraphy and letterpress printing!

The key to choosing the right type of paper and print for your theme is all about creating the look and feel you’re after!

Stationery by Plume Calligraphy

Example 1: Are you having a Vintage Romance themed wedding? Your invitations should share that “old-world” vibe. Choosing soft paper such as handmade paper or linen cardstock that have texture in off-white shades are both great choices, especially if you pair them with a traditional printing method like letterpress or engraving!

Stationery by Steph B. and Co.

Example 2: Are you having a contemporary wedding in the heart of the city?  Your invitations should be clean, simple and refined. Choosing a double thick cardstock with clean edges would be a beautiful choice – especially if you pair it with blind press printing, which is ALWAYS gorgeous for modern invitations!

Artisaire Quick Tip: When choosing paper and print for your invites – use clean lines and crisp stationery for modern themes (like double thick cardstock, acrylic or vellum) and softer paper for more traditional ones (handmade paper, cotton paper, linen cardstock).

3.  Color

Whether you’ve already got colors in mind or are still trying to decide on the right ones, color is the perfect way to incorporate theme into your invitations!

Our favorite way to do this is to grab a coffee and head to our local Home Depot! 

Once we’re there, we grab all the paint swatches we can find that “go” with our theme!  This could be the color of the flowers we’ll use, bridesmaids’ dresses, decorations, you name it – we basically just grab them all! 

Once you get home, start pairing those colors down until you find the ones (aim for 2-4) that go best together and fit your theme the closest. Those colors should be at the heart of your wedding and stationery color palette!

Easy right?

Photo by Tara Lynn Butterworth  |   Modeling by Jenny Sanders

Artisaire Quick Tip:  If you're not close to a paint store - you can use this same technique using pieces you have around the house!  Bits of fabric, ribbon, your favorite scarf, you name it!  If you're more digital - you can totally do this online as well!  Just make sure to order physical samples of the actual product to make sure everything goes together in person! 

Palette by Jenny Sanders

For more tips and tricks on styling your stationery with color (including the best invitations palettes to build), click here:

4.  Font

Font is another great way to bring theme to your invites! Your invitations will be mostly text – so make sure to find a font that fits your theme!

Here are a few tips on choosing the right font:  

1.  Serif Fonts = formal + traditional

  • A classic font style that has short lines at the end of each letter edge, serif fonts are most commonly used for traditional and formal invitations.   
  • Our current faves: Playfair Display, Adobe Caslon Pro, Mrs. Eaves, Bembo, Baskerville, Century

2.  Sans Serif Fonts = clean + contemporary

  • A clean font style with no embellished lines or detail on the letters, sans serif fonts are a great secondary font option for any invitation and are great for modern, contemporary and playful invites!
  • Our current faves: Raleway, Avenir, Optima, Futura, Alcubierre

3.  Script is often traditional but can be both depending on style (copperplate calligraphy vs. brush lettering).

  • A flowing, flourished cursive font style, script fonts can be either traditional or contemporary depending on the style!
  • Our current faves: Shelley Allegro, Scriptina Pro, Specimen VI

Artisaire Quick Tip: Try mixing fonts for a unique look! Consider using a serif font for your names and a sans serif font for the time, date and location – this adds visual interest and is great if your theme crosses multiple different styles!

5.  Finishing

Without a doubt, embellishments are the best way to incorporate theme into your invitations!

The accessories of the invitation world, you can use embellishments to add personality, color, flair and style to the simplest invite and immediately transform it into something completely unique.

Pretty cool, right?  

Here are a few great options:

  • Wax Seals
  • Ribbon
  • Envelope Liners
  • Postage Stamps (vintage or custom)
  • Calligraphy Addressing (for your envelopes)
  • Outer Envelopes
  • Belly Bands
  • Vellum Overlays (can be printed or unprinted)
  • Die Cut Tags
  • Twine/String
  • Embossers

When it comes to styling your invites and bringing theme into the mix – how you use your embellishments and the style of product you use can totally change the whole suite!

Take the images below as an example - do you see how they have the same basic structure and a white wax seal, but how BIG of a difference those liners make?  The one of the left is totally romantic and classic, where the one of the right is totally modern chic!  

You can use one simple statement piece to totally transform the theme of your suite - so choosing the RIGHT ones is key!

Stationery by Plume Calligraphy.

Stationery by Saffron Avenue

Let's take a closer look at a few more examples:

Fine Art Invitations by Maurelle Calligraphy

Things to Love:

  • Doesn't this suite feel like it came straight out of a Jane Austen novel?  From the muted tones, handmade paper and antique gold wax seal to the beautiful silk ribbon - it's the details in the suite that really bring it to life! 
  • Look for soft colors paired with vintage metallics when creating fine art invitations.  Your suite should feel like it's floating on a cloud, and creating a palette that feels the same way will help bring that look to life!
  • A quick tip for creating beautiful fine art invitations?  Add art!  A custom illustration or line drawing of your venue is the perfect way to bring your theme to life - especially if the location has special ties to your story!

Modern Invites by Saffron Avenue

Things to Love:

  • Doesn't this suite just scream modern wedding?  From the wedding logo and marble liners, to the warm rust tones - this suite is bursting with modern coolness! 
  • When creating a modern suite - don't be afraid to go bold with color!  Adding a bold accent color with crisp neutrals like black, gray or soft white is always a slam dunk! 
  • We love the way Angela paired the modern marble of her envelope liner with a soft white wax seal - crisp and clean, this pairing mixes traditional and modern design in a totally chic way!

Minimalist Invitations by Jenny Sanders

Things to Love:

  • Using negative space, clean text and a muted color palette, these invitations would be perfect for ANY minimalist-themed wedding!  Whether it's an urban desert wedding or a totally elegant celebration - this suite would be a beautiful compliment, don't you think?  
  • Look at the amount of negative space Jenny used in this suite! A quick tip for creating a minimalist look is adding more negative space than you think you need!
  • Look for unique layouts and simple illustrations for your wax seals when going with a minimalist themed suite!  This design from the Jenny Sanders Collection is just perfect!
  • Layering different pieces of your suite with a soft, muted palette is a gorgeous way to add color and personality, while still keeping focus on the simple details!

Palm Desert Perfection by Twinkle & Toast

Things to Love:

  • Talk about themed perfection!  We're loving the way Taryn brought Genevieve and Mason's Palm Springs theme to life using these printed palm envelope liners, tropical color palette and Cactus Getaway Wax Seals!
  • Envelope liners are a quick and easy way to pack a HUGE punch for your suite - especially if you take that motif and add it to your RSVP cards!

Whichever embellishments you add – remember to have fun with it! This is your chance to create exactly the look you want using the prettiest pieces out there!

The Wrap Up

Now that you’ve got your theme and a plan for creating invitations that match – it’s time to start styling!

Up next we’re sharing our tips and tricks for styling your stationery and how you can put all the things you’ve learned into practice and create invitations you and your guests will fall in love with again and again! 

Happy theme dreaming friend!

XO,

The Artisaire Team  

Top Banner Photo by Something Minted Photography