How to decide on a theme for your wedding day

How to decide on a theme for your wedding day

You’ve pinned hundreds of pictures to your moodboard and now it’s time to pin down a theme, but it’s harder than it looks, says Emma Vince

The wedding world is your oyster when you’re just starting out. And that initial rush just after getting engaged, where you devoured bridal magazines, wedding blogs and Pinterest boards, was just so exciting. You could be any bride you wanted to be: from classic to boho to vintage, the list was endless. But now you’re putting your plans into action and you’ve discovered you have 10 of every detail and five of every theme…

Sound familiar? Brides are inundated with ideas from lighting to bunting, hanging lanterns and origami cranes. The problem is, you may have pinned it all, but it’s just not possible to have it all. So, how does one bride settle on just one theme?


Blogger and bride-to-be Kelly Cunningham can identify with this, because the sheer amount of ideas available has led to her three-year engagement.

“I see so many amazing things every day, my mind becomes completely white-washed,” she explains. “I would call myself creatively overwhelmed most of the time; I’m quite eclectic and love so many different things, so the thought of deciding on just one theme makes me feel too boxed in.”

Kelly adds that while looking at real-life weddings on blogs is a great way to get inspiration, it’s important not to lose your sense of self. “You can get carried away with other people’s ideas instead of your own,” she says. “People can get so engrossed inthe planning that they lose sight of what it’s all about anyway. I even started to see it as creating a brand for myself, and that’s not what getting married should be about.” 

The avalanche of ideas and advice isn’t just found in the media, parents and friends will also have opinions about your big day. “When it comes to weddings, everyone thinks they’re an expert, especially the newly married!” says wedding planner Sarah Haywood, “Be clear about your own wedding style before opening up to input from others. Especially early in the planning process when you need time to research ideas on your own.”



It’s important you start planning in the right way and the key is to remember that you’re planning a wedding, rather than simply decorating a room, says Sarah. “By all means start collating your design ideas, but remember that at the outset that’s all they are, ideas,” she says. “You could be forgiven for thinking wedding planning is all about the prettiness, but that shouldn’t remain the focus. You are planning a real event, in a real venue, with real guests, and every last thing has to be arranged and paid for.”

Begin by securing a venue and date, working out a guest list and ensuring your guests will be fed. “Then you can start filling out the detail,” adds Sarah. “After all, you wouldn’t start an interior design project until you knew something about the building, your budget and what features were there to be enhanced.”



Once the essentials are agreed, begin narrowing down your ideas by organising them into categories. “Start with key areas such as wedding attire, stationery and flowers,” says Sarah. “It’s likely you’ll start to see a pattern emerge in the style or colour scheme you are leaning towards.”

It’s here that you’ll also find duplicate details and clashing décor ideas, before you spend too much time working on them. Now is also a good time to really utilize your suppliers, Sarah explains.

“They will want to hear all about your ideas and can assist you in turning your vision into a feasible reality. They also know what works within your budget and the constraints of your venue so are in the best place to tell you when it’s time to walk away from an idea. Remember, you’re paying for their expertise.”