Years of Pinterest addictions and marathon binge-watching sessions of “Say Yes to the Dress” are finally about to pay off: You’re planning a wedding! OK, so not all wedding planning is created equal. Some of you may have a ring on your finger, and others might be picking colors and venues while waiting to meet “the one.” Either way, you are obsessed with making sure your future wedding will be perfect down to the last detail.
Thanks to the internet, themed weddings are bigger than ever. Gone are the days of picking two colors and having an otherwise generic celebration. Today, everything from the wedding dress to the cake to the centerpieces to the groom’s shoes can play big roles in keeping the theme, and choosing your theme is essential to making sure your wedding is uniquely you.
One of the most important ways to incorporate your theme of choice is with your fashion. The dresses, the tuxes/suits/choice of menswear, the shoes, the jewelry, and the accessories can tie together the entire feel of the wedding. Not sure how to translate a theme into the style? This ultimate guide will help you in deciding the best diamond jewelry for your outfit. Don’t worry: I can help, and you can do it, no matter what kind of budget you’re on.
Theme No. 1: Rustic/Southern
Lace. For a rustic and/or Southern theme, a bride only needs to look as far as the lacy wedding dress section. Of course, if this isn’t your style—you’ll hear me say this a lot, so bear with me—my suggestion isn’t the end all, be all of tying your theme together. Is lace the best option for pulling off a 100-percent rustic wedding? Maybe. But will everyone probably expect the bride to wear lace? Absolutely. If you want to avoid clichés, don’t feel bad. Other good (yet cliché) options are pearls, cowboy/cowgirl boots, and burlap.
Color Scheme Suggestion: The sky’s the limit on rustic-themed weddings, although typically the bridal party wears light and/or neutral colors.
Bridal Attire Suggestion: Lace. (Sorry, lace haters! Feel free to choose anything else!) Style and fit of the dress aren’t as important, but a mermaid style with a high neckline gives an antique elegance feel. Flat ballet shoes or cowgirl boots would stick with the theme.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Suggestion: Simple lace (or partially lace) short dresses would be beautiful. Here I chose a high neckline to match the bride’s. A cute flower chain headband would be great for an outdoor wedding.
Gentlemen’s Attire Suggestion: Browns and tans, especially with the absence of a blazer, give a dressed-down rustic feel. These groomsmen are also sporting baby’s breath boutonnieres—a perfect addition to the theme.
Theme No. 2: Morning Brunch/Garden
This beautiful, dainty wedding theme can be pulled off with pastel/neutral colors (any will do) and gold or silver accents. Perfect for a morning wedding, pale colors, lacy and floaty materials, and pearls would be an elegant color/style combination.
Color Scheme Suggestion: Pastels, pastels, pastels!
Bridal Attire Suggestion: Lacy/floral blush dress with chiffon skirt; elegant-messy hair and minimal makeup.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Suggestion: Any length; materials can be lace or chiffon. White or ivory bridesmaids dresses would look beautiful with a blush bride, but of course colors can be reversed. (I personally enjoy the look of bridesmaids in similar, yet different dresses.)
Gentlemen’s Attire Suggestion: Grey suits with a metallic accent, such as a gold tie.
Theme No. 3: Black Tie/Formal
Not big into the idea of a casual wedding, but not interested in over-the-top dramatic glam? A black tie wedding can be both elegant and simple; long, formal dresses paired with simple jewelry such as diamond necklaces will be stunning for the ladies, and the gentlemen will look sharp in simple tuxedos.
Color Scheme Suggestion: Deep, solid colors—think the “gem” scale like ruby, emerald, or amethyst. Deep colors will make this look come together. Metallics or champagne will also work.
Bridal Attire Suggestion: Any style and choice of material is pretty formal for a bride. Floor-length is ideal. Here, I love that the bride’s ruffles give her gown uniqueness and interest without being too in-your-face.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Suggestion: Again, floor-length dresses are ideal for a formal feel, although not necessary. Flowy material might be a bit casual (again, not necessarily), so I chose bridesmaids’ dresses that were more form-fitting. This wine color is beautiful, and the flair at the bottom is very formal.
Gentlemen’s Attire Suggestion: Simple black tuxedos, black shoes, and black bow ties will be (literally) perfect for a black tie theme.
Theme No. 4: Time Travel
Think Gatsby for a 1920s wedding theme. Pinstripes, flappers, and vintage glam will be great here. Try pairing long necklaces with the bridesmaids’ attire—the kind that can be double-looped for the layered jewelry effect.
Color Scheme Suggestion: Here, I leaned more toward darks as opposed to bright colors or pastels.
Bridal Attire Suggestion: Capped sleeved dress; possibly off-white or ivory (or even champagne) in color; cinched waist on an otherwise loose fit; pools out at the floor. A small amount of bling, pulled-back sleek hair, and a headband will bring this look together.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Suggestion: Dark-colored, fringed short dresses with strappy heels.
Gentlemen’s Attire Suggestion: Pinstriped suit or tux with a bow tie (remember to use off white button-down shirts to match the bride’s dress).
The ‘50s came with some seriously stylish clothes. The “vintage” look is extremely popular now, so why not introduce that element into your wedding? ‘50s dresses were commonly tea-length (although this isn’t necessary) and an A-line shape (this would be more necessary for authenticity). Men wore a lot of tweed as well as patterns such as plaid.
Color Scheme Suggestion: Really any color scheme will do; for my suggestions, I used a palate of navy blue and gray.
Bridal Attire Suggestion: Satin tea-length A-line dress. Sleeves and straps were popular in the’50s, so strapless might not be ideal. Gloves would be a great addition. Red lips.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Suggestion: Similar to the bride, A-line, tea-length dress and the optional addition of gloves. A pearl necklace and pearl earrings would go well with the look.
Gentlemen’s Attire Suggestion: Tweed single-breasted suit, preferable with wide shoulders and a bit of a cinched waist (very popular in the ‘50s). A pocket watch and chain could be a fun addition as well, and if you really want to go all out, slap a fedora on the groom.
A 1970s wedding theme could be depicted with nods to discos, smiley faces, and bell bottoms, but I have seen weddings favor a bohemian style much more often. Here, I paired earthy tones with floaty, loose-fitting materials and ‘70s-specific necklines to create the overall look.
Color Scheme Suggestion: Natural colors such as greens, tans, and/or pale shades.
Bridal Attire Suggestion: Off-the-shoulder is a very authentic look for the time period. Here, the bride’s hair is down and crowned with a floral headband—also very decade-appropriate.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Suggestion: The best bet for a ‘70s look is anything loosely fitted. Length doesn’t matter; sleeves can range from strapless to long and flared.
Gentlemen’s Attire Suggestion: Shown here is a very authentic 1970s suit, complete with the large bordered lapel and matching pants/vest. If you don’t want to go quite this far, I also saw some casual button down shirt-and-suspenders looks that went well with the theme.
Theme No. 5: Glitz and Glam
Glitz and glam is all about the sparkle! For women, that means choosing blinged-out dresses or simple dresses paired with sparkly accessories such as beaded belts, tiaras, and shoes. Gentlemen can stick with black and white tuxedos—don’t forget the bow tie!
Color Scheme Suggestion: Lots of metallic! Otherwise, color scheme is pretty versatile.
Bridal Attire Suggestion: Tulle ball gown dress with heavily beaded bodice. Dramatic makeup such as false lashes and smoky eyes will keep in line with the glamorous theme.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Suggestion: Beaded dresses (floor-length suggested) and/or accessories. The slit in the shown dress would be an eye-catching detail without being too sexy.
Gentlemen’s Attire Suggestion: Black and white tuxedo. Bow tie suggested.
Theme No. 6: Nautical
Those whose passion lies in the sea tend to live a peaceful, uninterrupted lifestyle. When I think “nautical,” I think simple. A big part of the nautical theme will be in the decorations of your venue, but basic elegance will be vital to your attire.
Color Scheme Suggestion: Navy blue and white. (A third complimentary color, such as orange or yellow, can be a great addition for touches such as flowers.)
Bridal Attire Suggestion: I chose a simple, elegant satin gown with basic ruching as a nautical bride suggestion.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Suggestion: A simple, short navy blue dress. Here I chose a one-shouldered option to add visual interest.
Gentlemen’s Attire Suggestion: Khaki (or light gray) suits with blue accents.
Theme No. 7: Winter
Here comes an author’s bias: my own wedding was a winter/Christmas theme. I chose red, silver, and white. December is a magical time of year (not to mention that many churches and venues are already decorated for Christmas!), and soft, romantic wardrobe choices with simple jewelry can help bring your theme to life. The addition of fur shawls or muffs can be beautiful, especially if weather is extreme.
Color Scheme Suggestion: If you want a Christmas feel, choose either red/burgundy, green, or both; secondary colors can be white, silver, gold or all three. If you want to avoid being overly Christmas and prefer a solely winter style (or if you celebrate another winter holiday), deep wintery tones will be great.
Bridal Attire Suggestion: Pure white tulle ball gown with small details such as subtle lace or sparkle.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Suggestion: Floor-length satin silver dresses (my bridesmaids had short dresses, but we were in the South; play to your weather).
Gentlemen’s Attire Suggestion: Black suits with an accent color such as burgundy.
Theme No. 8: Halloween
For the couples in love with the spooky, haunted holiday, you’ll probably want at least a little orange and black, but some purples and/or golds will help offset the tiger look. Shredded and/or feathery materials will go perfectly with this theme, but another material choice could include heavy lace and tulle.
Color Scheme Suggestion: Orange, black, purple, and gold would be a great pair; any autumn colors will do.
Bridal Attire Suggestion: For a uniquely Halloween style, choose a wedding dress that incorporates at least some black. Some brides prefer all black, which is fine also.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Suggestion: This satin dress with peeping black tulle is very goth chic and appropriate for a Halloween wedding. For the couple that wants to go all out, a corset bodice and shredded skirt would be perfect.
Gentlemen’s Attire Suggestion: This groom is a little classy, a little Jack Skellington. The pinstriped tie gives his suit just the perfect amount of creepy.
Obviously, each of these is labeled “suggestion” for a reason. No one can tell you which styles and colors will fit your wedding. You may like a dress that is the polar opposite of the one I proposed (no pun intended), and that’s great. It proves that no two people are exactly alike; hopefully you can gather inspiration from these ideas, but in the end, your happiness and your marriage are what really count.
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