Three questions to ask before you plan a themed wedding

Theme weddings seem to be all the rage at the moment, with over one fifth of couples picking one specific inspiration for their big day. One Canadian couple were so smitten with vintage video games that they took it upon themselves to have a Nintendo-themed wedding, complete with a remote controlled Mario Kart “ring bearer”.

However, whilst these can be cute ways to celebrate your love, and will certainly offer a memorable experience for your guests, theme weddings can have their downs as well as their ups. From additional organisation to the notion that these themes may be somewhat dated and embarrassing come your silver anniversary, are themed weddings more trouble than they’re worth?


How big do you want to go with your themed wedding?

Weddings don’t need to have outlandish decorations and a high concept behind them to be considered themed. Simple, subtle details from colour schemes to decorations can be just as effective as a wedding modelled after a book or TV show; they are also far more likely to be met positively by any outside services who are helping to organise your big day.

As noted by luxury wedding planners Snapdragon, wedding planners are there to “listen to what you want, share [their] ideas with you and so help you refine” how your big day will look. If you establish your wedding theme early, as the Mario wedding couple did with their bespoke invitations, conversations with your wedding planner will immediately have set lines along which to work. The recent Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kept it subtle, with the theme for the reception representing the couple’s transatlantic backgrounds, with tables cutely named for words which are pronounced differently on either side of the pond.

However, if you do want to go all out with a themed wedding, you will need to ensure you have the budget to cover every angle of the big day, from cake to costumes, and food to favours. The more elaborate your wedding theme, the higher your budget will need to be in order to accommodate it.

How willing will the guests be to participate (and spend)?

Most traditional weddings require little of their guests: show up on time, forever hold their peace during the ceremony, and enjoy themselves throughout the proceedings. A themed wedding will often ask a fair amount more of your guests, and perhaps even have a negative impact on the wedding party, as this account of a bridesmaid refusing to don a costume for a ceremony attests.

Think about what your guests will be comfortable doing—and wearing—in the name of love. Guests spend an average of $372 to attend a wedding, and between $728 and $1,070 for those in the wedding party, taking into account gifts, transport, and cost of attending a bachelor or bachelorette party. Adding costume rental or accessories to this may simply be a step too far for certain invitees.

Does a themed wedding properly represent you as a couple?

A themed wedding offers a spirited, new take on a traditional occasion, but it can be easy to get a little bit carried away. Your enthusiasm for the theme will hopefully be infectious, and your guests will be able to share in a small part of what you love as a couple, whether it’s Harry Potter or the Hunger Games. Get the balance right, and your big day will not only be a hit, but an unforgettable memory that everyone involved will cherish forever.

However, you should be careful that the theme of your wedding not only represents where your joint interests lie now, but where they will continue to lie in the future. Yes, you may have spent much of your courtship bingewatching Game Of Thrones, but a couple of decades down the line, will you look back fondly at yourselves dressed up as Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, or will you simply wonder what was with all the fur and dragons?

Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with a themed wedding; however, as with any wedding, make sure you think about your guests and your budget before you take the plunge.

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