My no-theme wedding: you don’t need a theme to get hitched

Guest post by Tessa B.
Original photo by Vera Devera. Remixed by CC license.
Original photo by Vera Devera. Remixed by CC license.

Nobody believes me when I tell them I don't have a wedding theme. Conversations go something like this…

Them: “But you're going to, right?”
Me: “Nope. Can't really think of a single thing that would really capture all our interests in one go.”
Them: “Oh, so you're gonna have, like, several themes then!”
Me: “No… no themes.”
Them: “Well, what's your color then?”
Me:Rainbow.”
Them: “I… what?”
Me: “I want all my bridesmaids to be different colors, and for the general party to be as colorful and fun as possible.”
Them: [Stunned silence followed by] “Just you wait. Pretty soon you'll suddenly pick something and become obsessed. OBSESSED, I tell you!”

Now, I'm pretty sure this has more to do with others' perceptions of “proper wedding planning,” and much less to do with some sort of mysteriously themed and color-coordinated life that I've been leading without realizing it.

Do you need a theme for your wedding?

Spoiler alert: NO.

My old roommate did point out to me that I enjoy collecting things (totally true) and giving myself mini-missions throughout life (“I must find the perfect leather jacket for under $100!” or “Life will be incomplete until I discover the best vindaloo in all of Berkeley!”). And that, in all likelihood, I would just get bored and decide I need to put together the world's biggest collection of Doctor Who paraphernalia — just because — and then use the wedding as an excuse for my newest eccentricity.

Which means I do, in fact, now have a theme: PROVING THEM ALL WRONG. You heard me right: my theme is totally just to be a stubborn jackass and refuse to have a theme so that in six months I can do the “I told you so” dance in my pretty dress surrounded by my mis-matched bridesmaids under my pinata and next to my peach cobbler.

Comments on My no-theme wedding: you don’t need a theme to get hitched

  1. I went through the same thing! I realized the best answer was “shit we think is awesome”. Pretty much summed it up! Themes can really limit your creativity because if you are having a Star Wars theme and then decide you want a TARDIS card box instead of R2, you just blew the whole thing! Ok, not really, but it really is better to have everything you like all mashed together.

    • We do not really have a theme. We do have a limited color pallet, but this totally happened to us with the food! Everyone wanted to know what our food theme was going to be… Basically it is “we opened up each of our favorite take-out menues and ordered all of the food we love off of each.”

    • THIS THIS THIS! Thank you for articulating perfectly what I’m dealing with in planning our wedding. We don’t have a theme either and I’ve resorted to calling it “random nerdy stuff” but “shit we think is awesome” fits even better.

  2. We’ve been telling people our theme is Marriage.

    Everyone assumes we are having a beach theme since we are getting married on the beach but people don’t have golf theme weddings if they get married in Country Clubs…

    • Except for my mother. She totally had a gold-themed wedding. They played a round after the ring exchange.

  3. A friend asked me yesterday what our theme is going to be. I said, “Whatever will not send us into debtor’s prison, plus emphatically non-religious, and maybe (possibly?) Star Wars.” Which means if we can afford to have a wedding where people other than witnesses and a courthouse clerk attend, MAYBE I will put some Star Wars related symbols on things. But no stormtroopers or lightsabers.

  4. When I started out, I failed to realize that themes were the norm, I just thought they were something hyper-productive really over the top people did. Then I found out that as usual, I was really the weird one for not having a theme. The only problem with themelessness is if you’re apathetic about something, you still have to choose from a wide range, you can’t narrow it down to fit the theme. It should also be noted that we’re not doing “offbeat as theme” either with scatter shot “oh, that’s ‘offbeat’ let’s do that” thinking. If it really came down to it, I guess we’re having a gamer, fashion nerd, DIY glam affair so we could have a “theme” if we desperately needed one.

  5. So true! Our colors are “blue…just blue”. And I don’t understand the need for a theme…I thought the theme was Our Relationship.

    • Haha, we had the same blue thing, because it’s my favorite color and the color I was wearing. And then it went way too far into smurf-ville when people assumed I ONLY wanted blue things, and I really didn’t care. I just wanted to wear blue.

      • I had this exact same problem. I picked a blue dress purely because I love the way blue looks on me.

        Suddenly everyone was talking about where to get blue chair covers and table cloths, whether the napkins should be the same shade of blue, how we could have blue ribbons and blue balloons for decorations…

        Now I like blue. I’d even say I love blue. But I didn’t want everything to be blue, especially when I had no idea that chosing a dress would define the rest of the wedding.

        In the end we ended up with more green, gold and earth tones than anything else because we had an outdoor wedding so the decorations needed to match what was already there. But I never did quite manage to stop people trying to make everything blue.

        • When you think about it, that really doesn’t even make sense. Most people wear white. That doesn’t make everyone turn around and go “we need white table cloths, and napkins, and chairs, and….”

  6. Ack me too! I’ve been obsessed with only the colors (Maybe that IS our theme?)Mostly I’ve been focusing on Fun things regardless of what theme they are.

  7. Them: What are your wedding colors?
    Me: Floral.
    Them: No, what are your colors?

    Our theme was “Jeff & Kristin Get Married.” It worked out quit well b/c that’s what happened that day!

    • That was always a question that baffled me…”What are your colors?” People around here have color-themes, where EVERYTHING is the same color as the bridesmaids’ dresses.

      • I started out with colors (purple and orange) because that was the first thing people asked me. I’m not really sure how those two colors were selected but I worked with that for awhile, until I realized I don’t care about either color much at all.

        I like old trunks, LEGOS, champagne, traveling, music, super heros, friends and beautiful views. I don’t care about flowers or sweetheart tables or a 4-tiered cake. So I’ve taken myself out of the purple/orange box and started moving toward a mashup of what we, as a family, enjoy.

        I’m liking this direction MUCH better.

  8. ah yes. similarly, my theme is “pure awesome” it looks like bright colors, mismatched plates, homemade cake, and whatever else looked good.

  9. So many people asked us what our colors were (not necessarily about theme – but I think they assumed it was the same thing). I always said “Whatever color happened to be my favorite on the day I had to make a decision about a particular item.” You could easily use the same line for themes.

  10. We went through much the same thing. And I got a lot of, “So you’re having a nautical theme?” No. “But you’re wedding is on an island and your colors are blue.” Don’t care – NO THEME. And our wedding was AWESOME.

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