Out side of a fiance and funds?
(Photo from: http://www.frenchweddingstyle.com/coffee-wedding-theme/)
I’m not kidding. In the least. I promise you, once you figure that part out it makes colors and dresses location etc. SO much easier. And while it’s ok to choose a generic theme, unless you adore it I wouldn’t just take someone’s idea on the net.
The wedding idea world is SO large that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer variety of choices and dresses and ideas. Even under broad themes like “beach” or “Classic.” Usually people’s big day ends up like a hodge podge due to the conflicting ideas. A nice looking one but a mish-mash none the less. Some wedding planners can help in this area…but usually they just hear what you want and make it happen. Even if you are using a planner it is best to come in with ideas and a theme of your own it actually makes their job easier.
What is a ‘theme?‘
A color is not a theme (though I have seen is used as such). It’s a single unifying idea that permeates the wedding. Once you have one choosing what you want is then narrowed down to a set number and your inspiration still comes from the entire pool but now through a filter. You’ll immediately start to disregard things you may like but don’t fit with your motif.
How you choose your theme is still up to you, however, and I cannot help with that. I can tell you how I came across mine. Perhaps my strange stream of research will help someone who stumbles across this entry.
*I choose the theme of late 30’s to early 40’s (with a subtle geeky references). Specifically, the Savoy Ballroom. More on this in a bit, bare with me.
Not because I like the book/movie The Great Gatsby (hate them, actually) but rather because I loved what the time actually represented. Many things where changing and developing. Many don’t even know that this is the exact same time frame as Art Deco was at a all time high. Or that Art Deco is simply a re-imagining of the Ancient Egyptian, Native American, Greece, and Roman culture ( each of which I have a huge soft spot for) as Archaeology was doing quite a bit of work in these areas (King Tutankhamun’s tomb was found in 1922 BTW). The Harlem Renaissance was also of the 20’s and 30’s.
I found that while everyone talks about the Cotton Club in New York many people forget
(read: “don’t even have a clue about”) about the very popular Savoy Ballroom (once called: “The Heartbeat of Harlem” which founded the dance the Lindy Hop and many other swing styles). It was one of the first of it’s kind to have a non-discrimination policy and was known at times to have a 50/50 racial split on their bigger nights (which often numbered about 4,000 patrons) and often mixed race couples where seen and welcome.
People where judged only on their dancing skills when on the floor. It was opened and owned by Caucasian entrepreneur, Jay Faggen and a Jewish businessman Moe Gale. It was managed by African-American real estate business man Charles Buchanon. Buchanon sought to run a “luxury ballroom to accommodate the many thousands who wished to dance in an atmosphere of tasteful refinement, rather than in the small stuffy halls and the foul smelling, smoke laden cellar nightclubs. . .”
You can find a few recordings of the music; which was amazing (I love Jazz).
I find all of THAT far more interesting about the time period than the flapper and Prohibition.
The goal Buchanon wanted: “Tasteful refinement.” spoke to me. I have friends who are from all over and all ethnicities and backgrounds. We’re all creative people and I wanted a refined ceremony, without it being stuffy so everyone was comfortable and felt welcome. Why WOULDN’T I want that?!?
The fashion of the time leaves quite a bit to be desired when it comes to girls with curves.
The Flapper look is not the best on us as the boy look was in and women often wore corsets/girdles to compress all their curves (women where actually NOT “throwing off” corsets as some people claim they just changed shape and had less boning becoming more like a girdle).
So… I will take inspiration from their styles (Facilitators, finger less gloves, shoes, feather fans, the like) but my dress and my bridesmaid’s dresses will be much more flattering. The venue I choose was from that era so the architecture was already Art Deco (which will save me $$$ with decorations). Admittedly, I live in a very historic city so finding such a location wasn’t all too difficult. But I didn’t have a clue where to begin until I knew what I wanted to create. And it all started because I found one time period fascinating and poked around in it.
Will my attendees get all my references? No. And that’s fine. It’s a theme to keep things together and and me on track. Now, don’t get all stressed in the tiniest details. Just choose an idea and go with it.
Maybe for you it’s a book, a painting, or even something you and your significant other love to do together. Keep an open mind. You might be surprised what you come to love as a theme as you explore your interests.