7 wedding theme ideas that are actually original

If you are looking for a wedding theme, but not wanting to end up being the same as everybody else, it can be a fine line to tread. How do you go original, but not so out there that it gets its own channel on YouTube?

Common wedding themes that you might feel have been overdone could include:

  • Modern/contemporary
  • Black-tie formal
  • Rustic/country
  • Winery
  • Beach
  • Bohemian
  • Traditional
  • Hipster (although I don’t think anyone will admit to having a hipster theme, but people definitely end up having hipster weddings!)
  • Colours

Uncommon themes that might be unique but are very niche:

  • Rock and Roll
  • Medieval
  • Game of Thrones
  • Harry Potter
  • Your favourite sporting team
  • In a hot air balloon or under the ocean
Photo from Green Wedding Shoes

Photo from Green Wedding Shoes via BravoBride

Do you need a theme anyway?

You don’t really need a theme as such, but it can make things easier in the planning. Having a central theme can help tie everything together beautifully and can narrow down some of your options to a more reasonable number to deal with.

Without a theme to focus on, some couples get overwhelmed by too many choices; how do you pick a cake? Or invitations? Or table decorations and bonbonniere? A theme can sometimes make things easier.

Try to choose a theme that still feels natural for you as a couple. The overarching message of the day is a celebration of your love, so choose something that resonates and feels comfortable for you.

If you are a thoroughly modern couple, you might feel odd going vintage, or rustic. If you have never been to the beach together, you might not necessarily feel natural having your wedding there. If you are a glamorous couple with high-end taste, then bohemian might not be your ideal choice.

Here is a list of wedding theme ideas that are original, but not cheesy:

Great Gatsby

You don’t have to tell everyone that your theme is Gatsby, but you can use this era as your focal point for your day. A stylish, expensive and decadent time, imagine 1930s New York and you’ll be off to a good start. Watch the movie by Baz Luhrmann for some excellent inspiration.

Characterised by: bold black and white colour blocking, flappers’ dresses and headbands, wide-brimmed champagne glasses and art deco finishes on invitations and table decorations. 1930’s jazz music and gorgeous refurbished cars. Male guests can be treated a proper old-fashioned shave. Classy cocktails made from champagne or gin, and a fireworks display after dark.

Downton Abbey

Beautiful, stylish, graceful and serene. Watch a few episodes of Downton Abbey, especially the ones with weddings in them, and you will be sure to get some inspiring ideas. This was early 19th century England, as seen by the aristocracy and the upper class.

Characterised by: Full -length gowns, vintage veil or simple hats for women, top hats for men. Pearls and lace. An all in one venue, where you can walk from the ceremony to reception as a joyous procession. Ticker-tape and maypoles, or sticks with ribbons attached for your guests to wave around, lawn games to play in the afternoon. A wedding breakfast reception, or a high-tea party, designated digital free zone, and a string quartet to play your bridal waltz.

Image via Vogue

Image via Vogue

Snowy winter

Don’t just have a winter wedding, go all out and have a snowy winter wedding. Winter in the city can just be cold and rain and general dreariness, whereas snowy is sparkling white and magical. Have a destination wedding for this one and take everybody up to the mountains.

Characterised by: white, white and more white. Perhaps some midnight blue and silver thrown in. Furs or cashmere wraps for your bridal party. Hot cocktails such as mead, hot toddies or Irish coffees. Big hearty food that warms you up. Snowflake motifs on the decorations and invitations.


Without going full fairyland, you could add a touch of whimsy and an ethereal quality to your wedding day. Slow everything down and take your time to appreciate every moment; and when things are ethereal, this means they last forever. Imagine the elves from Lord of the Rings, and then subtly bring them into your more modern setting.

Characterised by: Heritage colours; greens, golds, browns, and burgundies. Guests blowing bubbles and wearing fairy wings or flower crowns. Unicorn rides. Chill-out zones on the lawn with draping curtains and big cushions.

Choose a country (French, Italian, Greek, Thai)

This theme could come from your own family background, a place where you and your partner met, or perhaps somewhere you dream of going. You might just love this country, and as an added bonus could go there on your honeymoon. The ideas for countries you could choose and what goes with each one are limitless, but we have tried to list a few.

Characterised by: think of the country itself for inspiration for colour and patterns, and especially food and drink. France lends itself beautiful to details on the invitations and table decorations. Thai could include big carved wooden daybeds for chill-out zones, or market stalls for authentic food, beautiful Asian print parasols for everyone. For Greek picture the blues and whites of Santorini, and perhaps recreate a cliffside outdoor café. You are only limited by your imagination (and a little bit by your budget!)


Think classy circus, not smack you in the face, over the top, American Horror Story, scary clowns and sad animals in cages sort of circus. Keep your choices stylish and muted but use the circus as your base for inspiration. Try the recent movie ‘The Greatest Showman’ for colour inspiration. This can be a good theme if you have a lot of children coming to your wedding.

Characterised by: bright contrasting colours (cherry red, royal blue, gold) for the bridal party, decorations, and invitations. Top hats trimmed with red or gold for the men. Popcorn and dagwood dogs for snacks. Entertainers such as a magician, fire-breathers, clowns (not scary clowns), snake-handlers or belly-dancers. Brass band.

Image via Cameron Ingalls

Image via Cameron Ingalls

Vintage fete

Imagine a tiny Australian village in the 1950s, and you are at the local church fete. Everything is relaxed and casually stretched out in front of you for a communal eating, dancing and entertainment shindig. Guests can wander around and sample food and try their hand at sideshows. Flirty, fun and fantastic.

Characterised by: Pastel colours for the bridal party and decorations. A wedding cake that looks like a huge CWA sponge with cream. Carousel, horse-drawn carriage or pony rides, apple-bobbing, toffee apples, vanilla slice, scones and gourmet sausages for snacks, a few quaint market stalls or simple sideshows scattered here and there. Strings of fabric bunting or oversized coloured light bulbs. Sparklers after dark.  

Image via Emasscraft.org

Image via Emasscraft.org

Comment and tell us if you have a great idea for an original theme that you think we should cover. And if you have a themed wedding that you think stands out, be sure to send photos to our Real Weddings section so you can inspire others.

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