One of the hardest things about planning a wedding can be getting on the same page with all of your vendors. Maybe you explain your vision but your florist, planner, etc hear a total different thing. This could happen with any of your pros, so visual reference helps a lot, but is also important to know that you are speaking the same language.
So, here is a complete list of wedding themes, from alternative to whimsical with description and buzzwords for each.
On a side note, remember, that style like in fashion is not a rule, but you can personalize it and interpret it the way you like it, as long as you have learned the basics. Once you know what you know and how to ask for it, have fun and create your own wedding. Get Inspired.
This seem to be the freest of the styles, because over the years the word "alternative" has been used to describe a wedding that doesn't follow in one of the next categories and in a way meant a messy collage of different styles. However an Alternative wedding just means that your style is unique and can't be boxed in with other categories. These themes are often representative of subcultures like Steampunk, Old Hollywood, Renaissance or Harry Potter :)
Buzzwords: quirky, creative, unique
Visual: The bride may wear a traditional white dress, but the bouquet or accessories whould be all her own. Or she may opt for something totally different, like a colored gown. There will be definitely, a themed cake design. Expects a lot of quirky touches from centerpieces to dress code for guests.
Venue Inspo: movie theatre
Evoking the Amerinca 1920s, especially art deco architecture, these themes are all about spunky and glam. Energetic jazz music was the life of every party, so a live band is a must to get your guests on their feet.
Buzzwords: flashy, metallic, opulent
Visual: Pluming, white ostrich feathers spilling from centerpieces, sequined tablecloths and geometric design decorate any art deco soiree.
Venue Inspo: historic museum
Boho style has this way of looking incredibly chic, with minimal effort. It's the "I woke up like this", of wedding themes. The decor is humble but eye catching and the palette is one that can be found living harmoniously in nature.
Buzzwords: tribal, hipster, nomadic
Visual: expect mismatched bridesmaid dresses and bouquet of wispy and wild florals.
Venue Inspo: the beach or an open field
Imagine a venue filled with monochromatic decor, from the linens to the floral arrangements. There may be metallic or pastel accents, but overall the palette is light and airy, with different textures.
Buzzwords: traditional, timeless, elegant
Visual: classic weddings are usually more on the formal side. That means that there may be a champagne cocktail hour, chargers at each place setting and understated (but beautiful) decor.
Venue Inspo: ballroom
Personifying the American West, country weddings are full of flavor and overflowing with charm.
Buzzwords: western, homespun, rural
Visual: cowboy boots will definitely make an appearance.
Venue Inspo: ranch
You can see the personalization in every detail of a DIY wedding. Whether it's a hand-sewn pennant flag banner, homemade cookies or handwritten escort cards, the couple style shines through.
Buzzwords: handmade, charming, personalized
Visual: details have a homemade, imperfect quality about them: a customized stamp that prints the couple's monogram on each invitation, make your own food station at the reception.
Venue Inspo: backyard
The ultimate inspiration for a glamorous wedding? The red carpet or awards show after-parties. Jaw-dropping outfits, sweeping hairstyles and old-Hollywood red lips pair with fancy decor for a glittering celebration.
Buzzwords: dazzling, chic, captivating
Visual: glamorous weddings most likely have a few jaw-dropping details that end up all over pinterest, like a flower wall, elegantly draped fabric linens or exquisitely prepared food. The decor can range from minimalist to over the top and extravagant. Metallics are a must, and something unexpected like a live performance or fireworks, will wow the croud.
Venue Inspo: luxury estate
A modern wedding is all about exquisite simplicity. City dwellers, urbanites and design lovers gravitate to this wedding style, which skews formal but has enough of playful touches to keep it from feeling to stiff.
Buzzwords: graphic, contemporary, cutting edge
Visual: Expect a mix and match of patterns, in a playful but incredibly sophisticated fashion, anchored by a streamlined color scheme. The theme is reflected in every detail from the thoughtfully chosen table linens to the specialty cocktail. The cake will be simple but extra delicious.
Venue Inspo: loft
A celebration by the sea calls for some serious Cape Cod and Nantucket inspiration. A seafood bar, or fresh shrimp cocktail during cocktail hour, or better yet an oyster shucking station, is sure to send the right message.
Buzzwords: preppy, navel, beachy
Visual: Nautical hues play a huge role (everything from navy to sand is free game). Breezy linens, lighthouse decor, sea shell escort cards, and relaxed but still preppy attire make this theme really come alive.
Venue Inspo: waterfront yacth club
It's a Mad Man meet Grease in this drive-in, sock hop, American Bandstand-era celebration. Even if your guests can't jive like dancers back in the day, that's what the vibe should be like.
Buzzwords: nostalgic, old-fashioned, moxie
Visual: this was a time to be bold and express your style, so a bright color scheme of teal and cherry red or neon pink and yellow sets the stage. A few throwback details like Coke served in its signature glass bottles are just right to round out the decor.
Venue Inspo: old theatre
Romantic weddings are all about celebrating romance with barely there colors, soft lighting and ethereal details like flowing dresses with airy fabrics. Elaborate cakes, candlelight and tons of florals.
Buzzwords: delicate, feminine, luxurious
Visual: Beautiful the idea of a preceremony cocktail hour kicking things off, complete with light appetizers and flutes of sparkling rose. The final detail a beautiful tiered cake with an elegant dessert table.
Venue Inspo: castle
Rustic can mean many things, but the main idea is a simple farm table. Textures, especially natural ones like wood and stone, are staples of this theme.
Buzzwords: local, minimal, raw
Visual: Low, sprawling centerpieces with flowers that look fresh from the field dress up bare wood tables. Mixed glassware styles give a hint of glamorous, but the eclectic collection still feels hand-curated. Market lights create ambiance while a naked cake with fresh berries tastes as good as it looks.
Venue Inspo: renovated barn
This theme is often confused with retro. The biggest differences are the the areas: retro is more about a specific period in time while vintage alludes more to antiques and Victorian details in the general sense.
Buzzwords: antique, throwback, heirloom
Visual: Instead of cloths or runners, tables might be draped with delicate layers of lace. Old furniture makes the best statement, so a lounge area with classic armchairs or love seats would create the perfect ambience.
Venue Inspo: historic courthouse
Think of a whimsical wedding as a hybrid of rustic and boho, topped with a flower crown. It's a little more on the storybook side, but in the most tasteful way.
I am particularly attached to this style because this was my wedding theme. :)
Buzzwords: fanciful, enchanting, eclectic
Visual: Think: garden party mixed with Alice in WOnderland. Introduce this theme with a quirky motif on the invitations. Day of details mismatched bridal party dresses and thrifted china will make everything feel unique to you.
Venue Inspo: garden
What is you favorite theme let me know in the comment box! :)