When it comes time to decide on a 'theme' for their wedding, many brides are immediately caught in the pressure and confusion of what it all means and more often than not on the forums and discussion groups, we hear "Do I have to have one?"
The answer in short, is no. A theme is not a necessity, moreso what you need is "Cohesion".
Cohesion is effectively just making sure everything fits together. It doesn't matter what your taste or what you're trying to classify your wedding as, it's surprisingly easy to fit multiple 'themes' together as long as they have cohesion.
One example of a wedding theme-a-plooza gone wrong was one written in to us by a guest at the wedding wherein the bride couldn't decide on one theme and so chose everything she wanted without giving thought to how it all fit together.
The invitation stationery suite was Pohutukawa themed, luxurious, informative and as a first point of contact, lets your guests know what to expect on the day in regards to formality and lets them know what the dress sense and feel of your wedding will be before you officially announce it.
At the chapel itself on the day, the pews were haphazardly decorated with scruffy blue tulle and wildflowers and the bridal party carried blooms of all different colour and texture without any sense of uniformity or again, cohesion.
The reception was near the beach and featured boats, anchors, shells and sand as centrepieces with European themed favours of personalised olive oil bottles.
The overall feel was 'haphazard' and felt as if it were put together at the last minute without much thought. The reality though was on the contrary and at a large expense.
It's easy to get carried away with all the pins on Pinterest and the many various ways you'd love to style your wedding but bearing in mind Rhonnie's simple 'Rule of Cohesion' will allow you to combine multiple themes and styles in a way that looks purposeful and well planned.
In this particular instance, the themes could have been combined a little better, what we would have done - presuming the beach theme (since the reception venue was on the beach) and the original Pohutukawas were the main idea ruling the styling - we would incorporate the two.
The flowers could have featured wildflowers grown around the beach - think of the textures! the soft Pussy Willows, the Toi Toi, Pohutukawa blooms, Daisies and assorted greenery - even succulents depending on which beach you're looking to emulate. Something like the bouquet featured in today's hero image would be perfect.
Then for the centrepieces - why not continue the style of the flowers through to the reception by bringing in Toi Toi and Pussy Willows for high arrangements with a garland of loosely tied oyster shells, rope tied mason jar candles and perhaps some driftwood or coral depending on the mood/ feel you're after over a latte toned calico drop tablecloth.
Once you develop a sense of cohesion for your style, you begin to see how various elements can fit together quite seamlessly, without needing to decide on a hard and fast 'theme' to rule your wedding day. It's also significantly less daunting that selecting a theme at the start, rolling out the invitations and changing your mind in the months in between or finding it near-impossible to source the decorative elements you need to bring it to fruition.
Go crazy on Pinterest, pin to your hearts content and then refine it based on the 'feel' you want - the level of formality - how you'd like your guests to dress and behave on the day- how you yourselves want to feel on the day and from there, you'll find it much simpler to continue your planning without the restrictions of a singular theme.
If you ever do get stuck, we love answering your questions at no charge - that's right, NO CHARGE! - because we want you to feel relaxed in your planning. Or one step further than that, we offer several starter packages to help you Get Started or to review your planning leading up to the big day to ensure nothing has been missed out.