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Personalize your Wedding with Traditions, Colors and Themes

Updated on April 4, 2013

Your wedding day is a special day about you and the person you are marrying. Having close friends and family around you is a bonus. But as the day is your day, you should choose to have personal touches just how you wish.

Where to Begin when Planning a Wedding

Planning even the smallest of weddings takes time. You have so much to consider, from the venue to the cake.

Choosing also means picking out colors, a theme, doing something unusual or sticking with tradition. There is so much to plan!

geek-chic, periodic table of elements seating plan
geek-chic, periodic table of elements seating plan

Picking the Theme

A theme could be anything from having a Doctor Who groom and a Tardis cake, to decorating the venue and invites with butterflies. It’s whatever you like and whatever suits your personality.

A theme doesn't have to be a fancy dress wedding. It could simply be a classical touch throughout, with white roses and crisp cream table linen. But then again, you might want a Mad Hatter’s tea party or a British seaside theme with fish and chips for your wedding breakfast.

Picking a theme could influence your decision about colors.

Boho Chic

This is getting quite a popular theme. The Bohemian, rustic hippy-chick look, combined with charm and interesting details makes for a wonderful outdoor style wedding.

Organizing a converted barn on a few acres of land can give you a blank canvas to work on and an excellent place to hold a wedding reception. Or use a wood where you can decorate around the trees with Gypsy inspired flowers and candles.

choose your boho style wedding dress
choose your boho style wedding dress
boho romance
boho romance
in the wood
in the wood

How to Dress Boho

Wear a floaty wedding dress with lace. Put flowers of your choice in your hair and your bridesmaid’s hair. Go for loose curls and plaits. Think romance and beauty, rather than glitz and glamor, so wear pretty flat shoes or even go barefoot!

Your man needs to be smart but with personality. Go all country -bumpkin with a checked shirt and braces. Or a smart-casual suit in a color to match your scheme or fresh linen.

Put a different edge on it and wear your converse rather than polished shiny shoes!

Boho Décor

You can choose so many different ways to decorate the tables and the venue. Try slate place mats and a chalkboard seating plan.

Use empty jam jars and fill with colored glass beads and water, place cut flowers in and use for center pieces.

Cover the tables in confetti and have homemade cupcakes stacked on a cupcake stand. Enjoy your laid-back effortless looking wedding to remember.

Vintage

A vintage inspired wedding is charm and etiquette. Think 1920’s, china tea sets, high tea and glamorous lace wedding gowns.

Your vintage wedding could be from a different decade from times gone by, from the Edwardian period to the 1950’s. Go to antique shops for inspiration and to get the look you want.

How to Dress Vintage

Your wedding dress can be bought from a designer specializing in vintage weddings, or you could go for the real artifact. Go to antique dealers who deal in costume and clothing to get you the outfits you want.

Styles may range from Flapper inspired low waist dresses, pearls, hats, feathers and long gloves. Long lace veils were also fashionable.

Ladies had waves set in their hair, red lipstick, a flawless complexion and black top eyeliner which ‘flicks’ up at the corner.

Men wore top hats, waistcoats and pocket watches. This can be modernized to suit you, or you can stick with the original look.

vintage makeup
vintage makeup

Vintage Décore

Where ever you decide to hold your wedding, go for traditional large flower bouquets, parasols and have a vintage car or horse and cart to arrive in.

Have a wartime reception, with flag bunting, old fashioned china cupcake stands, whoopee pies and cucumber sandwiches.

In the summer time offer Pimms and lemonade to your guest and have Glen Miller playing, or hire a Frank Sinatra impersonator.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
vespasweet tree table decorationsbouncy castledisposable cameras
vespa
vespa
sweet tree table decorations
sweet tree table decorations
bouncy castle
bouncy castle
disposable cameras
disposable cameras

Other Ideas to Have at Your Wedding

If you want something different, go for one or more of these:

  • Have an ice cream van for your guests
  • Hire a bouncy castle to entertain the children
  • Arrive in a London Double Decker bus
  • Arrive on Vespas
  • Use sweet trees for your table decorations
  • Have disposable camera on the tables for your guests to use, then hand in at the end
  • Have a jukebox instead of a DJ

Other Theme Ideas

Fancy dress

Go for your favorite movie or book, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars or Pirates of the Caribbean.

Fairground theme

Have a coconut shy, hook a duck, candy floss and a burger van.

Alice in Wonderland

Have a fantasy wedding with a Mad Hatter’s tea party, bottles with ‘drink me’ written on, playing card place names and giant chess set.

Nautical theme

Have your wedding by the sea or on a boat. Decorate with red and blue, anchors and colorful fish!

Medieval theme

Have a medieval banquet and dress as Maid Marion and her Merry Men. Even hire a castle for your big day.

Your wedding theme may be a hint of tradition or culture depending on your background. You may have an Indian or an Italian wedding.

silver sixpence
silver sixpence

Wedding Traditions

When it comes to traditions, there are many. They may be inspired by culture or superstition and have different meanings for different cultures.

Wedding traditions are said to bring good luck and fertility.

Something old, something new something borrowed and something blue

This is a poem said to brides before their wedding day. They are supposed to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue on the day.

Something old is the bride’s link with her family, such as her Mother or Grandmother, so a piece of their jewelry may be offered.

Something new brings good luck to the future, and the bride’s gown tends to be new.

Something borrowed will be from a happily married friend or family member so that the happiness continues.

Something blue means something different from different cultures. In Christian religion, blue represents purity. In ancient Rome, blue represents modesty and fidelity.

There is a final part of the rhyme which comes from an English tradition: and a sixpence in her shoe.

By placing a sixpence in the bride’s left shoe is believed to bring wealth to the newly weds, although there is also an old Scottish tradition where men would also place a sixpence in their shoe.

wedding dress
wedding dress

The Wedding Dress

It is a custom that the bride’s dress is white. This is to represent a pure virgin bride.

It is said to be unlucky for the groom to see the dress before the wedding day, as it is to see the bride on the day before meeting her in church.

Flowers

It is traditional to have flowers at a wedding. The bride will have a large bouquet, while her bridesmaids will have smaller ones. The flowers will match, and the groom’s buttonhole will be a flower which is in the bride’s bouquet.

Different flowers have different symbolic meanings, as do the colors of them. For example, a red carnation symbolizes love. Roses mean love and joy and lilies represent truth and honor.

There are some flowers which have negative connotations and are avoided by superstitious brides. Yellow roses mean jealously and marigolds are linked to grief.

If the bride throws her bouquet to her female guests at the end of the night, the one who catches it is said to be the next to marry.

sugared almonds
sugared almonds

Wedding Favors

Wedding favors have come a long way in recent years. They are gifts given to each guest and are left at their places at the wedding breakfast.

In Europe, wedding favors were once only given by wealthy hosts. They were sugar cubes presented in trinket boxes, but over time sugar became more affordable and sugared almonds would be given.

In Italian tradition, Bombonieres (meaning confetti) would be 5 Jordan white sugared almonds, representing health, wealth, happiness, fertility and long life.

Other Wedding Traditions Include:

  • Wedding cake (3 tiers)
  • Bridesmaids
  • Best Man
  • Confetti
  • Speeches (Father of the bride, groom and best man)
  • First dance
  • Champagne
  • Wedding rings
  • Honeymoon

pink and white
pink and white
pink gerberas and pink shoes!
pink gerberas and pink shoes!

Color Schemes

When it comes to colors, you can be traditional, classic or a little bit unusual.

Your color will run throughout the wedding. For example, your bouquet may match your bridesmaid’s dresses and then the flowers or colors may be on the cake and tables.

Some colors can complement one another, for example browns and greens, golds and reds and lilac and turquoise.

You may want a bold blue or fuchsia pink and compliment it with white.

Think about what you want, such as flowers or themes. If you have a Gothic wedding your colors may be black and white. Your flowers may be black and white roses, and you may want a monochrome wedding cake and have black and white table linen and black and white balloons.

If you want butterflies, you may go for silver butterfly table decorations, silver foil balloons and a butterfly cake.

If you like pink, go for pink gerberas, pink bridesmaids, pink cake and pink shoes!

Consider the colors you like, the theme you want (the Doctor Who Tardis is blue, so if you go with that, blue may be the main color) and the colors which suit you.

If you like natural shades, choose creams and coffee colors. Or accent with a splash of color here and there. For example, color in the bouquets, flowers on the table and decorations on the cake.

Consider where you will be getting married (indoors or outdoors), your style and the look you want. For romance and femininity go with pale pinks and lilacs. For bright and bold, go orange and for winter weddings, go gold or red.

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    • Emma Harvey profile image
      Author

      Emma Kisby 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Thanks Miss Mimi! I loved planning my wedding and mixed lots of different ideas together. Some were traditional and others a little less. It's all down to personal choice!

    • Miss Mimi profile image

      Miss Mimi 5 years ago from On the road again

      This is great information, and calmly and clearly explained. It seems like so many couples (especially the women) tend to get overwhelmed at the thought of planning a wedding. This is a nice check-list to get things started.

    • Emma Harvey profile image
      Author

      Emma Kisby 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

      Hi billybuc - can't you just tell I've recently gone through it? ;) It's nice to mix my experiences in with other ideas.

      Thanks for coming by :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Honest to God, Emma, I'm just here to support you. I'm not getting married in the near future. Very useful information for those who have the big event coming up. Nice job!

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