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Choosing your wedding day theme

July 19, 2011

I talked about this briefly when I detailed our little DIY project known as our WEDDING INVITATIONS. Remember? I mentioned how we wanted to carry our theme, and additionally our icon, throughout the project–hence the compass printed on the invite/reply postcard/website card, tying the twine around the entire suite, and the travel tag. I’m a big fan of tying things together. Oh, you already knew that? I’m also a big fan of using a theme to do it.

I know where your mind is going. Choosing a theme. A themed wedding. People dressing in Southern belle outfits wearing bonnets and carrying parasols crying about how they’ll NEVA GO HUNGRY AGAIN!

A modern and classy Southern wedding via Southern Weddings Magazine

I’m not talking about that kind of theme.

Unless you’re into that, of course. The brilliance of a theme is that it can be as outrageous as Gone with the Wind or, say, a circus. {I’ve actually seen some pretty cool circus-themed weddings. Popcorn machine? Yes, please.} Or it can be as simple as vintage, or travel, or rustic simplicity. The theme is your starting point, your inspiration. It’s what ultimately describes you and your fiance/fiancée–who you are as a couple, what you love, how you met. The possibilities are endless. Endless, I tell you!

Which is why choosing one can be a wee bit difficult.

Carnival fun via Style Me Pretty

I think the fiance and I went through three or so themes before we finally honed in on one. The tricky thing was that they were all pretty much under the travel/vintage/rustic umbrella. It just took awhile to make them fit into a cohesive vision.

Why those three, you ask? What a good question! Let me tell you. The first thing we asked ourselves when it came time to plan was–what do we love? What do people think about when it comes to the two of us? Surprisingly enough, the answer came easily. It was travel. Our individual love of travel was one of the things that attracted us to one another. It’s also at the top of our list when it comes to our shared goals and dreams.

We also fell in love with a single word to describe our impending nuptials–JOURNEY. We actually saw it printed on a photo album like this:


Our journey. If marriage is anything, it’s a journey {am I right?}. A big fat messy adventure. Two people facing life together, enduring difficult times, celebrating joyful ones, and continuing to learn side-by-side, day-by-day. It’s a beautiful metaphor, don’t you think? Just nod your head.

So we both love to travel and we believe that our marriage signifies the beginning of a journey together. How do we design a wedding out of that? Well, you begin by closing your eyes and imagining what your wedding day will look like. Will it be a grand, ballroom-esque affair? Or are you more into those backyard, feels-like-a-family-picnic, style weddings? Are you following the traditions or blazing your own trail? Sit back and picture it. Dream it. What fits?

When I closed my eyes, I envisioned a big, rustic barn. I may live in the bustling city of Chicago but I am a country girl at heart. {My momma’s heart fills with pride.} I also pictured one of my most cherished items–a vintage photo of my grandparents standing in front of my grandfather’s ’55 Thunderbird, striking in their handsomeness and perfect 1950’s attire. Rustic and vintage.

We made it fit by incorporating elements of vintage travel with rustic touches like twine and mason jars. Like this:

  • Vintage suitcases as props for our engagement photos (which were taken on old railroad tracks)
  • The same vintage suitcase to be used at our ceremony for cards. We’ll hang old family photos (including that beloved pic of my grandparents) with twine and clothespins on the inside.
  • A compass that my very talented fiance drew to be printed or stamped on all our stationary, tags, bags, you name it. By the way, we had a stamp made from the drawing to mix things up. We LOVE it.
  • Centerpieces of mason jars tied with twine
  • Our venue–a gorgeous, 19th century restored barn in the suburbs of Chicago (Read: There’s nature there.)
  • Wood frames that we painted a very light white wash (for that antiquey feel) to hold our table numbers and other miscellaneous signs
  • Vintage travel postcards to serve as our guest book. We’re asking our guests to provide their thoughts and well wishes we can take with us on our journey.
  • Travel tags attached to our invitations and, for the wedding, our favor bags.

There’s more to come, too! I’ve been searching for old compasses and an old mailbox (for guests to place the postcards in). So, you know, if you have an old mailbox lying around…

Vintage, rustic, travel inspired

Choosing and expanding on our theme has been one of the best parts of wedding planning. Not only has it made our decisions easier and forced allowed us to veto other non-related ideas, it’s been really fun envisioning it all and picturing how it will come together. And it’s so, well, us. Which is what your wedding day is all about now isn’t it?


2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2011 10:51 pm

    This is awesome, fun!

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