On Themed Weddings

You know, if I couldn’t be a wedding photographer, I would be a wedding planner.  (Yes, I am that obsessed with weddings.)  In fact, I’ve even been considering taking a wedding planning course or two, just for the fun of it!  And I get even more anxious to try one, if only to help people avoid things like these themed wedding disasters.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not against themed weddings.  Quite the contrary, I think themed weddings can be incredibly fun!  They infuse automatic personality into a wedding, and they offer so many unique opportunities for creativity.  And heck, I’m a nerd myself!  I’m a bit of a Trekkie, a huge Harry Potter fan, I think Lord of the Rings is just about the perfect mythology, and I have never lost a game of Star Wars Trivial Pursuit in my life.

But there are limits, guys!  Too many of these themed weddings have a tendency to look more like a kid’s birthday party than a wedding.  They completely lose the elegance, the class, and the romance that epitomizes a wedding.  The key is always to be subtle.  You don’t have to shove the theme in people’s faces with every…single…detail of the wedding.  And keep in mind what belongs in a wedding and what doesn’t.  You don’t need to have every piece of paraphernalia you can possibly find for that theme.  It helps to remember the old adage “Less is more!”

Eventually, too much of a good thing crosses the line from unique to tacky.  Stay far far away from that line!  (Ah, see what I did there, Star Wars fans?)  I look at the Shrek themed weddings and all I can see is green faces — this is not romantic!  In fact, avoid Halloween-style makeup at all costs.  There is nothing — NOTHING! — romantic about bloody corpses, I don’t care how obsessed with zombies you are.  Abort, abort, abort!  (I once saw David Tutera do a “Day of the Dead” wedding, which he actually managed to do in a pretty amazing way…but there was no bloody makeup, guys.  You shouldn’t be saying “I do” looking like an extra in a horror movie.)  And while I get that Princess Leia’s famous first costume is white, it’s really pretty cheesy to wear that as a wedding dress — and it isn’t really formal anyway, it’s just her normal everyday attire.  But if you go to your own wedding dressed in the Jabba’s palace slave-girl costume…I will hunt you down!  😉

I have found some great themed weddings that gave me hope, however.  Let’s use Star Wars as one example here for a minute.  You can do great things with Star Wars themed weddings that don’t have to be corny!  Check out this fantastic Star Wars wedding.  This couple managed to be both elegant and completely nerdy at the same time!  I love it!  I mean seriously, check out the sparkly storm trooper belt.  That is fantastic.

There are other fun things you can do!  Personally, I kind of adore this Star Wars wedding cake:

Seriously, that’s a really cool, and also pretty beautiful, wedding cake for a Star Wars themed wedding.  Great idea!  In addition, you can always name your tables with Star Wars related names.

See?  Elegant table settings, subtle nod to a classic and beloved sci-fi film.  Another super subtle touch is these great Darth Vader cuff links!

What nerdy guy wouldn’t love those?!

On the subject of wedding dresses, I personally think a far better option for a wedding gown than the classic white Leia dress would be this one that Padme wears:

Heck, most of Padme’s costuming is much more unique and interesting than Leia’s!  Not to mention a lot more elegant.

And oh, yeah!  There’s an actual wedding dress in her wardrobe!

Sure, I can maybe understand wanting to lose this particular veil if it isn’t your style…but it’s better than the “cinnamon bun” Leia headbands I’ve seen on some brides.  And regardless, the dress itself is a stunner.

And sure, have some fun with it!  There’s nothing wrong with a little fun in your wedding.  This shot always cracks me up:

It’s a fun moment, but you can tell this wedding wasn’t designed to be overtly “Star Wars” related.  It was just a silly moment, and that’s okay.

Do a few things, not everything.  I’ve seen rings inscribed with “I love you” and “I know.”  Or ice cubes in the shape of the Death Star.  But you can even go more subtle than that.  Why not have your wedding at a planetarium, for example?  One option I really like is the Adler Planetarium.

What a beautiful place to host a wedding!  And absolutely perfect, in my opinion, to pay subtle homage to a science fiction epic without crossing that sacred line into ridiculous.  Keeping it elegant and beautiful.

Another popular franchise is, of course, Harry Potter.  It can be a bit harder, in some ways, to incorporate a kid’s story into a wedding.  But you can totally do it!  Harry Potter has become a story for all ages.  And Harry Potter themed weddings can also offer great opportunities for fun and elegance at the same time.  I mean, just look at the world itself, it really has its own fantastic elegance!  I mean, come on, Hogwarts itself is a castle, and what can be more romantic than that?!

I personally loved this Harry Potter wedding myself.

But there are, of course, so many other great options!  Even before getting to the wedding, you can send save-the-date cards with Hogwarts Express tickets!

Just personalize it with your wedding information, and voila!  Perfect Harry Potter themed announcements.

Try creating a replica (or something close) of Fleur’s amazing wedding gown.

If you don’t like the black, change it to white or a soft cream color to make it stand out a bit.  But this is a gorgeous wedding gown!

I did a Disneyland wedding where all the guests got Mickey ears.  How fun would it be if all the guests at a Harry Potter wedding got their own personal wand?  (You can find a few good wand makers on etsy, by the way!)

I had someone ask me to do a ring shot that referenced Harry Potter, and that’s just too easy!

Don’t forget to have gorgeous wedding decor.


(all images found on Pinterest)

Or hey, go whole hog and get married at Harry Potter World!  What could possibly be better?

And if and when you do…seriously, I would love to be a part of it.  Themed weddings really can be awesome.  You can make them into something fantastically memorable.  Fun and elegance truly can mix, and mix well.

So, with all of that inspiration, fellow nerds, happy planning!

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