For those of you who hate the thought of walking up the aisle in a big white dress with lots of lace and tulle, or you are just looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, a themed wedding might be your perfect solution.
Deciding on what theme to go with is generally the easy part. You can make your big day special and celebrate your heritage by having a typically Irish wedding and going all out on the Irish theme.
However, putting into practice your wedding is not very easy and there are many things that will need to be taken into consideration. It is most important that the venue you have chosen is happy to host a themed wedding.
It is not only the reception venue that needs to be notified if you have decided to have special decorations or food. The vicar or registrar may not appreciate you showing up to the ceremony dressed as pirates from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean.
It is useful to find out all the extras you are allowed to include whilst you are exchanging your vows. For example, when signing the register, an added romantic touch might be to have some gentle Irish music playing in the background.
The next thing that needs to be taken into consideration is how far you want to take the theme. A lot of this will depend on the type of budget you have and also your guests. You and your partner may think the idea of dressing up all your guests is fun but they might not be able to afford costumes and some elderly relatives might not see the fun side of dressing up as an elf.
However, if you have decided to have a themed wedding and you don’t want to restrict fancy dress costumes to just the bride and groom, inform your relatives of your plans clearly on the wedding invitations and well in advance of the wedding day.
You could really go crazy with your chosen theme depending on the budget you have. For example, if you have decided to go for a mediaeval wedding, by doing a small amount of research on the internet, you can find castles or huge country mansions that can host the reception and the ceremony.
It might be an idea to organise unusual transport. A popular choice with many is to go for a horse and carriage. Although open top buses and motorbikes are also fun. Just be sure to have alternative transport arranged in case of bad weather.
If you are slightly concerned that your budget won’t cover everything you wish to include in your big day, simple table decorations or an elaborately decorated, themed wedding cake could be enough.
If the idea of a themed wedding cake appeals to you, ask around bakeries and view some of their previous work to find out just how much it will cost and how far it will eat into your budget. If you do decide to go for a theme, give the baker plenty of notice, as there are very few chefs that can create a mini replica of the Titanic over the course of just two days.
Other parts of the reception such as the menus, flowers, food, seating cards and colour of the balloons can all tie in with your theme. You could even add some unusual centre pieces such as miniature figurines of your favourite footballers from your favourite team.
Themed menus are popular these days too, for example, fish and chips, a curry or the Irish classic of lamb and potatoes. Take into consideration that these may not be to the tastes of all your guests and so alternatives should be available to guests. Make sure your caterers are informed well in advance of all your plans.
Your reception is likely to be the easiest way to incorporate a theme into your big day. A barn dance is fun to organise.
Music might not be your thing and so could turn the reception area into a lively casino or have a bucking bronco or bouncy castle. It might distract your dad from embarrassing himself, and you on the dance floor!