Theme Weddings

Weddings celebrate the love of two unique people who wish to make one life together. Theme weddings are a great way to celebrate that uniqueness in a fun an inventive way.

Themes are as simple or complex as a couple desires. Some choose to use a theme to unify their décor, decorations, cake, and colors. A sea theme, for instance, inspires the use of seashells to decorate the cake and reception tables. A more elaborate application might touch every aspect of the wedding from the music and food to the marriage ceremony itself.

The origin of a theme usually is something that the bride and groom have in common. Ethnicity, for example Scottish or Irish themes, is an easy place to start. Occasionally, a bride and groom from differing cultures combine them. One Portland couple had an Island to Island theme, honoring the groom's Scottish heritage during the ceremony and incorporating the foods and traditions of Guam for the reception.

Shared hobbies often provide theme ideas also. The popularity of science fiction or fantasy translates to Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, or video game themes. Those involved with cosplay (costume play) frequently have costumed wedding parties and guests. Pirate themes have been popular the last few wedding seasons, too.

Sports sometimes influence the choice of location as well as other aspects. One wedding took place in the center part of a Washougal, WA motocross race track during a race. The reception resembled a tailgate party more than an elegant hotel wedding, suiting the couple and their families admirably.

Sometimes a couple's work place or meeting place comes into play. Several recent weddings have taken place at McDonald's or Walmart. Others incorporate social activism, such as avid bicyclists marrying on their bikes in parks, or donations to groups like Habitat for Humanity or a food drive replacing standard wedding gifts.

Themes, whether elaborate or simple, add personality to the celebration of an important milestone. They unify the event and add fun and memorable elements for everyone. Most importantly, they reflect the love and uniqueness of the marrying couple.

Reverend Marcie D.B. McDonald, M. Div., is an interfaith wedding officiant based in the Portland, Oregon area. (503)351-8572

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