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SPICE UP Your Wedding Festivities With a Theme

Many prospective couples want their wedding to be unique, in an effort to bring even more excitement to their memorable day. Some adventurous couples have said their "I dos" underwater, decked out in full wedding regalia ... and a scuba tank. Others have plunged out of airplanes and committed to one another in a free-fall beneath the clouds. Yet, if you want something different, but not so "exotic," you could try a theme wedding. Brides magazine predicted that theme weddings would be a fast-growing trend in their September 2001 issue. That prediction has definitely turned out to be true. Theme weddings are limited only by your own imagination, and can run the gamut from fairy tale to western to ethnocentric. If you're considering a theme for your event, here are some ideas to get you on the right track.

DETERMINING YOUR THEME
Discuss your collective interests with your future spouse. It will be a good jump-start for determining a theme that appeals to you both. Themes can be as basic or as creative as you'd like. For example, if your wedding day is during an autumn month, a natural theme is a harvest wedding, replete with ripe pumpkins, corn husks, orange-hued decor and fresh apple cider. Or, play upon your heritage and culture. Incorporate native dances, embellishments and menu items into your ceremony and reception for a day that is not only memorable, but dear to older generations. If you've always been a fan of Disney flicks but can't make it to Walt Disney World, consider throwing a Cinderella-themed wedding instead. Ride to the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage. Wear dainty glass-slipper-inspired shoes with your billowing ball gown. And ensure that your future husband is an enchanting Prince Charming.

EYE FOR DETAIL
Feel free to get extravagant with the details of your theme wedding. After all, the decor, wardrobe and special touches you include will help solidify the theme. Some items to consider:

  • Use coordinating accessories. Repetition of a common element is a simple way to carry out your theme. If you want a butterfly wedding, use pillar candles with butterfly accents and napkin rings adorned with butterflies, and hang delicate twinkle lights to simulate butterflies in flight.
  • Involve your guests. While it's fun for you and the wedding party to be swept up in the theme, don't forget to include your guests in the festivities. A Renaissance wedding may inspire guests to dress in period clothing. Word invitations and seating cards in Old English to keep the tone of the celebration consistent. However, remember that not all guests may want to don a corset or carry a sword to the festivities! Keep participation voluntary and everyone will be smiling.
  • Expect naysayers. Some family members or friends may not be receptive to your theme idea. Express that it is your big day and you reserve the right to have the party you desire -- especially if you're paying for the event. To keep the peace, try to incorporate some traditional elements where possible.
  • Your theme wedding is certain to be memorable and will certainly be talked about for a while i done right. While a wedding is the beginning of a serious, life-changing event called marriage, there's no reason it shouldn't be as fun, extravagant or exotic as you'd like. So have fun with themes and get those creative juices flowing!

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