by Ashlee Sturme
How to pick a theme that’s affordable, yet still what you both want.
I suggested a beach wedding and my honey told me he’d always wanted a garden wedding. Strike one.
I decided to try again. “Honey, let’s have a vintage wedding,” I said cautiously, showing him stunning papers and photos. My honey is a romantic, but traditional and conservative.
I don’t think it’s going to be an easy path to get my dream wedding image into his head!
He screwed his nose up. In my mind, I pictured beautiful layers of lace, soft pink roses and pretty images of yesteryear. Dreamy and romantic, fused with modernisms. He saw something different – I could tell. “It looks…. 1800’s. Like old,” he said. “That’s what I want!” I cried. “Well, not old, but classic. Isn’t it gorgeous?” He looked at me like I was crazy. I know this ‘look’ well. It’s part of a series of ‘looks’ that he has perfected just for me. Like the “No way, you’re absolutely NOT going to do what you’ve just suggested”, and the “I think you’re crazy (but if you sweet talk enough I may come round) look.”
I’m trying so hard to compromise for this wedding. I have a tendency to charge ahead with my ideas – I know what I want and how to achieve it. But I have made a resolution that this is OUR wedding and not just mine. We have to agree and compromise on everything – of course, I am still secretly hoping that he will say, “Honey, whatever you want is fine with me”.
Other girls I’ve talked to either have better persuasion skills or their men didn’t really care. Those who love pink, roses or butterflies, actually get to have pink, rose or butterfly-themed weddings. Do their other halves happen to love these things too (a match made in heaven) or do they give in to avoid Bridezilla and keep things easy?
Choosing a theme at the beginning of your planning is a great way to coordinate everything, much like you might theme your house so everything flows. It makes planning easier because it eliminates choices. Instead of debating between the white fur-lined, floor-length gown and a knee-high, pink baby-doll dress, you’ll know which one is better if you’ve decided on a Ruapehu snow-themed wedding.
A theme allows you to harmonise, matching your venue with your flowers, clothing, food and decorations, and your choice will make a personal statement on your special day.
Perhaps you’ve been lusting after a Prince and Princess theme since you were a little girl; maybe the two of you met while travelling Europe, so you’ve opted for an Italian theme.
You both love music – think rock ‘n roll; he works at the zoo – think animals. The sky is the limit!
Inspiration can come at the weirdest times. Kate says she chose her theme while sitting on the toilet – her bathmat was grape and gold and it was perfect. She’d initially chosen green and pink, colours on the liquid soap bottle in her bathroom.
Andrea went all out on a Waikato theme combining black, red and yellow. Her husband was fine with her choices and she said it came together really nicely, apart from the cake, which she admitted looked ‘tacky’. She had the bridesmaid dresses professionally designed and went from there, and it was easy to plan everything else around it.
Justine went for a fun theme of black, white and red. “I’m a Cantabrian and my partner is Maori, so the colours worked well with both of us”. She had no conflict with her fiancé here, “He said he doesn’t care if I have bright pink tablecloths with yellow polka dots” – some girls have all the luck!
Many girls find the theme is set when they choose the season or venue. Romey’s theme matched their destination wedding in Fiji, although she did personalise it by choosing her own two colours.
A theme can help things look fabulous even when the budget is stretched. Shari found that “It really kind of just fell into place! We didn’t really want a church wedding. We both love the beach and it’s a completely free venue! We thought it would also make for good decorations for the dinner etc – that would look nice and with free shells/ sand etc. So the beach it was!”
Karen chose a family-theme, and together with her finance, decided to include their baby’s christening into the main ceremony. “Although it may sound quite mad, we want as many kids running amok around the lawn as possible. Ever heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine? Where would we be without children to help us keep things in perspective! It’s going to be a riot I can tell you!”
On the flipside, there are themes that may cost more than others, but being creative will help keep the budget down. Try Medieval, fantasy, cultural, pirates, favourite movie, birds, flowers, seasons, Elvis, sports, Western or colour themes.
Some of the girls I spoke with said that they decided on the theme together with their partner, but most suggested to just keep talking. Talk, and talk some more, ensuring you have the same ideas in your minds. When you’re discussing ideas, sharing pictures and just chatting, you can comfortably compromise and see the other’s point of view. It becomes easier the more you talk, and avoids any shocks and surprises.??I don’t think talking is going to help me convince my honey that vintage chandeliers and pink peony roses in antique glass vases is the wedding of his dreams.
I’ve started a ‘visual’ for him – a journal of dresses, decorations, samples that I like. I’m hoping the scrapbook will help him envision my dream, or simply blind him with its beauty and force him to accept my suggestions. At the very least, its going to be the most beautiful wedding planning folder ever made!
Otherwise, I can take his ‘look’ a little more seriously or try more of the ‘sweet-talk’ that may help me get my way … caressing his shoulder, whispering sweet nothings in his ear and even talking in ‘male’ language – along the lines of, ‘honey, a vintage wedding would be $3,000 cheaper than a garden wedding…!”