Travel-themed weddings can be a great way to celebrate such a big day, such an important occasion. It goes a step above the standard look you’d expect of a typical ceremony, allowing the couple (or let’s be honest here, mostly the bride) to add a personal touch. At the same time, the theme means they don’t go overboard in a way that might alienate their guests.
There is a catch, though. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to pull off. Travel is a theme that is very easy to get wrong. It is also something you probably should not take literally because if you force your wedding party to travel a multi-leg journey for a wedding, you’re liable to make someone angry. This means that a travel theme involving actual travel is probably not in the cards. Still, it can be done, and here’s how you plan one!
The Right Venue
Pick a venue for it. This is a step that will show up in any wedding unless you’re tying the knot in an office. Select a place that feels right or something that appeals to you on some level. Some folks want a place that looks cozy and has the right atmosphere, while others want a venue that has a rich history to it.
The venue itself doesn’t need to be travel-related. However, it would be nice if it requires a small amount of traveling to get to, rather than just right across the street from your home. Though it is important to have good lighting. In the absence of that, space for a Soonwell LED light panel or similar equipment.
One thing to note about the venue is that while it should require a bit of travel to get to, it shouldn’t be too far. Not everyone can put their life on hold and fly to another country (or even a different state) just for a wedding. Pick a place that’s accessible to everyone that you want to be there because their presence is more important than any theme.
Narrow Down The Specifics
Remember that “travel” is a broad theme, covering a lot of potential places and ideas. During the planning stages, you will want to narrow that down to something more concrete and specific, as this will inform the details. The obvious option is to structure the theme details around a specific country, like Japan or Switzerland. The other choice is to pick a mode of transportation.
Picking a Destination
A country-based travel wedding is common because it informs a lot of the other choices. If you pick China as the country you build your theme around, you’ll want Chinese or Chinese-inspired wedding favors and decorations. You might even go for peach blossoms instead of the more usual flowers used in wedding arrangements.
As J.R.R. Tolkien once said, “Not all who wander are lost.” If you pick a form of transport as your theme, that’s a little harder to work with. However, it still narrows things down a little and might even inform the aesthetic if viewed in conjunction with the venue.
Getting the Invitation Right
The invitation is important. If your travel theme is based on a rustic train ride through the Old West and you send plain white invitations, that sends the wrong message. Make sure the invitation matches your theme. In fact, you might even go the extra mile and make them look like passports or tickets, just to hammer in the travel theme and give guests a little novelty.
But at the same time, don’t go too far. If your theme is “road trip in the fall,” use fall colors and some imagery. Don’t go too much further, because then it goes from novelty and a unique touch into strange. There’s also the chance that you won’t find any options that aren’t over the top.
The Little Details
No matter the venue or theme, there are a few little touches you can use to bring the travel idea to the forefront. These methods can be adapted to suit your particular aesthetic, while still adding a personal touch.
Maps are a fun, distinctive way to pin down the travel theme. Use them as part of the invitation, to wrap the bouquet around, or as part of the decorations. If your venue is a little out of the way, an invitation that doubles as a map is a great way to make sure your guests don’t get lost on the way.
Another travel trick you can use is the use of baggage tags. Label things like decorations, place settings, or even invitations with bag tags. These are small and inexpensive, while also adding a personal touch. It also fits the travel theme well and won’t look out of place. You can even adapt them to look modern or more vintage, depending on your aesthetic preferences.
Other Little Things
These are just the start, though. Compasses on the centerpieces are another thing you can do. Maybe decorate the wedding cake with a form of travel of your choosing? Hire a hair stylist to do theme-matching hairstyles for your bridesmaids? This is especially easy if you don’t lock down a specific country to build the theme around.
Food can be a challenge. On one hand, if you picked a country as a theme, it only makes sense to adapt the food to match. Greek food for a Greece-themed wedding, and so on. However, if you didn’t, then you have an open question. Standard wedding fare might not fit, so you’ll need to think on it.
If the theme doesn’t lock in your choices, other details should. Maybe the venue provides some inspiration? A rustic location in the woods might be better with fare sourced from the area. A seaside location lends itself well to more seafood-based menus. Another idea would be aesthetics and colors, choosing foods based on how they complement the decor.
Music should also be on-theme, though this should be played loosely. Even if you go with an Aztec-themed wedding, you won’t necessarily find any bands that play Aztec instruments or songs. Instead, pick a band that can play songs that complements the theme or the mood you want to achieve, even if it’s not a perfect match.
A travel theme for a wedding can make it a highlight that you won’t forget. However, it’s not the easiest thing to pull off. The good thing is that despite the daunting prospect, it is still just a theme and there are many ways to plan one without going crazy.