When you think of a theme wedding, Elvis and Las Vegas immediately come to mind. Las Vegas, Nevada, is, of course, the world capital of whatever is wild, weird and whacky no matter what you are talking about and weddings are not the exception…they may, in fact, be the centerpiece of everything strange that happens in Las Vegas.
In Las Vegas, a couple can have a wedding where “Elvis” walks the bride down the aisle or where he performs the ceremony or both. Anything and everything is possible in Las Vegas. “They”….whoever ‘they’ are say that, “What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas”…..well, maybe….maybe not. Themed weird and crazy weddings don’t stay in Las Vegas…they seem to be popping out everywhere. But, you must admit, that Las Vegas is where they started.
The Alternative Wedding…Las Vegas Style
The couple doesn’t need to consist of a man and a woman….it can consist of two men or two women in Las Vegas. Of course, the ceremony isn’t a legal marriage ceremony rather it is called a ‘Commitment’ ceremony. There won’t be a marriage license issued but the many chapels that perform these commitment ceremonies issue a ‘Certificate of Commemoration’.
There is even a chapel named the Gay Chapel of Las Vegas where gay and lesbian couples are offered all of the same choices and amenities offered to straight couples. The can choose from wedding packages that include choices like the beach party, disco, Egyptian, Gothic or Elvis Blue Hawaii wedding.
Limousines, flowers, photography and video services are offered as well. There were, at last count five chapels that offer such Alternative weddings in Las Vegas. They are: Cupid’s Wedding Chapel, Silver Bell Wedding Chapel, Distinctive Weddings of Las Vegas, Gay Chapel of Las Vegas, Eternal Hope Ministry.
The Eiffel Tower Las Vegas Wedding
The Paris Las Vegas is a scaled down version of Paris, France, complete with the Eiffel Tower. The Paris Las Vegas is huge…over 85,000 square feet and the legs of the Eiffel Tower are a part of the decor of the casino. The wedding ceremony is performed on fiftieth floor observation deck. The video camera starts rolling the moment the couple enter the glass elevator and continues through the ride back down.
The Elvis Themed Las Vegas Wedding
Elvis Presley himself married Pricilla in Las Vegas in 1967 at the Aladdin. Elvis and Las Vegas are linked forever in the hearts and minds of Elvis fans all over the world so, it stands to reason that Elvis Themed Weddings are the first and foremost choice of couples who marry in Las Vegas. There are many variations on an Elvis themed wedding and wedding packages offered. The Elvis impersonators who participate in these Elvis themed weddings all, of course, sing but some of them do other things, as well, like drive the limo that picks the couple up, walk the bride down the aisle or even perform the marriage ceremony itself. At the Viva Las Vegas Chapel there is even a Pricilla impersonator for their Blue Hawaii package that includes Hawaiian sets and props and Elvis memorabilia. Some Elvis Themed wedding packages include Elvis performing the ceremony or walking the bride down the aisle. Some have Elvis singing three songs while
others include Elvis entertaining for a full hour at the reception. There is one chapel that is decorated to look like Graceland. The name of it is….you guessed it….The Graceland Wedding Chapel.
The Las Vegas Gondola Wedding Package
The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas is built around an Italian theme complete with frescos, gourmet food, canals, strolling performers and gondolas that are available for weddings. The Cerimonia Sul’Aqua weddings are performed in a gondola that is only large enough to hold the bride, groom, minister, a witness and, of course, the gondolier who sings. The bride’s bouquet, the groom’s boutonniere and photographs are included in the Gondola wedding package. The gondola transports the bride, groom, minister and witness out onto the breathtakingly beautiful Lake Las Vegas to a party boat that will accommodate up to twelve people. It is considered good luck to steal a kiss under the Ritz’s Pontevecchio Bridge.
The Las Vegas Pirate Ship Wedding
If you are really into pirates and pirate ships, you can have your wedding ceremony performed on one at the Treasure Island Resort. The Treasure Island used to be considered a kid friendly place but it has been transformed into an ‘adults only’ resort now and is usually referred to as TI rather than Treasure Island. The advertisement reads like this:
“The Enchantment package features a wedding on board Treasure Island’s pirate ship. Guests are seated along an outdoor patio overlooking Sirens’ Cove. The groom, best man and ship’s captain board a pirate ship and wait for the bride’s entrance along a rose-covered walkway. For the right amount of gold, rogue pirates will serve as witnesses and a pirate may even swing down from the crow’s nest to deliver the wedding rings.”
Now that sounds like an exciting way to begin married life!
The Las Vegas Star Trek Wedding
If the couple are both ‘Trekies’….devout Star Trek fans…. they might opt for a Star Trek Theme Wedding. Star Trek Theme weddings are one of the wedding packages offered at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel Resort. Depending upon the package chosen, two to four Star Trek characters are included along with the wedding photography, floral bouquet and intergalactic music. The choice of Start Trek wedding packages range from the basic Junior Officer’s wedding to the Admiral’s wedding which in addition to the basics adds wedding video, a choice of four Star Trek characters, a wedding certificate, a brass plaque recognizing the wedding date on display in Quark’s Bar and Restaurant and tickets for the Klingon Encounter and Borg Invasion 4D attractions for the wedding party (up to 30).
Opting for the Admirals wedding is for the truly devout Trekies only as it is a rather expensive package.
A Helicopter Wedding a la Las Vegas
Hotels and resorts aren’t the only industry in Las Vegas that manages to cash in on themed weddings. At least one company that provides helicopter tours of the Las Vegas area has jumped on the band wagon as well. Maverick Helicopter Tours offers the Dream Catcher Wedding package. The description printed in their brochure says:
“The Dream Catcher wedding begins with a flight out of Las Vegas to Hidden Valley to see the arches. Continue your journey to the Valley of Fire, where you will see red rock formations and some of the most remote, desolate and fascinating desert landscape. After you fly through the Valley of Fire, your journey will take you to the Grand Canyon. Land on the canyon floor, located just above the mighty Colorado River. Have your romantic wedding here, overlooking
the water. Maverick can accommodate large wedding parties or a private ceremony for two and provide helicopter transportation to the Mount Charleston Lodge and major surrounding golf courses in the Las Vegas valley.”
Wow! How romantic can you get! Phooey on tradition…give me that helicopter ride and getting married on the floor of the Grand Canyon!
Las Vegas very well be the capital of the wild and weird but it certainly doesn’t have the market cornered. Not by a long shot! Consider these themed weddings that are no longer even considered “far out” even in very conservative areas of America.
The Western Themed Wedding
Since everybody who isn’t too broad in the beam (and unfortunately some who are) wear jeans now days. They may dress up to go to work or to church but for everyday wear everybody wears jeans. Maybe that’s the main attraction for having a western themed wedding….nobody has to buy new clothes…not even the bride and groom.
Western themed weddings are especially popular in states like Texas and Wyoming but they certainly aren’t limited to those states. A western themed wedding is often held right in the middle of New York City. A western themed wedding is easy to plan and a lot less expensive than a traditional, modified traditional or other themed weddings. The color scheme must obviously start with blue (as in blue jeans) and can be paired with yellow (the Yellow Rose of Texas) or green (the color of grass) or orange (the predominate color of a Western sunset). No 20 piece orchestra will be required….a local country and western band will be able to supply just the right music.
The food? Why barbeque, of course….maybe some macaroni and cheese, potato salad, baked beans chips and dips….and not Champaign…BEER! The decorations could be bales of hay and saddles. Centerpieces can be potted cacti on checked table cloths, of course. Even the favors that are given to the guests can be miniature horse shoes or chocolate cowboys or boots. Yup! Western themed weddings are popular for many reasons. They are far less formal and expensive, they are easy to plan, and on top of everything else…they are just plain FUN!
The Disney Theme Wedding
There can be as many Disney Themed weddings as there are Disney couples. The first and, of course, most obvious thing to do is to choose which Disney couple you will base your wedding on. Will it Beauty and the Beast or Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming or, maybe Aladdin and Jasmine? But you don’t have to choose a particular story if you don’t want to. You can just use the general Disney theme. You can choose a very romantic location like a castle for your wedding location. Yes, castles are rented out for weddings. There are about 50 different ones in England, Ireland and Scotland that can be rented. Imagine the possibilities for the bride’s and groom’s wedding attire! The traditional white wedding gown and a tuxedo are a choice but the bride and groom could be dressed as Snow White and Prince Charming as well. The color scheme for the Disney theme wedding could be bright primary colors and the flowers could be placed in glass slippers! How romantic! Oh, and just picture the possibilities for the wedding cake! It could be shaped like a magical castle. Choosing the music might be difficult. There are so many wonderful Disney songs out there to choose from. Maybe you could choose “Can You Fell the Love
Tonight” from The Lion King but then there is “I Can Show you the World” from Aladdin, too….and so many more! Sunflowers in reds, yellows, oranges, and blues or carnations, roses and tulips in bright vivid colors would all be excellent choices for the flowers. A Disney theme wedding could allow you to live out your little girl fantasy for real on your special day!
A Wedding with a Nautical Theme
Whether the wedding is to be a beach wedding or to be held on dry land, a nautical theme can be very romantic. If you or your intended are into all things nautical….sailing, scuba diving, or just laying on the beach….a nautical wedding theme might be the very thing for you. Carrying out a nautical theme wedding plan can be easy and a lot of fun. You can start with the invitations. Maybe you could choose ones with two sailboats silhouetted against the setting sun sailing away together. Of course, wedding invitations that are embossed with pale seashells would also be very suitable.
Invitations of all varieties and with all themes can be found at major invitation retail stores and online. You could even print the invitations and programs from your own computer, if you choose to. Nautical theme paper is available at most card and scrap booking stores. Planning the nautical themed reception is where you can really get creative. First you could hire a local band that specializes in beach music or you could hire a DJ and have him play songs by Jimmy Buffett or The Beach Boys. The color scheme needs to bright and summery feeling. Consider colors like blue, turquoise, light green, silver or purple. Candles in shell shaped bowls filled
with sand would be a nice touch. They would make nice center pieces for tables at the reception, as well. The flowers in the church could be potted palm trees and blooming tropical plants. They could all be moved to the reception and that would save a few dollars. Even the wedding cake can get into the nautical theme act. Have it decorated with seashell shaped candies. A nautical themed wedding can be as simple or as elaborate as you (and your budget) would like for it to be. It can be fun to plan and easy to carry out.
The Mardi Gras Themed Wedding
Hurricane Katrina really did a number on New Orleans so if you would like to have a Mardi Gras themed wedding, it should probably be planned for a location other then in New Orleans. A Mardi Gras themed wedding is still possible, though, and with some planning it can be done rather inexpensively. Mardi Gras and weddings have a lot in common. Mardi Gras symbolizes the last
party and good time before the harshness of the Lenten season begins. A wedding symbolizes the last party and good time before the couple settles down into their new married life and starting a family together. Most likely you won’t want to carry the Mardi Gras theme into the wedding
ceremony itself but you can have a ball with the reception planning. First, think food. Mardi Gras is big on food….the rich and spicy variety. There won’t be a broiled chicken breast in sight. Louisiana crab cakes and boiled crawfish would start the meal out just right as the appetizers. Swamp punch is fun if it complete with gummy worms and toy boats. No matter what you choose as the main course be sure to have cayenne pepper and Louisiana Red Hot on every table so your guests can ‘spice it up’ as much as they would like. The decorations are where you can really let your creativity shine through. Large pillar candles with theater masks propped against them will be stunning as a center piece. Preserved Alligator heads are a big favorite for Mardi Gras themed wedding receptions….a little shocking but very appropriate. Dress the heads up with streamers and candles for a wonderful effect. Don’t forget about the Mardi Gras beads. They can add a lot of fun to the reception. The music and the entertainment options for the Mari Gras themed reception are wide and varied. You can choose to have a Jazz band or a DJ playing Jazz music. You might even have the trumpet player do a “When the Saints Come Marching In” solo when the wedding party arrives at the reception. Jazz music makes the heart beat faster and denotes a happy occasion is being celebrated. Think about having a close-up magician going from table to table performing magic tricks and a voodoo priestess or a fortune teller to entertain your guests.
Mardi Gras is a time for dressing up in costumes. You might invite your guests to come dressed in Mardi Gras style costumes to add even more flavor to you Mardi Gras themed wedding and reception.
The Country Themed Wedding
The country themed wedding is not to be confused with the western themed wedding. The western themed wedding is all about the west…cowboys, horses, hay, while the country themed wedding is all about the pastoral setting of the country….white picket fences, wild flowers and simplicity. In many small towns in America you will find a real version of the white church with a steeple that is depicted on many country items. If you can find such a church near your home or the place where your wedding is to be held, they can be rented. If that option turns out to be impossible, you can still easily carry out a country themed wedding where ever you are. Just ‘think’ country and whatever that means to you. When you ‘think’ country what comes to mind…..white picket fences, Mason jars, wild flowers….maybe Daisies….., baskets, fresh air, sunshine? It is very tempting to choose an outdoor setting for a country themed wedding….in the middle of a field of wild flowers if the season is right, for example. Just remember that if you plan your wedding outdoors, you should always have an alternate location prepared. Mother Nature has been known to be less that cooperative when outdoor events of any kind are planned. At the very least you should have a tent large enough to accommodate your guests just in case Mother Nature decides a rain shower would be nice. The decorations for a country themed wedding can be beautiful. A vine covered archway would be a lovely addition. The decorations need to be kept simple but beautiful. White picket fence sections and gates can be rented, as well. Terra cotta pots with filled with geraniums would make nice country center pieces. Mason jars can be used as candle holders or used to hold fresh wild flowers. Let
your imagination take you to the country and what your version of the country is when planning your country themed wedding.
The Christmas Wedding Theme
If your wedding is planned during the Christmas season, a Christmas themed wedding is an obvious choice and one that is easy to do. The very Christmas season itself is one of love, hope and promise so Christmas and Weddings seem to be made for each other. You can start with the wedding gown. There are many designers who do wedding gowns in red or green fabrics. Maybe a lovely velvet cape would add some pizzazz to the occasion. If you prefer the traditional white wedding gown for yourself, you can still have your bridesmaids and flower girl carry out the red and green Christmas theme. Velvet bridesmaids dresses made in an A-line style would be elegant…and ones that your bridesmaids might even find useful for other occasions. The A-line style dress flatters all body types and is an excellent choice no matter what fabric you choose.
Your bridesmaids can carry traditional Poinsettias and evergreens as bouquets, or course, but you might want to consider them carrying white muffs instead. Your bridesmaids could carry a single candle with evergreens around it, as well. They could also carry wreaths. Any of these are excellent choices. A Christmas theme using red and green is not the only choice. You might like going with a blue and silver based Christmas theme. Your wedding gown could be made of a shiny silver fabric. That would look very elegant and yet stay with the Christmas theme.
Your bridesmaid’s dresses could be made in the A-line style of a blue fabric and they could carry wreaths in the silver and blue theme. Silver bells would make lovely decorations.
The Renaissance Theme Wedding
Sometimes brides will confuse a Renaissance theme wedding with a Medieval theme wedding. These are two very distinct periods of history and they don’t overlap. There is a thousand year gap between them. Here we will discuss the Renaissance theme wedding…a very romantic theme, indeed. When you do your research about this historic period on which to base your wedding, you will find that the Renaissance period began in Italy in during the 1400’s and moved through Europe over the next two centuries. Camelot is not included. The questions you should be looking for answers to as your research your Renaissance wedding are: What were the wedding customs for the period? What was the style of wedding dresses during the period? A great place to begin your research is online where you will find a wealth of information. The Society for
Creative Anachronism (SCA) website can help you a lot and members do answer questions. There are many areas of the country where Renaissance Festivals are held particularly in California, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania. These festivals are not always historically accurate of course but you will be able to find such wonderful things as dragon heart champagne flutes or Celtic knot wedding rings. The nine through twelve numbered back issues of the Renaissance Magazine might be the very best place to find the information that you are looking for. In
these particular issues can give you the details of many traditions that you will want to include in your Renaissance themed wedding. You will find that wedding cakes weren’t a part of the Renaissance wedding but unless your guests are all history buffs nobody will notice. You can have your cake and eat it too.
Other Popular Wedding Themes
There are many other wedding themes that we have not even touched on here.
Some of them are:
The Seasonal Wedding Theme: Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall….they all lend themselves as themes for weddings. The decorations, wedding attire, flowers, music, and food are all centered on the particular season that has been chosen as the wedding theme.
The Ethnic Wedding: Many times couples who are proud of their ethnic backgrounds choose an ethnic theme for their weddings. African-American themes are very popular with their colorful costumes.
The Period Wedding Theme: The traditions, customs, costumes, food and music are used as the centerpiece of a period wedding theme. Colonial America, Victorian England or the roaring 20’s, are just a few of the periods that are popular to use as a period wedding theme.
The All-Night-Long Wedding Theme: This theme is particularly popular in south Louisiana but it is used often in other parts of the country as well. The wedding and the reception are usually traditional but then the party moves to either another rented hall or to a private home and continues until morning. When breakfast is served, the wedding is over. Variations on the all-night-long wedding theme are the whole-weekend-long wedding theme and the honeymoon wedding
theme. The weekend wedding lasts from Friday night through Sunday afternoon and the honeymoon wedding theme can have guests invited to a resort for a romantic location and invited to stay for the weekend or longer.
The Progressive Wedding: This theme should be carried out only by those who are well-heeled or love to travel very cheap. Now days with families so mobile and far-flung, the progressive wedding is gaining in popularity. A pre-reception might start at a location on the East Coast, the marriage ceremony might be performed somewhere in the mid west and the reception might be held in California. The purpose is, of course, to include as many family and friends as
The Surprise-Surprise Wedding: Now this one is just plain fun….not to mention easy on the pocketbook. You invite friends and family to a party without a mention of a wedding. When all are assembled you pull off your surprise-surprise wedding. It’s a little tricky to get everybody you want in one place at one time without telling them it’s your wedding day but the surprise is worth the effort.
The Stroll Down Memory Lane Wedding: Couples, particularly those with long histories together, sometimes like to base their weddings on a stroll down memory lane theme. Mentions of special events in their lives are woven into the ceremony and the reception and decorations are based on their shared history together.
The Holiday Wedding Theme: We discussed the Christmas wedding theme earlier but other holidays lend themselves well to themes for weddings, as well.
Valentines Day weddings are very popular with cupids and hearts as decorations. The beautiful fall colors add greatly to a Thanksgiving themed wedding with Pilgrims and turkeys added into the mix. Truly the only limit on what a theme for your wedding can be is your own imagination. Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event and it should be everything you want (and can afford) for it to be.
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