This past weekend I spoke at the Wedding Masterclass at Loughrea Hotel & Spa about choosing a wedding theme and colour scheme so I thought I'd share some advice with you all! A wedding theme creates a unique style for your wedding. Many couples want their wedding to be ‘different’ – you may be at a stage where many of your friends and family are getting married around the same time as you, and you might even choose a venue that you have been to often – so you want your wedding to stand out and be memorable. A theme should reflect your personal interests both individually and as a couple. A couple who love old music and vintage clothes could choose a vintage or 1950’s theme with rockabilly music, tea dresses and gramophones to decorate; fans of music could have a festival themed wedding in a marquee with festival style food and several bands; a couple who love to sail and go surfing could have a beach or marine themed wedding featuring sand, seashells, anchors and seafood. In order for a theme to be successful, it needs to tie all the elements of the wedding together. It can begin with your stationery – the wedding invitation will set the tone for the big day. The style of dresses and formalwear can also reflect the style of the wedding, for example if you have a vintage theme you might choose a lace dress, for a Great Gatsby theme a beaded, dropped waist dress may suit. Decor is important – you centrepieces are a great way to bring this in. Birdcages, lanterns, books and jars look great for a vintage theme. For a nautical theme, anchors, little boats and navy and white striped ribbons will be perfect. [gallery type="rectangular" link="none" ids="622,617,625,628"] Here is where your stationery continues – your table plan, menus and place cards will all continue the theme. Food and drink is a new and fun way to bring in your theme – for a great Gatsby wedding, champagne is essential! Festival style weddings could feature mini burgers, hot dogs, popcorn and candy floss. Finally, your music is not to be forgotten! A jazz trio or trad band can set the tone for the evening; a swing band is great for a 1950’s theme or a great 80s band for the retro aficionados! [gallery type="rectangular" link="none" ids="626,631"] Whether you choose to have a theme or not, you will inevitably be choosing a wedding colour – this usually is carried through in your bridesmaids colours, stationery, chair covers and lighting. My big tip here is to take into account the colours of your venue. A minimalist venue style leaves you with plenty of scope for colours, but if there are very strong colours in the wallpaper or carpets, it may limit what you can use. If you both have favourite colours, try and create a palette to see if they will work together – I am a big fan of a colour combo as opposed to just one solid colour. Be careful to make sure they complement each other though – as hot pink and bright orange might be a little much...You can also use the seasons as a guide. There are many more colours out there than the typical ones you are used to seeing each season! We are all used to seeing the burgundy and chocolate brown at Christmas, and the baby pink in summer but there are so many other options out there. [gallery type="rectangular" link="none" ids="633,634,635,636"] A gorgeous way to bring in a strong colour without having it looking too ostentatious is to bring in an ombre style. This is where you have several shades of the same colour – this could be in the bridesmaids dresses and this is great to give them each an individual look, or in your cake or flowers. [gallery type="rectangular" link="none" ids="640,637,638,639"] To make your theme or colour scheme work in your venue, again consider the colours that are in your venue. Are there any features like pillars or antique furniture that you can incorporate? Is it a very modern space? A rustic theme may not work, but a 1920’s art deco theme might. Is it an older/historic property? Modern themes and bright colours may look out of place.