Autumn / Fall
Autumn themed weddings are opportunities to bring splashes of brilliant color into the mix. Look to deep oranges, rich browns and bold reds when choosing bridal party attire and decorations. Accent your bridesmaids' gowns with colorful shawls to ward off the evening chill. For the bride's gown, consider a fabulous gold gown or a lustrous ivory dress with gold accents. Choose locations with dark woods and stonework.
For centerpieces, consider baskets filled with colorful gourds and dried corn or, if the season allows, fishbowls filled with gorgeous turned leaves. Warm your guests with hot soup, chicken or turkey, and steaming mashed potatoes or squash. Pumpkins, gourds, haystacks and autumn leaves make wonderful motifs for invitations. For favors, wrap packets of pumpkin seeds in swatches of vibrant orange cloth.
Have a very merry wedding with bridesmaids decked out in red and green and groomsmen boasting sprigs of holly in their lapels. Consider a snow-white wedding dress trimmed in faux fur for the bride. For dinner, opt for hot, holiday foods like baked ham, turkey, mashed potatoes and soft bread. Supplement your wedding cake with sugar cookies in all manner of Christmas shapes.
For decorations, faux snow, twinkling lights and silver streamers will set the mood. Set a potted poinsettia on each table for a simple, evocative centerpiece. Invitations can be rendered holiday-ready with evergreen trees, snowmen, mistletoe and horse-drawn sleighs. Send your guests home with edible snowballs (marshmallow confections rolled in coconut) in red and green boxes.
Cinco De Mayo
For a Cinco de Mayo themed wedding, host a fabulous fiesta with good food and wonderful music. Consider the deep green or vibrant red of the Mexican national flag for your color theme and go from there. Work fragrant orange blossoms into your bridal bouquet. For centerpieces, think about vases filled with fresh magnolia blossoms. For dinner, serve up wonderful Mexican dishes such as seviche (a fish dish) and carnitas with pico de gallo (a pork dish with a tomato/avocado based sauce). Get your guests in the mood with a rousing mariachi band. For favors, make wonderful scrolls for your guests explaining the history behind Cinco de Mayo. Tie the scrolls with thick red and green ribbon.
An Easter themed wedding is a wonderful option if you expect to have plenty of children in attendance. Pick a date that should be warm and throw a casual picnic reception. For colors, you might choose bold oranges or purples, or you may opt for pastel shades of pink, yellow, blue or lavender. Carry a bunch of daisies or daffodils as you walk down the aisle, perhaps with an Easter Lily or two tucked in the middle. For centerpieces, use baskets filled with wildflowers in delicate shades. Serve up a variety of sandwiches, salads and yummy platters of meats and cheeses. After lunch, send the kids out for an egg hunt. Send everyone home with miniature chocolate bunnies. Eggs, flowers and bunny rabbits make excellent motifs for the invitations.
Fourth Of July
Move the festivities outside for this summer holiday wedding. Dress your bridesmaids in royal blue and accent your groomsmen in a matching shade. For flowers, start with white as your base and thread accents of red and blue for a subtle holiday feel. Irises, bachelor buttons and forget-me-nots are wonderful choices for blue blooms. For red, consider gladiolus, gerbera daisies and red devil roses. Keep things casual with a cookout, complete with hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad and chips. Dish out refreshing bowls of ice cream along with the wedding cake. In lieu of rice or birdseed, pass out sparklers and matches for a real Fourth of July send-off. For favors, think about red, white and blue petits fours individually boxed and tied with red and blue ribbons.
Look for a reception location with a slightly gothic feel for your Halloween themed wedding. Keep your color scheme subtle, with undertones of orange and brown. Consider black, chocolate or champagne colored bridesmaids' gowns. Dress your groomsmen with chocolate cosmos boutonnières. For a bit of silliness, find patterned ties with pumpkins, ghosts or haunted houses. Mix orange flowers like day lilies, straw flowers and sensation or versilia roses into your bouquet and flower arrangements.
For centerpieces, consider setting a pumpkin on a light bed of straw. If your reception will be child-friendly, tuck a magic marker in the straw along with a note encouraging your smaller guests to make jack o' lantern faces. Clue your DJ into your party theme and feed him a few classics to include in the music list, such as "Monster Mash," "Ghostbusters" and "The Purple People Eater." Ghosts, haunted houses, jack o' lanterns and movie monsters make excellent motifs for the groom's cake and invitations. Send your guests home with little trick or treat bags filled with candy.
Assign a few helpers to pass out plastic bead necklaces to each guest as they arrive and you are sure to signal that your wedding will be anything but ordinary. Official Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and gold so consider bridemaids gowns in deep burgundy or hunter green. For bouquets and flower arrangements, consider purple flowers accented by lush greenery. Some wonderful purple flower choices include lilac, delphinium, aster, orchid, violet, blue bird rose and pansy. For centerpieces, consider lovely Mardi Gras masks. Zydeco or jazz music will set the mood nicely.
Ask your caterer to provide the makings for Hurricanes and Mint Juleps along with the standard bar fare and serve up a yummy Cajun feast with dishes like jambalaya, crawfish etouffee and Louisiana red beans and rice. For the groom's cake, think about a traditional New Orleans king cake. Masks, beads and jesters make good motifs for invitations. Send your guests home with little jars of Cajun spices along with a recipe for one of the fabulous dishes they sampled at the reception.
Note: A version of Mardi Gras -- Carnival -- is celebrated in Brazil and Italy. For an additional twist, consider serving Brazilian or Italian food and providing fabulous Latin music for an evening at Carnival.
A New Year themed wedding is the perfect excuse for a swank, ultra-formal affair. Accent your groomsmen's tuxes with silver bowties and dress your bridesmaids in a similar hue. For the wedding gown, think grand, classic, show-stopping. If your officiant is willing, supplement your wedding vows with resolutions you will each take to ensure that your first married year is truly special. Be certain that your DJ has "Auld Lang Syne" at the ready and arrange for a countdown to your cake cutting. Hold the knife over the cake as the countdown approaches zero before plunging in. Feed each other your first slice to the tune of "Auld Land Syne."
For a simple yet symbolic centerpiece, set the bottle of champagne your guests will toast with in the center of the table surrounded by streamers. In lieu of rice or birdseed, provide your guests with sparklers and matches for a fireworks-style send-off. Calendars, popping champagne corks and fireworks make excellent themes for your invitations. Send your guests home with little bags of noisemakers.
Think light and airy for your springtime wedding. Delicate pastel hues make wonderful choices for bridesmaids' gowns and decorative accents. Choose beautiful sunny flowers like bells of Ireland, sunflowers, hyacinths, daffodils and calla lilies for bouquets and other flower arrangements. The bride and her bridesmaids might wear their hair loose, perhaps with wreaths of fresh flowers. For centerpieces, consider bowls of fresh wildflowers or use no centerpieces at all. Instead supply each table with a trio of icy pitchers filled with lemonade, iced tea and water.
Opt for a wonderful lemon wedding cake with fresh flower decorations and provide bowls of mixed berries as an alternative dessert. Invitations made with pressed flower designs evoke thoughts of springtime, as will a pastel shaded paper with a delicate lettering style. Send your guests home with little bags filled with flower seeds or strawberries.