A beautiful weekend afternoon. An event hall filled with guests dressed in their Sunday best. The wedding march begins, and here comes the bride. Actually, here comes Wonder Woman. Or is it Bella from the "Twilight" series meeting her pale groom at the altar? Yikes, maybe it's even a host of zombies making their way down the aisle!
All weddings are meant to be memorable affairs, but some are more memorable than others. If you plan your matrimonial event around one of these wacky themes, your guests will be talking about it for years to come.
Out to the Ballgame
Actors Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen famously played "Take Me out to the Ballgame" during their 2002 nuptials. Even though their marriage didn't work out, the way they cleverly incorporated America's favorite pastime into their introduction as a married couple is something a sports-loving bride and groom might want to take note of.
Whether you're a fan of baseball or another sport, there are many clever, simple ways for you to incorporate your fandom into your special day. If you're truly committed to your theme, have your wedding party wear jerseys of your favorite players and incorporate the team colors into the floral arrangements. You might even consider walking down the aisle to your team's fight song. For the reception, serve tailgate foods. And if you'd prefer your guests seated in bleachers instead of pews, go all out and have your ceremony and reception at a ball field, court, rink or speedway. And don't forget to add season tickets as a registry item!
If you're more interested in participating in recreation than observing it, check out our next theme.
The Great Outdoors
When naturalist and National Geographic documentary subject Casey Anderson wed actress Missi Pyle in 2008, an 800-pound grizzly bear named Brutus served as his best "man." Though that might be extreme for even the most exuberant outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of over-the-top (but less dangerous) ways to incorporate recreation and the great outdoors into your wedding.
If you're a thrill-seeker, wow your guests by arriving at the ceremony after jumping out of an airplane. If hunting is your thing, arrange to have a wedding at a hunting lodge. Deck out your wedding party in camouflage -- you can even find matching accessories, like a camouflage ring pillow. If you prefer to make your wedding an outdoor event for your guests to participate in as well, be sure to include recreational activities, such as a horseshoe pit or a skeet shooting range, for them to have fun with after the reception. If you have a very small wedding party, invite them to join you in the skies for a hot air balloon wedding.
If you don't want hot air balloon travel for your wedding, how about time travel? On the next page, find out how to achieve a historical theme for your wedding.
Famous Couples from History
You and your intended consider your relationship to be a great love. But can it rival that of Cleopatra and Antony, Bonnie and Clyde, or John Lennon and Yoko Ono? If you want to prove to the world that your passion is one for the record books, try recreating the wedding of a famous couple from history.
A wedding patterned after a specific couple and period can be easier to pull off than you think. The first place to start is a costume store. There, you're sure to find attire for yourself and your wedding party to suit your theme. Also, check with a local theatre company for hair and makeup tips. For full authenticity, consult the library -- or local college history department -- for information on customs and foods that fit your theme. For example, include hieroglyphics on your Antony and Cleopatra-themed wedding invitation. If you want to fashion your wedding after John and Yoko's personas, go for a groovy, hippie theme, and play later Beatles songs at the reception. If you're planning to emulate Bonnie and Clyde, have someone on hand at the reception to teach your guests jazz-age dances like the Charleston. Don't forget to encourage your guests to dress in period costume by indicating your theme on your wedding invitation.
If you're more interested in a historical event than a historical couple, check out the next page for a theme that is authentically American.
The Revolutionary and Civil wars represent troubled times in U.S. history, but many people today find enjoyment in reenacting the battles and events of these periods. If you're one of those people, a war reenactment wedding might be perfect for you and your spouse-to-be.
When choosing a location, look for a place that has significance and authenticity, like an antebellum house or the grounds on or near a battlefield. If reenactment is a pastime of yours, you may already know friends with period military costumes and outfitting. Additional clothing (don't forget the petticoats) and accessories can be ordered online, and there's something available for almost every budget. Instead of separating the ceremony seating into a bride's side and groom's side, divide it into Union and Confederacy or the Revolutionaries and the Redcoats. Have a bugler or drum corps lead the bride down the aisle. For a special touch, have some of the reenactors set off cannons as the ceremony ends.
War is about as realistic and gritty as you can get. If you're an escapist, however, you might like the out-of-this-world theme on the next page.
Superheroes (and heroines)
Once you settle into married life, you and your spouse may very well become a typical, boring couple like Mr. Incredible and his wife Elastigirl do in the animated film "The Incredibles." But at your wedding, you can be superstar superheroes.
When it comes to creating a superhero wedding, trading in a wedding gown train for a cape is an obvious step. But don't forget the little details beyond costuming. If all of your guests are local, you might want to replace the city name on your invitations with "Gotham" or "Metropolis." And if your budget allows, go for special effects -- like having you and your spouse safely rigged to wires so that you can "fly" into your reception. If your superhero of choice ever appeared on TV or the big screen, include the theme song as you "fly" in or make your way down the aisle. Or, instead of having a classic car, limousine, or horse and buggy escorting you away from the ceremony, arrange to have your very own Batmobile at the ready.
Perhaps the characters you want to pattern your wedding after are a little more down-to-earth. If so, keep reading.
A Cast of Characters
Books and movies can have a profound impact on our lives. It's no wonder many people choose to take the symbolism from those stories and incorporate them into their own personal stories.
When musicians Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz got married in 2008, they used an Alice in Wonderland theme at their reception, complete with teapots and stopwatches incorporated into centerpieces. Another classic series of books some couples style their weddings after is the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. If you choose this route, don't be afraid to play up the significance of your rings! You might also want to make the directions to the reception in the style of author J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth map drawings. Having your wedding party and guests dress as elegant elves or barefoot hobbits is also likely to add fun and flair to the event.
If your style is more modern than classic, you may prefer a "Twilight"-themed wedding. If so, be prepared to have the ceremony at night -- or at least in an overcast setting. (After all, the groom's side of the church may be somewhat pale!). You don't have to be kitschy with this theme (unless that's what you want). For a more a more subtle approach, choose blood-red accents and flowers.
You might need to get beamed up to emulate the characters in our next wedding theme.
Aboard the Starship Enterprise
Wacky, yes. But "Star Trek" weddings aren't all that unusual. Many die-hard Trekkies have been saying their vows in true "Star Trek" style for years. If you and your spouse-to-be share this special fan connection, don't be afraid to go for this outrageous, if not geeky, theme for your wedding.
If marriage is your final frontier, you might consider fashioning your "Star Trek" wedding ceremony after an actual scene from the show -- like the Klingon wedding, which also includes vows you can reuse. For a realistic venue, find a place that caters to :Star Trek" fans, like the Cruise Trek cruise ship, which has cruises all over the world -- including Alaskan, Mediterranean and Caribbean voyages. And, of course, when the best man toasts you at the reception, here's hoping he'll instruct you to "live long and prosper."
"Star Trek" has quite the fan base, but so does the character our next theme is based on.
To many of us, Hello Kitty is just a cute cartoon character or a loveable stuffed toy, but to loyal fans the world over, she is a lifestyle. For those who want to integrate Hello Kitty into yet another part of their life -- their wedding -- the key seems to be incorporating her image into as many aspects of the ceremony as possible, from a Hello Kitty logo sewn into a wedding dress to a Hello Kitty cake topper to a life-size Hello Kitty character to walk the bride down the aisle.
If you want to go beyond just the cute cartoon face everywhere, try incorporating lots of pink and white combinations in the dresses, decorations, flowers and cake.
This Hello Kitty theme is sweet and innocent. Our next theme, however, is much more coarse.
Walking the Plank
While some people may think of entering marriage as walking the metaphoric plank, those seeking a pirate-themed wedding know the analogy is all in good fun. If you and your fiancé are a little on the swashbuckling side -- or maybe just fans of Johnny Depp and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, this high-seas theme may be just up your galley.
For an over-the-top pirate themed wedding, you could hire a Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator to officiate your ceremony. Even if you don't go that far, there are plenty of slightly sinister maritime elements you can add to your wedding. Have a Jolly Roger flag flying over the location of your wedding. Or design the directions to the reception to look like a nautical map. Decorate your reception hall in a nautical fashion by including a ship's steering wheel or anchor in the design. Don't be afraid to be slightly salty and include skulls and bones in the centerpieces or costumed wenches on the dance floor. Finally, be sure to include several pirate chests for your guests to fill with the modern treasure of wedding gifts.
Pirates have a dangerous reputation but aren't nearly as scary as the characters in our next category. Keep reading to learn our wackiest wedding theme.
Maybe you and your partner are completely out there, or maybe you're just huge fans of horror films. Either way, a zombie theme is about as wacky as you can get at a wedding.
To really spook your guests, make sure your costume makeup and hair give you the true look of the living dead -- pale skin, tattered and bloodstained clothing, and any other effects you want to add. And when you walk down the aisle, make sure it's in true undead fashion, with arms locked straight out before you and your body slowly lumbering forward.
For the reception, shock guests with a blood-splattered wedding cake (food coloring, of course). Or, to go completely over the top, have the cake designed to look like brains! If your wackiness is a few notches lower than that, decorations inspired by Tim Burton's "The Corpse Bride" will allow you a more light-hearted approach to incorporating your theme. Don't forget to rent a hearse to serve as the getaway car and to let the world know you're recently buried -- er, married.
Keep reading to learn about lots more wacky ways to celebrate your marriage
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