Wedding Style vs Theme – Jamaica Observer

A bohemian-style wedding ceremony .

You’ve asked and we’ve answered! Welcome to your weekly column ‘Planning Your Happily Ever After’ with wedding consultant Shikima Hinds.

Choosing a wedding theme or style is one of the best ways to define your big day. While couples most seem to have a general idea of how a wedding should be held, the truth is that every wedding is different and how this is communicated to your wedding vendor is very important.

The terms wedding theme and wedding style are used interchangeably but represent two different aspects of your wedding. The style is related to the overall look and feel of the wedding and is directly connected to your wedding aesthetics. The theme refers to a specific subject that contributes to the details of the wedding design.

Do you really need a wedding theme? Yes, you do! This will guide every aesthetic decision made moving forward with the planning of the wedding. If you feel drawn to a particular wedding aesthetic you might wonder how to categorise your big day with a style or theme. Worry no more! Here are a few examples to ensure you are communicating the right terms to those involved in making your day special.


Romantic weddings are all about barely-there hues, soft lighting and ethereal details and airy fabrics. Colour palettes with shades of blush, ivory, and pastels, coupled with lots of fresh florals and candles, emphasise feeling cosy and warm and romantic.

A classic/traditional wedding

Is one of the most popular aesthetics because it is timeless. A classic wedding is usually more formal and follows all the usual traditions. This wedding involves white florals, a three-course dinner with formal table settings, and guests dressed to the nines.


A modern wedding is all about exquisite simplicity. Think clean lines, geometric shapes, metallic motifs, and minimal design. Contemporary tablescapes, chairs, and menus, as well as other elements are used to showcase this style. Lucite, greenery, and less-common colour palettes are all details you might notice at such weddings — full of on-trend inspiration.


Perfect for romantics, this wedding aesthetic can be interpreted as a style or a theme. Whimsical weddings are playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing way, and are usually filled with unique details that can bring additional charm to your special day. Fairy lights are very popular at this style of wedding.

Beach-themed wedding

A beach-themed affair is generally dictated by the location. Starfish, seashells, and nautical inspirations are prominently displayed throughout the event. Tropical centrepieces are used to help bring the beach theme to life. From picturesque vistas and the rhythmic sounds of waves to the refreshing breeze and sunshine, a coastal locale can create the perfect big-day ambience.


A rustic wedding generally has a natural colour palette with lots of organic shapes and textures. These weddings are the opposite of a traditional wedding. They have a strong country or farm-like influence, and tend to feature lots of natural textures, and various organic materials and fibres, as well as repurposed elements. Think string lights, burlap, mason jars, twine, lace, and wood used in every conceivable way. The use of organic paper products and fresh food are the staples of this wedding style. The overall wedding can be inspired by a farm-to-table experience.


A glam wedding is filled with rich, sparkling details, candles, and luxurious textures. There is usually an abundance of flowers and metallic details with white as a predominant base. These are the types of wedding celebrations that aren’t afraid to go big and bold for couples with an affinity for all things lavish and luxurious. Some refer to a glam wedding as a “shiny” wedding.


Vintage weddings draw inspiration from decades past. The “of-another-time” weddings should be styled with various elements that make references to your chosen era. Vintage-styled weddings can choose from a bygone era ranging from the 20s-70s or even the Victorian era. The attire, hair and make-up of the bridal party, venue styling and décor will be dictated by what used to be the norms of that era.


One of the most popular trends over the past year, the boho-chic wedding style has a way of looking incredibly chic with minimal effort. Think décor that is simplistically elegant, with rugs lining the aisle, decorative pillows, fringing, or hanging macramé decorations. Mix patterns and the colour palettes throughout with a free-spirited take on a traditional wedding.


For couples living an eco-friendly lifestyle, and this is important to you and your partner, biodegradable materials and reusable décor will be the underlying theme of the waste-free wedding. Natural and sustainable foods, venues, and flowers will keep things ecologically responsible.

Tropical wedding

You don’t need a beach locale to pull off a beautiful tropical-inspired wedding. Lush greenery, vibrant blooms, bold colour, playful use of fruits and the trendy tropical leaf print.

While the wedding style and theme are both important parts of your wedding, keep your preferred choice in mind when choosing your other wedding details so your decision is consistent throughout the day.

Elements of a beach-themed wedding.

Elements of a rustic wedding.