Epic Theme Weddings: How to Have Fun and Keep It Classy (Photos)

The New York Times reported in April that theme weddings have become increasingly popular in recent years. Though theme weddings used to be considered garish, “The bar for creating weddings that are not only memorable, but also so thoroughly different that they might be talked about for years, seems to get ever higher,” the paper notes. While some couples spend lots of money hiring a coordinator to create a tastefully themed affair, others use a more DIY-approach to styling their over-the-top ceremonies and receptions.

The weddings featured below include themes borrowed from film (The Wizard of Oz), literature (Harry Potter) and Americana (cowboys, baseball) as well as a DIY carnival under the big top and a superhero extravaganza! These photos are incredible and the affairs were all stunning. Those of you planning weddings – or any party, really – will certainly be inspired:

  • Epic Theme Weddings! 1 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)
  • What a Catch 2 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    This first series of photos comes from the baseball themed wedding of Nicole Baker and Josh Keel. Love this fun baseball/romance word play as part of the decor!

    Photo credit: John Schnack. Event coordinated by Amorology Weddings.

  • Seating Tickets 3 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    Not only a really effective and fun way to direct guests to their tables, also a clever keepsake!

    Photo credit: John Schnack. Event coordinated by Amorology Weddings.

  • Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks … 4 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    Nicole and Josh had "vendors" walk around their reception with boxes of candy including Boston Baked Beans, mini chocolate baseballs, peanuts, Cracker Jacks and Big League Chew. It's tiny little thoughtful and creative touches that really make a theme wedding memorable.

    Photo credit: John Schnack. Event coordinated by Amorology Weddings.

  • Section 101 5 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    As you can see, the tables at Nicole and Josh's wedding were labeled by "section," and each featured a grouping of baseballs as well as floral centerpieces. At each table setting was a gift box and a small glass bottle of Coca-Cola. Pairing high-brow and low-brow elements ensure your wedding will be both classy and fun!

    Photo credit: John Schnack. Event coordinated by Amorology Weddings.

  • Guests Signing a Baseball Bat 6 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    Instead of a guest book, those in attendance left greetings for Nicole and Josh on baseball bats. Clearly everyone had a great time.

    Photo credit: John Schnack. Event coordinated by Amorology Weddings.

  • Carnival Wedding! 7 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    Jesse and Amy's carnival-themed wedding was a DIY affair. Amy Jean Showalter is a mother of two living in Hawaii who blogs at http://amyjeanshowalter.blogspot.com. She allowed me to show you these great photos of her wedding, taken by Marina Miller.

  • The Groom and the Groomsmen 8 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    All dressed in suspenders like old-fashioned carnies. Not every couple incorporates their wedding theme into their dress, but I love this look. As you'll see, Amy and her bridesmaids are all tattooed up, so the bridal party's non-traditional "costuming" looks amazing on them and works to further enhance their theme.

    Photo credit: Marina Miller

  • Bridal Party 9 of 41
    Epic Wedding Themes (Photos)

    Entering through the carnival gate! This setting is so lush. Remember, when you get married outdoors, nature does so much decorating for you.

    Photo credit: Marina Miller

  • Here Comes the Bride 10 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    What a great dress! And the mini-veil is perfect.

    Photo credit: Marina Miller

  • The Ringmaster! 11 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    Escorting the bride down the aisle. Terrific.

    Photo credit: Marina Miller

  • Bride and Groom 12 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    Matching tattoo sleeves!

    Photo credit: Marina Miller

  • Kissing Booth 13 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    These attractions (a kissing booth and a photo board) are the icing on the epic cake for this over-the-top affair. Totally awesome.

    Photo credit: Marina Miller

  • Under the Big Top 14 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    The red and white fabric and the hay create a circus-like atmosphere for the tattooed lady and her strong man.

    Photo credit: Marina Miller

  • Cowboy Wedding! 15 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    The next collection of photos is from Shana and Kevin's reception at the Star Ranch in Orange County, CA. Shana and Kevin had a Catholic ceremony in a church before their themed reception, which is a great option for those wishing to mix tradition and originality. Photos by Eric J. Photography.

  • Black and White Bridal Party 16 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    On a pickup truck!

    Photo credit: Eric J. Photography

  • Happy Couple 17 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    The bride with her cowboy.

    Photo credit: Eric J. Photography

  • Saloon Girls! 18 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    I'm not sure if the bridesmaids wore their boots to church, but I love the lady Sheriff in jeans, too!

    Photo credit: Eric J. Photography

  • Tiny Pistols 19 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    If you're going to have a totally kick-ass themed wedding, why not invite the guests to play along with wardrobe, too, and get into character?

    Photo credit: Eric J. Photography

  • Harry Potter Wedding! 20 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    You'll love the whimsy of Christine and Andy's Harry Potter wedding. The couple met online over an interest in Harry Potter and were married at Nestldown, a wooded retreat outside Silicon Valley that turned easily into a "World of Harry Potter," if you will. Here are Christine and Andy in front of what looks like Hagrid's house. Photos by Geoff White Photographers.

  • Invitation 21 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    With the seal of Hogwarts.

    Photo credit: Geoff White Photographers

  • Track 9 3/4 22 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    Guests rode a train from the ceremony to the reception area, which looked like the Great Hall at Hogwarts.

    Photo credit: Geoff White Photographers

  • "House" Assignments 23 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    The bride and groom used wands with tags to indicate which "house" guests had been assigned to for dinner.

    Photo credit: Geoff White Photographers

  • Hogwarts Express 24 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    The happy couple on the train.

    Photo credit: Geoff White Photographers

  • Placards 25 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    The Gryffindor table.

    Photo credit: Geoff White Photographers

  • Reception Hall 26 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    As you can see, themes work very well for small weddings, adding lots of exquisite detail to an intimate affair.

    Photo credit: Geoff White Photographers

  • Wizard of Oz Wedding! 27 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    This beautiful set of photos is from a wedding that never actually happened. Photographer Melissa Schollaert teamed up with Toast Signature Celebrations to create this mock-up of what a Wizard of Oz themed wedding might look like. Let's fly over the rainbow and imagine Dorothy's big day ...

  • The Dress 28 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    Inspired by Dorothy's costume in the movie, the touch of blue is oh-so-sweet. A close-up of the shoes is coming, don't worry.

    Photo credit: Melissa Schollaert

  • The Bike! 29 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    I love playful little touches like this, the bicycle evil old Miss Gulch rides inside the tornado when she morphs into The Wicked Witch of the West!

    Photo credit: Melissa Schollaert

  • Treats 30 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    Including rainbow lollipops to represent the lollipop guild and cupcakes with red poppies on top.

    Photo credit: Melissa Schollaert

  • Home 31 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    There's no place like it! Great theme to use if you're getting married at your parents' house or another family home.

    Photo credit: Melissa Schollaert

  • Place Setting 32 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    A rainbow menu card and tiny pink wand, a nod to Glinda.

    Photo credit: Melissa Schollaert

  • Ruby Slipper Cupcakes 33 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    Click your heels together and say, "There's no taste like home(made)."

    Photo credit: Melissa Schollaert

  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow 34 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    The tiny vase of poppies is precious.

    Photo credit: Melissa Schollaert

  • Table 35 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    So much rustic charm! With a Wizard of Oz theme, you could offer guests Kansas-style BBQ for their dining pleasure, along with rainbow trout and ears of golden corn. Maybe some small packs of Emerald Nuts during the cocktail hour and green jello squares during dessert?

    Photo credit: Melissa Schollaert

  • THE SHOES 36 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    Dar. Ling. Dy. Ing. So classy, such a creative twist on the "ruby slippers" concept.

    Photo credit: Melissa Schollaert

  • Epic Superhero Wedding! 37 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    I. Mean. Come. On.

    This makes me want to get married again right now!

    These photos are from the wedding of Megan Harrod and Thomas Suszynski. Megan has graciously allowed me to share them with you. They were expertly captured by photographer Cat Norman.

  • Super Bride 38 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    Megan says, "An ocean and 4,000 miles separated us for 18 months as I pursued my dream to live and work overseas in Prague, Czech Republic and Tom continued to work on his dream as an MD/PhD student tracking towards a career in transplant surgery in Minneapolis. Worlds apart, but connected by the fervor of young lovers sharing hundreds of love letters, we made a commitment to conquer the world as one. So as we began to plan our wedding, the theme happened upon us naturally."

    Photo credit: Cat Norman

  • Hero 39 of 41
    Epic Wedding Themes (Photos)

    A bride with a cape? Yes, please!

    Photo credit: Cat Norman

  • SuperWedding 40 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    What a kiss!

    Photo credit: Cat Norman

  • Super Party 41 of 41
    Epic Theme Weddings (Photos)

    The entire bridal party, ready to fight crime. To read more about this SuperWedding, visit etsy.

    Photo credit: Cat Norman

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