So you’re getting married, but you’ve never been the white dress, something borrowed-something blue type — don’t sweat it. Your wedding is meant to be an expression of you and your partner, symbolizing the love you share for each other. If that’s not a big white dress, flower girls and the lot, there’s plenty of other options.
If you love Billy Idol, but you never think it’s a nice day for a white wedding, punk up your big day.
There are many ways to do a punk rock wedding, but here are some ideas that could make your day extra hard core:
Not the white wedding type: A traditional white wedding gown is probably the furthest thing from what you want, but there’s still plenty of great options to take inspiration from punk rock style icons including Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett, Kathleen Hanna and more:
- A black lace gown (with matching fingerless gloves)
- a white tulle oversized skirt paired with a sequin black top.
Ditch the Tux: For the groom, instead of a traditional tux, consider a leather jacket, lots of music-related pins and patches, or even a traditional tux outfitted with some safety pin accessories or lapels supporting patches in a popular tattoo design.
Make-up: For both, hair and make-up can also help complete the look, here are some options:
- bright pink eyeshadow,
- blue lipstick
- Bowie-inspired face paint
- hair dyed in neon hues.
Rings: Your rings should also be punk rock to match — and there are a lot of great options. Here are some amazing wedding bands:
Punk up the engagement too:
Venue: You’ll want a space that evokes the music and edge of punk, so opt for something more rustic (the more exposed brick the better) than elegant. Let’s be honest, it probably makes the most sense for you to rent out your favorite music club for the day and hold the wedding there, so as to provide the most authenticity — but if not, plenty of venues can still offer the right atmosphere.
Decorations: You can amplify the theme in a plain venue by selecting decorations, flowers, and centerpieces that emphasize the paint splatters and strong graphic designs of punk rock albums, such as iconic album covers from The Sex Pistols and the Clash that feature splatters of pink and highlighter yellow.
Invitations and Table Assignments: Play up the punk rock theme with invitations that sport punk rock phrases and graphics, such as making the RSVP card look like a concert ticket. Keep the theme going with a “will call” window for guests to find their table numbers.
Get the Guests in on the fun: Encourage guests to dress like they would for a rock concert, as opposed to a wedding — the more leather jackets, combat boots, and band t-shirts the better.
Punk-rock party favors: Tattoos are an essential part of the punk rock aesthetic — provide temporary tattoos as party favors to all your guests at a “tattoo station” complete with damp clothes so guests can apply them to wear while they rock out. If you’re really hard core (and know an artist willing to do it), you could even have a real tattoo station for guests can make their memories permanent.
Remember the most important rule of punk: there are no rules. Do whatever makes your rebel heart sing.
Other non-traditional themes:
If punk’s not your thing, but you’re still not down for a big traditional wedding, here are some more offbeat themes to consider. But, remember, whether any of these ideas spark your creativity or not, there really are no rules. Whatever wedding theme, decorations, traditions, etc. you want to include on your special day is entirely up to you — the sky is truly the limit (providing your budget allows it).
Do you want to get married under-the-big-top? Consider a circus wedding (bonus points if you and your significant other met while performing in a circus, doing aerial stunts, etc.).
Setting: You can have the entire ceremony/reception under a circus tent in the center ring. Rather than a live band or DJ, invite aerial artists, fire eaters, and more to be the primary entertainment. If you really want to go all out, have an antique carousel and other attractions on-hand for guests to enjoy.
Places to exchange vows include:
- a trapeze
- a high wire
- dressed as clowns
- on top of a horse or elephant
Wardrobe: If you want to wear more traditional garb, you could still dress members of your wedding party, including ring bearers and flower girls in circus-themed garb, be it performers or as a miniature ring-master.
Circus Treats: You can have some amazing fun with food at your reception. Here are some options for appetizers, sweet treats and more:
- cartons of popcorn
- sticks of cotton candy
- boxes of animal crackers as party favors
Party Favors: Give out red clown noses and encourage your guests to wear them through the night to bring a light-hearted playfulness to the reception.
Decor: Circus colors are bright and joyful, most particularly associated with red and gold, so evoke those warm colors in everything from your bouquet to your centerpieces.
Boho chic is a very popular wedding theme, but maybe you want to be truly bohemian and get married in the woods while barefoot — your wedding could be extremely stripped down, the beautiful surroundings of nature your only decoration. Here’s ways to have a boho wedding:
Places to exchange vows:
- in the woods
- hike as a group to your favorite rustic destination, perhaps on top of a mountain or near a stunning waterfall
- under the stars
Wardrobe: The essence of boho chic is being free-spirited, so let that be your guide. Wear no shoes and encourage your bridal party to wear whatever they may choose. Stick to rustic shades of brown and blue if you want to opt for a color theme of some sort.
Food: Organic is essential to crafting the BoHo chic wedding of your dreams. Make sure everything served at your wedding is truly farm-to-table. Or, better yet, make it a potluck and have your guests bring homemade dishes to make this the eclectic gathering of your dreams.
Decor: DIY DIY DIY. Whether you’re opting for dreamcatchers, wagon wheels, mason jars, or something even simpler than that, to capture that perfect rustic, boho look put a little elbow grease and TLC into making your own decorations, centerpieces and more.
Are you a huge history nerd? Here’s ways to incorporate history into your wedding, no matter the era:
Setting: You should choose a setting that mirrors the historical significance of the era you’ve selected for a theme. The sky is truly the limit but options include:
- a castle in Scotland
- an art deco hall for a Roaring 20s bash
- a colonial home or landmark for an autumnal fete
Wardrobe: If you want to go all out, design your wedding garb in the style of your era. If it’s a Victorian wedding, that means bustles, tails, and top hats. A 1920s party might welcome pin-striped suits and flapper dresses, while a Scottish themed party should lean heavily on plaid and kilts. Encourage your guests to dress according to theme as well.
Decor: Each era has certain decorative styles to suggest it, whether it’s the art deco glitz of the 1920s, the Greek key of ancient Greece, or the calligraphy and more rustic notes of colonial times. Be sure everything from your invitations to you centerpieces borrow from these design cues. As an added touch, theme the music to the time period: a drum and bugle corp to provide your processional music for a colonial theme for example or a jazz band for the 1920s
No historical themed wedding is complete without a historical reenactor for toasts: One couple even welcomed a George Washington impersonator.
Pop Culture Inspired
Maybe your shared love of a pop culture property, whether that’s Harry Potter, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Marvel Comics, or anything in between, is what brought you together. In that case, you might want to celebrate that love at your wedding and here’s how:
Because so much of the fun of this theme is in wardrobe and decorations, you can really choose any location, but there are certainly more on-theme options like choosing an observatory for a venue if your wedding is Star Wars or Star Trek themed or getting married in a classical-style space that evokes the magic of Hogwarts for Harry Potter bashes.
Decor: Include the pop culture property in your centerpiece, whether you build it out of books/comics or just pick colors that evoke the theme like red, white, and blue for Captain America or red and gold for Gryffindor. Decorations can be subtle, such as evoking the dominant colors of your theme or you can just go ahead and put lightsabers everywhere or house banners for Harry Potter.
- Dress in costume as your favorite characters and exchange vows in costume.
- Encourage guests to dress up too — and maybe even bring in some characters for a photo op (stormtroopers at a Star Wars wedding make for quite the memorable wedding photo).
Food: Use the cake to your advantage — maybe make your cake toppers Han and Leia action figures or design a cake with the lightning bolts and stars of the Harry Potter universe.