- Wedding Theme Ideas
- Tropical Wedding Ideas
Party Resource Guide
Presented by Event & Wedding Planners
The key to pulling off a coordinated
event: Evoke your theme throughout the affair. Whether that
theme is as general as a season or a feeling, or as specific as
a special flower, it should be the subtle thread that ties
everything together. Your location, invitations, programs,
placecards, flowers, menu,
cake, and favors should all cleverly reflect one common concept.
Then, get as creative as you can!
When you think romantic, do you
picture a tropical beach with palm trees swaying in the breeze.
If so maybe a tropical inspired wedding would be the perfect
theme for you. Or maybe you just love the beach and the
outdoors and would like to have a little of that in your wedding
to reflect who you and your groom are. Even if you're not
getting married near a great tropical location you can bring
that feel to your wedding & reception. All you need is the right
ideas, decorations, and creativity.
you will need to decide if your wedding will be formal,
semi formal or informal. That will dictate the time of day
for the wedding, the type of decor, the flowers and even the
attire for the wedding.
Lakeshore, Yacht or Yacht Club, Botanical Garden, Reception
Hall, or Ballroom.
You can invite
guests to your wedding by phone, E-mail, handwritten note or by
printed invitation. Naturally, printed and thermographed and
engraved invitations are reserved for formal and semiformal
weddings—while those extended by phone or E-mail would invite
guests to less formal affairs.
Today there are thousands of invitations to choose from, but did
you ever wonder why they come in so many styles, colors and
shapes? Because they were designed not only to invite but to
convey a mood, an ambiance for the occasion.
For example, if your guest receives an invitation made of fine
paper with their names and addresses penned in calligraphy
across the front, they immediately know that someone has gone to
a lot of trouble and expense to invite them to a formal affair.
On the other hand, if they receive an invitation with a swaying
palm tree or shells & starfish emblazoned on the front, they
know they’re being invited to a wedding with a “tropical” flare,
and most likely, to a reception with fish, lobster or shellfish
on the menu.
Because you want to create the right ambiance for your wedding,
it’s important that you select the right invitation. I can’t
tell you the number of brides and their mothers who say to me,
“The invitation isn’t important, they (the guests) will pitch it
anyway.” Pitch it they might, but the person who got the
invitation to the tropical wedding, will say, “What a cute
idea—this sounds like a fun party!” While the person who
received the invitation with the elegant calligraphy will think,
“What a sophisticated affair this is going to be!” One person is
laying out his tux while the other is pulling out his
beachcomber hat. The invitation said it all!
Bridal Bouquet of Asiatic Lilies
|For a daytime wedding or
informal wedding choose a
wedding gown that is more of a summer style
(i.e. A-line, Sheath, or Mermaid with a summer
style neckline (i.e. Halter, Sleeveless,
Spaghetti Strap, or Strapless) no train or
could also wear a white floral Hawaiian muu
muu designed for Island Weddings. No tuxes
should be worn for
daytime or informal weddings, have the Groom and
Groomsmen wear Hawaiian shirts and light colored slacks,
or business suits (light in summer).
For an afternoon
semi-formal wedding you can still use the Halter,
Sleeveless, Spaghetti Strap, or Strapless style gown with a
detachable train or without a train. Minimal
beading on the gown. Tuxes can be worn, but no tails.
For a formal evening
wedding you can now choose a similar gown with lots of
beading and tuxes and tails can be worn.
Wedding Leis (real or silk).
If you’re a guest, and you’re
invited to a wedding in the middle of the day, the men should
wear business suits, dark in winter, light in summer. The women
should wear beautiful suits or dresses, cut to the knee or
below, with very little glitz. If the wedding is held in temple
or church, the attire should not be flashy or provocative.
If a formal or semi-formal reception is held hours after the
wedding ceremony, guests (if able) are required to change into
flashier evening attire, which may include cocktail or long
dresses for the women and tuxes for the men, if the occasion
These rules also hold true for the family members of the bride
- Start tanning
weeks if not months before the wedding and
avoid the sun just before the wedding.
A sunburn is the last thing you want to see
at your wedding. Also advise your
Bridesmaids to do the same.
- No Tan lines.
Make sure months ahead of time that the
dress you and your Bridesmaids wear don't
and won't show any tan lines.
purchasing shoes, consider what type of
ground you'll be walking on. (i.e.
Beach-Sandals w/o heel would be
better. Grass- The thicker the heel
- Don't go out
and get a massage right before the wedding
or you might be sore on your wedding day.
If you're unsure of how many
flower varieties to use, aim for odd numbers -- three is a good
place to begin. Two flowers of similar size paired with a
smaller flower, combine to form a lovely mixed arrangement.
Bridal Bouquet of Dendrodium Orchids
are many different tropical flowers and
plants. Use a lot of different exotic
flowers for a tropical arrangement such as, Orchids, Oriental
Lilies, Asiatic Lilies, Anthuriums,
& ginger. Mix with exotic
greens like Ferns, Palms, & Cycads and
foliage. Bamboo is also an
excellent addition to floral arrangements.
If your budget is tight,
Asiatic Lilies are less expensive than Oriental Lilies
and other tropical flowers and come in red, orange,
yellow, pink, peach and white. You could also use lots
exotic greens with just a few blooms here and
there. Small tropical palms can be easily made from
leather fern (inexpensive) and these make great centerpieces
on tables or place an arrangements of leather leaf on
top of columns to form taller palms. We wrap the columns
in brown craft paper, flat paper, brown gossamer or
brown satin to form the trunk of the
Palm Spray can be rented from your local
party rental company.
Orchid Wrist Corsages
“Linens can make or break a
whole design, they are a major part of the ‘vision’ for an
At some point during the planning stages of
your event the subject of linens will arise.
When it does stop and think of all the
possibilities available to you. Remember the
tops of the tables provide you with a very
large surface area and covering them with a
themed tablecloth is the easiest way to
change the feel of a room.. It is also the
most cost effective way to decorate. Ten
tables covered with
tropical colored table linens or tropical
print table linens will transform your
event location into a tropical paradise. Don't
be afraid to use a different color
tablecloth on each table, this creates a
dazzling effect. Add eye-catching butterfly
accents that coordinate with each
tablecloth. Place bright colored stemware
alternating at each place setting, this will
complement each table's colorful "canvas.
Table Skirts will add a festive
look to your buffet tables. Trim with
leis or silk
flower leis for an elegant look.
For weddings you have a variety
of napkins from which to select. For formal & semi-formal
weddings, there is the cloth napkin, the paper napkin being
reserved for more informal weddings.
napkins at each place setting. Place
napkins in the center of each place setting at
an angle, or unfold them and place them in
glasses for a tall dramatic look. The
Bird Of Paradise Napkin Fold is a classic and classy fold
for any upscale event.
can also be tied (and bundled with plastic
cutlery) with a multitude of items to match your
colors or theme.
your guests just how much you care by offering
Personalized Napkins that complement your
wedding colors or theme.
Imprint your napkins
with a special design.
make great napkins for a Luau or Beach theme
Use a colorful Silk
Flower Bracelets for a beautiful napkin
ring or place a exotic flower bloom on top of
a solid colored cloth napkin.
For a beach theme, tuck a napkin inside a pair of sunglasses, a cute accent.
How to Make Tabletop Balloon Palm Trees
accessories such as: napkins, and
favor bags, that can be imprinted with a tropical design.
Seashell Place Cards
One of the best
ways to get inspiration for centerpieces is
to look to your table -- the napkins, the
glasses, and the food you plan to serve. A
centerpiece should pick up the colors of
your china or linens, pulling the look of
the table together. Popular color
combinations for summer arrangements include
whites, greens, and yellows, as well as warm
hues like corals, oranges, and pinks. You
may also wish to go monochromatic, for
instance, picking a peach-colored flower to
bridge the color gap between a raspberry and
an orange hue.
Usage of small trees, such as the 5ft.
Banana Tree or a 3ft. plant (Heliconia or
Bird of Paradise) have been very
popular as centerpieces for a buffet table
or salad bar.
Centerpieces utilizing real fruits are very
popular. A pineapple placed in the center of
a real or silk
flower leis with
stuck into the
pineapple is a simple arrangement. Add a
coconut next to the pineapple for an
Torch Candlesticks trimmed with
real or silk tropical flowers sit
beautifully on tables.
Try adding light
up ice cubes to glass vases and
create fabulous light up centerpieces.
Some other ideas might include:
a tall glass vase
lighted from below with an LED light base.
Fill vases with Orchids or lemons & limes floating in
How to Make
Balloon Palm Trees
works well for 6ft or 8ft banquet tables.
Cover tables in pale blue linens. Place five or six
4x4x4 inch square glass vases down the center of
each table. Add
tap water colored blue with food coloring
(the color of the water should be a deeper
shade of blue than the table cloth) to vases. Float
round white floating candles in the vases
(two candle in one vase, one candle in the
next, repeat). Scatter handfuls of tumbled
glass stones or sea glass at different
points down the row of vases. In addition to
candles you could also float stephanotis or
water hyacinth blossoms. Use dark blue
napkins and glassware with white square
Use an 18 inch square copper
tray (available at garden supply centers), add one inch of sand to the tray to create a
beach scene. Nest about 12 tea lights into the sand. Scatter
a few shells around the tealights (optional). You will
also need 4 stems of Yoko Ono Pom (lime green)
chrysanthemums (yields about 30 blooms). Clip flower heads
from the stems. Insert blooms faceup in the sand (these are
long-lasting blooms and will hold up easily without water
for a day). Place one bloom on top of each napkin for an
additional accent. If your tray is watertight you could also
combine stones and floating flowers to create a calming
Lighted Vases filled with Orchids,
Limes & etc. are popular centerpieces.
Spandex towers with palms are also very
popular (mini towers can be used for centerpieces while taller 6' or 8'
towers can be used around the room for
To create an illuminating
centerpiece, place a glass vase inside another that is
slightly larger (secure them with the wax adhesive (Tacky
Take a piece of one wax adhesive circle, "work" it a little
with your fingers and place it under the inner glass vase,
waterproof and invisible. Fill between the glass vases with
water tinted with blue food coloring (another color could be
used). Place a Pillar candle in the interior vase. Make a
series of these centerpieces in different shades of the same
hue (a few extra drops of food coloring will yield the
Note: Food coloring will stains
glass. A colorful sports drink can be used to prevent
staining, but you will not be able to get the different
shades of the same hue.
make a great napkin
for your tropical theme event. Use a colorful
Silk Flower Bracelets
beautiful napkin ring or place a single
exotic bloom on top of a solid colored cloth
napkin. Tuck a napkin inside a pair of sunglasses
for a cute accent.
Light up your
Drinks! Add to the party decor by serving your
favorite drinks in flashing margarita cups,
fun way to light up
your drinks or desserts. Use
for fruit cups, shrimp cocktail or an ice
cream sundae. Colorful
Neon Coconut Cups
will add a
festive flair to your poolside drinks.
tropical drink with an apple, pineapple,
lemon or orange with these
or use assorted
Tropical Flower Straws
accent for drinks and platters are
Cover a white wedding column with
brown craft paper or fabric to form the trunk for a palm tree. Place a
fern plant or arrangement of leather leaf foliage on top.
Cover the top of a buffet table
with twinkle lights, cover the lights with tulle. Scatter
blooms in tropical colors (yellow, red, orange, pink & etc.) on top.
Lighting is one of the important elements of
any design. For informal
weddings tiki torches can be used to line
walkways. Accent other areas with Party
lights in the shape of palm
trees, flowers & etc. Party
lights also make great accents for tables.
local event lighting company for ideas on
uplighting floral arrangements and other
lighting effects, it can turn any venue into
a paradise. One option is to use Gobos to project photo-realistic images
(pictures, line drawings, logos) of just
about anything onto walls, ceilings stage areas
or dance floors. Used alone, or in
combination with other gobos, stunning
results can be achieved. Imagine parrots in
flight illuminating the sky of your
reception room. Your initials in the center
of the dance floor and many other options.
flowered or brightly colored shorts/skirts, sandals etc.
Bamboo torches, fish netting, palm trees and other
foliage, boat oars, canoes. For that special Conga Line
at your luau reception add these brightly
colored neon Beachcomber Hats to
your list and have your DJ give them out between sets of
Vitality To Your Theme Concept
While decor still reigns supreme when
invoking theme, an interactive element
brings vitality to your theme concept.
Besides the tropical flowers, native plants
and tiki torches to evoke your theme —
bring in traditional native dancers to
perform at your Tropical Reception, combine with
a hilarious audience participation segment
where guests can interact and be part of the
event, rather than just spectators.
choose to go with a themed wedding, it should
be a complete commitment. Even your catering
should reflect the theme. That might mean
supplying action stations that combine food
flavor, presentation and decor for a total
guest experience. If you're going to do a
themed wedding, it needs to be done
legitimately and to completion. It can't be
a partial attempt.
Cake flowers: Asiatic
Lilies & Orchids
with square layers rather than the traditional
round cakes are gaining in popularity.
Asiatic Lilies are a favorite flower for
tropical weddings. They come in red, orange,
yellow, pink, peach and white and are less
expensive than Oriental Lilies. Have your cake
designer form a cascade of Asiatic Lilies &
the cake or place a bouquet of flowers at the
top and arrange with greenery around the base of
the cake. Ask your designer to show you pictures
of alternative ways to decorate your tropical
cake. Note that the layers on this
cake are angled to add more excitement to this
Wedding Cake Links:
Chair Covers, Satin Chair Sashes, Chair Bands
Deco Beads, Gel Beads, Vase Fillers
Paper & Plastic
Votive Candles, LED
Candles, Votive Holders