There’s always pressure for couples getting married to put on a great wedding that will not only be enjoyable, but also be memorable. And – like most formal events – it’s common for weddings to have a theme. Some people take a simple approach to selecting their wedding theme and choose an overarching style, such as rustic, or vintage. This list, however, is for couples looking to do something a little more extravagant, and something that pays tribute to Chicago.
We’ve not only compiled a list of creative themes that are specific to the Windy City; we’ve also included some thoughts and considerations for implementing the themes to the fullest. Read on to find out how you can turn your wedding into a festive event that every Chicagoan will enjoy.
Architecture Wedding Theme
Chicago is considered one of the world’s most beautiful cities, thanks to its iconic skyline and lakefront parks and trails. The Chicago area also is home to some of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s most renowned buildings.
The foundation for this theme would be booking a venue that has some sort of architectural significance, such as the Chicago Cultural Center, the Art Institute of Chicago or the Lyric Opera House. There also are plenty of venues scattered throughout the city that Frank Lloyd Wright designed that can be rented for weddings.
In addition to selecting a venue that holds architectural significance, you could play up the theme by creating architecture-inspired invitations, centerpieces and other decorations. You could even have your wedding cake designed to replicate one of your favorite Chicago skyscrapers.
Chicago World’s Fair, aka The Columbian Exposition, Wedding Theme
The Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 had a permanent impact on the city. It solidified Chicago as a global metropolis and ushered in several characteristics that have become staple features of the city – architecture being one of those. Ranging from large-scale pieces of decor to music, there are many ways to turn your wedding into a mini world fair.
One of the more elaborate ways to model your wedding after the Chicago World’s Fair is to replicate one of the structures, such as the Administration Building, the Agricultural Building or the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, that were built specifically for the fair. You could even go so far to recreate the fair’s Court of Honor, which centered around a large pool that symbolized the Atlantic ocean, if you choose a venue with some sort of body of water.
Another way to make people feel like they’re at the fair is to play some Chicago World’s Fair music. You could introduce the wedding party to John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” for example. You also could hire musicians to perform music; one option would be to play a piece by Amy Beach, an American composer who wrote music for the Chicago World’s Fair.
Prohibition Era Wedding Theme
Chicago was not exempt from the effects of the nationwide ban on alcohol. It led to the formation of speakeasies where people could illegally drink alcohol and it helped popularize an entire genre of music. Migrants moving from the south to the north brought with them jazz, which thrived in Chicago. Because most weddings include plenty of alcohol, music, and dancing, the prohibition era may be the perfect inspiration for your theme.
For starters, you’re going to want to offer a selection of prohibition cocktails. Impress your guests by putting together a creative menu of cocktails exclusive to the prohibition era. They may recognize some of the cocktails, but not realize they originated during prohibition. Secondly, limit your music selection to tunes that were popular in the 1920s. As the bride and groom, you could get guests in the mood by doing a waltz for your first dance. You also could request that guests wear 1920s attire, such as flapper dresses and bowler hats.
Walt Disney Wedding Theme
It wasn’t until Walt Disney moved to California that he made a name for himself in the film industry. But the Midwest, specifically Chicago, is where he began studying how to draw. Walt Disney was born in Chicago, and after moving with his family to live in a couple other Midwest cities, he eventually moved back to the Windy City. He attended McKinley High School, a former Chicago public school. There, he became the cartoonist for the school newspaper, The Voice. During that time, Disney also took night courses at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
One way to implement this theme is to focus on Walt Disney’s life and work in Chicago and in the Midwest. You could hang printouts of some of his cartoons that were published in the McKinley High School newspaper, for example. You also could create a timeline by hanging up on a wall large maps and images for guests to learn about Disney’s path to Hollywood.
Batman Wedding Theme
What better place to throw a Batman-themed wedding than in Gotham City itself? When Chicago was selected for filming 2005’s “Batman Begins,” it was declared the real life version of the fictional Gotham City from the Batman comic books. The popularity of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy has spurred all kinds of novelties you can use to make guests feel like they’re attending a Gotham City wedding.
If you’re basing your theme on Nolan’s interpretation of the Batman universe, you’re going to want to go with a dark and gritty atmosphere. But that doesn’t mean you have to be so serious. The bridesmaids could wear black dresses instead of a bright and vivid color, for example. Groomsmen could wear superhero t-shirts donning the Batman insignia under their tuxedos. And, as the groom’s sidekick, the best man could wear Robin’s iconic eye mask.
Other ways to play up the theme include incorporating bats into the decor, or displaying the Bat-signal somewhere in the venue using a projector. There also are plenty of Batman-themed cocktail recipes you could use to build a drink menu. It may take some creativity to pull off this theme, but your guests certainly will be impressed if you manage to do it.