Why wait for the honeymoon for your blissful island oasis? Get the vacay vibes started early by planning your tropical-themed nuptials, one of the biggest wedding theme trends in recent years.
“I think tropical is an on-trend theme right now because it has an effortless elegance and a sense of luxury. Also, it reminds everyone of being on vacation!” says Renee Dalo, owner and lead planner for Moxie Bright Events in Los Angeles. “Tropical themes have a carefree attitude about them that really allows guests to relax and enjoy themselves.”
Since this is a wedding, there is a careful line to walk between elegant and kitschy. The décor should lean more toward resort and less toward backyard barbeque with tiki lights and leis.
“As soon as you start planning a theme wedding, the threat of a cliché rears its head,” says Dalo. “To avoid clichés or kitsch, … do your research about what is really on the theme, and avoid doing too deep of a dive on Pinterest. If you can find 100 photos of it on Pinterest, it's already a cliché!”
1. Be Bold and Bright
When it comes to color, a tropical themed wedding is not the time for muted tones. Pick a few bold tones – bright fuchsia, vibrant violet, electric blue, warm coral, zesty orange – and let them pop against a background of sand-toned furniture and clean white linens.
While you should avoid going full Lisa Frank rainbow, you shouldn’t be afraid of having fun with the palette. You can also help elevate the overall look by adding touches of gold or another metallic to your palette.
2. ‘Be-Leaf’ It
Nothing says tropics like lush greenery – and plenty of it. “You need all the greenery and the more variety, the better. Monstera, palms, and Leucadendron to start,” advises Dalo. “Add in some baby pineapples and some proteas, too! There are so many gorgeous and hearty florals to choose from.”
Incorporate the leaves from tropical plants into everything from your bridal bouquet to the bar menu (seriously, banana leaves make the perfect stationery!). Prints, too, on your invitations and linens are a great way to bring in more texture and greenery.
3. Keep Attire Light
Your tropical theme shouldn’t stop at the décor. Ensure your entire wedding party blends in with the setting by selecting lighter, more casual fabrics and designs.
“The fashion for a tropical themed wedding should be easy and breezy,” says Dalo. “Think linen suits for the men; gauzy maxi dresses for the bridesmaids; and for the bride a more elevated maxi – maybe silk chiffon.”
4. Serve Island Fare
Give your guests a taste of the tropics by incorporating lots of fresh fruit, like mango, coconut and guava, and, of course, seafood into your menu.
“I love incorporating the theme into cocktail hour with specialty drinks and passed apps,” says Dalo. She suggests doing a “Dark and Stormy” as your signature cocktail and offering shrimp cocktail with mango sauce, bite-sized mahi-mahi or pineapple pork as hors d’oeuvres.