One of the hardest parts I found when planning my wedding was finding ways to incorporate things that were meaningful to me and my husband without the event becoming a theme party. Although we are are Harry Potter fans who regularly visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Watford (we’ve been 5 times so far), the Harry Potter World in Universal Studios (3 times and counting), reread the books (8 times for me), and rewatch the movies, it is not the be all and end all of our relationship. We tried to keep the theme fairly secret, but with so many questions and discussions it somewhow got out and next thing we knew we had random friends of friends come up to us asking if Dumbledore was officiating our ceremony! So instead, we got a bit creative on ways to incorporate elements whilst leaving us room to put our own stamp on things.
First things first, it is much easier to incorporate a theme into your wedding when your venue matches what you have in mind. Want a Harry Potter wedding? Try looking for an old castle or manor house, cute towns that could be straight out of the movies, or filming locations. Want a wedding that makes you feel like Belle from Beauty and the Beast? Try looking for a castle in France that feels both ornate and abandoned or a library. An Alice in Wonderland theme? No problem, transform a garden into a magical wonderland! The possibilities are endless, and when your theme comes from your heart you will find a venue that feels like you and that fits your theme (as well as your budget!).
- Save The Dates, Invites, and Order of Service
This is probably the area where you will have the most free reign and there are so many ways you can incorporate your theme here. We took inspiration from the Hogwarts Acceptance Letter to slip in additional Information (instead of Info Cards) but we kept our Save The Dates and Invites off-theme. However, you could add an apple to an invite for a Snow White theme, or use styling from the movie for a Great Gatsby wedding. We used Ivory parchment paper to print our Orders of Service to imitate the paper used in the films.
- Table Plan, Names, Decorations, and Escort Cards
We chose not to go full Marauders Map here, but to incorporate elements from it and using the same style we had created for the Invites, Save The Dates, and Welcome Sign. We were lucky enough to have 7 tables, excluding the Top Table, so we placed a Horcrux on each guest table within glass domes we picked up from H&M Home. I even made my own Tom Riddle’s Diary to fit into one of the domes as all the replicas were too large! We added framed explanations and quotes about each item for all non-hardcore fans. Top tip: Don’t assume everyone is as big a fan as you are! For escort cards we made flying keys, and for the Top Table we placed my well-worn copies of the Harry Potter books.
You can go full theme here, or just add a subtle cake topper. You can get an “Always” cake topper on Etsy, but we chose an “Always & Forever” one as that’s what Michael answers whenever I ask him if he’ll love me when I’m 105 and wrinkly.
I am such a fan of a good candle, especially book-inspired ones, so I have been a long-time fan of From The Page on Etsy and it was a real no-brainer picking her miniature candles that smelled of Butterbeer! Favours are a great way to add a hint of a theme if you really want to keep it minimal, or you can forego favours altogether if you wish. If you do choose to opt for favours though, I would say to try to keep it to something that can either be consumed or used as so many get forgotten or left at the venue so you might end up with alot more of them than you had planned! We have enough leftover candles to last us the rest of the year!
The Bridal March, Leaving Music, Cocktail Reception, Dinner, Getting Ready, the First Dance, Last Song… there are so many opportunities to embed music that means something to you both. We chose subtle Harry Potter music for our Bridal March and Leaving Music that only fans would recognise -and everyone loved it!
- Readings and Personal Vows
It was surprisingly difficult for us to find a Harry Potter passage that would work well as a reading as many of them were too short or didn’t fit our relationship, so intead we opted to put references into our vows. You can read them both here. There was not a dry eye in the house! “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” -J.K. Rowling
As you may already know from reading my post on our wedding day, we split what is traditionally the Groom’s Speech so we had alot of room to have fun with our speeches! We kept these a surprise from each other and I definitely struggled keeping myself together during Michael’s! You can read his and mine here.
Photobooth props are where you can go full theme, no matter how traditional you wish to be! We included Harry Potter cloaks, wands, and glasses we picked up at Primark, as well as more traditional Paperchase photobooth props.
- Special Touches
This is where there are no restrictions or requirements, but you can add whatever feels special to you. We designated our Best Man and Maid of Honour with Slytherin Head Boy and Head Girl Pins picked up in Universal Studios Orlando, as yes they’re both Slytherins! We also added a “Ministry of Magic This Way” sign picked up from Primark and made use of our “Property of Hogwarts” boxes we received one Christmas to put toiletries in the loos. We dotted some “No Muggles Beyond This Point” signs and other pieces we picked up on a Primark shopping spree around the venue. We even added Hedgwig to a Birdcage we rented from the venue!
Hopefully I’ve been able to help with some ideas…but just remember, you do you! This is your wedding, and the rules and traditions are only there as guidance. At the end of the day, the only person who will be distraught and upset if it didn’t feel right is yourself. Don’t let other people’s opinions, no matter how adamant they are about it during the planning, distract you from what you want. We had alot of mixed reactions to our theme, but in the end everyone loved it on the day and came up to us for weeks afterwards saying how wonderful it all was. Even people who were originally against the theme!