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5 Movies That Make Surprisingly Classy Wedding Themes

Move over, The Notebook.

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As a bride-to-be planning her wedding, I've heard approximately 72,192 suggestions for my wedding theme over the past three years. I did not realize at the beginning that themed weddings were the norm, nay, expected! Though there are more wacky themes like Under the Sea, Bollywood + BBQ, or Burlesque (I swear I'm not making these up), many couples are aiming to include subtle elements of their favorite movies in their special day. I think with the right movie and juuuuuuust enough decor, it can be super adorable and tres chic.

Across the Universe

Revolution Studios / Via

The truth is that I fell asleep halfway through watching this movie for the first time. Lets be real with each other: There's not much action going on in this tale of young, bohemian New Yorkers expressing themselves through re-worked Beatles songs. But oh my GAWD is it PRETTY!

Visually, this movie is stunning in its color palette, dreamy aesthetic, and ability to switch from the trippy and swirly to the real and gritty at the drop of a hat. Accompanying the incredible imagery is a lovely, eclectic soundtrack that puts new spins on the timeless Beatles tunes. All of this makes for a bold and beautiful wedding theme.

Venue: Definitely outdoors, as those singing hippies would have wanted. A garden at night would have the appropriate romantic, dream-like vibe

Attire: Just picture the bridal party in various shades of red, based on the beautiful Strawberry Fields Forever scene. Gorgeous and a little sexy.

Decor: Deep navy tablecloths that match the night sky in the poster, candles galore, and flowers of all different kinds as centerpieces. Picking just one flower would be very sell-out, and we're here to give all flowers a chance to be loved and respected.

Special Touch: First dance to I Want to Hold Your Hand... *swoon*

The Dark Knight

Warner Bros Pictures / Via

He's beauty. He's grace. He'll put his fist through your face. Because Batman is so classic and beloved, everyone can easily recognize him and cheer him on. Even drunk wedding guests! Bat-couples wouldn't have to get a giant searchlight or a Bat credit card to pull this theme off at their weddings. Dark colors and geek-chic decorations are all they'd need.

Venue: Lavish ballroom, much like the venue for the masquerade ball where Bruce and Selina dance/trade verbal banter/kiss.

Attire: Okay, call me crazy, but I'm thinking a deep plum for the bridal party as a reference to the Joker. If it's a dark enough shade, no one will feel they're being bashed over the head with the reference with the force of Harley Quinn's hammer.

Decor: Black and white linens, white flowers, and gold accent pieces on the tables as a nod to Batman's logo

Special Touch: The black and gold decor is also a reference to Pittsburgh, where The Dark Knight Rises was filmed! Lets go Steelers... I mean Rogues! Whoever you're supposed to be! I don't do sports!

Inside Out

Disney / Via

In terms of Pixar movies as wedding themes, Up is the equivalent of The Notebook. Everyone wants to incorporate the rainbow balloons and the idea of starting a big adventure together. That's cool, but if you want to get creative, I'd say try using elements of Inside Out! The bright, whimsical colors of the emotions make for a super fun color palette perfect for a playful couple. The home run for this theme, though, is in the layout of the reception. Remember Riley's islands of personality, like Hockey Island and Goofball Island? How amazing would it be to have tables stationed around the room that represent islands of the couple's relationship? Perhaps the couple met while taking a painting class? There would be a painting island in one corner with masterpieces the couple made in class together. Maybe the couple loves going to brunch? There'd be a brunch island in another corner with waffles and fixings for the guests to have as dessert! It'd be a neat way to incorporate the couple's love for Disney within the telling of their own story.

Venue: For maximum decoration freedom, an empty studio space would be ideal, perhaps within a children's museum for added family fun.

Attire: Doing the full rainbow in dresses/tuxes could be a bit overwhelming if you're going for a more subtle theme. Black tuxes with rainbow bowties or black dresses with rainbow sashes/petticoats would be extremely adorable, though.

Decor: Think outside the box for the islands. Planning on having a photo booth with silly props? That's definitely Goofball Island. The wedding cake can even be its own Foodie Island!

Special Touch: Instead of doing a chest with a bottle of wine and love letters to read on the first anniversary, make the capsule out of a spherical container decorated to look like a joyful core memory.

Romeo + Juliet

20th Century Fox / Via

Baz Luhrmann is the King Midas of visual style. Everything he touches turns into something stupidly gorgeous and immediately recognizable as his work. His take on the classic Shakespeare play is no exception, from the font choices to the costume design.

I hear you, though. You think this is a bad idea because Romeo and Juliet get married too quickly without even knowing each other, and what kind of example is THAT for a wedding? Plus also like... they DEAD.

I want you to watch this scene, though, when Romeo and Juliet first meet. There are no words spoken whatsoever, but you can feel the spark between them as they smirk and giggle like young lovers do, and you can't help but smile right back. It's delightful and charming, and it takes you right back to the first few days of your relationship, when everything was so new and exciting. That kind of nostalgia for the simple joy of young love is a pretty adorable theme, I must say. I think as long as couples stay entirely in act one with their theming, all of those pesky deaths that happen later in the film can be forgotten for one night.

Venue: Definitely another ballroom affair like the Batman wedding, but it doesn't have to be as ritzy or elegant. Romeo +Juliet was about young, playful love, so there should be an element of fun, like an unexpected color.

Attire: Something flowing and lightweight in either soft yellows, purples, or blues, just like the fish tank scene.

Decor: NO LIVE FISH, YA HEAR? No one wants to clean up dead fish while drunk and in heels. But you can reference the fish tank in the decor with glass centerpieces filled with water and colored stones. No muss, no fuss, no corpses.

Special Touch: Walking down the aisle to Kissing You by Des'ree. Have the flower girl toss tissue packs instead of petals. They'll be needed.

And the last movie on our list is...


Cara Simpson / Via

Wait. No. That's not on there. That can't be right.

Sorry, what? I am doing Shrek on this list? Are you sure? Oh. Alright, yeah, thanks. My bad.

Okay. Hear me out.

Yes, the Shrek wedding has been done before. A lot. With green body paint, prosthetic noses, and six feet tall gingerbread men. "How?" you ask. "HOW COULD YOU MAKE THIS INTO A CLASSY WEDDING THEME?!"

I'm telling you, it can be done. You've just got to think broadly. Reign it in with the details. At its core, what is Shrek? That's right, a fairy tale. Fairy tales are the crap weddings are made of, yo. It's got the bits and pieces right there, it just needs the right application. For example, when a person wants to feel like Cinderella on their wedding day, they'll choose a sparkly ball gown. Not necessarily the same exact one from the movie, but one that gives an all-around Cinderella look. When a person wants to feel like Shrek on their wedding day, they could opt out of the swamp rags and slip into a more semi-casual look with a tan blazer and brown pants as a nod to Shrek's favorite outfit. See what I'm sayin'? Lets put this together.

Venue: You don't have to go swamp, but if you do, Disney World would be a cheeky choice (ha ha @ Florida) with a Dreamworks movie theme.

Attire: Green can shine a bit here. Forest green bridal party gowns or emerald tuxes could give the reference to your favorite green hero without any paint required.

Decor: Incorporate the supporting characters here. Gold accents for Farquaad, scarlet crystals for Dragon, or maybe charcoal gray ribbon for Donkey. Sunflowers in vases for sure (Shrek tried to give one to Fiona, in case you forgot that adorable detail).

Special Touch: I'd say you can't go wrong with a Sugar Plum Fairy table off to the side, piled high with gingerbread cookies, muffins from the one and only Muffin Man on Drury Lane, and Donkey's post-sleepover waffles.

Did your wedding have a movie theme? Let me know how you pulled it off in the comments below!

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