Western Wedding Themes

Q. I have no theme for my wedding except that it's a western wedding and anything goes. I'm looking for more ideas to spice it up.


A. Personally, I like to use movies and books for ideas for any themed- or historically-inspired wedding.

There are a lot of little details, in movies especially, that you can pick up and use to improve the ambiance of your wedding. You didn't mention how much you are doing with attire, etc., but for your western wedding, I would suggest you look at your local video store (or in the TV guide, if your wedding is several months away) for movies like Westward the Women (Robert Taylor, 1930s), High Noon (Gary Cooper/Grace Kelly), How the West Was Won (various artists), Riders of the Purple Sage (TNT, Ed Harris/Amy Madigan), various Louis L'Amour films (both cable and big screen, including Conagher with Sam Elliot/Katherine Ross and TNT's Crossfire Trail with Tom Selleck/Virginia Madsen, The Virginian (there are several good versions of this, including TNT's version with Diane Lane/Bill Pullman), and Tombstone (Kurt Russell/Sam Elliot/Dana Delaney). These all have interesting costuming and set design. A couple also have nice wedding scenes. If you're interested in the West, you and/or your fiancÚ likely have some favorite movies of your own already.

You might also look at your local library for books with cowboy poetry, quotes from western personalities like Will Rogers, and western romance novels. Some of these might or might not be obviously western in their contents, but anyone paying attention to the details will notice the source.

I'm a big fan of western culture (as you might have guessed) and one of my favorite "western" romantic quotes is: "Love of man for woman-- love of woman for man. That's the nature, the meaning, the very best of life itself." Zane Grey-- Riders of the Purple Sage

I don't know how far you want to go with the theme and flavor. There are some really lovely cowboy ballads and love songs, too. You might look for some recordings you could use for background music or for other musical needs. What's appropriate and appealing will really will depend
on the mood you are looking for in any case. The music from the soundtrack from the Australian movie, The Man From Snowy River, for example, is particularly lovely, and although not exactly western, it is evocative of that sort of mood and atmosphere.

For flowers, you might consider using "wildlflower" style floral
arrangements, so they look like they were "just picked off the prairie". A too-sophisticated bouquet won't hurt anything, but it won't add to your theme and mood, either. In season, smaller, less formal flowers like violet, forget-me-not, pasqueflower, columbine, broom, clematis, lily of the valley, yarrow, cornflower, lupine, dianthus, sweet pea, shasta daisy, globe thistle, lavender, larkspur, coreopsis, and scabiosa
can be mixed for a soft, natural, romantic effect.

As for other ideas, you might consider using some motif that "says" western influence. Items like a howling wolf, cowboy boot or hat, chili pepper, sheriff's star, saguaro cactus, horses or tack items, etc., can be used in various ways-- a silhouette on the invitation and/or programs, print fabric for tablecloth accents or napkins, small novelty items in centerpieces or as favors, etc.

Just be choosy about what you use. Don't try to use too many different motifs; just choose one or two-- and don't use them too much. Too many repetitions of a particular motif can end up looking a little cheap.


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