Friday, August 28, 2009

When does a theme become "too much"?

So far, pretty much everything I've been attracted to in this planning process has trees on it. With the possible exception of my dress. But we're getting married under trees, taking pictures under trees, and being generally surrounded by trees. Eventually, Mark looked at the umpteenth tree-themed thing I showed him and said, "do you think we're overdoing it a little on the trees?" It was sweet of him to ask that way, because we both knew by "we" he meant me.
It was also a fair question. Am I? At what point does the theme become too much? (Also, is it a theme or more of a motif? I'm thinking of it a motif.)
Is the line at this fantastic cake?
Or is it at sending out fabulous tree invites
With tree stamps? (Which I will admit I went into total bridezilla mode about and was like "must have at any cost!!!!!!") (Listen Ellie, forever stamps are fine because NOBODY CARES.)
At what point will guests feel that the theme is overkill? Is it when they sit down at our table and check out these centerpieces?
Or will it be when they are handed a tiny plantable tree to take home?
(Okay, so I would say the chances we do this one are very very slim.) Nonetheless, the question stands. When do we hit the limit?
I think it's important to remember that ultimately, the theme is not important. The decor doesn't matter. (Which begs the question - are centerpieces actually necessary? Somebody tell me why I can't just have long tables with salt and pepper shakers all down the center?) I think a big part of the reason I'm attracted to trees is that they are the alternative to the girly curliecues and the flowers on everything and the pink fluffy fondant cakes and the big rose centerpieces, none of which will look like my future husband played any role in any part of this process. Trees are gender neutral. Everyone likes trees. Trees on an invite say, "we picked these together" not "Mark is totally whipped and agreed to the white pearl invitation with the big hearts all over it in pink glitter."
My MOH suggested that we broaden the theme to include "nature" instead of just trees. So how do we define nature? I immediately thought of the things that were in the nature center's building. Turtles, owls, foxes, bees; and the things that were outside, the wheat fields, the flowers, the butterflies. If we used all of these elements here and there, would it look too erratic? Too scattered? Or would it somehow all come together and make sense, all of these pieces making up the crazy erratic collage that is nature?


  1. I like the tree theme and think nature in general could be too scattered to make sense - maybe pick one other element. Maybe use trees and birds?

  2. a) i think nature is a workable theme. moss, wheat, leaves, twigs...if you think about it, all these things look beautiful together naturally, and are generally similar colors. wildflower-y flowers will work well, too.
    b) trees have wonderful symbolism. my spiritual director in college made this analogy to relationships...a tree starts out as a tiny seedling. you can look at it and say, that's a tree. but the tree gets bigger, fuller, stronger. that too, is a tree. relationships grow stronger and fuller over a marriage, but it is always a thing of beauty. i don't say it quite as eloquently as you do, but trees are a great symbol for a marriage, in my opinion.

    ps. hint: we used a tree graphic on our invites, guest book, and programs. can you tell i'm a fan? i agree that trees are a theme/motif that look like they were chosen collectively, not by a bride and her mother.

  3. sorry. that should read, "i don't say it as eloquently as SHE did."