The Style Blog

Dressing to Impress: How to Match Wedding Dresses with Wedding Themes

By Kevin Fagan on 2024-02-18

Strapless floral lace wedding gown with full tulle skirt and long veil blowing in the wind in front of traditional church.

Setting a theme for your wedding celebrations is a great way to personalize your special day and explore your creativity. It also helps create the overall experience for yourself and your guests, and when done right, wedding themes leave a lasting impression.


Your wedding theme will influence many of the next decisions in wedding planning, such as selecting your venue, color palette, decor, and menu. The wedding attire can act as the culminating detail to cohesively bring together the entire theme. This guide can assist you in attaining perfect harmony between your wedding theme and attire. Read on to find out how you can stand out with exquisite style yet blend into your theme perfectly.

Modern or Minimalist Wedding Theme

Minimalist bride and groom in simple v neck wedding dress and pearl necklace and modern light tan suit.

Couples who wish to emphasize personal connection over extravagant details often choose a minimalistic and modern wedding theme. It’s the simplicity that draws people toward this theme. For these modern minimalist weddings, you’ll do away with everything that is overly elaborate and focus only on the essential or clean, straightforward elements. Less is more, and the emphasis is on quality over quantity. Minimalistic-style weddings don’t involve the fuss, the frills, and the stress that some traditional weddings do.


The designs of the modern/minimalistic bridal dresses feature clean lines, simple silhouettes, and white or neutral tones. The groom can wear a sleek, solid-colored suit. A true classic like a black suit or a neat, fresh, light color like a tan suit can be perfect in the minimal, modern setting.

Floral, Garden, or Whimsical Wedding Theme

Bride wearing blush wedding gown with layered tulle ruffle layers and ruched bodice and groom wearing navy tuxedo for garden wedding.

Any theme in this category provides a romantic ambiance. It also brings along an opportunity to incorporate the natural beauty of lush blooming gardens into the wedding. Outdoor wedding venues already have an enchanting atmosphere and tend to require very little extra decor. The whole wedding scene is set to enchant, like a painting come to life.


A dress with a flowy silhouette in pastel colors or a soft tone would complement the natural setting perfectly. Choose lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, tulle, or lace, and floral appliques, ribbon embellishments, or embroidered details for the dress. Pair it with dainty jewelry. The groom would complete the pleasing picture in a light-colored suit (a light gray suit would be a fantastic choice) or a high-contrast, elegant suit (like a navy tuxedo) and floral accessories like a boutonniere or subtle floral-patterned ties and pocket squares.

Vintage Wedding Theme

Brooklyn wedding with vintage bride style in midi wedding gown holding wildflower bouquet and groom in a light grey 3 piece suit with a sunflower boutonnière.

If you believe that you’re born in the wrong era (as many do) this may be the theme for you. You get to recreate the nostalgic charm of the bygone era and pay an ode to it with the vintage wedding theme. Vintage weddings have a romantic appeal and a touch of sentimentality. For a vintage wedding, the inspiration is from the decade bracket between 1920 and 1970, and there’s room for personal interpretation.


For a 1920s-inspired wedding, the bride would look gorgeous in a flapper-inspired gown with intricate beading and fringe details. During the 1940s, brides were resourceful and wore gowns made of silk from parachutes (that was probably responsible for saving the groom’s life during the war). Silk fabric, sweetheart neckline, fitted bodice, and full circle skirt would make a gown perfectly reminiscent of the 1940s. The gown should ideally have no lace or pearl embellishments or embroidery. A pearl necklace would complement the look perfectly.


For a 1960s-inspired wedding, look at gowns with empire waists, A-line silhouettes, high necks, and capped sleeves (of three-quarter length). Alternatively, the bride also has the option of going for a mini-length mod-style dress with simple detailing.


Flowy fabrics, bell sleeves, and floral patterns were the defining features of the bridal dresses in the 1970s, which brides find appealing even today. Groovy weddings are trending now, pulling plenty of inspiration from these '70s style wedding dresses. For a boho vibe, go for an off-the-shoulder style gown and crochet lace.

For a general vintage feel rather than sticking with a specific decade, opt for a wedding dress with character and charm and stick with more old-fashioned silhouettes. Vintage gowns often go well with accessories like the birdcage veil and heirloom jewelry. The groom can embrace retro vibes with a vintage-inspired suit with accessories like a suit vest or suspenders or play it safe with a classic suit.

Beach Wedding Theme

Bride wearing slinky simple lightweight wedding dress holding hands with groom wearing light blue beachy wedding suit walking up stairs in Greece.

Beach weddings are popular for their calming, relaxed, and fun atmosphere. The soothing sound of the waves and the picturesque beauty of the wedding venue with a waterfront contribute to a beautiful setting for the vows and celebrations.


For a beach wedding, the bride needs a light and flowy wedding dress. It’s even better if it has a shorter hemline. Too much volume can be difficult to manage due to the coastal winds.


Perfect fabrics for the bridal dress include organza, chiffon, tulle, and silk. Popular gown choices are often off-the-shoulder or have tank straps. Many brides love the drama of a long and light veil that blows with the wind. Pair the dress with jeweled sandals or flats with pearl embellishments. The groom would look and feel amazing in a lightweight suit–think linen, seersucker, or breathable fabric–and blue suits are perfect to tie into the water and beachy feel.

Formal Wedding or Black Tie Wedding Theme

Bride wearing embellished sheer puff long sleeve wedding dress with bling and shine clinking glasses with groom in navy shawl lapel tuxedo for black tie wedding.

The allure of black-tie events is in their sophistication, with the feel of the event elevated from the especially formal attire and setting. The bride usually dons a floor-length ballgown or sheath dress that exudes grace and timeless elegance. Choose luxurious fabrics such as silk, lace, and satin for the dress. High-end details like beading, gemstones, shimmer, and unique dress design add to the luxury. Accessories like high heels, a veil, gloves, and the finest jewelry will complete the look. The groom typically wears a classic tuxedo or a well-tailored black suit.

Themes are meant to make weddings more memorable and enjoyable. They provide a cohesive visual appeal to the entire wedding. Choose a theme that appeals to you and your partner. It will allow both of you to align the wedding celebrations with your interests. Don’t shy away from adding your personal touches to the wedding attire, to make it truly reflect your personality and style.

Once you've settled on both your wedding theme and wedding dress, find the suit or tuxedo to match perfectly at SuitShop.

About the Author

Kevin Fagan

Kevin Fagan is a food & travel writer, based in New England with experience in the catering industry. He is always on the lookout for the trendiest food spots and bars on his travels, and also likes to keep his finger on the pulse of the latest news in the world of wedding, catering & restaurants.