How to Create and Execute an Event Theme


Coming up with a brilliant theme for your next event is one thing, but turning your ideas and inspiration into full-fledged festivities can take a lot of time and planning. To help, here’s our road map for picking and executing your dream theme.


1. Choose Aspects of the Theme

A theme is the overarching experience that you want your event to express. This can be determined by color, concept, or ambiance – or any mixture of the three.


  • Color
      • While color is straightforward, a well-executed color scheme can make an ordinary event extraordinary. For example, the use of vibrant color schemes, such as magenta, emerald green and canary yellow, is a major trend for 2018.


  • Concept
      • A concept is an idea typically taken from a movie, culture, or fashion. For example, an annual event that is renowned for its exuberant themes is the Met Gala. This year’s theme, “Heavenly Bodies,” is inspired by Catholicism and resonates throughout the entire event. The gala will take place at renowned New York City museum, The Cloisters. The medieval European exhibits make it a perfect fit for location and the dress code will be inspired by iconic religious garbs. As the focal point of conversation, a robe lent from the Sistine Chapel will be on display (a treat since it is rarely shown outside the Chapel).
      • Other concepts that are great theme ideas include Mardi Gras, a fairytale ball or the 1920s era of the Great Gatsby.


  • Ambiance
    • Ambiance defines an event’s overall atmosphere for example, rustic, classy or modern can all describe the overall “feel” of an event. Typically, ambiances help shape the type of decor and furniture to use for your event.


Determining color, concept, and ambiance make it simple to lay out the rest of the event theme. A great example is the wedding of Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian. Their concept was Beauty and the Beast, with pastel earth-tones and complimentary copper-tones for the color scheme. The ambiance emanated a Parisian ball that touches upon a modern French country look. Similarly for your event, everything is planned around the theme. From here, you can begin brainstorming fun ideas on your IdeaBook to find the matching puzzle pieces of the event.

2. Create a Shopping List

Many of us have entered a store intending to buy only one item, but left with a whole cart full of indulgences (guilty!). In the event world, failing to make and stick to a shopping list and budget can have a much bigger impact on your wallet. Being proactive makes a dramatic difference, especially since weddings cost an average of $35,329. The best way to start putting your theme into action is to have a detailed shopping list. Add everything from floral arrangements and buffet tables to napkins and party favours and don’t skimp on the details.


3. Shop Around

This step can be hard after spending time asking questions and establishing rapport with vendors. Be honest and let vendors know that you’re just asking for a quote, and cannot agree on anything today. Budgeting and planning is a game of give and take. Getting quotes allows you to decide which event items mean more to you, and which ones can forego all the bells and whistles.

Another thing to consider when budgeting is deciding if you want to take a DIY (do-it-yourself) approach with any of the items. If you have a flair for beautiful calligraphy or artisanal craftsmanship, this might be a good route. Some items that are typically tackled in the DIY-fashion are favors, photo booth props, invitations and signage.


4. Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s the Week Before

Once you’ve sampled, visited and perused the options, choosing the best-fit vendors and venue is just half the job. Keep in contact with your venue and vendors as the event comes. Make sure to schedule all the deliveries and drop-offs, at the latest, a week before the event.
Finally, delegate tasks to members of your inner circle and inform your venue and vendors who to contact for day-of questions and details. If you’re the most important person at your event (i.e., a wedding, stagette, or birthay party), you’ll want be busy enjoying your event, not dealing with last-minute details. (And let’s face it, you’ll probably be hard to find!)

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