Travel themed wedding decor continues to gain popularity for the couples who want to share their worldly interests with their guests. This wedding theme pays a great homage to a couple that loves to explore new places and things together, while also symbolizing the great adventures that are still to come. There are many aspects of your wedding ceremony and reception that can bring the travel theme to life. Not only can you have elements of your theme on the big day, but it can also be woven into other aspects like your invitations, thank you cards, and gifts for your wedding party.
The theme can be incorporated in so many ways from signs, favors, place cards, table numbers, labels, or signature food and drink. Here are some ideas to spark your inspiration for planning your perfect travel themed wedding decor.
Travel Backdrop Ideas
A great thing to have for your wedding guests is a designated area for taking pictures. Everyone looks their best and is having a great time and they’ll want to take photos to commemorate being a part of your big day. A backdrop with a travel theme will take the wedding’s theme back home and beyond with your guests. Try a world map backdrop or a more specific place like the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben.
You can even include lettering that works as an homage to your marriage like “Love is a Journey” or “Adventure Awaits.” Another fun idea is to also use this for bachelorette or bridal shower photo backdrops with wording like “Traveling from Miss to Mrs.” Have your photographer set up near this area or have guests use their cellphones or disposable cameras.
It's a fun touch and encourages people to take photos. You can never have too many pictures from your most special day.
The tables at a wedding are a great place to include items from a theme. Each table has so much to personalize like napkins, decor, centerpieces, and even bottle stoppers for the champagne. Tablecloths are also a great way to show off your theme. Fabric in a travel pattern can be a great tablecloth option.
You can tie it together with fun napkins as well with sayings like “Adventure Begins” or something similar. Cocktail napkins are a great way to add a unique touch to the table. You can also have elements of travel like globes, small suitcases, books, or model airplanes and cars as decorations on the table among flowers or other decor.
Wedding guests often need signage to tell them where to sit or where to be at a certain time. A seating chart is a necessity at most weddings. Not only is it crucial, but it brings a great opportunity to weave your theme in. To incorporate a travel theme, consider modeling your seating assignment board after an arrivals sign you’d see at an airport.
Most people are familiar with this, so they’ll be able to easily find where to sit but it’ll make guests smile with the special touch of your theme. You can organize it in multiple ways, but if you label your tables by “destination” that can be a fun way to tie the ideas together.
Another idea is to have a post with many cities you'd love to visit and their distance in miles and kilometers from wherever you are for your wedding. This is a fun touch and gets people talking. You could also have a big map that does the same thing.
In addition to tablecloths and napkins, place settings can also tie your theme together. Try a placemat modeled after a postcard and a silverware holder that looks like a passport. These types of small touches are not only functional but a great way to add small details of your theme. Guests can also keep some of these smaller details as souvenirs.
What to Wear
Small accessories in the bridal party and groomsmen outfits can also tie your theme together. Small pocket squares in a map theme or print can be an awesome touch for the guys. Jewelry or scarves in a similar motif or vintage items collected from around the world can also offer unique touches for the bridesmaids.
Flower bouquets can be covered or tied up with map printed fabric. Another fun touch is to provide unique socks for the men, where each guy could wear patterned socks with a different city, country, or mode of transportation. Paper maps can also be crafted into flowers for unique boutonniere or corsage idea. They also will last forever, making them an awesome gift or memento for your bridal party.
Depending on where your ceremony is, you may need to invest in an aisle runner. There are so many options to customize these to fit your theme. You can customize them with your names or a pattern, or both.
It could also be customized to show the couple's love timeline, structured to appear like a travel itinerary. You could start with your first date and lead the dates through from the first meeting to other big moments. It’ll also be a beautiful symbol and reflection of your relationship so far when you make it to the end of the aisle where you’ll say your vows.
Ring Bearer Pillows and Alternatives
One fun idea for this wedding theme is to skip the traditional pillow for your ring bearer to carry and have him walk down the aisle with a small suitcase containing your rings. Many vintage shops sell unique suitcases and travel cases and if you can’t find one there, and you can even find customized options. This sweet touch will be a unique thing most guests will recall for years to come. If you're looking for a humorous touch, have the ring bearer carry a sign that reads "precious cargo." Better yet, put it right on the outside of the suitcase. It's sure to get a smile from the crowd.
Travel Toasting Flutes
There are many options for toasting flutes that offer a unique spin for your theme. Many can be monogrammed or decorated with a theme to your liking. Depending on the locations you like to go or hope to go to, you can select them in a beach theme, a French theme, European theme, or even an airplane or car motif to imply travel as a whole.
You could also incorporate coasters or other accessories with this. They can be decorated in many ways like with compasses, maps, or other travel accents.
Cake Serving and Decor
The cake table offers many opportunities for using your theme. Select cake slicers and servers with custom handles that match your theme. You can get anything from an Eiffel Tower to an ocean theme as an homage to all your beach adventures.
The cake itself can be decorated with a number of themes, like a globe or map. Some bakeries can even use sheet cakes and make them look like suitcases or a compass. You could also skip the traditional cake and service cupcakes or small desserts and decorate them with miniature flags from countries around the world.
Travel Wedding Cake Toppers
A cake topper is a great item to show your personalities and theme. Consider figures that look like you and your mate dressed to jet off to your next destination. Another fun twist would be figures dressed in stereotypical tourist attire, like a floral shirt, sandals, and binoculars, or sunglasses. You can also top the cake with a model from your favorite place or a place you hope to visit, like a Statue of Liberty or a cityscape.
Travel Guest Books/Send-off Note Ideas
Since travel often requires a lot of paperwork, that can serve as great inspiration for your guest book, thank you notes, invitations, and favors or send-off notes. Think of all the things you bring with you on a trip: tickets, a passport, luggage tag, maps, etc. The look of these items can all be customized for these items.
When designing your Save the Dates and invitations, model them after a boarding pass. This fun twist will hint at the theme of your celebration and be their “ticket” to enter when the special day arrives.
An oversized passport could serve as a fun guestbook for several reasons. It will collect the notes and memories of all your loved ones, just like a real passport does, and it makes perfect sense due to the layout with many blank pages.
Get a custom stamp with your names and date for guests to stamp alongside a loving message. Set up a disposable/ instant camera too so they can take a picture to go along with it. You’ll be able to look back at all the fun your guests had all in one place.
A personalized luggage tag is also a perfect idea to use as a tag on party favors of gifts. Whatever you decide to give as a parting gift, the tag will tie your theme together. Another idea is to have guests leave a note of their dream honeymoon destination or write where they went for their honeymoon. Since you may not know some of your guests very well yet, it’s a good chance to learn a bit about who they are and what they love.
Travel Table Decorations Ideas
There will likely be several tables around your reception for various things like drinks, food, favors, pictures, or a guestbook. These are all great opportunities to tie in your travel wedding theme decor.
A lot of couples like to have a message board for guests to leave advice or well wishes for them to look at after all the excitement. A fun idea for this would be an open suitcase with blank cards for your guests' messages. This idea could also work on a cards and gifts table. It also can easily close up and be transported when the day is done. Guests could also write messages on a globe or map, which would be a fun decoration to cherish.
Another idea is a large blank map for guests to pin destinations they’ve been to with a message offering travel tips. The floral elements of each table can also be elevated by incorporating travel-themed vases.
Dessert Table Ideas
The sweets table is a very popular place at most weddings. There are a lot of opportunities to incorporate your theme here. In addition to a cake or treat of choice, try and find candies and snacks from international destinations. This will give guests a chance to try something new and delicious and inspire people to get out there and see what these places have to offer.
Cookies, cupcakes, and cakes can be easily customized to a number of things as well. Cake pops that look like globes are also a super cute idea. This can work as a great take-home favor as well.
What to Eat
Another popular way to weave your travel theme into your wedding is with the food you serve. While catering options can sometimes be limited, often wedding venues will work with your theme. Serving foods and drink inspired by places you've already visited, or even hope to travel to, will undoubtedly be well-received by your guests. During cocktail hour, you could serve different bites and nibbles from places around the world. Signatures drinks can also show a lot about a person and a country where they hope to travel. Try the drink of choice from your dream destination. Research different mixers and ingredients or see what's the most served in your favorite place. Guests are sure to love it!
Like love, travel is an adventure. These two ideas blend perfectly for a wedding theme that's sure to set the stage for a lifetime of adventure for you and your beloved.
Whether your celebration is in indoors, outdoors, during the Fall or Summer, a travel-themed wedding is adaptable for any location and time of year. Guests are sure to love the theme and perhaps they'll even be inspired to start planning a trip of their own after seeing your amazing wedding.
Do you need some more ideas for incorporating your love of travel into your big day? Leave a comment below with your question, and our experts will get back to you as soon as possible.
Lexie at her core is a creator who is passionate about sharing her ideas on weddings. She has over a decade in helping others plan and execute weddings from LA to Athens, from 10 person to 1000 weddings. She has seven years of experience in marketing/communications, content creation, event planning, and strategic planning. Lexie’s favorite part of writing? Figuring out how to digest a huge topic, like personalized wedding favor glasses, into a quick 5 minute read. Lexie is also our head of Pinning, so check out her 5 favorite pins everyday!
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