In the Issue

Considering a Theme Wedding? These Four Celebrations Show How To Pull One Off

These weddings prove that, with the right approach, embracing a theme on your big day can make for a memorable—and still elevated—event.

Cara Cruz and Robbie Valach dancing at wedding

Disco Fever

Cara Cruz & Robbie Valach
September 4, 2021

“In another life, I know I was a go-go dancer at Studio 54,” says Cara Cruz of the inspiration behind her disco-themed bash at The Ritz-Carlton Dallas. Having tied the knot the previous year in a Covid-downsized ceremony, she and groom Robbie Valach wanted this reception to be a “fun and light-hearted celebration” for their nearest and dearest.

Cara Cruz and Robin Disco Fever

Key Elements

Decor: The bride tapped the event design team at Branching Out Events to bring her disco fantasies to life. “I told them I wanted to dance under the biggest disco ball in Dallas, and they delivered!” remembers Cara. The oversized disco ball hung over a gold glitter dance floor from Center Stage Floors. 

Flowers: Branching Out leaned into the theme when it came to florals, too. “We wanted plenty of metallics and shine—so some foliages were hand-painted gold,” says director of client services and marketing Katy Roden. “We used more architectural flowers such as orchids and tulips for a clean, youthful, and modern look.” Bride Cara was blown away by the results: “Studio 54 was never this beautiful!”

The Bar: Signature cocktails with names like “Bad Mama Jama” and “The Macho Man” were served with disco-ball drink stirrers.

Zugey Garcia and Jason Morin

Wiz Kids

Zugey Garcia & Jason Morin
November 21, 2021

Harry Potter has been an integral part of Zugey Garcia and Jason Morin’s courtship, which started with a date to LeakyCon and culminated with a themed scavenger-hunt proposal. So it was only natural that on their big day, they would bring their “Potter love story full circle.” A teacher by trade who’s used to creatively integrating themes into her curriculum, the bride developed and executed many of the thematic elements herself. “It would not have felt like ‘us’ without them,” she says.

Zugey Garcia and Jason Moring Collage

Key Elements

The color scheme: “At Hogwarts, students are divided into four houses, depending on what qualities they best represent,” explains the bride. “I am a Slytherin, and my house colors are black and green.” For that reason, green table linens were offset by black signage and attendants’ attire.  

Food and drink: The couple transformed The Schoolhouse’s bar into the “Leaky Cauldron,” which served signature drinks including a blackberry margarita called the Death Eater’s Smoke and a Felix Felicis, which is liquid luck in the wizarding world. For dessert, guests had their choice of wedding cake—which Blondies Bakehouse created with text from the books printed in frosting—as well as chocolate frogs and on-theme iced cookies.

Decor: Just about every decorative choice was significant, from floating candles suspended above the dance floor to the replica Gryffindor sword the couple used to cut their cake.

Rachel Worthey and Chris Martin

Fright Night

Rachel Worthey & Chris Martin
October 29, 2021

Though Rachel Worthey and Chris Martin officially said “I do” in a courthouse ceremony in 2020, they insist that had no bearing on their decision to host a Sleepy Hollow–themed celebration at the Nasher Sculpture Center. “The theme was always the intention,” Chris says. “Getting the ceremony out of the way [just] meant no one would see me cry uncontrollably.” Planner Wendy Kay of Birds of a Feather Events, who helmed the Halloween weekend affair, says the couple considered other themes, including Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, before landing on a concept that united Rachel’s love of “cheesy horror flicks” with Chris’ favorite holiday.

Rachel Worthey and Chris Martin Collage

Key Elements

Decor: A stickler for getting the details right, planner Wendy Kay watched Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow on repeat leading up to the celebration. She repurposed elements from the film, like a bird-and-cage thaumatrope—a dual-sided disc that creates a superimposed optical illusion when twirled—as escort cards. Other touches included a headless horseman figure, faux crows and dead foliage that accented floral displays by Max Owens Design, and lanterns that took the place of bridesmaid bouquets. Linen choices were also intentional, with Wendy selecting spiderweb-like leather overlays and black lace to evoke the witch’s wardrobe in the film. 

Attire: A directive to come in costume lead to one memorable moment with Rachel’s dad. “He was extremely worried I pulled a prank on him, having him show up in costume while the other guests wore normal outfits,” she remembers. “I honestly might do this sort of thing, so he wasn’t totally off the mark!” 

The Playlist: Rachel selected songs from favorite spooky flicks like Edward Scissorhands, Hocus Pocus, and The Nightmare Before Christmas to set the tone during cocktail hour.

Rachel Ellerd and Eric Siu Smiling at Giraffe

Animal Kingdom

Rachel Ellerd & Eric Siu
October 2, 2021

When exotic pet veterinarian Rachel Ellerd was preparing to wed Eric Siu, she had a singular priority for the big day. “I honestly didn’t have any preferences about the cake, decorations, or food,” she says. “Literally the only thing I really cared about was having giraffes at our wedding.” After learning that the Fort Worth Zoo was available for events, the bride knew it was the perfect place for an animal-themed affair. “Having it at the zoo was completely non-negotiable,” she says. “So much so that when the zoo told us the dates we were looking at were filling up, we actually booked the venue before we were even engaged.”

Rachel Ellerd and Eric Siu Collage

Key Elements 

The Venue: The Fort Worth Zoo was the biggest driver of the theme. As planner Georgette Poole of Sarabeth Events notes, “There are some pros to hosting a wedding at the zoo! For an additional price, they offer an animal outreach program that will showcase a handful of different zoo friends within the cocktail hour for your guests, along with the ability to do giraffe feedings.”

The Cake: Rachel’s leucistic ball python, Lucy, became the muse for the couple’s wedding cake. Georgette concepted the four-tiered confection that had a “subtle snakeskin texture that wrapped around.”

Special Guests: “Many people take their bridal portraits with their dogs, but my photographer, Tracy Autem, was totally down to take photos of me and my pet snake,” remembers Rachel, who credits her entire wedding team for being supportive. In fact, as a surprise to the bride, Justine Chapura of Justine’s Flowers created a floral collar for Rachel’s right-hand reptile to wear in the photos—a touching gesture that meant a great deal. “We know brides love incorporating their pets,” Georgette says, “so we felt Rachel deserved that same freedom, even though a snake isn’t the first thing that comes to mind!”




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