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Choosing a Wedding Motif

Butterfly Wedding Motif

Choosing a motif is a perfect way to accent your wedding and makes selecting wedding decorations, flowers, invitations and even colors so much easier. Motifs can reflect your favorite color scheme, holiday, theme, season, symbol, animal, etc. Motifs can be traditional and simple or ornate and formal. So what exactly is a motif?

Motif
[moh-teef] noun.
A recurring subject, theme or idea.
A distinctive and recurring form, shape, figure, etc., in a design.
A dominant idea or feature.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A THEME & A MOTIF?

Often times, the words theme and motif are confused when it comes to weddings. To clarify, a motif is a design or pattern which becomes a recurrent thematic element throughout the wedding. A theme, on the other hand, is the overall style of your wedding, like rustic, vintage, winter wonderland, old Hollywood, etc.

WHERE TO USE A MOTIF

Using a recurring element throughout your wedding ties your wedding together from start to finish. Most couples opt to display their motif on the following items, but you can include it wherever you like.

    • save-the-dates
    • place cards
    • table numbers
    • invitations
    • wedding cake or topper
    • wedding programs
    • table favors
    • menu cards
    • light display

POPULAR WEDDING MOTIFS

As your venue is one of the first big decisions you make when planning your wedding, be sure to choose a motif that suits your overall wedding style. Your venue environment, setting and/or architecture will likely determine the look and feel of your wedding and help you determine the theme and motif. If you want to have a beach wedding, for example, consider a nautical motif rather than a cactus or barn! 

Many couples opt for motifs with sentimental value that fit with the wedding location, season, or holiday, etc. We've compiled four galleries of the most popular symbolic wedding motifs we have seen over the years. Hover over each one to see its name.

BEACH & NAUTICAL MOTIFS

Lighthouse Starfish Palm Trees Plumeria Flowers Hibiscus Sailboat Sand Dollar Shells Anchor Flamingos Flip Flops Palm Leaf Ship Wheel

ANIMAL & INSECT MOTIFS (NON-NAUTICAL)

Bumble Bee Buttefly Dove Dragonfly Lady Bug Peacock Feather Swan Elephant Deer

BOTANICAL MOTIFS (NON-NAUTICAL)

Dogwood Cherries Cherry Blossoms Clover Daisy Dandelion Fern Leaf Grape Vines Lavender Leaves Magnolia Orchid Pear Pinecone Rose Sunflowers Acorns Birch Bark Pattern Cactus Pine Tree Pumpkin Succulent

DECORATIVE MOTIFS

Fleur De Lys Celtic Ornaments Chinese Love Symbol Diamonds Eiffel Tower Glass Slipper Heart Monogram Rhinestones Snowflake Tiffany Blue Bicycle Chinese Double Happiness Symbol Cross Hot Air Balloon

MORE WEDDING DECOR ARTICLES