There are so many decisions to make when you start planning a wedding and so many resources out there that actually make the decision harder rather than easier. It can feel overwhelming knowing where to start. My advice would be to start thinking about what sort of wedding you and your significant other would like. This may be determined by the season so perhaps picking a possible date or at least a month might be a good place to begin. The next decision is probably going to be the type of wedding. Indoors, outdoors, beach, winery, industrial/city, garden etc. The possibilities are endless. Do you love travelling? Perhaps a travel-themed wedding is right for you.
Having an overarching theme can certainly help narrow down some of the possibilities. If you both are passionate about travel and love to capture your amazing adventures on camera, this post could help you. I am here to show you how easy and affordable it is to incorporate travel elements into your wedding.
A destination wedding could be the initiator of this theme. David and I live in Munich but we decided to get married in Spain, not far from David’s hometown. I still count this as a destination wedding since we were not living in the country and had to juggle the logistics of organising a wedding from abroad.
Anyway, I digress. Our family and friends know how much we love to explore this planet of ours. It is really a part of who we are as a couple. Hence, we really wanted some travel elements in our rustic, romantic, travel-themed wedding.
Setting the theme from the beginning
Once a venue was chosen and a date was set, it was time to think about invites. We balanced the romantic and travel theme when it came to the stationery. At first glance, you might think that there is nothing travel-related about the invites.
But wait! There was a little surprise when guests opened their envelopes. We had bought some map printed wrapping paper and cut it a little smaller than the envelopes and stuck it inside.
There are many options and ideas online for travel-themed invitations so it is easy to set the scene from early on. I like the idea of the save-the-date cards being in postcard format to add to the theme as well.
Our very Own Travel-Themed Logo!
I should say right now that our photographers/videographers, Basilico Studio, are amazing! The level of service they provided, and are still providing as they are now working on our video, was more than we could have expected. As part of their package, they create a logo for each couple to use at the beginning of the video. The couple also has full rights to use the logo as they wish.
Immediately we told them we wanted something travel-themed. After a couple of edits backwards and forwards they came up with an end result we were very happy with. Not only would this logo appear at the beginning of our wedding video but we also used it on the home page of our wedding blog. Our favours had a little “thank you tag” on them that also included this logo.
With all of these small details, our guests very quickly obtained the vibe of our wedding. This really helped set the scene on the big day.
My Gift To David
Unknowingly David and I surprised each other with travel- and photography-related gifts which says a lot about us and the passion we share. In fact, photography is what brought us together. We met at a photography group get-together here in Munich.
So I guess it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise that travel and photography would be a part of our gifts to each other.
I, first of all, found a map-covered gift box from Paperchase to hold all of the goodies I had for David. Inside the box, I placed loads of his favourite things as well as some little surprises. I ordered some custom made cufflinks from Etsy. One cufflink had a map of Llansa on it, where David is from, and the other had a map of Sydney, where I am from. The top of the box that the cufflinks came in had a map of Munich on it, where we met and now live. In case that wasn’t personal enough, I was able to have a short message engraved on the inside of the box as part of the cost.
I also made a photo book of all of our trips together and called it “Our Journey So Far”. This was super easy and quick, as well as being reasonably priced. There are loads of book printers online and most are very straightforward to use. You either upload photos directly online or you download their software so that you can create it offline. I used Pixum mainly because they are good value and are based in Germany and offered free delivery. However, there of plenty of other great stores around the world that offer very similar products.
My final travel-themed gift was a set of playing cards that had a vintage world map on the back. On the other side of each card, I stuck on a reason why I loved him and called it “52 reasons why I love you”.
One time when I was browsing the Paperchase section in one of the big department stores here in Munich, yes I am obsessed with stationery and do regularly just browse, I found a bloggers journal. What better present to get my soon to be husband whom I write a blog with! So as you can see, along with the Aperol Spritz I made him to calm his nerves and the Aussie sweet treats he loves, David received quite a wanderlust based wedding present.
David’s Gift To Me
David made me the most thoughtful and tear-jerking book about his version of how we met and the time we had already spent together. His attention to detail was absolutely phenomenal. I also learnt some things about how he felt at different stages of our relationship. It also involved an element of travel. He created a very special globe trotting logo for the front of the wooden box which was also replicated on the wooden cover of the book. I am sure it is something I am going to read again and again, and probably cry happy tears every time.
Alright, let’s get into the nitty gritty of the travel decorations. Suitcases are probably one of the first things that come to people’s mind when you mention travel. I had been inspired by many a suitcase decoration on Pinterest so I made it our goal to search high and low for classic suitcases.
Finding vintage suitcases that are reasonably priced may seem easier than what it is. We spent countless weekends at flea markets scouring for that elusive bargain. In the end, we found three that matched in style and colour over a period of time. Fortunately, David’s dad is a hoarder of all things old and still had his from when he was a young boy. Another suitcase used to belong to David’s grandmother so it was really nice to have that family connection. Lastly, friends of David’s parents had one in their basement.
We used four suitcases to create a suitcase stack at the entrance of the ceremony aisle. These along with a new but vintage looking globe and two old cameras that David’s dad had amongst his flea market collection, made for quite a nice travel-themed display don’t you think?
The suitcase we used for the cards doesn’t close but luckily we didn’t need it to. It was a bargain that we picked up at one of our many flea market trips. The inside was not in the best condition so we bought some cream material and David’s mum skillfully refurbished the interior. In the meantime, David and I bought some cardboard letters from a craft shop and covered them in pink and navy (our wedding colour palette) scrapbooking paper. We then simply stuck a mini peg to each letter so that we could easily attach them to the pocket that David’s mum had constructed. Some lace from David’s grandmother was added around the edge of the inside just to emphasise that vintage, rustic feel. Refurbished suitcases can cost a fortune online so I would strongly recommend you buy a shabby one and recondition it yourself.
The final suitcase we had purchased was used to hold the props for the photo booth. A perfect size for an assortment of hats, feather boas, crazy glasses and various other photo props. So as you can see suitcases alone can already be used quite easily to help the travel theme come to fruition at a wedding or any sort of party for that matter.
Given the name of this blog, we had to include cameras as part of our decorations. First of all, David wore camera cufflinks that I had given him as a Christmas present a couple of years ago. I had to convince him that he should definitely wear these as I thought he was going to buy new ones which I didn’t really want given the present I had planned for him. His excuse for not wearing the new ones is that he already had the camera ones on and that the photographers had painstakingly spent ages taking photos of them. Oh well, he can wear them next time we get married :).
We decided to go old school and have disposable cameras on each table. I purchased them from the Disposable Camera Company in Australia but I am sure there are companies everywhere that sell them. I liked that we could customise the outside cover and they even included little eye-spy cards to keep the guests entertained during the dinner. We are yet to get the film developed, who knows how they will turn out!
We decided to have a photo guestbook. I already owned an Instax camera so the only extra cost was the film. I bought the film in bulk so it was a bit cheaper than normal. The Instax was a hit, not only with the adults but the kids really got into it. One of our four-year-old guests was the star of the party because she took photos of everyone and the photos were really good!
Maps are another thing that comes to people’s mind when you mention the word travel. Though these days the good old fashioned paper ones are not used as much. I think David’s pride and joy of our DIY projects was the cardboard M & D letters that he covered in maps. The M was covered in a map of Sydney. The & was covered with a map of Munich. And can you guess which map was used to cover the D? Yes, a map of Costa Brava, Spain. He spent hours painstakingly covering every inch of every letter.
But wait, there’s more!
We then stuck red sparkly hearts around Sydney, Munich and Llansa. Have you noticed that we are a bit OCD when it comes to details? Luckily we are both like it, otherwise, we could drive each other crazy :). These letters decorated the guest book table to keep with the travel theme.
With the leftover map paper, we made love heart confetti to spread over the guest book table. We already had the maps so all we had to buy was a heart hole punch. An easy, cost-effective decoration that followed our theme.
As we danced down the aisle our guests threw rose petals. These were placed in cones made from vintage world map paper bought on Etsy. They were easy to assemble and even came with instructions and glue. To save money you could even print off your own vintage map paper.
On one of our many trips, we were browsing around a shop that sold a bit of everything and stumbled across a cute little box covered in a vintage style map. At the time of buying it, David asked me what I was going to do with it. To be honest, I didn’t know at the time. We ended up putting it on the ceremony table with several vintage small vases with pearl-like beads draping over the edge. Again, a simple but effective decoration that kept with the theme.
I bought a cute little hanging balloon on Etsy that has a map printed on it.
I also bought this cute travel pin from Etsy. At the time of buying it, I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it but it was too cute not to buy. In the end, I pinned it to the lining of the cards suitcase just to add to the travel theme.
I miss not having an excuse to look for great one-of-a-kind items to buy on Etsy. I need a new project :).
On the ceremony table, we had three vintage mathematics books that originally belonged to David’s grandfather. It seemed fitting to have them there to honour him but also because we both went into Maths related fields. To add to the travel theme, you could hunt for some old travel books and use them instead. Cheap and easy. The good thing about a small stack of books is that it adds different levels to a display which makes it a little more interesting.
We have two money boxes that I would have loved to have used as decorations but just didn’t have the space. I know you are surprised by this after getting this far in the post, aren’t you? One is a suitcase with a map on it from Sass and Belle, that was a gift and the other is a cute VW bus that I couldn’t resist buying on a trip to Barcelona. All is not lost! We did use them to save our spare coins. It is amazing how much money you can save just from putting your coins in a small money box. It certainly helped us be able to afford some of the items on our wedding wish list.
Every part of our wedding was at the same venue, Hotel Castell D’Empordà. This made it very easy to carry the travel theme throughout every aspect of the wedding. It also meant that we only had to deliver and pick up decorations from one place.
Our table seating plan was mainly created by David. Again, I obtained my inspiration from Pinterest. There are many “Where In The World Are You Sitting” variations online. How did people get ideas before Pinterest? David pulled apart an old wooden pallet and put it back together again so that the slats were closer together. We bought a cheap vintage looking map from AliExpress and David created the luggage tags for each table and printed the names on them. The heading is drawn on with chalk pen, my new favourite type of pen for displays.
We used countries that we had visited together as our table names. David then produced the table names with English on one side and Spanish on the other. On the table sign, we also included why each country was special to us. We tried to make our wedding as bilingual as possible without having everything translated and making speeches twice as long and boring.
For our favours, we went simple. We bought pink and cream pearlised sugared almonds (traditional with a twist) and placed them in mini mason jars. We used mason jars throughout the wedding for the rustic theme. As already mentioned, we included personalised thank you tags that contained our logo, that had a travel-themed charm tied to them. The charms were super cheap from AliExpress and were either a suitcase, passport, globe or a camera. A simple little detail to contribute to our travel theme.
I had organised a surprise for David when it came to the cake topper. I found a shop on Etsy that made personalised cake toppers. Firstly I could choose any props I wanted. I chose our passports, a suitcase next to me and David holding a camera. However, that’s not all! The lady who makes them pays such attention to detail that she asks for information about eye and hair colour, heights, dress design, flowers and the groom’s suit. It really turned out to be a little mini us! I was super happy with the result and David was very surprised.
If you love to travel, of course, you are going to make it a big part of your honeymoon. Whether it be a relaxing holiday in the Maldives like we did or an adventurous safari in Africa or anything else in between, make it something special. Go somewhere that neither of you have been before and that has been on your bucket list a while. Make it a trip of a lifetime. A trip where you will create new memories and enjoy new experiences together, for the first time as husband and wife.
Read more about our amazing honeymoon in the Maldives here.
We are not normally people who regularly go on relaxing beach holidays but now I think we both have a new appreciation for these types of holidays. Believe me, after spending all that time planning a wedding and entertaining overseas guests, we were exhausted. It was the perfect finale to the best day of our lives.
Having your special day immortalised
It is so much fun being able to look back at the photos and/or video of your magical day. If you put all that effort into creating so much travel-themed detail, make sure your photographer captures it for you. We had a Skype session with one of our photographers, since they lived in Spain, to discuss how the day would flow and also any requests we had. We told them about our travel theme and our suitcases. On the day their creative juices were flowing and they had us doing all sorts of fun poses. Below you can see two of their results. Not your standard wedding photo but fun nonetheless. These photos really tell a lot about the vibe of our day, fun and travel-themed.
Finally, if you are like me, you may not want to sell every item from your wedding. In our lounge room, we have a display of some of our travel-themed items on one of our bookshelves. We kept two of the suitcases and the globe, which sit on top of a shelf. The balloon is unobtrusively hanging from a shelf. I have designed a “wedding shelf” where our photo albums will live along with some of our travel knick-knacks. Every time I look at this display I am not only reminded of our fairytale wedding day but also all of the fun we had planning it.
Let us know if you have any other ideas of how to incorporate a travel theme into your wedding. Now that I have planned my own wedding, I love weddings and hearing about other people’s weddings!
We would like to say a big thank you to our wonderful photographers, Basilico Studio, for allowing us to use their photos. We were not paid for any affiliations or advertisements for this post, all opinions are our own.
Share This Story