Recently, my husband and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary. We are truly amazed with how much our life has changed in these 5 years: I quit my job, we had a baby, my husband changed jobs within his company a few times, we moved, and we had another baby. In between all this, we managed to travel to Hong Kong, Thailand, Mainland China, Italy, Greece, Maui, Kauai, Disneyland, Vancouver, Victoria, Sonoma and numerous local trips.

We spent our anniversary looking back at the fun times we had at our Seattle wedding in August. We love to travel and it’s something that we wanted to incorporate into our wedding theme. I’m a big fan of vintage travel posters and memorabilia so that was a great jumping off point. Below, I have outlined how we created a travel themed wedding.

Seattle Wedding Venue: The Museum of Flight

The first thing we nailed down was our Seattle wedding venue. Because of our shared love of airplanes, we decided to hold our wedding at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA.

We had the wedding ceremony and reception overlooking their Great Gallery of planes, which made for a fun photo backdrop.

The Museum of Flight is one of many Seattle wedding venues that we researched when planning our travel themed wedding. #wedding #weddinginsp #travelthemedwedding
We held the ceremony and reception in the event space overlooking the Great Gallery at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA. Photo credit: Lucas Mobley
What was extra cool is that our guests were given free admission to the Museum of Flight the day of our wedding. So, guests from out of town came and explored this aviation museum earlier in the day.
And since the Museum of Flight was closed during our wedding festivities, our guests got to explore the Great Gallery during our cocktail hour.
READ  Aviation Pavilion Grand Opening at the Museum of Flight

Travel Themed Wedding Invitations: Vintage Airline Tickets

We wanted our wedding invitations to reflect the travel theme of our wedding, so I designed them using vintage airline tickets as the outline. I also incorporated a Hawaiian wedding theme since that has been a big influence on my life.

Our RSVP card featured a vintage Hawaiian travel poster image.

Photo of Travel themed wedding invitations and rehearsal dinner invitations. #weddinginvitations #weddinginsp #travelthemedwedding
We created our own travel themed wedding invitations and rehearsal dinner invitations and printed them at Costco. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

We also had small cards for our rehearsal dinner boat trip, also using a vintage travel poster for the graphic. We wrapped them up in shimmery gold paper and mailed in bright blue envelopes. And we found some travel themed stamps!

Seattle Wedding Rehearsal Dinner: Argosy Cruise

We had a lot of family travel from out of town to attend our wedding, so we wanted to make sure to thank them by inviting them to our rehearsal dinner.
Keeping our travel theme, we rented an Argosy Cruise boat and sailed around Lake Union.
We spent our Seattle Wedding Rehearsal Dinner on an Argosy Boat cruise around Seattle. #seattle #cruise #argosy #seattlewedding
Summertime in Seattle is especially perfect for a boat cruise around Lake Union with views of Mount Rainier and Downtown Seattle. Photo credit: Argosy Cruises

What we appreciated most about our Seattle cruise is that our guests got to mingle before the wedding. Since we rented this private Seattle cruise, everyone was a wedding guest. This was also fun way for us to chat with our guests before the wedding and for both families to get to know one another.

DIY Wedding Guest Book: Vintage Hawaii Postcards

On one of my visits to Kauai, I picked up several different vintage Hawaii travel postcards at gift shops. We scattered them on our guest book table with pens and asked guests to write their well wishes on the postcards.

It was such a hit that a few guests took extra postcards home as a wedding favor!

Photo of vintage Hawaiian postcards used for a travel themed wedding guest book idea. #diywedding #weddingguestbook #weddinginspo #travelthemedwedding
Vintage Hawaiian postcards are a fun way to get guests to participate in a guest book at a travel themed wedding. Photo credit: Lucas Mobley

After the wedding, we put the vintage Hawaiian postcards in a Hawaiian themed photo album. The album has clear sleeves so we can see the image on one side and the message on the other side.

Another idea would be to incorporate them into vintage Hawaii home decor.

DIY Wedding Program: Vintage Hawaii Travel Theme

Since we also had a Hawaiian wedding theme, we put one of my favorite vintage Hawaiian postcards on the cover of our wedding program. I chose an off-white paper for the vintage travel theme wedding feel.

Photo of our DIY wedding program for our travel themed wedding in Seattle. #weddingprogram #vintagetravel #travelthemedwedding
I designed our wedding program myself using my favorite vintage Hawaii travel poster as the graphic and then printed them at Costco. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung
I printed our DIY wedding programs at our local Costco. They were able print them quickly for a fraction of the cost of other print shops. We asked relatives to hand out the programs as people arrived at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Hawaiian Wedding Music: Seattle Area Musicians

It was important to me to have a Hawaiian wedding element to our travel themed wedding ceremony. I’ve been a hula dancer most of my life and the Hawaiian culture has been a big influence on me.

Since we didn’t want a Hawaiian destination wedding, we thought we’d bring Hawaii to Seattle!

Photo of Hawaiian musicians playing the Hawaiian Wedding Song at our travel themed wedding in Seattle. #hawaiianwedding #travelthemedwedding #diywedding
Aunty Iwalani Kamahele and Uncle Tiko Ka`eo performed the Hawaiian Wedding Song as I walked down the aisle. Photo credit: Lucas Mobley
I was lucky enough to know some amazing local Seattle Hawaiian musicians who were available to sing before and during the ceremony. They sang the Hawaiian Wedding Song when I walked down the aisle. I loved having this traditional Hawaiian wedding element.

Ceremony: Time Capsule

Photo of a wedding time capsule at our travel themed wedding in Seattle #seattlewedding #timecapsule #diywedding #weddinginspo
We included a time capsule as part of our wedding ceremony. Everything is more fun when a hammer is involved! Photo credit: Lucas Mobley
As part of our ceremony, we created a wedding time capsule to be opened on our 5th wedding anniversary. We included photos of our travels, love letters to each other, and special wine to drink.
All the items were placed in a wooden wine box and we hammered it shut with real nails and a hammer. It added a fun, unexpected element to our ceremony.
As it turned out, I was pregnant on our 5th anniversary, so the wine was saved until later.

Wedding Flowers: Tropical Hawaiian

Photo of Hawaiian flowers used at a Seattle wedding. #weddingflowers #diywedding #seattleflorist
This gorgeous tropical Hawaiian bouquet by Contemporary Floral tied into our travel theme. Photo credit: Lucas Mobely
My cousin owns an amazing floral company called Contemporary Floral in the Seattle-area and when I told her about our travel themed wedding, she created gorgeous centerpieces highlighting stunning tropical Hawaiian flowers.
This added a much-need pop of color to our venue and tied in the tropical travel theme. I also wore purple orchids in my hair.

DIY Wedding Photo Booth

Photo of wedding photo booth props for a travel themed wedding in Seattle. #diywedding #photobooth #seattlewedding #travelthemedwedding
Our wedding photo booth props included Hawaiian leis, hula skirts, cowboy hats, boas, bow ties and more and were displayed in a vintage reproduction suitcase I found at Marshall’s. Photo credit: Lucas Mobley

I’m a sucker for fun photo ops, so I was determined to create a wedding photo booth at our travel themed wedding.

I had a blast finding fun props and displaying them in vintage reproduction suitcases I found at Marshall’s. I found most of the props at our local party supply store and dollar store. The rest I made.

Wedding Reception: Hula Dance

I’ve been a professional hula dancer for 20 years and it’s traditional for brides to dance a hula for their husbands at their wedding reception.

Not only was this a great way to emphasize our travel theme, but it also added a unique element to our wedding reception.

Photo of a hula dance at a Hawaiian themed wedding in Seattle. #hawaiianwedding #weddinginspo #huladance
As a wedding surprise to my husband, I danced a special hula dance for him to the song “In This Life” by world-famous Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. Photo credit: Lucas Mobley
I practiced for hours in secret and gave my husband the heads up right as we walked into the reception for the first time. It was a total surprise to my husband and our guests!
And 5 years later, guests are STILL talking about it!

Hawaiian Wedding Cake: Tropical Flowers

Photo of a Hawaiian wedding cake topped with orchids for a travel themed wedding in Seattle. #weddingcake #weddinginspo #travelthemedwedding
We added purple orchids to the Hawaiian wedding cake for the tropical travel element. Photo credit: Lucas Mobley
We went with a small wedding cake for the cake cutting ceremony and then got a large sheet cake of the same flavor. This way, the caterers were able to pre-slice the cake and serve immediately after we cut the cake, eliminating any wait.
We asked the florist for a few extra orchids so we could keep with our tropical travel theme wedding.

Wedding Dress Change: Chinese Cheongsam

Photo of a bride in a Chinese cheongsam at a travel themed wedding. #cheongsam #chinesewedding #travelthemedwedding
Near the end of the wedding reception, I quickly changed into a Chinese Cheongsam and we hit the photo booth! Photo Credit: Lucas Mobley
To celebrate my husband’s Chinese heritage, I changed into a Cheongsam during our wedding reception and our nieces changed into Chinese silk pajamas. Not only was it a nod to my husband’s culture, but it was also much cooler than my layered wedding dress in the August heat!

Extra Fun: Send Wedding Invitations to White House and Disneyland

When we realized we had some extra wedding invitations, we decided to send one to the White House and one to Disneyland. We sent them about 2 months before our wedding and we received both greetings back in time to display them at our wedding. It added another travel element, which was fun!

Photo of Disney wedding announcement and announcement from the White House. #weddinginsp #weddingidea
We displayed well-wishes from President and First Lady Obama and Mickey and Minnie Mouse at our wedding photo booth. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The White House sent us an official greeting from President and First Lady Obama. It’s a lovely feeling to find a letter from the White House addressed to you personally!

Additional Ideas to Add a Travel Themed Wedding Element

  • Table numbers could be destinations rather than numbers (i.e. Paris, London, Venice.)
  • Postcards could be used instead of table numbers or in addition to table numbers.
  • The menu could consist of food from one region or from many regions. Additionally, the cake could be a traditional wedding cake from another country.
  • The music could be from a particular country or a global mix.
  • You could have a world map and invite guests to mark where they traveled from to get to the wedding. This is great if your guests are from out-of-town. Additionally, you could have guests mark where they went on their honeymoons.

The list is endless! Have fun planning your travel themed wedding!

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Travel inspired wedding

How to plan a travel themed wedding. #weddinginspo #travelthemedwedding #weddingtheme
Author

Marcie writes the family travel blog Marcie in Mommyland. When she's not traveling the world, she's home in Seattle with her husband and two little boys.

36 Comments

  1. Sheena Gonzales Reply

    Such great ideas!! Love the tropical idea most especially! ❤️

    • Marcie in Mommyland Reply

      I’m always down for anything tropical! I think it makes everyone in a better mood!

  2. I am getting married in 2 years time and will definitely keep this post handy! loved the time capsule idea <3

  3. Marcie in Mommyland Reply

    Congrats! Planning a wedding can be a lot of fun! Yes, the time capsule was one of our favorite parts! We’re hoping to continue the tradition as our family grows!

  4. So many lovely and great tips! I really like the Vintage Hawaii cards, that would have been a fantastic idea for my own wedding since we married a second time on Hawaii as well… Very impressive also to see how much you managed already in your five years of marriage – congrats to that, really nice!
    The tropical flower cake looks absolutely delicious, this is actually a good inspiration to our own next anniversary 🙂

  5. You have a lot of great ideas! You carried out your theme beautifully. I was married in a log cabin church in a theme park. Our wedding evening was spent at another area attraction with friends and family riding amusement rides. It’s so important to have your wedding reflect who you are as a couple. This is a great resource for people who like to travel and are planning a wedding!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Oh your wedding sounds like it was a BLAST! And how fun for your guests!

  6. They are such great and inspiring tips. I am looking forward to get married soon. I wish we could do it in Hawaii but maybe we will go there after marriage 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  7. We absolutely like the Traditional Hawaiian music, as we went to a wedding in Hawaii previously. The venus is super nice and original, people must have liked being there! Really a beautiful wedding, we would’ve taken all the vintage Hawaii postcards!!

  8. What an incredibly beautiful post spilling over with so, so many inspirational details! I love Seattle and I love weddings! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post!

  9. pinned!! absolutely loved reading and seeing the photos surrounding your wedding, so unique! Really love the guest book idea, will have to keep this in mind for when I get married.

  10. What a different and inspiring way to celebrate your 5th anniversary wedding plan. I love the idea of replacing the table numbers with countries. We gatto pop that brain to work in various unusual way that makes it look original.

    • marciecheung Reply

      We’re hoping to continue with our time capsule tradition!

  11. Wow. All of that in 5 years. You seem to have done and seen a lot in past 5 years. A travel themed wedding is like a fairytale wedding to me. Loved the invitation cards and the travel stage decor. Thanks for such lovely tips. I so wish to plan my 5th wedding anniversary this way.

    • marciecheung Reply

      We’ve had a great first few years! We’ve added kids to the mix so we’re on a very different adventure now!

  12. I guess this will be a dream come true for many travelers. You should dig more such ideas and make a long epic list of travel wedding plans. I think I will go for something more extreme, like getting married in the middle of a desert, or after a day-long hike.

    • marciecheung Reply

      My Mom is actually a wedding officiant on Kauai and she marries people on long hikes and in uniquely secluded spots. Perfect for adventurous couples with a small guest list.

  13. What a great idea! It looked absolutely lovely. And the vintage airplane ticket as the invite is genius. Thanks for sharing!

  14. These are beautiful and you guys thought of every detail! I love the theme and all the little touches, especially the guest book idea!

    • marciecheung Reply

      I’m glad it all worked out! We got a lot of compliments on the theme!

  15. Wow, I love everything about this!! Everything from the simply elegant Hawaiian themed cake and decor to your gorgeous Chinese style dress (I wore one, too and it still hangs in my closet, 17 years later!)… so so pretty. I love how you guys did it theme style. Love the unique, out of the box way you planned everything. Just lovely!!

    • marciecheung Reply

      My cheongsam is hanging in my closet, too! But, I’m thinking of pinning it to my closet wall as decoration since I don’t think I’ll be wearing it anytime soon 🙂

  16. Aww this is such a super fun and fabulous wedding idea!! I absolutely love all of your creative and fun ideas that brides can use!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Thanks so much! Wedding planning can be so overwhelming, so just sharing what we came up with!

  17. What a fantastic creative way to have a wedding Marcie! I’m dreaming of a destination wedding whenever I get married, but you provided some great tips to think about if that doesn’t happen. I loved all of your ideas from the vintage postcards, to the time capsule, the special dance, to the location for the wedding. I pinning this post for future reference and on a group board to share. Thoroughly enjoyed your post – Thanks so much for sharing your special day and creativity.

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