Credit: Paramount Pictures

Your wedding theme will dictate most of your decor choices and, probably, the reception venue as well. Needless to say, it will be one of the very first decisions you’ll have to make early in the planning process (#nopressure). So if you’re stuck and not sure in which direction to go into, why not let Hollywood lend you some inspiration?

Now let’s be clear—we’re not suggesting you show up at your Little Mermaid-theme wedding donning red hair and a purple bandeau top (although if that’s your thing, by all means go ahead). You can simply take certain elements of the movie as a starting point and work your personal preferences into it.

We reached out to Sheila Camp Motley, longtime wedding planner and owner of Sheila Camp Motley Event Design + Management, for her pro tips on how to bring to life, in a chic way, of course, the vibe of some of Hollywood’s most-beloved classics.

1The Great Gatsby

Credit: Warner Bros.

How: “The perfect historical mansion is critical to bringing this theme to life. Guests love the opportunity to dress in a Roaring Twenties theme, so welcome the chance to. Think champagne coupes and beaded dresses.”

2Alice in Wonderland

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Where: The garden of a country estate

How: “Whimsical fancy at an afternoon tea? Mix a range of pastel colors with an eclectic combination of vintage furniture. Dress tables with a fun mix of potted herbs in china tea pots.”

3The Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney

Where: An oceanfront venue

How: “Bring this theme to life with wonderful colored special-event lighting and project under the sea images throughout your event space to transport guests.”

4Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Credit: Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Where: The ballroom of a castle or an old mansion

How: “Gothic and medieval! Think long rustic wooden tables; the more candelabras the better!”

5Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Credit: ullstein bild via Getty Images

Where: An elegant hotel suite

How: “Perfect for a bridal shower! Tie all your details together with a Tiffany Blue color story. Finish the meal with individual cakes shaped to look like a Tiffanys box with white ribbon.”


Credit: Paramount Pictures

Where: A vintage diner

How: “Rent a diner, send a record as an invitation, and let the jukebox play! A super ’50s playlist is key.”

7The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Credit: New Line Cinema

Where: A mountain barn

How: “Enchanted wonderland. Decorate an outdoor space with magical fairy lights, rustic tents and bonfires.”


Credit: UGC-Fox Distribution

Where: A hotel ballroom or a French restaurant

How: “The perfect opportunity to showcase the magic of French foods! A Paris-themed event would offer everything from magnificent cheese stations to decadent stations of sweets—from eclairs to macarons. Délicieux!”

This article originally appeared in InStyle.