What’s the perfect way for two avid travelers to get married? In a travel-themed wedding full of map décor, passport-inspired accessories, and handmade goods from around the world, of course!
Well, that’s actually not how we got married two years ago. For many reasons, we decided against having a traditional wedding and instead got married in a private ceremony at a B&B in the Green Mountains of Vermont. It was just us, a justice of the peace, a photographer, and the B&B owners, in one of our favorite places in the world.
While our ceremony was perfect for us, we know most people prefer to have a wedding with friends and family, and we certainly love attending them. But if we’d gone the more traditional route, we would definitely have had a travel-themed wedding.
And we did have plenty of travel-themed décor at the low-key reception we held in our Montana hometown the following week, although we tried to keep it as low-waste as possible (especially after learning that the average wedding creates 500 lbs. of trash and 66 tons of C02!).
So, to help other adventure-loving couples plan their own travel-themed weddings, we put together some of our favorite wedding and shower décor and other accessories.
Everything on this list is from two of our favorite places to shop: Etsy, where you can buy straight from individual artists and get customized, one-of-a-kind products; and Ten Thousand Villages, a non-profit fair trade organization where everything is handmade by disadvantaged artisans from around the world. Many of these items are also eco-friendly or help reduce the amount of waste created, and several will also serve a purpose long after your big day.
Of course, you definitely don’t want all of these clashing items at your wedding – but pick and choose the ones that mesh with your colors and venue, or just use them for inspiration as you plan your big day.
Travel-Themed Wedding Invitations, etc.
On the Road Save the Date Card by Factory Made (Ohio)
Almost two years after our wedding, we’d say marriage is kind of like a road trip – there are long days and unexpected detours, and sometimes you get lost (and sometimes the husband refuses to ask for directions).
What better way to let your friends and family know when your adventure together will start than with a road trip-themed save the date? These are postcards, so they don’t need to be mailed in an envelope – less waste! Available as physical cards, or as a digital file if you’d rather print it yourself.
Boarding Pass Wedding Invitations by Paper Willow Designs (United Kingdom)
Use these boarding pass invites to continue the travel theme when you send your invitations. They can be customized with details about your wedding, gift registry, and other important information, and the stub even functions as an RSVP card.
Passport-Style Wedding Itinerary by I Do With You (Ontario)
If you’re planning a destination wedding, or just have a lot of out-of-town guests, use a passport-style itinerary to provide all the information they need. From details about the ceremony and reception to tips on accommodations and transportation to suggested excursions, you can customize these itineraries to cover everything.
Honeymoon Fund Request Card by Violin Events (Bulgaria)
Traditionalists might write it off as tacky, but honeymoon funds are getting more and more popular. After all, avid travelers don’t usually want another set of towels or a new kitchen gadget – they’d rather be able to go on their dream honeymoon, and that means they need to pay for things like plane tickets and hotel rooms. These invitation inserts are a fun way to ask for a non-traditional gift. This is a digital download, so you’ll have to get it printed yourself.
Travel-Themed Bridal Shower and Wedding Décor
Map Picture Frame by Brule River Roots (Wisconsin)
Planning to decorate the space with photos? There’s no better frame for a travel-themed wedding than one made from antique maps. Since these frames are custom-made, you can even choose the location shown on the map.
Map Garland by Décor and Crafts (Ontario)
This garland makes a great, easy decoration for travel-lovers, and it’s hand-sewn, so every strand is unique. Plus, if you need it, it’ll double as décor for a travel-themed nursery!
Street Map Stickers by Wonderful Labels (California)
Really, most travel lovers can’t get enough map décor. These custom stickers can be used on anything from candleholders to water bottles, and they’re perfect for making personalized travel-themed bridal shower or bachelorette party swag.
These soapstone bowls are handmade in Kenya, and they’re an elegant way to display small trinkets or serve mints or candies at your wedding or shower. And they’ll work just as well as a candy dish or key bowl long afterward.
For the Ceremony
Antique Map Welcome Sign by Mint and Merlot Paper Co. (California)
You knew there’d be more map décor, right? Welcome guests to your wedding with this personalized antique map sign. This is a digital template, so you’ll need to customize it (it’s super easy) and get it printed yourself.
Visa Stamp-Style Program and Fan by Fossil Letterpress (Ontario)
If you’re having an outdoor wedding in a warm climate, your guests will appreciate these paper fans, which also serve as travel-themed wedding programs. The artist who makes them even creates custom graphics, or you can have them made with your monograms or other designs you already have.
Rustic Suitcase Ring Box by For Love Atelier (Poland)
Get your ring bearer in on the travel theme with this cute little suitcase ring box. It has the wedding date painted on the outside and can be ordered in any color. Plus, it’ll make the perfect jewelry box after the wedding.
Vintage Postcard Ring Bearer Pillow by Larkspur and Linen (Michigan)
If you’d rather go with a ring pillow, this one is modeled after a vintage postcard, complete with a one-cent stamp. It’s a classic look for a traveler’s wedding.
Midnight Light Tapered Candles by Silence (India)
If your wedding will include a unity candle ceremony, why not use candles with meaning? These are handmade in India by members of a group called Silence, which helps deaf and disabled artisans earn a living. Buy a few extras to burn on your anniversary or any other time you want to remember your wedding.
Phoenician Blue Candle Holder by Hebron Glass (West Bank)
If you’re doing the unity candle ceremony, you’ll also need some candleholders. These are hand blown at Hebron Glass, a traditional glassware factory that’s been operating in the West Bank since 1890. Since they’re made from recycled bottles, each one is unique, and they’ll look just as good on your mantle or dining table after the wedding.
Silk Flower Petals with Map Print by Burlap and Bling Studio (Florida)
These look like regular flower petals from a distance, but they’re made from cloth, and the antique map print adds some extra flair. Each pack contains a hundred petals, and they work equally well as a table decoration or for sprinkling in the aisle.
World Map Cake Topper by Up Mood Shop (Ukraine)
There are a lot of travel-themed cake toppers out there, but this birch wood one is an elegant choice. And since it doesn’t include the last name, it works great if the woman is keeping her name!
Map Cupcake Wrap by Dill Pickle Picnic (Georgia)
We actually had cake pops at our reception, but we also love the idea of cupcakes for casual travel-themed weddings. Standard wedding cakes can get insanely expensive, and cupcakes are much easier to serve and eat. These cupcake wrappers are made from U.S. road maps that are too old to be sold and would otherwise have no use, and each one is unique. Just remember not to put them in the oven (slip the cupcakes into them once they’re baked)!
Vintage Postcard Cupcake Pins by Sweet Clicks (Florida)
If you’re serving cupcakes and want to jazz them up even more, top them with these vintage travel poster pins. There are about thirty different designs, featuring destinations from Banff to Cuba.
Customized Paper Napkins by Charleston Charms (South Carolina)
Customize your napkins with an adventure-inspired stamp featuring your names. These are technically listed as “baby shower napkins,” but marriage is an adventure in its own right, no?
For the Reception
Wooden World Map Guestbook by Wood Present Studio (Ukraine)
If you’re planning to have a guestbook, this one is the perfect choice for a travel-themed wedding. The cover is made from birch wood, and the world map image is laser-cut.
UP! Guestbook Alternative by Guest Books by Victoria (Ukraine)
As an alternative to the traditional guestbook, this board is inspired by the sweetest adventure-themed love story out there – the movie UP! You can customize the colors, and it comes in different sizes depending on the number of guests you’re expecting. To top if off, it’ll be a perfect piece of décor in your home long after the wedding.
Decorative Globe by Live Fearlessly Free (North Carolina)
No travel-themed wedding would be complete without a globe, which makes a great decoration for your guestbook table. This one is hand-lettered, and you can choose from several adventure-related quotes. Plus, it’ll look just as good on your mantle after the big day.
Zig-Zag Bowl by Noah’s Ark International Exports (India)
Need a convenient place to collect cards from your guests? This wire bowl will work perfectly – and it’ll make an excellent fruit bowl later on. It’s handmade by metalworkers in Moradabad, India, nicknamed “The Brass City” for its longstanding tradition of brasswork.
Rustic Suitcase Card Box by La De Da Design (Michigan)
Alternatively, use this suitcase-style box, which will also make it easy to transport your cards at the end of the wedding. Afterward, it’ll make a good place to store photos, letters, or other mementos.
USA Map Seating Chart by Fortu Designs (California)
This is the ideal seating chart if you’ve got guests coming from different parts of the country and want to seat them together. Or, you can theme the tables after places that are important to you and seat whoever you want at each one. Either way, finding assigned seats at a wedding can be a hassle, and this will make it more fun. This is a digital download, so you’ll have to get it printed yourself.
Luggage Tag Seating Cards by Imbue You I Do (Pennsylvania)
Show your guests which spot is theirs with these luggage tag-inspired seating cards. You can have them printed with each guest’s name, as well as the name or number of the table they’re seated at.
Map Table Runner by Fly Girl Design Studios (Florida)
For a travel-themed table runner, you can’t do much better than a world map covered with flight patterns. It can come in whatever dimensions you need, and you can easily use it on your dining table long after the wedding.
Personalized Burlap Table Runner by Custom Holly Davidson (Connecticut)
Alternatively, this burlap table runner has beautiful skywriting of the couple’s name and wedding date, and it’s perfect for the head table. We actually used burlap table runners at our reception, and we loved the rustic look they created.
Silver Forest Candle Holder by Noah’s Ark International Exports (India)
If you’re looking for a bar decoration or head table centerpiece with some global flair, this elegant candleholder might be the answer. It’s made from mango tree wood and silver leaf, and handcrafted by local artisans in India. Plus, it’ll look just as good on your mantle or dining table after the wedding.
Inspirational Candle Holders by TARA Projects (India)
With “hope” etched on one side and “love” on the other, these little soapstone candleholders make a nice addition to any centerpiece. They’re made in India, by artisans at one of the country’s first fair trade organizations.
Embossed Silver-Plated Goblets by Noah’s Ark International Exports (India)
If there’s one thing all weddings need, it’s something to toast with. These silver-plated brass goblets have an incredibly intricate design and come in a satin-lined box. They’re too pricey for every guest to have one, but they’ll make great toasting glasses for the couple – and they’re perfect for using on your anniversary for years to come.
Wine Bottle Toppers by OTIC (Kenya)
We actually received these as a wedding gift from one of Jen’s friends, so we can vouch that they’re adorable! They’re hand-carved in Kenya from blue gum eucalyptus tree, an invasive species in the area, and come in both giraffe and zebra designs. They’ll be useful for covering the partial bottles you’ll be left with after your shower or wedding – and they’ll make a great reminder of your nuptials any time you need to seal a bottle of Pinot.
Wedding Favor Candy Bag by Clementine Wedding (Washington)
These little muslin bags are perfect for passing out your travel-themed wedding favors (or just some mints). They’re a great alternative to disposable plastic bags, and guests can take them home to use for packing or storing small items.
Airplane Confetti by Bits and Pieces Shoppe (Tennessee)
You shouldn’t toss rice at a travel-themed wedding – you should throw planes! These one-inch planes have been hand punched from paper maps, and each pack has a hundred. They’re the perfect way for guests to send you off on your honeymoon.
Travel-Themed Wedding Party Gifts
Deep Purpose Bracelet by TARA Projects (India)
This bracelet is handmade in India from brass and labradorite. If your bridesmaids are the free-spirited type, this stone is said to increase philosophical thinking and spiritual awareness – and even if they’re not, it still makes a beautiful bridesmaids gift.
Infinitely Knot Bracelet by Mitra Bali (Indonesia)
Want a bridesmaids gift that says you’ll be friends forever? This silver infinity bracelet is an elegant choice, and it’s made by metalworkers in Bali, Indonesia.
Purple Peacock Coin Purse by TARA Projects (India)
This satin coin purse makes another good bridesmaids gift, or you can package one of the above bracelets inside it. Your bridesmaids can use it to carry their valuables on a night out or during their next trip.
Silk Paper Gift Bag by Prokritee (Bangladesh)
Gift-wrapping makes giving and receiving presents much more fun, but it’s also a huge source of waste. Enter the reusable gift bag. This one is made from silk paper by artisans in Bangladesh, and it’s beautiful and eco-friendly.
Serene Travel Set by Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts (Vietnam)
If you’re planning a destination wedding or you have bridesmaids or groomsmen coming from out of town, they’ll appreciate this little kit on their trip. It includes earplugs, an eye mask, and a drawstring laundry bag, all packaged in a cloth pouch. It’s handcrafted by artisans at a Vietnamese NGO that uses the money from their craft sales to fund community development projects.
Leather Passport Holder by 3 Twenty Leatherworks (California)
Give this leather passport cover to help your wedding party prepare for their next international trip – or to come to your destination wedding if it’s international. After all, no one wants the best man to get left behind because he lost his passport. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen will think of you whenever they travel.
“Adventure Awaits” Flask by Overly Attached Decals (Pennsylvania)
An adventure-themed take on the traditional groomsmen gift, this flask is hand-etched and dishwasher-safe – and each one comes with a stainless steel funnel.
Which of these travel-themed wedding ideas is your favorite?
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