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Before you Commit to a “Great Gatsby” Theme, Make Sure You’ve Finished the Book First

The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925, is an American masterpiece focusing on themes of decadence, excess, the lie of the American dream, the death of idealism, and the folly of youth. It is an anti-love story.


So, for the love of all that is sane and wonderful and not stupid, STOP TELLING PEOPLE YOUR WEDDING IS GATSBY-THEMED.


We get it! You saw the splashy, shiny, shimmery Baz Luhrmann film and thought, "THAT is what I want my party to be." You want your guests to dress in 1920s reproductions, tipple champagne, dance the Charleston, and sputter down some mystery drink make with absinthe. But you can't celebrate Gatsby without the appropriate amount of melancholy and ennui.


SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO WERE NOT REQUIRED TO READ THE BOOK IN MIDDLE SCHOOL: Gatsby frickin' dies! He's left by the love of his life, Daisy, after finally being reunited with her, because she choses a life of comfort and support with her philandering bully husband, Tom. This is after she runs over Tom's mistress Myrtle in Gatsby's big stupid yellow car, leading to Myrtle's husband going off his rocker and tracking down the owner of the yellow car. He thinks he's gonna avenge his wife's death, but nope! He got the wrong guy! He pops Gatsby off while he's swimming in his giant pool and then eats a bullet himself. No one even shows up to Gatsby's funeral. The hundreds of people who came to his massive ragers were just soulless sycophants. Oh, and we're learning all of this from the narrator, Nick, who literally packs up and moves back to the Midwest after this, basically throwing up his hands and going, "alright, enough of this shit, I'm donezo."



Fear not! You can still embrace the beautiful dresses, fun music, and the overall style of the '20s. All you need to do is rephrase a little.

Here are other names you can use for your theme while still achieving the desired effect:

1. Roaring '20s Theme:


Even the dimmest of guests knows how to Google! This theme explains itself!

2. Prohibition Theme:


Make Gatsby proud! Get everyone drunk as hell on bathtub gin and then make sure to Uber your guests home. We certainly don't want a Daisy hit-and-run on our hands.

3. Baz Luhrmann's Pretty Dresses and Fancy Coattails Theme:


Literally just paste photo stills from the movie on the invite. They'll get it. (Gaaahd those photos are beautiful ...)

4. Jazz Age Theme:


You can have the swing band you've been dreaming of ... ever since you saw the movie.

5. Flappers and Dappers Theme:


Everyone likes a theme name that rhymes! (So what if it's basically based on a store-bought Halloween costume?)

The moral of the story: your wedding theme should evoke the beauty and fun of a decade, not the story about a tragic murder-suicide. Cheers!


Photo Attributions:



Milan Dewet

What Culture

City Refinery



Jennifer Sosa

The Big 40

Roger Ebert


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